Recipe: Peruvian-style split peas with ham

Split peas (“arvejitas partidas”) are fairly common legumes in the Peruvian diet. They’re cheap, tasty and very nutritious. Enjoy these Peruvian-style split peas with ham with garlicky rice and a fried egg for a hearty meal.

In Perú we mostly use green split peas but feel free to use any kind you can find (i.e. yellow or read). Mum used to cook them with bacon but I used ham in this recipe. You can obviously omit the meat if you’re a vegetarian. If that’s the case, I’d suggest you use smoked salt and/or a pinch of smoked paprika for that smokey flavour you’ll be lacking. Finally, if you don’t have access to ají panca, feel free to use some chipotles in adobo or tomato paste.

This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. It can be made vegetarian (if you omit the ham/bacon) or even vegan (if you omit the ham/bacon and the fried egg). It has a good amount or protein, fibre and carbohydrate.

Peruvian-style split peas with ham

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Split peas

  • 2 cups split peas
  • 200g ham off the bone or bacon, cut in batons
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ají panca (see substitutions above)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.5 cups white rice
  • 3 3/4 cups water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt

To serve


  1. Rinse and drain the split peas.
  2. Heat oil for the peas in a pot at low-medium heat. Add ham or bacon, cook until browned and reserve, draining oil.
  3. Add onion, cook for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and ají panca, cook for another 5 minutes. Add peas, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer until fully cooked (about 35 minutes).
  4. While the peas are cooking, heat oil for the rice in a pot at low heat. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add rice, stir to coat. Add water and salt, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a minimum and simmer until water is fully absorbed.
  5. When peas and rice are almost ready, fry eggs and season with salt and pepper.
  6. When peas are ready, add ham or bacon and mix well. Adjust seasoning.
  7. Serve split peas with rice, a fried egg, some salad and salsa criolla.

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