Classic Pea Salad Recipe (2024)

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5 from 84 Ratings

Published: March 22, 2020Updated: July 9, 2020Author: Amy

This easy green Pea Salad is an old fashioned classic recipe served cold and enjoyed all year round. Made with bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions, and a sweet dressing, all in one bowl and in only 15 minutes!

Classic Pea Salad Recipe (1)

Oh my sweet baby pea lovin’ heart, this classic pea salad speaks to me on so many levels.

I’m all about the old fashioned recipes lately, and this green pea salad is no exception.

Another staple at potlucks, baby showers, and luncheons all across the Midwest and Southern states, you’d be hard pressed not to find it served at any type of gathering. And for good reason – it’s crazy easy and super delicious!

Classic Pea Salad Recipe (2)

Pea…salad? I know. Sounds weird, right? But it’s incredibly fantastic.

What ingredients are needed for this Pea Salad Recipe?

One of the reasons this pea salad recipe is so popular (other than its wonderful texture and taste) is how easy it is! You only need a handful of ingredients and it comes together in minutes.

  • Peas – the star of this salad are peas, of course. I always use frozen petite peas, which are sweet, colorful, and have a slight crunch. You can use canned peas if you want, but just keep in mind that they don’t look as nice and because of their softer texture, they don’t hold up as well.
  • Bacon – the end. Lol. Just kidding. Salty bacon adds another level of awesome flavor and also balances out the sweetness of the peas and dressing. I cook mine in the oven and then dice or crumble it. You can totally use real bacon bits, though, to make this even easier!
  • Cheese – my preference for this salad is sharp cheddar cheese, for the best flavor. I also buy a block and cube it about the same size as the peas, but many pea salads use shredded cheese, which is totally fine, too!
  • Onion – I always use red onion for this pea salad. I love the taste and color.
  • Dressing – this is really the other star of the show. It’s a simple mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Like so many classic salads, it has a sweet and tangy flavor that cannot be denied! Don’t freak out over the sugar – it’s a necessary ingredient to balance out the vinegar and it’s only a small amount.

Classic Pea Salad Recipe (3)

Do you serve this Pea Salad cold?

Yep! This sweet pea salad is a recipe kept in the refrigerator and served cold.

How To Store Leftovers

Any leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad, however. The dressing will not hold up very well, and the peas and bacon will get too mushy once thawed.

Classic Pea Salad Recipe (4)

I’ve served this pea salad so many times over the years to friends, whose first reaction is “ew” – and then they ask for the recipe after one bite!

Try this side salad at your next gathering and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Other Recipes with Sweet Peas we absolutely love!

Creamy Pasta with Bacon and Peas (this is a 20 minute skillet dish, served hot for dinner!)
Meatball Rice and Pea Skillet
Chicken Pot Pie Noodle Skilet

Other Tried and True Salad Recipes!

Deviled Ham Salad
Delicatessen Fruit Salad
Creamy Waldorf Salad
Creamy Cucumber Salad
Easy Egg Salad
The Best Chicken Salad

I hope you love this delicious and easy recipe – be sure to give it a review below! Also don’t forget to follow Belly Full onFacebook,Instagram,Pinterest, andYouTube!

Classic Pea Salad Recipe (5)

Classic Pea Salad

5 from 84 Ratings

This easy green Pea Salad is an old fashioned classic recipe served cold and enjoyed all year round. Made with bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions, and a sweet dressing, all in one bowl and in only 15 minutes!

Print Recipe Rate Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes minutes

Total Time 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 8 (1/3 cup)


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups frozen peas , thawed
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 3/4 cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese (approximately the same size as the peas)
  • 8 slices bacon , cooked crispy and crumbled


  • Put sour cream, mayo, sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; whisk to combine.

  • Add peas, onion, cheese, and bacon to the bowl; gently stir to coat completely.

  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish with some crispy bacon.


Any leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad, however. The dressing will not hold up very well, and the peas and bacon will get too mushy once thawed.


Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 343mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 638IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information given is an automatic calculation and can vary based on the exact products you use and any changes you make to the recipe. If these numbers are very important to you, I would recommend calculating them yourself.

Other Notes

Course: Salad

Cuisine: American

Keyword: pea salad, pea salad recipe

Did you make this recipe?Snap a picture and mention @bellyfullblog!

Classic Pea Salad Recipe (2024)


How much is a serving of pea salad? ›

Makes 4 servings of about ½ cup each. Double or triple ingredient amounts for larger gatherings. Per ½ cup serving: 144 calories; 6.8g total fat (3.1g saturated, 0.1g polyunsaturated, 0.0g monounsaturated); 277mg sodium; 11.9mg cholesterol; 11.6g carbohydrate; 4.0g fiber; 4.1g sugars; 10g protein; 237.4mg potassium.

How do you defrost frozen peas for salad? ›

Frozen peas are great, and here's what I do: I let them thaw for just a bit at room temperature, but I don't let them go all the way. You want them to stay nice and cold and firm so they don't freak out and get mushy when you mix the salad together.

Are salad bar peas cooked? ›

So, when you see salad bars that have the fresh green peas that were frozen, now they must be cooked and cooled before putting directly on the salad bar. They cannot be put on the salad bar without cooking.

Can you eat raw green pea? ›

Green peas, yellow peas, snap peas, and snow peas are all varieties of the same plant. A good rule of thumb to remember when it comes to peas is that all peas that you can eat raw, you can also dehydrate and use as a dried good, but not all dried peas can be eaten fresh.

How many cups of peas should I eat? ›

Keep portion sizes reasonable: About 1/3 cup (53 grams) to 1/2 cup (80 grams) of green peas at a time is enough for most people. They are more likely to cause problems when consumed in high amounts.

What carbs are in pea salad? ›

Pea Salad (1 cup) contains 21.5g total carbs, 14.6g net carbs, 42.5g fat, 10.5g protein, and 503 calories.

Is pea shoot salad good for you? ›

Pea shoots are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, E and A, and potassium. Glycosylated quercetin derivatives were the main flavonoid compounds of pea shoots. The nutritional value was generally stable during storage.

Can you eat thawed frozen peas without cooking? ›

Nope, you can eat frozen veggies as-is—no pot, pan or microwave required. “You do not need to cook frozen veggies, just like you don't need to cook frozen fruit,” says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, best-selling cookbook author of Smart Meal Prep for Beginners and The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook.

Why do peas become soft after thawing? ›

When you freeze fruits and vegetables you actually are freezing the water in the plant cells. When the water freezes, it expands and the ice crystals cause the cell walls to rupture. So the texture of thawed produce is much softer than when it was raw.

Do frozen peas need to be cooked? ›

Frozen peas are cooked before freezing so they don't need to be cooked! Serve – Done and ready to serve! Pour into a bowl or put straight onto dinner plates. Delicious to eat as is – I challenge you to stop at one spoonful – but suggestions for dressing up are below!

Are frozen peas good for you? ›

Springtime is fresh pea season. But the good news is that frozen peas allow you to get the health benefits of peas year-round, because they are frozen at their peak—helping to preserve their nutrients. Frozen peas are packed with all the protein, fiber, and other nutrients found in fresh ones.

Is it better to steam or boil frozen peas? ›

It is important to note that boiling can lead to the loss of some nutrients. Try steaming to get the maximum nutrition from the cooked little green peas.

Can you eat peas out of the can without cooking? ›

Yes, you can eat canned peas straight from the can without cooking them. Canned peas are typically pre-cooked during the canning process, making them safe and ready to eat. However, for most recipes and optimal flavor, it is recommended to cook them further.

What are peas made of? ›

Raw green peas are 79% water, 14% carbohydrates, 5% protein, and contain negligible fat (table).

What is the difference between green beans and peas? ›

Peas and beans do look very similar and fall under the general seed family, but they aren't the same. Peas are generally round while beans have a wider variety of shapes. Color also varies considerably with non-pea beans. Peas don't usually vary that much in color – they're mostly green.

What do pea greens taste like? ›

Pea greens have a grassy flavor with a hint of sweetness reminiscent of peas and a mineral essence similar to spinach. Older vines can be tough and bitter, though. They pair particularly well with Asian flavors but also add a nice snap to tacos or as a finishing garnish on nearly any dish.

Are pea greens good for you? ›

They taste like peas, so not only are they scrumptious, they pack a powerful nutrient punch. That's right, Pea Shoots contain vitamin C, vitamin A and are super-rich in antioxidants which provide anti-inflammatory and phytonutrients to support the body's immune system.


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