How to Make Mushy Peas: 5 Ways to Perfect Peas

Whether you cook them on the hob or in the microwave mushy peas are still a great British tradition that keeps their popularity. Yet these days there are lots of ways to make them.

So just how do you make mushy peas and which method is best for you, the traditional way or the modern way?

You can’t beat mushy peas whether they are the traditional mushy peas made with bicarb or one of the newer recipes you see. they are perfect with chips or with a traditional Sunday roast.


How to Make Mushy Peas, 5 Ways to Mushy Pea Perfection

Below are several methods and recipes to cook perfect mushy peas.

I have included the traditional method which includes bicarbonate of soda, some quicker method including the hob,  a microwave, and a cheat that I use to get them thicker without adding bicarb.

I’d love to hear which method you prefer and any changes you make to make the recipes your own.

Why Use Bicarbonate of Soda Anyway?


As I understand it there are a few reasons for using bicarb when cooking mushy peas.

  1. They help to retain the colour of the peas when you are cooking them.
  2. It is also a rasing agent and lets of carbon dioxide which helps make the peas go mushy.
  3. It speeds up the cooking time of dried peas.
  4. It dissolves proteins when makes the peas let us say a little less volatile on the tummy with well known mushy pea after effects.


Nutritional Information

If you want more details on nutrition this page is full of fantastic information.


How to Make a Traditional Mushy Peas Recipe


You will need proper dried marrowfat peas for this recipe. You can get these at the supermarket in 250g packets (Bigga Dried peas seem to be the only ones they do dry). They come with the necessary 2 tablets and are suitable for 4 people. The tablets contain the bicarbonate of soda you will need. You can also get dried Marrowfat Peas on various sites online like Amazon if you prefer that.

Tip: When searching online in the supermarkets actually put in “dried marrowfat peas” or only tins come up.



Traditional Mushy peas recipe

The Better Than Chip Shop Traditional Mushy Peas Recipe

If you really want authentic mushy peas at home then you need to cook them using the traditional method. This is a simple recipe all but one that takes time. This is how my nan used to make them. I remember often seeing them soaking on the side.

Servings 4 people
Author Fay


  • 250 g Batchelors Bigga Dried Peas Selected Marrowfat
  • 2 Bicarb tablets supplied with this brand if you are using something else you will need to use 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda instead.
  • Salt
  • 11/2 pint Water 1
  • Water 2


Stage 1 Prepping the Peas

  1. Stage 1 - You need to Soak your peas overnight
  2. Boil 1 1/2 pints of water and put your two tablets into the water and let them dissolve
  3. Add all of the peas to the water and let them soak overnight or for a minimum of 12 hours

Stage 2 Cooking the Peas

  1. When you are ready to cook the peas remove from the water and drain them. Also, rinse them off.
  2. Now they are ready to cook.
  3. Put your peas into a saucepan and add a pint of boiling water (approx 570ml)
  4. Place on the hob to cook
  5. Add your salt
  6. Cook for about 20-22 minutes or so (you will need to stir them from time to time). Cook until you are happy they are cooked and suitably thick and mushy.

How to Microwave Mushy Peas

It takes almost as long in the microwave as the hob to cook your marrowfat peas so you are not gaining much in the way of time.

If you are using dried marrowfat peas you need to go through step on of the traditional recipe. Then do the following:

The best time to use your microwave for mushy peas is if you are cooking peas from a tin as in as the method is simple you simply cook for a minute or so in a covered vented container that is suitable for your microwave, then you stir the peas and recover and cook again for another minute. Leave for a couple of minutes then they are ready to eat. Simple & Quick.


There is a definite wateriness about modern methods.The tinned peas are quick and easy to do so they are worth a shot.


Cooking Frozen Mushy Peas

You can also buy frozen mushy peas from Asda and cook them on the hob for 30 minutes.


A Quick to Make Mushy Peas Recipe Without Using Bicarbonate of Soda

There are lots of ways to get mushy peas without using bicarb or soaking overnight. Although there are few that really match this method for taste and mushiness. For me, I want the taste and texture of the old way and the speed of the new ways and to that end, I like to try out new ways of doing things. Below is a quick method that I have adapted from a soup thickening method I use.


If not you can always cheat with normal peas.

  1. 300g Frozen garden peas
  2. pinch Salt
  3. 1 Potato peeled and cubed (approx egg size)
  4. Water


  1. Cut your potato down into small cubes so it cooks quickly.
  2. Place your potato cubes into the saucepan add the salt and cover with water bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Now add your peas so that the peas are only just covered and bring to the boil then reduce to simmer and cook for further 5-7 minutes.
  4. Make sure both are cooked and soft.
  5. Remove from the hob and blitz with a hand held soup whisk.

In Conclusion

Above there are lots of different ways you can cook and enjoy your mushy peas. Hopefully one will work well for you. Which one really depends on your lifestyle and preferences for cooking times and methods and taste. I’d love to hear which one you like best or any difficulties you are having.

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