16 October 2021

Instant Pot Split Pea Stew

A creamy and lightly spiced split pea stew made in the instant pot, with sweet potato, spinach and coconut milk. Super creamy and so delicious - a cross between a stew and a soup, perfect for an autumn or winter day, served up with a side of bread.

A few years back, a friend and I stumbled across a gorgeous little Middle Eastern cafĂ© in Camden, they served incredible and authentic food, including a delicious split pea stew/soup - which this recipe is inspired by. It was creamy, mildly spiced and the perfect escape of the rainy London streets. They also served the most delicious almond chai lattes and hot chocolates. 

This recipe is made in the Instant Pot - an electric pressure cooker, it's perfect for creating delicious meals with mostly hands-off cooking. So it cuts both the total and active cooking time and you can get on with something else in the meantime. Pressure cookers are particularly great for legumes and other grains that might take a little more time to cook - I mostly use mine for perfect rice every time. 

I love split peas - they're creamy and packed with protein and fibre - perfect for soups and stews. If you like yours with a little more texture, you can cook for a few less minutes, for the full recipe time, the split peas are mostly cooked down like red lentils in a daal. Any leftovers of this recipe can also be frozen, perfect for a healthy meal on a busy day.

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Instant Pot Split Pea Stew | Serves: 4-6 | Time: 45 mins

You'll need

  • Instant pot/electric pressure cooker
  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Veg peeler


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 3 sticks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 cups yellow split peas
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 150g spinach 
  • Black pepper
To serve:
  • Fresh coriander
  • Chili flakes (optional)


  1. Dice the onion, and celery, peel and dice the carrot and peel and slice the garlic. Then measure out your spices and salt.
  2. Press the sauté button on the instant pot, set it for 10 minutes on 'normal', add a splash of oil and let it heat up. Then add the diced veg and garlic let it cook for 5-7 mins, stirring often. Then add the spices and stir for 30 seconds, then press cancel.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and dice the sweet potato into 3-4cm pieces and measure out the water and coconut milk. Once the spices have been added, add the sweet potato, coconut milk, water and sweet potato, give it a stir and put the lid on the pot. Set the Instant Pot to 'pressure cook' on high, for 12-15 minutes, depending on how soft you want your split peas to be (for the full 15 minute cook the split peas will be mostly cooked down and very soft). 
  4. Once the 15 minutes is up, turn the pressure cooker off (ensure the keep warm button isn't pressed) and let it sit for 15 minutes to partly naturally depressurise (don't skip this bit!). After 15 minutes, press the quick-release valve to fully depressurise, carefully remove the lid, add the spinach and stir through until it wilts fully. Then check for seasoning, add black pepper and more salt if needed.
  5. Serve up topped with coriander leaves, chili flakes and with a side of bread for dipping and enjoy!
Cassidy xx