This comforting and easy slow cooker split pea soup is super simple to prep in just 5 minutes, and is a wildly easy dump-and-go slow cooker recipe that’s bound to become your new go-to recipe!

white bowl of soup with a spoon and striped blue napkin on white background

About This Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

You know those dishes that take you right back to how you felt as a kid?

This soup is definitely one of those nostalgic recipes for me.

It’s the kind of soup that’s made for going back for seconds and dipping hunks of warm, crusty bread right into the bottom of the bowl to soak up every last drop.

After slow cooking for hours, the split peas get super tender and soak up all the aromatic flavors from the broth, vegetables and spices.

And even though it tastes like it came from your favorite restaurant, I love that it’s ultra easy to prep and is a super simple dump and go slow cooker recipe, so you only need to throw a handful of simple ingredients into slow cooker and hit start!

I like making this slow cooker split pea soup with ham or a ham hock — instructions for both are included below.

If you’re not in the mood for ham and want to make a stunning vegetarian slow cooker split pea soup, you’ll find those instructions included as well.

Don’t worry, just like this slow cooker vegetable soup and this slow cooker butternut squash soup this healthy slow cooker split pea soup tastes just as good as a vegetarian soup as it does with the added meat!

Tip: This soup makes amazing leftovers, and I love packing away a few portions for easy lunches that are ready for me to grab, heat & eat in the freezer!

chopped vegetables in a black crockpot on white background

Process & Tips

For this crockpot split pea soup, we’re using simple hearty ingredients that can stand up to a longer cook time, such as carrots, celery, onion and split peas.

Along with classic split pea soup ingredients like flavorful garlic, smoked paprika, bay leaves and vegetable stock.

Once you’ve chopped all your veggies, simply add everything to a slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 4-5 hours (or on low for 7-8 hours). 

After it’s done cooking, you add a splash of red wine vinegar to lift all the flavors and you’re ready to grab a spoon & dig in.

It’s a true chop & drop dump and go slow cooker recipe recipe and there’s so many ways you can customize it to make it your own – including adding ham, a ham bone, bacon, potatoes, and more. 

I’ve listed some ideas for you below in case you want to try any of those fun twists!

Tip: If you don’t have a slow cooker, don’t worry – you can still make this delicious soup. I’ve also included stovetop instructions for you below, so you can keep your options open on busy weeknights.

Split Pea Soup Variations

Make this crock pot split pea soup your own by trying one of these variations!

With Ham

Add 2 cups of diced ham to the soup along with the split peas and vegetables prior to cooking. If you’re looking for a simple and delicious recipe try my brown sugar glazed ham. It comes together in the slow cooker with just 5-ingredients!

With a Ham Bone

Add 1 ham bone to the soup along with the split peas and vegetables prior to cooking. Remove the bone, pick off any meat, add back to the soup, and discard the bone after cooking.

Vegan Split Pea Soup

Follow the recipe as written, without adding ham or a ham bone, and be sure to use vegetable stock.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

Follow the recipe as written, without adding ham or a ham bone, being sure to use vegetable stock.

With Bacon

Saute 1 pound chopped bacon in a large pan over medium heat. Drain the bacon fat and discard or set aside for another use. Add half the cooked bacon to the soup along with the split peas and vegetables prior to cooking. Top the cooked soup with the remaining cooked, crumbled bacon.

With Potatoes

Add 1 cup diced potato of choice, such as waxy yellow or Russet potatoes to the soup along with the split peas and vegetables prior to cooking.

Thick Split Pea Soup

This soup is nice and thick, and will continue to thicken as it cools. If you prefer an even thicker soup, remove 1 cup of the cooked soup to a blender. Carefully blend until smooth, then add back to the soup, stirring to combine.

Yellow Split Pea Soup

Use yellow split peas in place of green split peas in this recipe.

Smoky Split Pea Soup

For smoky vegetarian and vegan split pea soup, add smoked paprika, as specified in this recipe. For a traditional smoky split pea soup, use smoked paprika and a smoked ham bone.

ladle full of crockpot split pea soup in a black slow cooker pot

Ingredients & Substitutions

Split peas: I love split peas in soups. They’re great for adding hearty plant-based protein and fiber content to everyday meals, and a super economical pantry staple. Yellow split peas will also work. If you want to use lentils, I recommend this slow cooker lentil soup.

Onion: The classic trio of onion, carrot and celery adds so much flavor to homemade soups. But if you don’t like or can’t eat onions, feel free to skip them in this recipe.

Carrots: Whole, chopped carrots yield the best flavor for this soup.

Celery: chopped fresh celery works best.

Garlic: I love the flavor fresh garlic adds to this soup, but you could also try granulated garlic powder in its place.

Bay Leaves: While not absolutely necessary, bay leaves add extra flavor to the broth.

Smoked paprika: Smoked paprika adds a nice smokey note to the finished soup. If you don’t have smoked, sweet paprika can be substituted.

Vegetable broth: Use vegetable broth if you want to keep this recipe vegetarian and vegan. But you can also use chicken or bone broth in its place. Try homemade chicken stock for an extra flavorful option.

Red wine vinegar: I love how red wine vinegar pairs with the other ingredients in this recipe. But you could also use balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar in its place.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

What to Serve with Split Pea Soup

Easiest Garlic Bread

Skillet Cornbread

Easy Pumpkin Bread

Mixed greens tossed with our Easy Apple Cider Vinaigrette or Lemon Dijon Dressing.

Tip: Just before serving add a drizzle of olive oil over the top of your soup. It adds that extra bit of richness and a buttery flavor that makes it feel extra special!

closeup of a bowl of crockpot split pea soup in a white bowl with fresh herbs

How to Store & Freeze Leftovers

Homemade vegetarian soups keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.

This recipe also freezes well, store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.

This Recipe Is…

white bowl of soup with a spoon and striped blue napkin on white background
5 stars (16 ratings)

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

This comforting and easy slow cooker split pea soup is super simple to prep in just 5 minutes, is a wildly easy, and is bound to become your new go-to split pea soup recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound split peas, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 cups carrot, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 quart vegetable broth, or chicken stock
  • 2 cups water

Optional

  • 1 ham hock, 2 cups diced ham

To Add at the End

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar , or fresh lemon juice

Optional Serving Suggestions

  • Chopped flat leaf parsley, freshly ground black pepper, hot sauce, crusty bread

Instructions 

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Add the split peas, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, smoked paprika, salt, broth, water and the ham or ham bone (if using) to a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring to combine.
  • Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8. Do not remove the lid during the cooking time.
  • Uncover, add the red wine vinegar, and stir to combine. Remove the ham bone (if using) and discard. Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if desired. Serve with toppings of your choice.
  • Note that this soup may be on the thin side at first. In testing, I turned my slow cooker completely off at the end of the cook time, leaving it covered to sit for an hour. During that time it cooled slightly and was significantly thicker, making it the ideal thickness. For this reason, if you like a thicker soup, I recommend allowing an additional hour for cooling when making this recipe.

Stovetop Instructions

  • Add the split peas, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, bay leaves, smoked paprika, salt, broth, water and the ham or ham bone (if using) to a large pot or Dutch oven, stirring to combine.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on low for 40-50 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through and the soup has thickened.
  • Uncover, add the red wine vinegar, and stir to combine. Remove the ham bone (if using) and discard. Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if desired. Serve with toppings of your choice.

Notes

This soup thickens quite a bit as it cools, so if you want a slightly thicker consistency, allow it to cool for 30 minutes or so before serving. 
Add a splash of stock or water upon reheating if it’s too thick.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 6), Calories: 299kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 735mg, Potassium: 964mg, Fiber: 22g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 7482IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 4mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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