This Old Fashioned Pea Salad is such a versatile side dish! It will be your go-to side dish for both summer gatherings AND winter holidays! Bold flavors of cheddar and red onion mix with the calming flavor of peas and sour cream…and don’t forget about the bacon! This is a classic recipe you’re be making over and over!
I LOVE old fashioned “throwback” recipes and this creamy pea salad is no exception! This is a delicious salad to enjoy in the spring and summer months when peas are at their peak. However, this classic pea salad looks great on your holiday table as well!
This easy pea salad recipe combines classic flavors of traditional pea salad, but the dill and crispy bacon make it anything but boring!
I love serving this pea salad as a holiday side dish, or in the summer with my Smoked BBQ Chicken Thighs! It’s so versatile!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Classic pea salad recipe with with simple ingredients.
- Great side dish for your summer barbecues, holiday family gatherings or your next potluck!
- Simple steps and super easy to throw together!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious Easy Pea Salad Recipe:
Green Peas: The star ingredient! Frozen sweet peas work best, You can also use petite peas like this. If you have access to fresh peas, even better!
Bacon: You can opt to cook up your own bacon or if you are short on time, you can use real bacon bits. Just make sure they are the REAL bacon bits and not imitation kind you find in the plastic containers.
Cheese: A classic pea salad recipe typically includes cheddar cheese CUBES but feel free to use shredded cheese, if you like. For the best taste, shred up your own vs. buying it pre-shredded. I always use sharp cheddar.
HOW TO MAKE OLD-FASHIONED PEA SALAD: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Thaw frozen peas — make sure they aren’t piping hot — chilled or room temperature is just fine.
Step 2: Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Step 3: Gently fold all ingredients together until well combined.
RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS
- Do not over-warm your peas. You want them so they’re not frozen, but not piping hot. You still want them cool, as it will help the salad chill. You can do a quick defrost in the microwave, but keep a close eye on them. You can also just leave the package of frozen peas out for a few hours before you assemble the salad. Running your frozen peas under warm water for few seconds works, too. Just be sure they are dry before adding them to your salad.
- This recipe is super easy to double or triple for large gatherings.
ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Here are some yummy additions to this salad:
- Red Bell Pepper: Great for crunch and color!
- Leftover Ham: Adding some cubed ham practically makes this pea salad a meal!
- Eggs: English pea salad typically includes chopped, hard boiled eggs. You can add 2-3 eggs to this recipe if you like!
Here are some substitutions:
- Onion: If you don’t like red onion, sweet yellow onion or even green onion are good substitutes.
- Mayo: Miracle Whip can be used in place of mayo for some added sweetness. Some people also use a creamy dressing such a ranch in place of the mayo and sour cream.
- Bacon: Real bacon bits can be used in a pinch in place of “real,” freshly cooked bacon.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Yes! Traditional english pea salad typically includes chopped hard boiled eggs. You can add 2-3 chopped eggs in this recipe if you like!
I prefer to use only fresh or frozen peas. Canned peas tend to have a softer texture (AKA: mushy) and they don’t hold up quite as well with all the ingredients in this salad.
Yes! You sure can! Simply replace the mayo with an equal amount of Miracle Whip.
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Old Fashioned Pea Salad
- 32 oz. frozen peas, thawed See Note 1
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
- 3 oz. bacon, cooked and chopped OR real bacon bits
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin about 1 cup
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup sour cream reduced fat or full fat are both fine
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1 tsp sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- If you are using raw bacon, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
- To a large bowl, add all ingredients, including cooled, cooked bacon. Gently fold ingredients together until well combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Enjoy right way or cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.