These chicharos aka potaje de chicharos are Cuban-style split pea soup. Made with dried green split pleas, smoked pork, potatoes, and butternut squash.
Enjoy this potaje de chicharos on its own or with fluffy white rice and bistec encebollado for the ultimate dinner!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- You don’t need a pressure cooker and no need to soak the split peas prior to cooking.
- Split peas have great nutritional benefits. They’re packed with fiber and protein, and are low in fat.
- It’s similar to classic split pea soup with ham but with much more flavor!
- It can be served as a soup or side dish.
Split Peas – I recommend using green but yellow split peas works too. Green split peas are a bit sweet while yellow peas are more savory. However, both have a delicious creamy texture.
Sofrito – A blend of vegetables and herbs. I used homemade but feel free to use store-bought or simply omit it.
Smoked Pork – Feel free to use any type of smoked pork such as ham hocks, pork butt, leftover ham, or even sausage. I love adding a combination of ham and chorizo!
Butternut Squash – You can use any type of squash such as pumpkin or kabocha squash.
Top Tips For The Ultimate Chicharos
- If the chicharos get too thick, add more water or chicken stock to loosen it up. If it’s too liquidy, let it cook uncovered until it thickens.
- To make it vegetarian simply omit the smoked ham and chorizo.
- Add a pinch of sazon or adobo for extra flavor but keep in mind that if you add too much, it will lose that green bright color.
- Arrange the dried beans on a baking sheet and sort through them. Make sure to discard any stones or broken beans.
Place any leftovers in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, heat in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat and add more water. Add more salt if needed. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months. Allow the chicharos to cool completely and then place it in an air-tight container. Make sure to leave some space at the top because the soup will expand while it freezes.
More Delicious Cuban Recipes You Might Enjoy
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- 16 ounces green or yellow dried split peas rinsed
- 8 cups water or m
- 1/2 onion finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup sofrito
- 1 potato cubed
- 1 cup butternut squash cubed
- 1/2 lb chorizo chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 lb smoked ham chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 tbsp dry white wine or vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste season generously
- Arrange the dried beans on a baking sheet and sort through them. Make sure to discard any stones or broken beans. Rinse them and set them aside.
- Add oil to a large pot along with the onions, chorizo, and ham. Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium-high heat while stirring frequently.
- Stir in the fresh garlic and sofrito and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Cook for 10 seconds.
- Add the split peas, water, and dry white wine. Let it come to a boil, once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for one hour uncovered while stirring occasionally.
- After one hour, add the potatoes and butternut squash, cover, and cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes and squash are tender. Add more water if needed.
- Season generously with salt and pepper and enjoy!