Easy Traditional British Mushy Peas

Traditional English Mushy Peas
The Spruce
  • Total: 35 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Soaking Time: 12 hrs
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
15 Calories
0g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 15
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 630mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 1g
Calcium 5mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Love them or hate them, there is no denying that traditional mushy peas are an intrinsic part of meals with British food favorites like fish and chips or hot pies. There are many impostors out there using frozen and even fresh peas; none comes even close to the real thing.

And just what is that real thing?

Real traditional mushy peas are made using dried marrowfat peas that require an overnight soaking and long slow cooking. The result is exactly as the name implies, mushed-up peas. Bicarbonate or baking soda is added to the peas during cooking; this causes the peas to explode and create the required mush. Some dislike this texture, but fans will tell you that the soft, melting texture of the peas is lovely when eaten with freshly cooked hot chips or a pie fresh from the oven. And if you are eating your mushy peas with a pie, then try a drizzle of mint sauce on top, which is delicious.


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  • 8 ounces/225 grams dried marrowfat peas (available in all British supermarkets)
  • 2 tablespoon baking soda
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • Sugar (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Mushy Peas
    The Spruce
  2. Place the peas in a large bowl or stockpot; the peas will swell and need plenty of room to expand. Add the baking soda and cover with 1/2 pint boiling water and stir to make sure the baking soda has dissolved.

    Peas in water.
     The Spruce
  3. Add the peas and leave to soak overnight or for a minimum of 12 hours.

  4. Drain the peas in a colander, then place in a large saucepan.

    Peas after soaking.
    The Spruce
  5. Cover again with cold water and bring to the boil.

    Peas in water for boiling.
    The Spruce
  6. Lower the heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the peas have softened and turned mushy.

    Simmering mushy peas.
    The Spruce
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Seasoned mushy peas.
    The Spruce
  8. Serve hot with fish and chips or a tasty meat pie.

    Traditional mushy peas.
    The Spruce
  9. Enjoy!


  • Cooked mushy peas keep well for a few days in a refrigerator and also freeze well, so make a large batch and freeze in portion sizes.