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Instant Pot Vegan Split Pea Soup

gluten free vegan split pea soup recipe

This healthy Instant Pot Vegan Split Pea Soup is true comfort food, and it’s one of my favorite ways to get in some veggies, plant protein and fiber while staying warm ‘n cozy!

gluten free vegan split pea soup recipe

This is a feel-good soup in every sense of the word. It’s packed with veggies, it’s cozy and flavorful, it’s plant-based and gluten-free – and since it’s made in the Instant Pot, it’s meal-prep friendly and convenient too! Talk about checking all the boxes!

dairy free gluten free split green pea soup recipe


Let’s start with….

🌱Why is split pea soup not vegan?

Split pea soup is traditionally made with a smoked ham hock, which basically does two things. First it adds fatty richness to the broth and veggies, and second, it gives the soup its signature smokiness.

That subtle smoky background flavor is what sets this soup apart from other vegetable soups like it.

🌱Can you make spilt pea soup without a ham hock?

Yep. We don’t need a ham hock to achieve similar results. Instead of animal products, we’ll add a few drops of liquid smoke to create that rich, smoky flavor. Liquid smoke may seem like a hard to find specialty product but it can usually be found at the regular grocery store in the condiment aisle. I found mine next to the ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and it was less than $2! You can also buy it here. Best part? You only need a few drops at a time so it lasts forever!

I also use touch of vegetable oil when sautΓ©ing the veggies to create richness without rendering the fat from an animal.

Rule of thumb when veganizing recipes: figure out what the animal ingredient does in a recipe and then work backwards from there. If you know why it’s there, you’ll know how to replace it. Here we’re using seasonings and a touch of oil to do the job of the ham hock and the result is a delicious plant-based soup that’s loved by vegans and non-vegans alike!


I start by sautΓ©ing the onions and garlic until fragrant.

Then I add red pepper flakes, a dash of tamari and liquid smoke.

Then I just add the onions and garlic to my Instant Pot along with celery, carrots, split peas and thyme. I add some salt and the veggie broth and it’s ready to go!

split peas, carrots and celery in Instant Pot

I set the Instant Pot to Pressure Cook for 20 minutes, then allow the soup to rest for 30 minutes before releasing the steam valve.

instant pot vegan split pea soup recipe

Then taste and add an extra pinch of salt and pepper if needed and it’s ready to serve! I love to pair this soup with some toasted bread or crunchy crackers for dipping.

ingredients to make vegan split pea soup


This cozy soup is made with only 10 simple plant-based ingredients!

  • Onions, celery and carrots
  • Garlic – My friend originally taught me this soup recipe and he used a lot of garlic when he made it. And after recipe testing, I can confirm, lots of garlic is key! But something magical happens to the garlic as it simmers in the soup. It transforms..it mellows and becomes sweeter – think roasted garlic vs raw – and it’s what creates a rich, flavorful broth for this soup.
  • Split Peas – the star of the show! I love how creamy they get in this soup!
  • Tamari – or soy sauce if you’re not gluten-free. Both should be low sodium for best results
  • Dried Thyme
  • Liquid SmokeTHE secret ingredient! Essential to creating that signature smokiness without using animal products! Find this in the ketchup aisle of the grocery store or order it here for less than $3.
  • Red Pepper Flakes – this recipe isn’t spicy, but the red pepper flakes add just the right amount of kick at the end πŸ˜‹
  • Veggie Broth – again, low sodium is key!

split pea soup instant pot recipe

This Instant Pot Split Pea Soup is so hearty and delicious! I love how the onions and carrots balance the savory flavors with a touch of sweetness and the split peas breakdown and become super rich and creamy. Best part (in my opinion) is the way the liquid smoke adds just a touch of savory smokiness in this background without using a hamhock!

It’s really amazing that anything can be made vegan! Even recipes that traditionally use animal products.

πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ³ RECIPE FAQs

Can I use smoked paprika instead of liquid smoke? Yes! it’s not exactly the same but it will work. I would start with about 1/4 tsp and add more to taste. If I have the option though, liquid smoke all the way! It’s a game changer!

Can I do this on the stove instead of in an Instant Pot? Yep! But that involves soaking the peas overnight and cooking them for a lot longer. According to this recipe, it could take 3+ hours.

Where did you get your Instant Pot? It was a gift from my friend Laura! (Great gift idea by the way!) I have and use all the time. Shop it here.

What Size Instant Pot Should I Use? This recipe uses 6 cups of veggie broth so you’ll need the larger 8qt-size Instant Pot. I half the recipe to fit it into mine since it’s a little smaller.


If you like this recipe, you’ll probably also like my Rustic Pasta e Fagioli and my Vegan Pumpkin Samosa Soup.

If you like this recipe please leave a comment and rate this post below! And if you share it on Facebook or Instagram, tag me @nikkivegan + #NikkiVegan so I can see your recreation!❀️

You can also find more free vegan recipes on my YouTube channel here.

split pea soup instant pot recipe

Instant Pot Vegan Split Pea Soup

Nicole Vranjican
Thick and creamy vegan split pea soup in the Instant pot! It's made with split green peas, onions, celery, carrots and garlic!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion finely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp low sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 2 cups finely chopped celery about 3-4 stalks
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped carrots about 2 medium carrots
  • 2 cups dried split green peas
  • 2 32oz cartons low sodium veggie broth divided
  • 1 tsp kosher salt I use Morton's
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • black pepper to taste optional


  • Prep
  • Finely chop the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and set aside.


  • Add the olive oil to a large frying pan and set to medium high heat. Once warm add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
    Turn off the heat and add the tamari, red pepper flakes and liquid smoke. I usually add a pinch of salt and few grinds of black pepper here too. Mix well and transfer to the Instant Pot.


  • Add the remaining ingredients to a large Instant Pot and stir to combine. I typically add about 1.75 cartons of veggie broth and add more later (or some water) if needed later on. Be careful not to go over the Max Fill line or else the pot won't seal and pressurize properly.
    Put the lid on, make sure the steam valve is closed, and set to Pressure Cook for 15 minutes.
    After the 15 minutes is up, allow the soup to rest without touching the steam valve for 20 minutes and then release the valve.


  • The soup will be nicely thickened at this point and you may want to add some additional veggie broth and or salt and pepper to taste.
    Serve warm with some toasted bread or crackers on the side for dipping!


Note: all veggie broths are made differently so some will be more salty than others. The same is true for salt actually, not all salt is equally salty so you’ll have to taste and adjust to your liking.Β 
If the broth you’re using is too salty, add some water to mellow it out.Β 
The leftover soup will be very thick as most of the broth absorbs into the peas overnight. You can add more veggie broth and/or water to thin it back out when reheating.Β 
Keyword split pea soup, vegan split pea soup
Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

Find me on: Instagram


  1. Margo
    December 8, 2021 / 4:22 pm

    Is this freezer friendly?
    Looking for vegan recipes to freeze for when my vegan daughter and granddaughter visit.

    • Nicole Vranjican
      December 19, 2021 / 12:29 am

      Absolutely! Just add a little splash or water or broth when reheating to thin it back out πŸ™‚

  2. Savannah
    December 8, 2021 / 7:57 pm

    Making this for dinner tonight! Smells delicious already!

    • Nicole Vranjican
      December 19, 2021 / 12:29 am

      Thanks Savannah! I’m so glad you made it! Hope you have a great weekend!

  3. Cindy
    December 8, 2021 / 10:59 pm

    Hi Nikki I wanted to make this soup tonight but I don’t have an Insta pot so I have to cook on the stove. The directions on the bag of split peas doesn’t mention soaking but just to cook it for 25-30 min. Is it okay if I don’t soak them? Help!

    • Nicole Vranjican
      December 19, 2021 / 5:07 pm

      Hey Cindy, great question! So in the post I mentioned that cooking on the stove requires soaking overnight and simmering for several hours which is easy to do it just takes a lot of time. The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker so that’s why it’s above to do the job in such a short amount of time but it is possible to do without one. Just make sure to presoak the split peas overnight and start the soup early in the day so it has lots of time to cook on low heat with the lid on. Stir occasionally and add more liquid as needed if necessary πŸ™‚

      • Shannon
        February 12, 2024 / 4:21 pm

        5 stars
        This soup is very good! I do it sometimes on the stove but normally I just use my IP. Split peas and lentils do not need to be soaked overnight. Beans like kidney, pinto, and black beans though should be soaked overnight IF you are not using an IP. Anyways, thank you for a delicious recipe! I have used a few of them and they are always delicious!

  4. Shannon
    March 4, 2024 / 7:42 pm

    Well I was coming here to make this again. I have made it many times. But I think I will find a different recipe to use from now on. I left a message on here not long ago saying that you DO NOT need to soak split peas. I wasn’t rude or anything but I guess you don’t like anyone contradicting you. I am guessing you will delete this one also. I really did like your recipes.

    • Nicole Vranjican
      March 7, 2024 / 5:32 pm

      Hi Shannon, thanks for letting me know that you liked my recipe and for sharing the tip about soaking. You should know that I didn’t delete your comment, it’s just that the comments on my blog are set to need approval before they’re posted because I get SO MUCH spam on this site and if I didn’t have it set to approve before posting, my blog would be full of spam comments. I just hadn’t approved your comment yet, that’s why you didn’t see it. I’ve been traveling and haven’t updated the blog recently so I apologize for the delay. When I saw your comments it made me really happy that you liked the recipe and came back to make it a second time. Hope this clears things up and that you have a nice day πŸ™‚

      • Shannon
        March 12, 2024 / 9:35 pm

        5 stars
        I am so sorry. I have just been having a tough time lately and I shouldn’t have been crabby. I hope you forgive me. I did use this recipe again and I have been looking into your other recipes as well. I will definitely be making more. You seem like a very nice person and I’m just an old grouch lol

        • Nicole Vranjican
          March 14, 2024 / 4:58 am

          That’s ok! I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been having a hard time. That really sucks. Sending you some love today ❀️ Hope you have a good one

  5. Shannon
    March 12, 2024 / 9:36 pm

    5 stars
    Oh I wouldn’t mind if you deleted that horrible comment i made. You didn’t deserve it ☹️

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