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bowl of mushy peas with toppings
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5 from 2 votes

Easy Mushy Peas Recipe

Learn how to make this traditional English and Irish side dish for fish and chips or a meat pie.  This delicious and healthy vegetarian dish can be customized to your taste with mint, cream, or lemon juice.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 9 cups
Calories: 168kcal


  • 4 ½ cups dried marrowfat peas or 4 cups green split peas
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda bicarbonate of soda
  • 8 cups water
  • 5 ½ cups filtered water
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons salt or more to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper


  • Place the dried marrowfats in a large Dutch oven and sprinkle the baking soda on top.  Pour in 8 cups of boiling water and stir, then cover and let stand at room temperature for about 12 hours.  (You can go up to 24 hours if you'd like.)
  • Drain the marrowfats in a large colander, making sure to rinse them very thoroughly to remove the baking soda.  They still will have a somewhat bitter flavor from the baking soda, but this will go away once they are cooked.
  • Return them to the Dutch oven and cover with filtered water (about 5 ½ cups).  Stir in the salt and pepper, then cover.
  • Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peas are thick and mushy.  Skim off any foam or loosened skins, and be careful not to overcook, or they will not be as chunky.
  • Leave them plain, and serve hot with a variety of toppings, such as lemon wedges, cream, butter, mint sauce, and malt vinegar.  Mushy peas also taste great alongside fish and chips or meat pies.


  • In a hurry?  Use frozen green ones instead of the dried ones and use less water.
  • For a thicker version, use less water and cook for less time.
  • Serving with fish and chips? Stir ⅓ cup (78 ml) of heavy cream and a few tablespoons of salted butter into the pot.
  • Want a minty version? Stir in mint sauce to taste and fresh chopped mint leaves.
  • Tangy version?  Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste.
  • Freeze leftovers in a zip-top bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.


Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 681mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg