The Instant Pot has made it so easy to make delicious soups like homemade split pea soup in a fraction of the time that they would need to simmer on the stovetop.
My easy Instant Pot Split Pea Soup recipe is so delicious that it will become one of your family favorites the very first time you make it.
This hearty soup recipe calls for basic ingredients like dried split peas, bacon, fresh veggies and chicken stock, and the end result has so much flavor!
- By the Numbers: How to Make Split Pea Soup in the Instant Pot
- Tips for Making the Best Split Pea Soup
- 1. Best way to substitute ham for bacon?
- 2. How to make vegetarian split pea soup?
- 3. Difference between yellow and green split peas?
- 4. Where to buy split peas?
- 5. How many cups is 14 ounces?
- 6. Can regular peas be used?
- 7. How to serve Instant Pot split pea soup?
- 8. Does this recipe work at high altitudes?
- 9. Can this recipe be made in a slow cooker?
- 10. Where to buy bacon?
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup Recipe
- 8 slices of chopped, thick cut bacon
- 2 cups of diced yellow onion
- 1 cup of diced celery
- 1 cup of diced carrots
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 6 cups of chicken broth
- 14 ounces of dried split peas
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing spoon
- Instant Pot
By the Numbers: How to Make Split Pea Soup in the Instant Pot
If you haven’t had good split pea soup, you’re missing out! Follow these simple steps to make the most flavorful soup in your Instant Pot.
Step 1: Prepare Ingredients & Saute Bacon.
The first thing you want to do is gather your ingredients. Once you have everything together, turn your Instant Pot onto Saute mode.
After it’s warm (it happens quickly with the Instant Pot), add 8 slices of chopped bacon (about 1 package). Cook, stirring frequently, until you’ve rendered the fat from the bacon and it’s just beginning to get crispy.
Once it’s cooked, you can pour the extra bacon grease into a jar, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons of grease in the Instant Pot.
Step 2: Saute Fresh Veggies.
Next, you’ll want to add 2 cups of diced onion, 1 cup of diced celery and 1 cup of diced carrot to the inner pan of your Instant pot along with the cooked bacon. Saute the veggies with the bacon until the onion begins becoming translucent.
Stir in 4 cloves of minced garlic and cook just until you can smells its aroma, then press the Cancel or Off button on your Instant Pot.
Step 3: Deglaze the Pot.
Pour a small amount of chicken stock into the pan (about ¼ cup). Use your mixing spoon to deglaze the bottom of the pot, which means making sure no food particles are stuck to it or you could end up with a burn notice.
Step 4: Add Remaining Ingredients.
After you’ve given the pot a good deglazing, you can add the rest of the 6 cups of chicken broth, 14 ounces of dry split peas, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 2 bay leaves to the pot. Give everything a good stir to make sure it’s well combined.
Step 5: Pressure Cook Split Pea Soup.
After you’ve added all of the ingredients to your Instant Pot, you can place the lid on the pot, make sure the steam valve is in the sealing position, then cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes.
Once the cook time is up, allow a natural release of the pressure for 15 minutes, then you can quick release the rest of the pressure and open the lid.
Step 6: Adjust Salt & Serve.
Stir your delicious soup really well, then taste. Be very careful as it’ll be scorching hot! Add more sea salt, if needed. You can also add more chicken stock to thin the soup if desired.
Serve your Instant Pot Split Pea Soup in a large soup bowl with spoon.
Tips for Making the Best Split Pea Soup
Answers to your questions about making the best pea soup in a pressure cooker to enjoy during cold weather.
1. Best way to substitute ham for bacon?
Substituting chopped up leftover ham or a meaty ham bone for the bacon is super easy. You’ll need to use a little olive oil to saute the veggies since you won’t have the bacon grease for that purpose and you’ll want to remember to remove any bones before serving.
2. How to make vegetarian split pea soup?
The first thing you’ll want to do is skip the bacon and use olive oil to saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic in since you won’t have the bacon grease.
Since bacon is what gives this comforting soup its smoky flavor, you may want to add about ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke to replace that flavor.
In addition to omitting the bacon, you’ll want to use vegetable broth in place of my homemade chicken broth if you want to make a vegan split pea soup.
3. Difference between yellow and green split peas?
The type of field pea you use in this recipe really doesn’t matter since green and yellow split peas are pretty much the same thing.
Green split peas tend to be sweeter than yellow, which is why why yellow peas are typically used in Indian Dishes and green are used in recipes like this split pea soup.
4. Where to buy split peas?
You can usually get a bag of split peas at the grocery store. If you can’t find them locally, you can get a bag of split peas from iHerb to make your pressure cooker split pea soup.
5. How many cups is 14 ounces?
There are about 2 cups in 1 pound of dry split peas, so 14 ounces is about 1 ¾ cups of dried split peas.
6. Can regular peas be used?
While my family loves green peas, using regular peas in this recipe isn’t going to work quite the same because fresh peas have a higher water content than dried peas. If you still want to try making a fresh green pea soup, you’ll need to less stock since you won’t be rehydrating dried peas.
7. How to serve Instant Pot split pea soup?
I like to serve my pea soup with a slice of homemade gluten free bread (or gluten free cornbread). Some people like to add a dollop of sour cream to their bowl or a drizzle of heavy cream for extra richness.
8. Does this recipe work at high altitudes?
Yes! One of the best things about cooking with an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker at altitude is that the cooking times are not affected.
9. Can this recipe be made in a slow cooker?
Yes, you can also make this delicious soup in your slow cooker. Instead of sautéing the bacon in the Instant Pot, you’ll want to cook it on the stovetop before adding it to your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
10. Where to buy bacon?
My favorite place to get bacon is Butcher Box! It’s no sugar added and the flavor and texture are amazing. Because it’s thick cut, it doesn’t shrivel up the same way that some bacon does and it tastes so good. You can read my full ButcherBox review to learn more about the service.
Instant Pot Split Pea Soup Recipe
- 8 slices thick cut bacon - or about a cup of ham, cut into pieces
- 2 cups yellow onion - diced
- 1 cup celery - diced
- 1 cup carrots - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - minced
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 14 ounces dried split peas - rinsed, sorted and small stones removed
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- Turn your Instant Pot onto Saute mode. Once warm, add the chopped bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and it’s just starting to get crisp. Drain any excess bacon grease, leaving only about 1-2 tablespoons.
- Add the onion, celery and carrot to the pot with the cooked bacon and saute until the onion starts to become translucent.
- Stir in the garlic and cook just until it becomes fragrant, then turn off the heat.
- Pour in a small amount of chicken stock, then use your mixing spoon to deglaze the pot and make sure nothing is stuck to it. Once the pot is deglazed, add the remaining chicken broth, split peas, salt, thyme and bay leaves and give it a good stir.
- Lock lid on the pot, then cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure manually, open the lid, discard bay leaves and stir.
- Taste, add salt or thin with chicken stock, if needed, then serve.