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Smoky, savory Instant Pot Split Pea Soup brings you this comfort food favorite in a fraction of the time! It’s the perfect way to use a ham bone, split peas are super budget-friendly and feed a crowd, and plenty of veggies make it a wholesome, all-in-one meal.

ham and split pea instant pot soup in a bowl

Why You’ll Love This Instant Pot Split Pea Soup Recipe

  • Classic for a Reason. Split pea soup is humble soup that’s been around for generations. It’s deeply comforting, makes the most of simple ingredients, and the pressure cooker cuts the cooking time. (For more another fast version of a classic soup, see my Instant Pot French Onion Soup.)
  • Budget-Friendly. Split peas are inexpensive and stretch the soup; this is also an excellent recipe for using up leftover Crockpot Ham or Baked Ham. Don’t throw out your ham bone after the holidays!
  • Hearty and Filling. The pressure-cooked split peas create a creamy texture, and the ham bone and smoked paprika give it mega flavor.
  • Easy to Make. The pressure cooker makes this a one-pot meal that is very easy to prepare, but it tastes like it’s been simmering for hours.
  • Leftovers Are Superb. This soup reheats easily and tastes even better the next day. It’s one of my favorite freezer friendly recipes!
instant pot split pea soup with ham in a bowl with a spoon

5 Star Review

“I made exactly as directed. Best split pea soup I have ever had!”

— Jamie —

How to Make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

The Ingredients

  • Veggies. Onion, carrot, and celery build the soup’s flavorful base.
  • Spices. Smoked paprika and thyme give the soup a warm, savory flavor that complements the ham.
  • Garlic. I recommend using fresh garlic cloves for optimal flavor.
  • Ham. You can use a ham bone, ham hock (also known as a pork knuckle), or ham shank.
  • Split Peas. There are generally two varieties of split peas: yellow and green. The green variety is sweeter, so that’s what I like to use in this soup.
  • Bay Leaves. Bay leaves cook in the soup and are removed at the end, imparting their warm, earthy flavor. It’s subtle but important.
  • Chicken Stock. The recipe calls for 6 cups of stock. To eliminate leftover stock from two, 32-ounce cartons, you can use 4 cups chicken stock from one, 32-ounce carton plus 1 (14.5)-ounce can chicken broth.
  • Lemon Juice. My secret ingredient to bring the whole soup and all the flavors to life.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the end to give the soup additional savoriness and richness.

Market Swap

If you do not have a ham hock, bone, or shank here are some options:

  • Thick-Cut Deli Ham. Cut thick deli ham into bite-sized pieces, or purchase pre-diced ham. Start the recipe by sautéing the ham cubes in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned. Remove from the pot. Increase the smoked paprika to 1 1/2 teaspoons; stir the cooked ham back into the soup at the end.
  • Bacon. To make split pea soup with bacon rather than ham, first cut up and sauté 4to 6 strips of bacon in the pot. Proceed with the rest of the recipe, sautéing the onions in the bacon drippings (omit the butter). Stir the cooked bacon in at the end after the soup has finished pressure cooking. For the best texture, use thick-cut bacon.

The Directions

Onions and Butter in Instant Pot
  1. Soften the Onion. Turn Instant Pot to SAUTE, and cook onion in melted butter.
Vegetables in Instant Pot for Split Pea Soup
  1. Cook the Veggies. Add carrots, celery, and spices. Cook. Stir in garlic.
Split Pea Soup in Instant Pot
  1. Pressure Cook. Add the ham bone, split peas, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Cook Instant Pot split pea soup on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release any remaining pressure on manual.
Cooking Split Pea Soup in Instant Pot
  1. Shred the Ham. Discard bay leaf. Shred ham hock meat in separate bowl and discard the bone.
topping soup in instant pot
  1. Finish. Return shredded ham to pot. Stir in lemon juice and Parmesan. Adjust seasoning and thickness as desired. ENJOY!

Recipe Variations

  • Crock Pot Split Pea Soup. The crock pot would also be a good instrument for split pea soup because the low-and-slow method is important to sufficiently tenderize the ham hock. Sauté the veggies on the stove, and then add to the crock pot. I have yet to test this recipe in the slow cooker, but my estimate is crock pot split pea soup would be cooked on low for 7 to 8 hours with 4 cups of chicken broth rather than 6.
  • Vegetarian Split Pea Soup. To make split pea soup vegetarian, you can omit the ham from the recipe. The smoked paprika does mimic the smoky flavor that would be from the ham, so you could add an additional teaspoon to compensate for the missing meat.
  • Split Pea Soup With Leftover Ham. Instant Pot split pea soup is a great way to use up any leftover ham (as is Ham Casserole) and really make this meal budget friendly. Stir in the cooked, cubed ham into the pot at the end, after it’s done pressure cooking.

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Place leftover Instant Pot split pea soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm this soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat until hot. You can also reheat this soup in the microwave.
  • To Freeze. Store soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Storage Tip

To save on coveted freezer space, freeze soup in ziptop freezer bags and lay flat to freeze.

instant pot split pea soup in a bowl with parmesan

What to Serve with Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Skip Soaking the Split Peas. Split peas do not need to be soaked prior to making Instant Pot split pea soup. Rinse and drain them to remove any debris, and then pick out any bad peas.
  • But Don’t Skip the Sauté. The “SAUTE” function allows you to build the base on the soup right in the pot, without having to use a separate sauté skillet (less dishes, score!). Then, let the high pressure tenderize the ham hock in minutes rather than hours. You’ll hardly need to use forks to shred it; the meat falls right apart.
  • Adjust the Thickness. This recipe will deliver a thicker soup that you can then thin to your desired consistency by adding additional water or stock. If your soup is thin, you likely added too much liquid to the Instant Pot. You can also let it thicken by simmering with the lid off.
  • No Leftover Ham Bone? No Problem. If you don’t have a ham bone, use ham hocks, which are inexpensive. are cut from the bottom half of a pig’s leg. They’re largely bone, fat, tissue, and some meat, so the
instant pot split pea soup in a bowl

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

5 from 4 votes
This simple Instant Pot split pea soup has the comfort of classic split pea soup in a fraction of the time! Make it with ham or without!

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes

Servings: 6

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion 1/4-inch diced
  • 4 medium carrots scrubbed and 1/2-inch diced
  • 2 stalks celery 1/2-inch diced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 ham bone smoked ham hock, or ham shank (see notes to swap deli ham or bacon)
  • 1 pound dried green split peas rinsed and picked over
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 6 cups chicken stock to eliminate leftover stock from 2, 32-ounce cartons, you can use 4 cups chicken stock from 1, 32-ounce carton and 1 (14.5-ounce can chicken broth)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 2 cups water or additional chicken stock, as needed

Instructions
 

  • Turn a 6- or 8-quart Instant Pot to SAUTE. Add the butter and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter melts and the onion begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots, celery, salt, smoked paprika, thyme, and black pepper. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in the garlic and let cook 30 seconds.
  • Add the ham bone, split peas, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Turn off the SAUTE function. Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH pressure for 15 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Carefully vent the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Unseal the Instant Pot. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Transfer the ham hock to a bowl and with two forks, pull the meat away from the bone. Discard the bone and return the ham to the pot.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and Parmesan. If the soup is thicker than you would like, stir in water or additional stock as needed to reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired (you may want another few pinches of salt depending upon your chicken stock). Enjoy hot.

Notes

*Use thick-cut deli ham cut into bite-sized pieces, or purchase pre-diced ham. Start the recipe by sautéing the ham cubes in 1 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned. Remove from the pot. Increase the smoked paprika to 1 1/2 teaspoons; stir the cooked ham back into the soup at the end.
*TO SWAP BACON: separately sauté pieces of bacon, remove from pot, then stir back in at the end when soup is finished.
 
  • TO STORE: Place leftover soup in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm this soup in a Dutch oven on the stove over medium-low heat until hot. You can also reheat this soup in the microwave.
  • TO FREEZE: Store soup in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 425kcalCarbohydrates: 62gProtein: 27gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 21mgPotassium: 1185mgFiber: 21gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 7244IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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10 Comments

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    1. Hi Amanda! I’ve only tested the recipe with the ham bone but you likely could. Definitely use any bone (even a beef soup bone) that would generate some flavor. If you decide to experiment, I’d love to know how it goes!

  1. Best split pea soup ever! Perfect ratio of vegetables and came out perfect. I would never have thought to add lemon and Parmesan cheese. I am so thankful i doubled the recipe as my ham hock was very large. This will be on repeat all year long. Thank you for sharing your genius with us!5 stars

  2. Delicious! I just made this and I used thick cut bacon instead of ham. I made exactly as directed. Best split pea soup I have ever had! Thank you for the recipe! I really enjoy all of your instant pot recipes and this one was excellent as usual!5 stars

  3. This dish was absolutely AMAZING!! Very easy to put together. I used a smoked turkey drumstick and it worked very well in this dish. Family favourite, true comfort food, and would definitley recommend it!! Thanks Erin!5 stars

  4. Absolutely delicious. I used some smoked ham and diced bacon I had in the freezer. Fried it up while the Instant Pot was doing it’s thing. Had to add 1 more cup of water and let it sit for a while with the ham & bacon. Truly yummy thank you.5 stars