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5 from 6 votes

Traditional Mushy Peas Recipe

Marrowfat peas soak overnight and cook in 30 minutes in this easy mushy peas recipe that makes a noteworthy classic British side order for fish and chips. Mashed or pureed fresh peas are no substitute for the real thing.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Soaking time12 hrs
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4
Calories: 86kcal


  • 300 g Dried Marrowfat peas
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 750 ml/ 3 cup Water for soaking
  • 750 ml/ 3 cups Water for cooking
  • tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Malt vinegar


  • Put the peas into a saucepan add the bicarbonate of soda and the water then bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes
  • Take off the heat and leave to soak for at least 6 hours, but preferably 12. At the end of the soaking time the water will look yellow and the peas will have swelled
  • Drain the peas and rinse in several changes of cold water to get rid of the bicarbonate of soda
  • Put the peas into a clean pan and add ⅔ of the water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the peas are soft and mushy. Add more of the remaining water if necessary to keep the texture loose and creamy
  • The peas are ready when soft, creamy and mushy. No firm or chewy peas should remain. When ready, take off the heat and season as desired (I recommend salt, pepper and vinegar) and serve straight away.


  • Prepare the peas for soaking either first thing in the morning or last thing at night so they have plenty of time to absorb the necessary water before you intend to cook them. Allow to soak for at least 6 hours, but preferably 12
  • Frequent stirring is essential to stop the mix sticking to the bottom of the pan, to ensure they cook evenly and to achieve a creamy consistency
  • Your peas may take more or less time to cook than the recipe specifies depending how long they have soaked for and how much water your peas have managed to absorb
  • The mushy peas are ready when they are soft, perhaps with a little texture and bite, but they should certainly not be chewy or hard. If in doubt, cook a little longer
  • If they appear too loose, just cook a little longer. If they are too thick, add a little more water
  • Without any seasoning these peas are incredibly bland. Some people add a little sugar, but I find the balance of salt, pepper and vinegar presented in the recipe card spot on. Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your personal tastes
  • These mushy peas can be made in advance and reheated. They will continue to absorb liquid as they stand, so it will be necessary to add a splash of water when reheating to loosen the mixture and bring the peas back to a creamy consistency


Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 942mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g