The Cozy Cook

Split Pea Soup Recipe – (Stove Top, Crock Pot, Instant Pot!)

This classic Pea Soup recipe is made with a meaty ham bone, carrots, onions, potatoes, and has a thick and flavorful broth. It’s easy to make on the Stove Top, Instant Pot, or Crock Pot!

Be sure to try my recipe for Lentil Soup with Ham next!

A white bowl of split pea soup with a spoon scooping some out.

I realize that I’m making quite a claim when I say that this is the best split pea soup recipe ever, but it is. Just read through the comments, people are in love. There is no doubt in my mind that it could win awards.

The recipe comes from a super old cookbook that my mom has. The steps are simple, and so are the ingredients.

Splie Pea Soup recipe from an old cookbook.

☝️Variations to the Original Recipe

  • The original recipe doesn’t call for a ham bone, but I highly suggest you use one.
  • Don’t add any salt as the ham/ham bone has enough salt already.
  • Use fresh garlic vs. garlic powder.
  • I like to add sprigs of fresh thyme. 
  • I also like to add just one russet potato.

overhead view of ingredients to make split pea soup.

*If you don’t have a ham bone, I suggest using 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth.

How to Make it

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Note: Unlike most soup recipes, the vegetables don’t need to be softened in butter/oil first. They float to the surface of the soup and cook/soften in the fat from the ham bone.

  • Rinse the peas and place them in the pot with the water and uncleaned ham bone.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add all remaining ingredients.
  • Simmer for several hours, (I recommend 5+), allowing it to flavor up and thicken. Crack the lid open just slightly.
  • Add the potatoes about 40 minutes prior to serving.

Using a Ham Bone

  • Using a nice meaty, uncleaned ham bone is what gives this soup it’s amazingly rich and savory flavor.
  • If you don’t have a ham  bone, I suggest using 4 cups water + 4 cups chicken broth instead of using all water.

meaty ham bone on a white surface

Ham Bone Substitutes

  • Bone-in Picnic Shoulder or smoked ham shank
  • Using a ham hock is the next best option.
  • Chopped salted pork and/or chopped smoked bacon can also be substituted.

Split Peas Don’t Need Soaking

Since they are already halved, they are nice and thin and ready to be cooked right in the broth.

Uncooked Split Peas in a bowl of soup

How to Thicken Split Pea Soup

The longer you simmer split pea soup, the more it thickens. Just make sure the temperature is low if you are going to simmer for several hours to avoid losing too much liquid.

Note: If you’re at a higher altitude, longer cooking time is required.

A white bowl with split pea soup in it filled with ham, carrots, and potatoes.


  • Refrigerator: This soup should be stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Split Pea soup freezes and reheats very well. It’s best if eaten with 3 months of freezing.

What to Serve with Split Pea Soup

More Recipes for Leftover Ham:

Get My Free Meal Plan

I’ve got a Free Meal Plan with 7 of my super popular recipes (complete with grocery list)! Sign up for my email list and I’ll send it over now along with weekly dinner recipes!

And follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest!

A spoon scooping up ham from a white bowl of split pea soup.

Split Pea Soup

4.99 from 135 ratings
This BEST Split Pea Soup recipe is made with a meaty ham bone and is easy to make on the Stove Top, Instant Pot, or Crock Pot!


  • 8 cups water, see notes
  • 1 lb. bag dry split peas, equal to 2 cups
  • 1 ham bone, See notes for substitution options
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 2 cups onions, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons onion powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 russet potato, diced


Stove Top

  • Rinse the peas. Put the water, split peas, & uncleaned ham bone in a large soup pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add all remaining ingredients except for the potato. Reduce to a simmer.
  • Let the soup simmer for several hours, with the lid cracked just slightly. (I recommend 5+ hours and more for higher altitudes.) This allows plenty of time for the peas to cook and the soup to thicken and fully absorb the flavor from the ham bone. The longer it simmers, the thicker and more flavorful it gets.
  • Add the potato about 40 minutes prior to eating.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, remove the ham bone, the bay leaves, and thyme stems. Serve and enjoy!

Instant Pot

  • Rinse the peas. Add all of the ingredients to 6+ quart instant pot. Make sure the pot isn’t more than 2/3 full. **The Peas do not need to be soaked.**
  • Secure the lid and set it to cook on high (or press the ‘pressure cook’ button) for 25 minutes.
  • Once finished, let 10-15 minutes pass before you trigger the quick release valve. This will allow most of the pressure to release naturally, allowing the soup to cook a little bit longer.
  • Remove the ham bone/hock, the bay leaves, and thyme stems. Serve!

Slow Cooker

  • Rinse the peas. Add all of the ingredients to a large Slow Cooker (5 quarts or larger). 
  • Cook on low for 8+ hours or on high for 6+ hours. It's ready to serve once the peas are tender and the soup has reached your desired level of thickness.
  • Remove the ham bone/hock, the bay leaves, and thyme stems and serve!


If you don't have a ham bone or are using the 2nd and 3rd ham bone substitutes outlined below, I suggest using 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth. 

Ham Bone Substitutes:

  1. Bone-in Picnic Shoulder or smoked ham shank 
  2. Using a ham hock is the next best option.
  3. Chopped salted pork and/or chopped smoked bacon can also be substituted.


Calories: 343kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 19g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 1188mg, Potassium: 912mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 7185IU, Vitamin C: 20.5mg, Calcium: 68mg, Iron: 2.3mg


 Carrots, onions, potatoes, split peas ham blend perfectly together in this rich and flavorful split pea soup recipe that comes straight from mom! | The Cozy Cook | #soup #peas #comfortfood #ham #peasoup

Leave a Comment & Rate this Recipe

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Click the Stars to Rate This Recipe

390 comments on “Split Pea Soup Recipe – (Stove Top, Crock Pot, Instant Pot!)”

  1. Bit underseasoned as is, definitely had to punch it up. Also calling this six servings is insanely inaccurate; it made more like 14. However, the ratio of the ingredients is good and this will get you that very traditional split pea soup you remember your parents making. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Carly! I am curious to know what you had to add to punch up the flavor, did you use a ham bone? It’s a bit explosive with flavor if you use one. But I’m happy that you enjoyed it! My apologies on your thoughts on the inaccuracy of the serving size.

      • You know, I only had a little ham bone from like a ham steak versus a proper ham bone so I’m sure that made a difference. My apologies for being unfair there. I’ll have to try it again when I’m able to get a real ham bone c:

  2. Tastes just like my mom’s used to and this is the first time I made split pea soup — delicious! I will be freezing a lot, so every week I can have a bowl. Easy to make; I used the crockpot.

    • I’m so happy to hear you liked it Colleen! I love freezing a big batch of this and having warm lunches for the week!😋 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. Hi! Your recipe was so simple with a delicious end result! I didn’t have fresh Thyme so I used dried.It’s a keeper! Thank You

  4. Made this soup, and OMG; we all love it so much. I followed the slow cooker ingredients and instructions except I used half whole peas (which I soaked overnight) and half split peas. I omitted the potato and added the 2 cups of ham pieces the last hour of cooking as my ham bone from Easter had lots of meat. I put everything in the slow cooker at 7:30 a.m. and cooked on low until 5:30 p.m. So easy. It’s a keeper! Thanks, Stephanie! Now I need another ham bone.

    • You’re very welcome! I’m so happy you enjoyed the soup! It’s such a great use for a hambone. My friends and neighbors all know to save their hambones for me😋 Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!😃

  5. Great recipe I used the stove top method and my soup was delicious. Thank you!

  6. this looks so delicious ! Just wondering if i can cook in oven ? Maybe at 350 for a few hours ?

  7. Simple easy, and you’ll love it, thanks steph, love it and more, some aside for that rainy day and another ham bone. dan

As Seen On…