Delicious, creamy split pea soup in your Instant Pot!  Simple ingredients with flavorful, smoky ham combine to make a bit of soup heaven!

Split pea soup is one of my absolute favorite soups. Thinking back though, I’m sure I’ve said that about every soup that’s on this blog. I mean it this time – for reals. No, really!

I actually only have split pea soup a few times a year because, well, I guess I’m a bit of a split pea soup snob. It’s only when I have a ham bone that I’ll make it – it just puts it over the top.

I have made it with just chopped ham – still delicious. I have made it with Boar’s Head deli ham, sliced 1″ thick – yep, still delicious. But there’s something about that smoky ham bone.

Don’t feel you need the ham bone. You don’t. But if you get your hands on one, don’t delay, get it in the pot with the split peas. And I mean pronto! You can get a ham bone at the The Honey Baked Ham Company. They are amazing in any soup and collard greens, but beware. Every bone that I have bought from there were colossal!

If you are not using a ham bone, I would go with 2 cups chopped ham, just to give it that hammy flavor. If I’m using a ham bone, I stick with 1 cup chopped ham because there’s ham on the bone. Up to you. If you just love ham, use the bone and 2 cups chopped ham!

Oh hey Columbo – just one more thing … the saffron. Don’t go out and buy saffron for this soup. If you don’t have it, forget about it. It’s not gonna make or break this soup. If I have it, I add it in, if not oh well. Just a pinch though, and I crush it in my palm before I add it in. But I realize that may not be in everyone’s pantry and I don’t want you to click off because of the word saffron.

Go forth my friends and make the best split pea soup of your life!!!

This is my absolute favorite split pea soup recipe - the most delicious in the universe!
5 from 4 votes

Split Pea Soup


  • 1 pound split peas, green or yellow, rinsed and sorted
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 meaty hambone
  • 1-2 cups small diced ham use 2 cups if not using hambone or your hambone has no meat on it
  • 1 small potato, diced
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • pinch of saffron (optional)
  • pinch cayenne, or more for more heat
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley, chopped, for garnish at the end (optional)



  1. Set your Instant Pot/pressure cooker to saute. Add butter to the pot. When melted, add in the chopped onions, celery and carrots. Cook, 5-8 minutes, until they begin to soften.

  2. Turn the pot off. Add in all other ingredients. Pressure ON HIGH for 15 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally for 15 minutes. Release the remaining pressure. Stir well, taste for more seasoning. Enjoy!


  1. In a large pot heat the butter over medium-high heat. When melted, add in the chopped onions, celery and carrots. Cook until they begin to soften.

  2. Add in all other ingredients except the diced potato and parsley. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every so often. Add the diced potato, stir and cook 30 more minutes or until the peas have broken down and the potatoes are tender.

  3. Turn the heat off and remove the ham bone. Stir in the parsley, if using. When cool, remove the meat from the bone and add to the soup. Stir. Enjoy!

Delicious, creamy split pea soup in your Instant Pot!  Simple ingredients with flavorful, smoky ham combine to make a bit of soup heaven!
Delicious, creamy split pea soup in your Instant Pot!  Simple ingredients with flavorful, smoky ham combine to make a bit of soup heaven!

If you love soups as much as I do, you may be interested in my ravioli soup, red lentil soup, or my crazy delicious mushroom soup!

8 thoughts on “Split Pea Soup – Instant Pot and Stovetop”

  1. 5 stars
    Super delicious 😋 I add smoked paprika along with saffron, a dash of thyme and use veggie “better than bouillon” with venison bone broth- it’s phenomenal. This is my fave go to recipe for pea soup (and I grew up with fresh Anderson’s Split Pea soup)! It’s just that good!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you! Followed your recipe exactly and it turned out perfect! I was drawn to your recipe because the picture looked like it was a thicker soup and it did not disappoint. Will definitely be using this recipe as our standard for pea soup.

  3. I always use honey baked ham bone, they sell them at the honey baked store. Brings the soup to an entirely new level of divine!

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you! It was a great cooking lesson.
    Being new to Instant Pot cooking, I’ve been experimenting with old favorites. I have learned that it’s best to have all ingredients prepped and ready, because the pot heats up quickly and after sauteing the vegetables, everything else goes in at once.
    Set the soup button on our Nova Duo for 15 minutes, but had to use manual pressure cooking for 5 minutes after initial cooling and taste checking.

  5. I want to try this but I like a thicker split pea soup. Does this produce a thicker soup, similar to the picture provided with the recipe? Or is it more on the soupy side?

  6. Saffron! I’ve always got saffron handy, but have never had it in pea soup, so that’s a must try! I also use the garlic & bay leaves, but with marjoram, so want to try the switch to paprika and cayenne with the saffron, also–but will wait to do it right when I’ve got a nice meaty ham bone! (There are some decent jars of ham-flavored soup base pastes that can bump up the ham flavor when using chopped ham instead of a ham bone. Some can be rather salty, unless used sparingly, but some aren’t too bad.)

    Funny, I just left a kielbasa comment on the pork chops with cabbage recipe….and pea soup is another thing I often use kielbasa as a substitute for diced ham or a ham bone, and had intended to make this week. Nothing beats a ham bone pea soup, but we only have a couple of handy ham bones per year. We also like the chopped ham version, too, but have become quite fond of the version with a Hillshire Polska kielbasa too! (It’s really great in a diced tomato, chicken broth, and pearl barley vegetable soup, too!)

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