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. 


See recipe card below for ingredient amounts and full instructions, including Instant Pot + Slow Cooker Instructions.

  • Ham Bone
  • Ham- This soup is a great way to make use of a leftover spiral glazed ham.
  • Olive Oil
  • Carrots
  • Split Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic- Freshly minced at home for best flavor. This Garlic Twister makes it easy!
  • Onion Powder
  • Bay Leaves
  • Butter

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

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.



This soup should be stored in an airtight container and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.


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

5 from 134 votes
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, or 4 cups chicken broth, 4 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 poatoes are tender, remove the ham bone/hock, 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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Recipe Rating

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

  1. This recipe was very disappointing. I followed it using my crock pot. 8 hours later, the soup was very watery and the potatoes were not cooked, even though I put them in over an hour before serving rather than the 40 minutes suggested in the recipe. I put the contents of the crock pot into my blender, which was time consuming and more work, but I saved the soup.

    • Hi JoAnne, the instruction to add the potatoes 40 minutes prior to serving was if you were cooking them on the Stove Top, not the Crock Pot. The Crock Pot instructions indicate to add all ingredients to the Crock Pot at the beginning. The instructions also do indicate 8+ hours on low, sometimes it can take longer than 8, Crock Pots can vary in terms of temperature. I would probably have cooked it on high instead. Glad that you were able to save the soup though and I’m sorry it didn’t work out the way you had hoped!

  2. Hi! The recipe calls for water, but you have a pic of chicken broth. Which do you use? Thanks 

  3. Very good, we love soup at our home. It’s going into my rotation. I had all the ingredients which made it even more yummy. I love your recipes. 

  4. I found this recipe on Pinterest. I looked through all of the recipes and chose this one. It’s great because you can make it by stove top, instapot or slow cooker. Plus this recipe has potatoes, which will make this soup thick and hearty. Wonderful for a cold winter day. I saved the ham bone from Christmas 3 days ago. I am making it right now in the slow cooker. It will be ready for dinner tonight. Can’t wait to eat this soup!

    • Hi Rosie! I am excited that you’ve got this in the Crock Pot, you are going to LOVE this soup! I actually just finished eating some for lunch!! 🙂 Enjoy!! -Stephanie

  5. You are so right – hands down best split pea soup  recipe – and so easy!!!
    *I added salt free Greek seasoning and pepper flakes – so yummy<3

  6. What is the number of servings and serving size this recipe makes?

    • Hi Jane, the servings are at the top of the recipe card, (just for future reference!)- this one makes enough for 6 people. I didn’t measure the number of cups/quarts however. I try to do that nowadays!

  7. On the stove, 2nd hour … do you scrape the meat off the bone at end of cooking, or discard it altogether ( house smells amazing – will serve this tomorrow)

    • Hey Donna! Sometimes I can’t resist adding some of the delicious meat into the soup, but if I feel like there is enough ham in there already, then I might not. (You can always save that meat and serve it with eggs!) 😉 ENJOY the soup!!!

  8. Made stove top version with these changes:
    added ~2 cups of diced celery.  Used the olive oil in the recipe to sauté the onion, celery, and carrot before adding. Used water and whatever chicken broth I had open in the frig (probably abt 1 c). Didn’t add the potato.  My family loved this.

    • Glad you enjoyed it Patty!! If you ever try this again, (and use a ham bone), the onions/carrots/celery will rise to the top of the soup and end up cooking in the ham fat, which is why we don’t saute them in oil first! It’s a nice time saver and there is no difference in taste! 🙂

  9. If you use the instant pot method and put the potatoes in at the beginning, after 25 minutes of pressure cooking, won’t the potatoes melt completely? Are they supposed to? If not, how would you recommend I cut the potato so that there are still decent chunks?

  10. My oh my……this soup is the best! I was a bit worried that it was going to be too “brothy” …… but oh no…it thickened up to just the way we like our pea soup. I followed your recipe (isn’t that what a recipe is for?) and wow……. I made it stove stop and probably simmered for about 2 1/2 hours and it was so delicious. We will be having leftovers in about 20 minutes and I know it will be more outrageous! Found this on Pinterest …… will sign up for your newsletters and recipes! Thank you!

    • I’m so glad you liked the Pea Soup Jano!😀 I loooooove this one! I even love the way it makes the house smell, so warm and comforting. I’m happy to hear you’re signing up for the newsletter, I can’t wait for you to try others! Thanks so much for the review!❤️

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