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A ladle scooping split pea soup from a slow cooker.
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4.49 from 82 votes

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup recipe is a great way to make use of that leftover bone from your holiday ham. Cooking it low and slow is the best method for creating creamy, delicious split pea soup.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 276kcal


  • 16 ounces dried green split peas rinsed well and drained
  • 2 carrots diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 ribs celery diced (about 1 cup)
  • ½ cup diced white or yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt plus additional as needed
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 meaty ham bone see notes below
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth or more, as needed, divided


Slow Cooker Method

  • Layer the ingredients, through the ham bone, in a slow cooker in the order listed. Add as much of the chicken broth as needed to just cover the ingredients, about 4 to 5 cups. Reserve the remaining chicken broth for later.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Stir occasionally during the cooking time and add additional broth only if the level drops below the ingredients.
  • When the peas are tender, remove the ham bone and transfer it to a cutting board. Pull off any remaining ham, tear it into small pieces, and return it to the slow cooker. Discard the ham bone and bay leaf. Use a spoon to lightly mash some of the peas against the side of the slow cooker and stir until nice and creamy, adding more broth, if needed, to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.

Instant Pot Method

  • Set a 6-quart Instant Pot to SAUTE and toggle to MORE. When it displays HOT add 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or canola). Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Hit CANCEL.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, including all 6 cups of the broth. Secure the lid, select MANUAL, and cook on HIGH pressure for 14 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and remove and discard the bay leaf. Transfer the ham bone to a cutting board. Use a fork to pull away any ham from the ham bone, chop it into pieces and add back to the soup. Discard the bone. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.



All slow cookers can vary so please watch and adjust cooking time as necessary for your appliance.
If you don't have a leftover ham bone, check the meat counter at your local grocery store for a ham hock or shank. If you omit the bone altogether, I recommend purchasing a ham steak so that you can add 1 ½ to 2 cups diced ham at the end of the cooking time. Just be aware that the soup will be missing the unique smoky flavor that only comes from cooking with a ham bone.
  • Refrigerator - Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer - Split Pea Soup freezes exceptionally well. Freeze the completely cooled soup in freezer-safe containers or plastic storage bags and use within 3 to 4 months. I like to store it in serving size portions so we can pull out just one or two servings for an easy lunch.
  • Reheating - Thaw frozen Split Pea Soup overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat it in microwave or in a saucepan on the stove. Thin the soup with a little water or chicken broth, if desired.


Calories: 276kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 571mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2630IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3.1mg