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Can You Sprout Split Peas? Five Tips to Get Them Started

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Sprouting is becoming very popular with health enthusiasts because it offers so many benefits. Sprouted peas are nutritious and healthy, and they also taste good, with a delicate, nutty flavor.

Can you sprout split peas?

Unfortunately, you can’t.

A split pea is only half of a seed, and therefore it will not contain all of the genetic information needed to produce a sprout. If you want to sprout peas, you will need to use whole peas.

Split peas and whole peas are identical besides the fact that one has been split in half, so let’s find out how to get your peas sprouting. We are going to look at some top tips for success with sprouting peas.

pea sprouting leaf vegetables

Tip One: Best Pea Sprouting Method

Before reading the method, here are a few useful things to know:

  • You should cook your sprouted peas before you eat them.
  • Green peas sprout best in cool temperatures, so aim for around 70°F at most.
  • Keep green peas (and other large beans) well ventilated while sprouting. A bag may work better than a jar, as it improves ventilation.

Next, let’s explore how to sprout green peas.

  1. Rinse your peas thoroughly in cold water.
  2. Sort through the peas and remove any tiny stones, contaminants, or malformed peas (these will not sprout).
  3. Get your sprouting jar and tip the peas in.
  4. Add water until the jar is three-quarters of the way full, and then cover with a mesh lid.
  5. Leave the jar for the night or for at least eight hours, and then drain and rinse the peas.
  6. If you have a sprouting bag, transfer the peas to it and hang them up so that they can drain. If using a jar, tip the jar so that the peas can drain against the mesh top, and as much air as possible can circulate. You may wish to balance it in a bowl.
  7. Rinse the seeds in running water. Repeat this three times per day, handling the peas carefully so you don’t break the sprouts.
  8. Continue rinsing several times per day for about four days, until you have tall sprouts on most of your peas. Note that if your peas are large, it may take longer for sprouts to appear.
  9. When you are ready, rinse the peas again, drain them, and then cook and eat them.
sack of split peas on wooden table

Tip Two: Don’t Buy a Special Sprouting Lid

You do not have to buy a sprouting lid for your jar immediately. You can use any breathable mesh fabric. Cut it to the size of your jar and then use an elastic band to hold it in place.

You should not put a metal lid over the jar. Good ventilation is important when you are sprouting any legumes, and it is crucial not to suffocate your peas, or they may mold. Always use a highly breathable fabric or a sprouting lid.

Tip Three: Don’t Try to Sprout Split Peas

Split peas will not sprout because the pea has been split in the middle. A pea sprout is generated by the seed (the pea) germinating in warm, wet conditions, and starting to grow a new pea plant.

A split pea cannot do this, because it only contains half of the genetic information. The seed will have been damaged during the splitting process, and therefore cannot grow a sprout. This is true no matter how long you leave it for.

Split peas and green peas are otherwise the same things (and they are not the same as garden peas). However, whole peas are dried and their skins are left on. Split peas have the skins removed and – as the name suggests – they are then split down the middle to create the two halves.

If you examine a split pea, you will see that it is only half of a pea. The whole peas are round and wrinkly, and often larger because the skins are intact.

raw green split peas on wooden board and spoon

Tip Four: Consider Using a Sprouting Sack

You don’t have to use a sprouting sack to sprout green peas, but it helps. A sprouting sack increases the ventilation that your peas will get while sprouting.

When you sprout peas in a jar, only a small amount of air can circulate over them, especially if you try to sprout quite a lot at once. The jar blocks most of the airflow.

When you sprout peas in a sack, far more air can circulate around them, and they will still remain damp because the sack is damp. This airflow reduces the risk of mold setting in and ruining your peas.

You don’t have to purchase a special sack for sprouting peas in. A mesh produce bag or any loose-weave cloth with a drawstring top will work. You can make your own from any fabric that is breathable and fine enough to contain the peas inside it.

Tip Five: Always Cook Sprouted Peas

Although they are good for you, sprouted peas carry a high risk of bacterial contamination. Sprouting is done at room temperature, and this is the same temperature that both E. coli and salmonella will spread at.

You cannot sprout peas in the fridge, because it is too cold. That means that during the sprouting process, it is easy for them to become contaminated with bacteria.

The most reliable way to kill this bacteria prior to consuming the peas is to cook them. Rinsing the peas is not sufficient to remove bacteria, and you could still get sick from eating them.

You should therefore always cook peas that you have sprouted or sprouted peas that you have bought unless they state that they are “ready to eat.” Eating raw sprouts carries a risk of food poisoning.

Saute the Anchovies Bean Sprouts on white plate


You cannot sprout split peas because they do not contain the genetic information to produce a sprout. However, you can sprout dried peas, and these are the same food. To do this, you should soak the peas in water and then consistently rinse and drain them for a few days.