Split pea soup is great for cold weather because it provides you with all the warmth and comfort of a hearty meal without being too heavy or filling.
And if you add some meat to your split pea soup, it becomes even more filling and flavorful!
But what kind of meat should you use?
The most common meats added to split pea soup is bacon, chicken and ham. While the ingredients are similar, each meat has its own unique flavor. The bacon adds a smoky flavor while the chicken provides a savory taste. Ham is salty and sweet, which makes it ideal for pairing with both types of split pea soup.
Keep scrolling for more ideas!
10 Kinds of Meat that Go Well with Split Pea Soup
When you’re cooking split pea soup, it’s important to remember that a little bit of meat goes a long way.
Anyway, check out this list of 10 meats that taste great with split pea soup:
1. Bacon or sausage
If you’re looking for something simple and hearty, try adding bacon or sausage to your bowl.
I love the smoky flavor that bacon brings to any dish, but if you’re looking for something different, try adding some Italian sausage to your split pea soup—it has a unique flavor that will really enhance your soup experience!
Chicken is another great option for adding to split pea soup because it adds protein to your meal without overwhelming the flavors of the other ingredients.
Cook up a batch of chicken breasts with some seasoning and add it to your soup at the last minute so it doesn’t overcook!
Ham is another great choice for adding some saltiness to your split pea soup.
It’s a classic flavor that many people are familiar with and enjoy.
Ham is a great addition because it adds just enough saltiness to give the soup an extra kick without being too overpowering.
Turkey is another option that makes for a great addition to any meal—especially split pea soup!
Turkey has a very strong flavor profile and is often used as an alternative to chicken in many recipes because of its robust taste.
If you’ve never tried it before in your split pea soup, give this option a shot—you won’t be disappointed!
5. Ground beef
Ground beef is another great option for enhancing your split pea soup recipe.
The texture of ground beef can be very different from what you’re used to with other meats like chicken or pork, but it still has a lot of flavor that can add an awesome twist on your favorite soup recipe!
You can also add any veggies you want in order to make this dish as healthy as possible while still enjoying its deliciousness!
6. Ground turkey
Ground turkey is a great alternative to ground beef because it’s lower in fat and calories but still has all of the same great flavor!
If you want to make sure that your family gets enough protein on their plates every day (and not just on holidays), ground turkey is an easy way to do it!
This is a no-brainer.
A classic pairing, steak and split pea soup go together like peanut butter and jelly.
The meaty flavor of the steak complements the earthy flavor of the soup, and when you’re done eating you’ll feel like you’ve just worked out—and that’s always a good thing!
If you’re looking for something a little more exciting in your bowl of split pea soup, try adding some shrimp!
Shrimp has a light flavor that it won’t overpower the flavor of the split peas, but it will add a little bit of texture and protein to your meal.
9. Ham Hock
This cut comes from the pig’s hind leg—so it’s definitely got some serious meat on its bones!
The ham hock will bring a lot of flavor to your dish without being overwhelming or too salty like some other meats might be—and it’s incredibly affordable as well!
Duck can be incorporated into many types of dishes, including soups!
If you want to add some duck meat to your split pea soup, try using it as an ingredient in place of beef or chicken.
Duck has a rich flavor that will give your soup just enough zing without overpowering it.
How to Choose What Meat to Serve with Your Split Pea Soup
Meat is a delicious addition to split pea soup, but it can be easy to get stuck in a rut.
Here are some considerations to help you pick the right kind of meat for your next pot of split pea soup:
1. Is It Lean or Fatty?
If you want a lower-fat soup, choose lean cuts of meat like chicken breast or turkey breast.
These meats will give you a less greasy soup that’s still packed with flavor.
But if you want a richer, heartier soup, go for fattier meats like pork shoulder or beef chuck roast.
2. Does It Have Bones?
If you want to keep it simple, go with boneless cuts of beef and pork.
These tend to be more tender, but they also get cooked faster so they don’t have as much time to soak up the flavor.
If you want something that will stay in your bowl longer, try bone-in cuts like a shoulder roast or shank.
3. Is It Ground or Cut Into Cubes?
If you’re going for a traditional split pea soup, ground meat is the way to go.
It’s easier to cook and blend with the rest of the ingredients, which will help keep the consistency of your soup nice and smooth.
If you want a more rustic, chunky texture, however, cutting up cubes of beef or pork into bite-sized pieces will give you just that—and it’ll also make it easier to eat!
4. What Other Flavorings Go Well with It?
While there’s nothing wrong with choosing a milder cut of meat, you should also make sure that it goes well with other flavors.
If you’re not sure which meats work best in soups, consider a pork shoulder.
This cut is flavorful and has a lot of fat, so it will add richness to your soup without being too gamey or overpowering.
5. How Much Time Do You Have?
If you have a lot of time on your hands, consider making a stew from scratch that includes bacon or other meats as part of its base.
If time is tight and you don’t want to spend hours cooking, go with precooked bacon pieces or just make soup with dried beans instead!
6. Is It Cooked Already?
If you’re using leftover meat from a previous meal, make sure that it has been fully cooked before adding it to your pot of water—otherwise, it will not cook properly during the simmering process and may end up too tough or stringy when finished cooking!
7. How Big Should I Cut My Meat?
This one depends on how long you have until dinner time!
If there are only a few hours left before you need to serve up your meal, then cutting your meat into small chunks won’t take too long at all.
But if there’s a lot of prep work involved (like peeling lots of potatoes or chopping veggies), then chopping up your meat into large chunks might be better so that it doesn’t take as much time in the kitchen—you can always cut them down later once everything else is done cooking!
10 Kinds of Meat that Go Well with Split Pea Soup
- Bacon or sausage
- Ground beef
- Ground turkey
- Ham Hocks
- Duck Breast
- Pick your favorite kind of meat from this list to serve with your soup.
- Prepare the rest of your delicious meal.
- Be ready to munch in no time at all!