Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

published Mar 6, 2022
Instant Pot Split Pea Soup Recipe

This smoky, hearty soup comes together in just a fraction of the stovetop time thanks to the Instant Pot.

Serves4 to 6

Makesabout 8 cups

Prep15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 40 minutes

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pea soup in a bowl with a spoon sticking out
Credit: Laura Manzano

Split pea soup is a warm hug in a bowl. It’s one of my favorite soups because it’s creamy, hearty, and also one of the easiest to make, especially when the cook time is whittled down to just fifteen minutes thanks to the Instant Pot. It’s also a great use for leftover ham, which infuses the soup with salty, smoky goodness. Here’s how to turn a handful of humble ingredients into a pot of deliciousness that will nourish you for days.

Do split peas have to be soaked before cooking?

Unlike some other dried beans, split peas don’t need to be soaked first since they’re small, quick cooking, and you actually want them to fall apart to make the soup nice and creamy. Just them a rinse first and make sure there aren’t any stones hiding in the peas before cooking.

How to Make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

  1. Cook the aromatics. Start by sautéing onion, celery, carrots, and dried herbs directly in the Instant Pot on the Sauté setting.
  2. Pressure cook for 15 minutes. Add the split peas, diced ham, chicken broth, and water, and then cook under high pressure for fifteen minutes.
  3. Quick release the pressure. When the cook time is up, quick release the pressure and then make sure to stir the soup really, really well to help it get nice and creamy.
  4. Adjust the consistency if needed. If the soup is thicker than you prefer, just thin it out with water. Make sure to taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed at the end, as the salt level can vary based on how salty your chicken broth or ham is. Split pea soup thickens up significantly as it cools, so reheat leftovers with a splash of water or broth.

Can you freeze split pea soup?

Yes! Like many soups, split pea soup freezes quite well. Stash it in the freezer for up to two months.

Credit: Laura Manzano

How to Serve Split Pea Soup

Split pea soup really doesn’t need much more than a grind of fresh black pepper on top, as I find the combination of ham and peas very satisfying. If you want a little something on the side, try crusty bread, skillet cornbread, cornbread muffins, or serve the soup in a homemade bread bowl.

Related: Our 10 Most Popular Soup Recipes

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup Recipe

This smoky, hearty soup comes together in just a fraction of the stovetop time thanks to the Instant Pot.

Prep time 15 minutes to 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 40 minutes

Makes about 8 cups

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    medium carrots (about 6 ounces total)

  • 2

    medium celery stalks (about 4 ounces total)

  • 1/2

    medium yellow onion

  • 2 cloves


  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound

    dried green split peas (about 2 1/4 cups)

  • 7 to 8 ounces

    diced, cooked ham (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 1 (32-ounce) carton

    low-sodium chicken broth (4 cups)

  • 2 cups

    water, plus more as needed


  1. Prepare the following, adding each to the same medium bowl as you complete it: Peel and dice 2 medium carrots (about 1 cup). Dice 2 medium celery stalks (about 1 cup). Dice 1/2 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup). Finely chop 2 garlic cloves.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker on the highest Sauté setting until shimmering. Add the carrot mixture, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Season with a few grinds of black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place 1 pound dried green split peas in a fine-mesh strainer and pick through and discard any stones; rinse the split peas briefly under cold water. Dice 7 to 8 ounce cooked ham if needed (about 1 1/2 cups).

  3. Add the split peas, ham, 1 (32-ounce) carton low-sodium chicken broth, and 2 cups water to the pressure cooker and stir to combine. Turn off the pressure cooker. Lock the lid on and check that the pressure valve is set to seal. Set to cook for 15 minutes on HIGH pressure. It will take 10 to 18 minutes to come up to pressure.

  4. When the cook time is up, quick release all the pressure. Discard the bay leaf. Stir the soup until very well combined and creamy. If the soup is too thick, thin out with more water as needed. Taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat on medium heat until heated through.