Saturday, February 19, 2022

Perfect Pea Salad

This pea salad features crispy bacon, cubes of cheddar cheese, and a deliciously tangy dressing. Serve it at your next barbecue or potluck!

Deliciously fresh and creamy, this “old-fashioned” dish is making a comeback! Pair it with grilled chicken, juicy shrimp, or any of your favorite cookout foods.

Not a fan of peas? Try a similar dish made with broccoli instead. It has a lot of similar ingredients, plus raisins for extra sweetness.

And for more dishes just like grandma used to make, check out my recipes for potato and macaroni salads.

Perfect Pea Salad in a bowl with a spoonful on top

Pea Salad

  • Thaw the peas. If you toss them in frozen, you will end up with lots of liquid in the bottom of your bowl. Thaw them completely, drain, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Boost the flavor. The ingredients in the dressing, especially the dill, really shine the longer they sit and develop. Mix them together the day before and refrigerate, if you can.
  • Keep it chilled! Because the dressing contains both sour cream and mayonnaise, this dish needs to be refrigerated. For parties, place the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice so it stays cool and don’t leave it out for more than an hour or two.
  • Add a garnish. Save a little bit of the peas, bacon, onion, and cheese to sprinkle over the top of the finished dish. Or, mix it all together and add some fresh dill as a finishing touch.
  • Need a smaller amount? Easily halve the recipe or save the rest for later. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
pea salad recipe ingredients

Best Ways To Cook Bacon

I personally love to cook bacon in the oven! It’s less messy and frees up my focus to work on other things, like prepping the ingredients for this green pea salad.

Simply lay the strips on a large, rimmed baking sheet and pop it in the oven at 400°F until it’s as crispy as you’d like. You can also use a wire rack on the pan so the strips aren’t sitting in grease.

Because this pea salad recipe calls for chopped bacon, you can dice the strips cold and cook them on the stove that way. Stir them occasionally so they crisp evenly, then drain once they are done!

green pea salad in a bowl

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • Large Bowl - Prep and serve this green pea salad in the same dish!
  • Small Mixing Bowl and a Whisk for the homemade dressing
  • Salad Tongs - These bamboo hands help to toss everything gently and are attractive enough for serving as well.
pea salad with dressing poured on top

FAQ - Common Recipe Questions

Can I make this pea salad ahead of time?

You sure can! The entire dish can be assembled and chilled a few hours before you plan on serving.

Or, prep the ingredients and whisk together the dressing the day before. Store everything in the refrigerator in separate containers, then put it all together just before you eat!

What else can I add to this pea salad recipe?

Other popular additions include crispy veggies like bell peppers and shredded carrots or leftover ham in place of the bacon.

You can also slice up some hard boiled eggs and swap out the cheddar for your favorite variety of cheese.

pea salad in a bowl


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Pea Salad Wide photo

Yield: 8-10
Author: Donna Elick
Perfect Pea Salad

Perfect Pea Salad

This pea salad features crispy bacon, cubes of cheddar cheese, and a deliciously tangy dressing. Serve it at your next barbecue or potluck!
Prep time: 20 MinTotal time: 20 Min


  • 2 (10 ounce) bags frozen peas, thawed and pat dry
  • 1 pound applewood smoked bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 small red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill


  1. In a large bowl, toss together peas, bacon, cheese, and onion until combined.
  2. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and dill. Taste the dressing and adjust seasonings.
  3. Add the dressing to the pea mixture and toss gently to combine.
  4. Serve! Salad can be prepared several hours in advance of serving and is best served chilled.
  1. Mix dressing a day ahead to allow the dill and other flavors to come out. Other ingredients can also be prepared a day ahead. Toss everything together the day you wish to serve the salad.
  2. Keep refrigerated.
  3. Be sure the peas are thawed and extra liquid is drained or you may end up with liquid in the bottom of your salad bowl.
  4. Reserve a sprinkle of peas, bacon, onion, and cheese to scatter over the top of the salad for a nice presentation. You can also sprinkle some fresh dill over the top of the salad.
  5. Storage: Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Pea Salad Closeup

Originally published February 2022

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  1. Does cooking bacon in the oven pop grease in the oven at all ? I really want to know for sure. Thank you

    1. Line baking sheet with parchment and use a rack in the baking sheet - this keeps the slices out of the grease and you won’t have any grease “pop”.


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