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Classic Pea Salad Recipe

This recipe for classic pea salad is a great side dish. It’s easy to make and packed full of flavor from sweet peas and crispy bacon bits, making it a delicious addition to any outdoor barbecue or picnic. Plus, it can be prepared in advance – making it one of those dishes that you don’t even have to think about when hosting an event!

Bowl of pea salad.

This green pea salad recipe is made with a blend of frozen peas, mayonnaise, red onion, Cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. The vegetables add crunch and nutrients to the salad, while the creamy mayonnaise-sour cream blend ties all the flavors together.

This old-fashioned pea salad is the perfect side dish for any summer get-together. Of course, it works great all year round as well. It’s always a hit, so you can rest assured that your recipe will be a crowd-pleaser! Try it and you will see why it is a classic side dish.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • This creamy pea salad is a simple side dish made with simple ingredients.
  • You can make it in advance, which makes it great for busy days or events.
  • It’s full of flavor, thanks to the combination of mayonnaise, Cheddar cheese, bacon bits, and red onion.
  • It’s made with basic ingredients, plus there’s no added sugar in this recipe!
  • This cold pea salad can be eaten as either a side dish or on its own.

Ingredients

  • 7 cups Frozen Peas, thawed
  • 8 Ounces Cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 3 Ounces Real Bacon Bits
  • 1 Red Onion or purple onion, cut into slivers
  • ⅓ cup Mayonnaise
  • ⅓ Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Dill
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Ingredients to make pea salad.

Directions

Cheddar cheese, bacon, red onion, peas, sour cream, and may in a mixing bowl.

Place thawed peas, cheese, bacon bits, onion, mayo, sour cream, vinegar, and seasonings in a large bowl and fold until fully combined.

Adding seasoning to pea salad ingredients.

Eat immediately or place in the refrigerator in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Large bowl of pea salad.

This pea salad salad can be served either cold or at room temperature. The colder it is, the more flavorful it will be. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • I recommend that you make the salad a day in advance so that the flavors can marry.
  • To thaw frozen peas, place them in the refrigerator the night before you plan on making this salad.
  • This pea salad recipe will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Look for bacon bits that don’t contain nitrates or nitrites or cook 4-6 slices of bacon (look for nitrate/nitrite-free bacon), drain on paper towels, and crumble.

Substitutions

  • If you don’t like chunks of cheese, you can use shredded cheese. You can also use Miracle Whip in place of mayonnaise.
  • You can swap out the dried dill, salt, and pepper and use Ranch seasoning. (I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon and adding more seasoning, if needed, to suit your preference.)
  • Cheddar cheese is recommended in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite type of cheese. (My personal favorite is sharp Cheddar cheese.) Monterey Jack or Colby are good options. 
  • If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar or lemon juice instead.
  • Got fresh herbs? You can use 1 tablespoon of fresh dill in place of 1 teaspoon of dried dill.
Bowl of pea salad.

Classic Pea Salad

This old-fashioned pea salad is the perfect go-to side dish for any summer get-together. Of course, it is delicious all year round as well.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 321kcal

Ingredients

  • 7 cups Frozen Peas (32 ounces), thawed
  • 8 Ounces Cheddar cut into small cubes
  • 3 Ounces Real Bacon Bits
  • 1 Red Onion or purple onion cut into slivers
  • cup Mayonnaise
  • Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Dill
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and fold until fully combined.
  • Eat immediately or place in the refrigerator in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Notes

  • You can thaw frozen peas in the refrigerator overnight.
  • This pea salad recipe will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Look for bacon bits that don’t contain nitrates or nitrites or cook 4-6 slices bacon (nitrate/nitrite-free), drain on paper towels, and crumble.
Substitutions
  • If you don’t like chunks of cheese, you can use shredded cheese. You can also use Miracle Whip in place of mayonnaise.
  • You can swap out the dried dill, salt, and pepper and use Ranch seasoning. (I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon and adding more seasoning, if needed, to suit your preference.)
  • Cheddar cheese is recommended in this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite type of cheese. Monterey Jack or Colby are good options.
  • If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar or lemon juice instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 963mg | Potassium: 352mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1045IU | Vitamin C: 52mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg
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