Mushy Peas are a true British side dish made from dried marrowfat peas that are cooked on the stovetop until, well, they get mushy. Typically served with fish and chips or a savory meat pie.

A white bowl filled with mushy peas

What are marrowfat peas? They’re not very well known in the U.S. They are green, mature peas that have been allowed to try naturally in the field and it’s their starch content that makes for great mushy peas.

Marrowfat peas are also used for wasabi peas, so you may have eaten them and not even known it. You can make this dish with fresh peas but the texture is not the same so if you can find dried green peas they will get the dish tasting and being closer to the real thing.

Mushy peas viewed from overhead with a Union Jack towel, a fork and spoon

Normally the words mushy and peas (or any dish) don’t usually go together because who wants to eat mushy peas? Most of us eat peas that are juicy and plump but this is a traditional British dish where you want the peas mushy and they taste so good (ask any Brit they will tell you).

In typical British fashion, different regions of the country have their own take on them. Sometimes served on their own as a snack, with mint sauce.

In Scotland they like them soupy with vinegar served in a bowl. In the North of England (where I am from) they are usually seen accompanying fish and chips or a savory meat pie.

A minced beef and onion pie cut open showing the beef and vegetables inside

Last week I made minced beef and onion pies (pic above). A classic British savory favorite made with ground beef, onions and lots of delicious flavors nestled in a flaky pastry (my go-to comforting meal).

Another classic that everyone has heard of, fish & chips is another dish that mushy peas are sometimes served with.

Because the peas are dried they have to soaked in boiling water overnight. Not a lot of work involved, just time. The peas soak in a nice hot tub with baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) which helps them soften, while you get your beauty rest and they are ready for cooking.

The next day, they get simmered in salted water for about 20 minutes and you have perfect mushy peas. They’re good for you too. Whoever said British food is not healthy?

If you’ve tried this Mushy Pea or any other recipe, leave me a comment below. I love to hear from my readers.

Yield: 4

Mushy Peas

Vibrant green mushy peas in a white bowl

Dried peas are cooked with salt until they get mushy. A British classic side dish.

Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 20 minutes


  • 9 ounces (255 grams) dried Marrowfat peas
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. To a heatproof bowl, add the peas and baking soda and cover with boiling water and soak for 12 hours. After 12 hours drain and rinse the peas.
  2. Add the peas to a saucepan and cover with water.
  3. Bring to a simmer (do not allow to boil) and cook for 20 minutes stirring often until they are mushy. If you like them on the wetter side, stop cooking now. Cook longer for dryer peas. Stir and add salt to taste. Add a little sugar to sweeten if desired.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 302Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1087mgCarbohydrates 56gFiber 20gSugar 21gProtein 19g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.

This mushy peas recipe first appeared  on Food Fanatic where I am a contributor.