Pea Salad

Pea salad is made with a creamy mayo dressing, bacon, cheese, and bright pops of peas. It only requires a handful of ingredients and is easy to make!

Our take on a classic is creamy and fresh, with the perfect amount of salty and fatty. It is full of flavor and a great way to get those veggies in! Try this as a tasty side with Baked Chicken Nuggets, Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken, or Dr. Pepper Ribs.

Pea salad with bacon and cheese in a serving dish

A Creamy Classic

Pea salad is a southern style classic side that is creamy and full of flavor. The fresh peas are the perfect backdrop for all of that fatty cream, bacon and cheese!

There are many takes on pea salad, but we just like to keep things simple. Peas, bacon crumbles, and cheese with a simple mayo and vinegar dressing to bring it all together.

This side is perfect for large gatherings like family parties or BBQs. It comes together quickly with only a few ingredients. AND it is perfect to make ahead as it actually tastes better and better as the ingredients meld together over time and add flavor.

Fresh peas in a colander for pea salad recipe

How to Make Pea Salad

COMBINE. In a small bowl add the mayo, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix together to make the dressing. Next, stir in the peas and cheddar cheese.

CHILL. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

GARNISH & SERVE. Cook the bacon and crumble it.  After the salad has chilled top with bacon crumbles and sunflower seeds, if you’re using them.

Make ahead: You can mix up the pea salad the day before and keep it covered in the fridge. I would personally add the bacon at the end just to make sure it doesn’t get mushy, but you can mix them in whenever you wish. 

Leftovers can last for 2-3 days.

How to make pea salad in a mixing bowl

Variations

Pea Salad is super simple to make and pairs well with many dishes like chicken, shrimp, steak and more. It also pairs well with other mix ins such as:

  • Diced bell peppers 
  • Ham cubes
  • Diced hard boiled eggs
  • Diced onions

Using fresh peas: If you are lucky enough to have a bountiful garden with peas you can use those to make this yummy salad. Frozen peas are already blanched to they don’t need to be cooked, but fresh garden peas do. Shell the peas and place them in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain and dry.

Close up of green pea salad in a serving dish

For more simple salads, try:

Pea Salad Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Pea salad is made with a creamy mayo dressing, bacon, cheese, and bright pops of peas. It only requires a handful of ingredients and is easy to make!
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
chill 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 445 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • 6 (24 oz) c frozen peas thawed
  • 2/3 – 1 c mayo
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • ¾ c cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 strips bacon
  • sunflower seeds optional

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl add the mayo, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix together to make the dressing. Next, stir in the peas and cheddar cheese.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Cook the bacon and crumble it. After the salad has chilled top with bacon crumbles and sunflower seeds, if you're using them.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I hate to admit, that I was hesitant to try this. I am not the biggest pea fan, but I will happily admit that this was surprisingly delicious!! I will eat peas like this any day! It was creamy & loaded with flavor!

  2. 5 stars
    What a delightful little salad! Peas are so underappreciated and I absolutely love them but never think of adding them to a salad. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    I was a little cautious about this salad but I think I ate more of it than anyone. It was fresh and delicious.