A bowl of Instant Pot Split Pea Soup is humble, cozy, and comforting with its smokiness from the bacon or ham bone (ham hock) and its richness from the thick pea soup. It is a big hug in a bowl. And the best part is that it can be ready in half the time by making it in an Instant Pot!
With this cold winter I have been making several Instant Pot Soup Recipes and this Instant Pot Split Pea Soup is one of my favorites!
I can’t think of anything more comforting on a cold night than a big bowl of split pea soup, especially if it is made with a big, meaty ham bone or ham hock. It is a perfect soup to make the day after a holiday dinner when you served ham because you can use that ham bone in the split pea soup.
What If I Don’t Have A Ham Bone For The Split Pea Soup?
However, I love split pea soup with or without the hambone. It is so versatile that it can be made in a meatless or vegetarian version, or, if you don’t have a ham bone or ham hock, make it with bacon, which is what I have done here.
In reality, how often are you going to have a ham bone to use in the soup? Most likely, not often, except after holidays or big gatherings. During other times when you don’t have a ham bone, I recommend using bacon instead. Why? Because it can still impart that smoky flavor into the soup, and you are more likely to have bacon on hand than a ham bone.
My first choice would be to use the ham bone or ham hock. However, it can still be delicious with bacon, or without either ham or bacon, in a vegetarian version.
What Do I Need To Make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup?
First of all, gather all your ingredients. I recommend doing this right at the beginning to ensure that you have everything you need to make this Instant Pot Split Pea Soup and save yourself an extra trip to the store. For the specific amounts of each ingredient, scroll down to the bottom of the post for the printable recipe card.
- Ham Bone or Bacon. As previously mentioned, use a ham bone, if you have it. Otherwise, use a good quality thick-sliced bacon. I typically use bacon because generally, that is what I will on hand.
- Onion. A white onion, sweet onion, yellow onion, or Vidalia onion would work in this recipe. Chop them before adding to the Instant Pot.
- Carrots. Dice baby carrots or peel and dice large carrots. Make them bite-sized before adding them to the soup. Like the onions and other vegetables, you can dice these ahead of time.
- Celery. Dice up two or three stalks of celery and throw them in the Instant Pot.
- Garlic. Gotta have garlic! Peel and mince the garlic before adding it in.
- Dried Split Peas. Grab a bag of dried split peas because they are budget-friendly, cooker faster than beans, don’t have to be pre-soaked, and are the star ingredient for this Instant Pot Split Pea Soup. You can’t make Split Pea Soup without them.
- Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth. I used chicken broth but vegetable broth could be used as well. It provides the necessary liquid for the soup.
- Salt and Pepper. You may have to adjust the salt, depending on how salty the broth is that is used.
- Dried Thyme. This adds extra seasoning and flavor.
- Bay Leaves. Along with the time, this adds extra flavor but is removed after the soup has finished cooking and before serving.
How Do I Make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup?
I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make this Instant Pot Split Pea Soup. It is even easier to make with the Instant Pot since takes only half the time to cook.
The photo above shows the first four steps in making the Instant Pot Split Pea Soup.
Step 1. Cook the pieces of bacon in the Instant Pot.
Step 2. After the bacon is cooked, add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Add the salt, pepper, and dried thyme.
Step 3. Stir the vegetables while they are cooking to ensure even cooking.
Step 4. Add in the dried split peas.
The photo above shows steps 5 – 8 for How To Make Instant Pot Split Pea Soup.
Step 5. Add the chicken broth, or vegetable broth, and bay leaf.
Step 6. Close the lid. Move the seal to the “Sealing” position.
Step 7. Press “Pressure Cook” and set the Pressure level to High Pressure, and change the time to 15 minutes.
Step 8. Let the pressure release naturally. Then after about 10 minutes or more, do a quick release.
Ladle the cooked Instant Pot Split Pea Soup into soup bowls and enjoy!!
What Do I Serve With Instant Pot Split Pea Soup?
- Jalapeno Parmesan Crisps – These amazing Jalapeno Parmesan Crisps are crispy cheese crackers made of baked parmesan, provolone cheese, and a jalapeno slice, that make a delicious low carb, Keto snack, or topper for soup.
- Savory Herb Rolls – are soft, buttery, pull-apart rolls with garlic, parmesan cheese, italian seasoning, and parsley on top of rolls made with bites of crescent roll dough.
Can I Freeze Split Pea Soup?
Yes! Let the soup cool slightly and then pour it into a plastic freezer container and cover, or pour it into a plastic freezer bag and close. Freeze for up to a month.
What Other Soups Can I Make In An Instant Pot?
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings – An easy one-pot creamy comfort food meal that can be ready in 30 minutes by using your Instant Pot!
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup – The fastest, easiest chicken noodle soup for when you need comfort food fast! The Instant Pot does all the work yet it tastes just like grandma used to make!
- Instant Pot Beef Stew – The BEST beef stew with fork-tender beef, potatoes, and vegetables in a rich, savory gravy that is ready in an hour.
- Instant Pot Sausage Tortellini Soup – A rich and creamy soup with Italian sausage, cheese tortellini, and spinach, and is quick and easy to make in an Instant Pot for hot comforting soup on a cold winter evening.
- Instant Pot Chili – This thick, hearty Instant Pot Chili, or Pressure Cooker Chili, is super flavorful with its homemade chili seasoning! It is easy to make and is now even easier to make in an Instant Pot!
Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
- 16 ounces dried split peas , (rinsed and sorted)
- 4 slices bacon , roughly chopped
- 1 onion , chopped
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 carrots , peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks celery , chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 cups (48 ounces) chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water or a mixture of all)
- 2 bay leaves
- Press the "Saute" button. Add the chopped bacon. Cook for 3 - 5 minutes. Stir with a long-handled spoon or spatula the whole time to keep the bacon from sticking to the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped celery, and diced carrots.
- Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and the vegetables are slightly softened. Stir frequently.
- Pour in the chicken broth (or vegetable broth or water).
- Add the rinsed dried split peas to the Instant Pot. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and dried thyme, and add the bay leaves.
- Close and lock the lid. Move the seal to the "Sealing" position.
- Press Cancel to cancel the Saute mode, then press "Pressure Cook" and set the Pressure level to High Pressure, and change the time to 15 minutes. (It will take a few minutes for the Instant Pot to come up to the pressure level before it starts to cook.)
- After it has finished cooking for 15 minutes, let the Instant Pot release pressure naturally for about 10 minutes and then do a quick release by moving the seal to the venting position. This will release any remaining pressure.
- After the pressure is released and the pin has dropped, remove the lid and remove the 2 bay leaves. Stir the split pea soup.
- Ladle the split pea soup into soup bowls. Garnish with chopped cilantro, parsley, or green onions. Enjoy!
If I don’t have an instant pot, do you recommend stove top (if so, for how long?) or crockpot?
Yes, you can make it on the stove and cook it for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes.