How to Cook Yellow Split Peas

Whether you are eating less meat, developing a vegan palate or starting a gluten-free diet, split yellow peas are a healthy source of protein, carbohydrate, fiber and some B vitamins. Also known as pulses, yellow split peas do not require the lengthy soaking that other dried legumes need.

Step 1

Pour dried, split yellow peas into a 6 qt. or larger Dutch oven, crockpot or stockpot and cover with water. Swirl peas around and pour through a sieve or colander. Repeat three times to ensure removal of any dust or debris.


Step 2

Return the peas to the crockpot, stockpot or Dutch oven. Add water one to two inches above peas. Judy Kingsbury of the Savvy Vegetarian advises against adding salt or baking soda because the sodium will prevent them from softening.


Step 3

Bring to a rolling boil before lowering heat to medium low if using a stockpot or Dutch oven on top of the stove. Cook on high if using a crockpot. Best Cooking Pulses advises cooking until the peas fall into a puree on their own rather than rigidly following a recommended cooking time.


Step 4

Drain peas, reserving all liquid. Pour into a food mill or blender and grind or pulse them to a smooth consistency. Return blended peas and all liquid to the stockpot, crockpot or Dutch oven. Add any combination of the optional ingredients to your individual taste. Cook an additional 30 to 45 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Add onions and any milks or cooked meats 15 minutes before serving. Add fresh garlic five minutes before serving.


Step 5

Serve over 1/2 cup cooked rice, amaranth, quinoa, toasted buckwheat or groats per person.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 bags yellow split peas

  • 6 qt. or larger Dutch oven, crockpot or stockpot

  • Water to cover

  • Sieve or colander

  • Food mill or blender

  • Optional:

  • 3 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. coriander

  • 2 cups diced carrots

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 1 qt. soy milk, almond milk or rice milk

  • 3 tbsp. dry mango powder or 1/2 cup mashed mango

  • 1 to 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes

  • One whole, large minced onion

  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic

  • 2 tbsp. ground turmeric

  • 2 tsp. red chili powder

  • 1 lb. chopped fresh mustard greens

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil

  • 1/2 cup cooked rice, amaranth, quinoa, toasted buckwheat or groats per person


A 2004 study completed by University of Arizona anthropologist Timothy Jones found that 40 to 50 percent of all food never reaches the table due to waste, improper storage or overcooking.