This savory yellow split pea coconut porridge is perfect for savory breakfast lovers! Grounding, nourishing, and packed with plant-based protein.

A photograph of rich, golden split pea coconut breakfast porridge, served over brown rice.

Savory breakfasts have been a staple for me this winter. Much as I love baked oatmeals, I’m enjoying the variety that savory breakfasts afford. Plus, they’re a great opportunity to use up dinner leftovers.

This yellow split pea coconut porridge is savory breakfast at its finest. It’s full of gently warming spices, like turmeric, ginger, and black pepper. Even so, it’s not hot or overly spicy. Sweet carrot and a swirl of coconut milk help to keep it mild and balanced.

The porridge is hearty, but not heavy. Mixed with a bowl of nutty brown rice, it’s a wonderful way to start the day.

Why a nourishing breakfast is part of my self-care routine

NEDA week has me thinking about how recipes and larger themes of recovery can intersect. A grounding breakfast—like this split pea coconut porridge—has become a huge part of the way that I nourish my body and prioritize self-care.

I’m a breakfast person now, but I wasn’t always. There was a time when I skipped breakfast to “save” my scarce calories for later in the day.

There was also a time when I spent my mornings sipping on cold green juices, trying not to eat until lunchtime. I’d convinced myself that this was the “healthy” choice. But I’m someone who is genuinely hungry in the morning, and I craved something filling, warm, and satisfying.

Then there are the many mornings I spent punishing myself for last night’s food infraction by denying myself a morning meal. Maybe I overdid it a little at a restaurant. Or perhaps I’d eaten something that didn’t live up to my standards of purity and “clean eating.” 

I’ve come so far since then. Sometimes I wake up with food regret. Who doesn’t? But I move on. I let it go. And I remind myself that the single best thing I can do is to have a balanced, sustaining, nutritious morning meal. 

This gives me the energy I need to start my day on a good note. And it prevents me from making a bad body day worse with restriction. Restriction, I know from years of experience, only encourages me to overeat or eat without balance later in the day.

Several small bowls of a savory vegan breakfast porridge, prepared with split peas and coconut and served over rice.

An ode to savory breakfast

This split pea coconut porridge is my latest savory breakfast favorite, but it’s not alone in that category.

I often turn to savory breakfast when grounding sustenance is what I need. Savory breakfasts usually allow me to get more protein than sweeter breakfasts do. 

Savory breakfasts also lend themselves to so much variety. Tacos, enchiladas, vegan hash, and grits (with tempeh sausage!) are some of my favorite options. 

I also love breakfast bowls and breakfast salads. And savory oatmeal is in a class of its own. I make many variations, though I do have a favorite recipe (and a runner up).

Tofu scramble is another favorite, and I love how adaptable it is. I have a classic recipe. But I’ve also made it with green veggies, with plenty of tahini, with quinoa folded in, and with black beans and scallions.

If tofu isn’t your thing, you can scramble beans! I’ve made breakfast scrambles with black beans and with chickpeas. I love them.  

The savory morning meal possibilities are endless. But if you’re looking for a place to start, split pea coconut option is an especially nourishing option.

An angled photograph of a few bowls of golden vegan split pea coconut breakfast porridge, served with rice and topped with green onions.

The nutritional richness of split pea coconut porridge

As far as savory breakfast options go, this split pea coconut porridge has it all. It’s rich in protein: nearly fifteen grams per serving. It’s also packed with soluble fiber, which is important for digestive regularity and may be beneficial for heart health. 

Dried peas are a good source of potassium, which are beneficial for maintaining blood pressure control.

They’re also a great source of two key B-Vitamins. The first is thiamine, which plays a role in energy production, and folate, which is associated with DNA production and important for a healthy pregnancy.

Most importantly, split peas are the type of complex carbohydrate that provide sustained energy. Their high fiber content helps to ensure steady release of glucose into the bloodstream after mealtime. This means long-lasting satiety and blood sugar control. 

Split pea coconut porridge ingredients

Yellow split peas

As you can see, I use yellow split peas in this recipe, rather than green, in this recipe.

I’ve read somewhat conflicting things about the difference between yellow and green split peas. Some information says that green split peas are sweeter, while yellow are earthier

I haven’t really noticed this—in fact, I’ve found that yellow peas are sweeter! But in the end, I think the major difference is color. I like the way yellow split peas look in this recipe and also in this sweet potato split pea soup

Meanwhile, I love green split peas in this smoky, simple, everyday split pea soup.

In the end, either type of split pea will work in the recipe. Use what you have, and don’t forget to soak your split peas overnight before cooking (more on that below!). 

Spices

I use a mixture of coriander, cumin, turmeric, and pepper in the recipe. The result is a porridge that is gently spiced, but not too bold for a mild morning meal. 

Coconut milk

Coconut milk lends a lovely, creamy texture to the split pea coconut porridge. If you prefer cashews as a source of creaminess instead, you could use an equal amount of my all-purpose cashew cream in the recipe. 

Don’t forget to soak your split peas!

I used to prepare split pea recipes without pre-soaking my split peas. 

Over time, though, I’ve found that split peas take forever to become truly tender unless I soak them before cooking. And this seems to be especially true of the yellow variety.

I recommend an overnight, or eight hour, soak of your split peas before you make the recipe. You can also try the quick soak method if you’re short on time. In either case, treat them as you would dry beans!

Four small bowls of a vegan split pea and coconut breakfast stew, served with rice and garnished with green onions.
5 from 1 vote

Yellow Split Pea Coconut Breakfast Porridge

Author - Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 5 cups, or 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large or 4 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons grated or minced ginger or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow split peas
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup canned, full-fat coconut milk (substitute cashew cream)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • For serving: 3-4 cups cooked brown rice, chopped scallions, cilantro, avocado slices, and any other accompaniments you like

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut oil in a Dutch oven or a medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds, if using, and allow them to cook until they start to pop. Stir in the onion and carrots. Saute the vegetables for 8-10 minutes, or until they're very soft and the onions are clear, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the vegetables start to stick. Stir in the ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Add the split peas and water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover.
  • Cook for 35-40 minutes, or until the split peas are tender. Check the split peas a few times to stir them and make sure they're not sticking to the bottom of the pot; if they're very thick, stir in a half cup of water.
  • Once the split peas are very tender, stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. Check seasoning and adjust salt, pepper, lime juice, and turmeric to taste. If you like, you can partially blend the mixture with an immersion blender for a creamier consistency. Serve with rice and toppings of choice.

Notes

Leftover porridge will keep for up to 6 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Four small bowls of a savory vegan breakfast stew, served with rice and garnished with green onions.

In addition to being warming and satisfying, the split pea coconut porridge is also really easy to make.

I whipped it up after dinner on a night when I was also studying for an exam. I wouldn’t have had the patience to do that if the recipe didn’t take so little work to prepare. The next morning, I woke up to a fragrant bowl of goodness.

Next time, I’ll probably make it over the weekend and enjoy it for a whole week after that. The porridge makes about 6 servings.

And needless to say, I’m calling this a split pea coconut porridge. But it’s not just for breakfast: the dish is perfect for lunch and dinner, too! Call it porridge, soup, or stew—what matters is that it’s nutritious and tasty.

This recipe was developed as part of my ongoing partnership with the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council to celebrate the International Year of Pulses. To learn more about pulses–and peruse a ton of recipes–check out the Pulse Pledge website.

I hope you’ll all enjoy the porridge. Have a great Wednesday, all!

xo

This post was created in partnership with the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council. All opinions are my own. Thanks for your support!

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    7 Comments
  1. Long time lurket, 1st time commenter. Hi there! I want to make this, but I bought green split peas. Are they the same?

  2. 5 stars
    I used to always either skip breakfast or sip on protein shakes/juices. Now breakfast is my most important meal of the day and I always look forward to it. Overnight oats with chia seeds and banana has been my go to! I have it just about everyday! I haven’t tried savory yet, but I may have to very soon!