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 except for the carrots and potatoes.
  • Simmer for several hours, (I recommend 5+), allowing it to flavor up and thicken. Crack the lid open just slightly.
  • Add the carrots and 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:

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

Split Pea Soup

4.99 from 144 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
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons onion powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and 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 the ham, onions, butter, olive oil, onion powder, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme
  • 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 carrots and potatoes about 40 minutes prior to eating.
  • Once the carrots and 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

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

  1. Delicious! I didn’t need to cook for hours, about 1-1 1/2 hours. Will definitely make it again. 

  2. This soup came out really good! I did have to alter the recipe some though. I wanted celery so I used half celery and half carrots, a little over 2cups together. I didn’t have olive oil so I used avocado oil. I didn’t have a russet potato and I wanted a little extra so I used 3 medium Yukon gold, maybe one and a half russets worth. I was slightly short on garlic and I had no onion powder or thyme or bay leaves, so I used italian seasoning (basil, oregano and thyme) and chopped fresh parsley and celery leaves. Our ham was pre cooked from the store and not oven roasted so i was a little worried it wouldn’t be so flavorful, but it came out excellent! I used the stovetop method, maybe put it a little too low for 2 hours while taking the kids to the park (someone was home), so I turned it on to boil again and turned it down slightly less low while I chopped the potatoes (everything else I chopped last night) and then simmered a little higher for 50 minutes (kinda lost track for the last 10), cooking 3 1/2 hours total. It was so yummy I ate two bowls and my little nephew ate a big bowl, too! He actually loved the smell so much that he was asking when it’ll be done yet for an hour before it was done, even though his dad was giving him waffles and a sandwich while he waited (healthy weight 5yo, btw! I was surprised he managed to still fit in a bowl of soup! It was that good.) I’m having trouble holding off from eating more before my brother gets home! Haha! This recipe is a keeper. I think it’s great that you also have instructions for alternative cooking methods as well.

  3. I made this recipe and used some chopped ham I had. Turned out really nicely. It did end up pretty thick, which was nice. I simmered it with the lid offset by about a 1/4 inch. I’m going to make it again this weekend with some leftover pork tenderloin I smoked. I used some thyme sprigs that I tied together. Stephanie, one comment, if I may be so bold. In the picture of all the ingredients there is no thyme. Cheers!

    • Thanks so much for the great comments and review Steve! I’m so happy you enjoyed this. I’m curious to see how you like it with the smoked pork tenderloin, sounds yummy!😋

      • It turned out wonderfully. The dominant flavor was the split peas, but there was subtle smoky flavor from the port tenderloin. Not to mention the port tenderloin was ridiculously tender. Great the first night and got thicker the next day. Fantastic recipe.

      • Thanks so much for the great review Steve! I love that little bit of smoky taste too😋. Happy to hear you enjoyed it!

  4. I’ve made this pea soup many times – it never disappoints!  I even get positive comments from those who don’t care for pea soup (out of a can 😊).  It’s a winner in my book!

  5. Cooked according to directions except I added Italian seasoning cuz I am out if thyme, since it has thyme in it… so far, so good, the flavor is great. My only problem is I live in Colorado, along the front range in high altitude…. so far, I’ve simmered for 5-1/2 hours and it finally started to break down the peas; however, it’s super thick & the peas still are not soft enough to eat. I’ve been up all night waiting for the soup to get done, but I can’t stay awake much longer! So now I added 3/4 cup of broth & put the soup in my crock pot on low…. hopefully my soup is done when I wake up in 5-6 hours! If the peas will break down all the way, as they are supposed too, it’s going to be one delicious split pea soup today… the flavor is just right!

  6. Absolutely delicious. Everything I have made with your recipes are make all your recipes look so appetizing . Thank you.

  7. Looking forward to the split pea and ham recipe. I have my ham bone from tonight’s dinner .

  8. When I was little and we had this for dinner, in order for us to go back outside to play, we had to finish our bowl. My sisters and I took a few bites but my brother finished his and our to go back outside to play. Only 6 or so yeas ago I started making my own and giving it to friends and family but I also love it now

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