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 132 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

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

  1. I made this today and it turned out perfectly! I used a big smoked ham shank. Yum! I was most happy with the texture..not too thick or thin. Kids loved it too! 

  2. Made this soup using this recipe for the first time this past weekend. I couldn’t find a ham bone, shank or hock in anywhere. Instead, I used 8 cups of chicken stock. It turned out great but I’ll continue to look for a ham bone or shank to use next time. Also, cooked it for almost 8 hours in the crock pot on high in order to thicken the soup.

    Excellent recipe!

    • I’m so happy you like it Dave! I usually annoy all my friends and neighbors for their ham bones. I have them all trained to just bring it with them when they visit😂. Thanks so much for the review!

  3. This was absolutely delicious! Made a pot today.

  4. Best pea soup! I have ever made but I did mine a bit different I made beef bone broth in the instapot then after bone broth was made in a pot on stove cubed 5 slices of organic bacon fried up a little took out baken fat some of it added all the vegetables except potatoes ! Stir fried a bit! Added this to the insta pot bone broth cooked vor 18 minutes it was perfect added potatoes just at the end. It cooked them ! 

    • Sounds like you know what you’re doing!😃 This is one of my favorites, I have to thank my mom for the inspiration since she taught me her split pea soup making tricks!❤️

  5. I have excess dried peas so I decided to try this recipe for my family. Not for me because I don’t like peas. Even so I had to try it just to say I did. Much to my surprise I loved it. I will be making this again.

  6. Hello, I am wanting to make this recipe in the instant pot. I noticed it calls for 8 cups of water in the receipt but I do not have a ham bone & the notes say to use 4 cups water & 4 cups chicken stock. Is that in additions to the 8 cups of water? Thanks! 

    • Hi Terri! It wouldn’t be in addition to. It’s to make up some flavor from the lack of ham bone so instead of 8 cups of water, you’ll do 4 cups water and 4 cups chicken broth! 🙂

  7. This is the second time I have made this soup in my crock pot. Again, it is a big hit! I use chicken stock instead of water. But other wise I stay with your suggestions.

    Thank you,

  8. Going to make this today, what’s the reason for butter and olive oil?

  9. I’m going to pour some beer into it and see how that comes out

  10. This looks so Delicious!!! I added bacon and can’t wait for it to be ready!! I see a serving is 343 calories and it makes 6 servings. How many cups is a serving? Thank you very much for sharing this recipe!!

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