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Pea Salad

This yummy pea salad is a creamy, crunchy, and flavor-packed delight! Every time I share it with friends, people tell me it reminds them of something their grandma made.

Sweet green peas are coated in a tangy dressing and mixed with bacon bits, cheese, and red onion. The combo is just to die for!

What I love most about this salad is how easy it is to make. It’s the perfect side dish to bring to any party or BBQ. 

Creamy pea salad with bacon, green peas, cube cheese, red onions with mayonnaise served in a white bowl.
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Why You’ll Love This Pea Salad

Quick & Easy: It’s incredibly simple to prepare, requiring minimal cooking skills.

Make-Ahead: This salad can be made ahead of time. The flavors meld beautifully the longer it sits.

Crowd-Pleaser: This salad is always a hit at gatherings, thanks to its creamy dressing, savory bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese.

Comfort Food: This salad transports you back to cherished family meals.

Pea salad ingredients, green peas, cheddar cheese cubes, bacon and red onions in a metal mixing bowl.

Ingredients

  • Frozen Peas: Tender, sweet green peas are the perfect base for this creamy salad.
  • Sour Cream: Tangy and rich, it adds body and a slight tang to the dressing.
  • Mayonnaise: It helps bind everything together and makes the dressing silky smooth.
  • Granulated Sugar: Just a touch balances the vinegar and enhances the natural sweetness of the peas.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: It adds acidity to cut through the richness.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: They make all the flavors pop!
  • Red Onion: Diced red onion provides a pungent bite and crunchy texture.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Tangy, sharp cheddar cut into little cubes is a delightful surprise throughout the salad.
  • Bacon: Crispy, salty, smoky bacon crumbles take this pea salad to the next level. 
Creamy pea salad in a mixing bowl made with green peas, cheddar cheese, red onions and bacon with mayonnaise.

How to Make Pea Salad

Making this salad is as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Make the dressing. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper until smooth and well combined.

2. Add the ingredients. Add the thawed peas, diced red onion, cheddar cheese cubes, and crumbled bacon to the bowl with the dressing. Gently stir until all the ingredients are evenly coated.

3. Refrigerate to blend. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the pea salad for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours, to allow the flavors to meld together. Give it a stir before serving.

4. Season to taste. If needed, adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper. If desired, garnish with extra bacon crumbles.

5. Serve chilled. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Pea salad tossed in a metal bowl.

Tips for the Best Pea Salad

This salad is foolproof, but these tips make it better.

  • Crisp up the bacon. Cook the bacon until it’s very crispy. This adds a nice crunch and flavor contrast.
  • Be consistent. Ensure the dressing is well whisked to a smooth consistency before adding other ingredients. This helps in evenly coating the peas and other components.
  • Be gentle! Stir the ingredients gently to avoid crushing the peas. This ensures a better texture in every bite.
  • Taste and adjust. After chilling, taste the salad and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed. This is crucial as flavors can change slightly when chilled.
  • Go wild with garnishes. Before serving, garnish with extra bacon crumbles or fresh herbs to enhance the visual appeal and add a layer of texture.
  • Try fun variations. Add diced ham, chopped hard-boiled eggs, diced celery, or fresh herbs like dill or parsley for different flavors. You can also substitute green onions for red onion.
Creamy pea salad in a mixing bowl made with green peas, cheddar cheese, red onions and bacon with mayonnaise.

How to Store

Here’s how to keep your pea salad fresh for days.

To Store: Refrigerate pea salad in an air-tight container for up to 3 days. Give it a gentle stir before serving to redistribute the dressing.

I don’t recommend freezing, as the mayonnaise-based dressing will separate. Plus, the peas and other ingredients will become mushy and lose their texture upon thawing.

More Creamy Salads You’ll Love

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
Deviled Egg Potato Salad
Loaded Baked Potato Salad
Crispy Smashed Potato Salad

Pea Salad

Course: Side DishCuisine: American
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Calories

225

kcal

This classic pea salad is perfect for any potluck! Peas get mixed with a tasty dressing, cheese, and bacon for a dish to remember.

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups frozen peas, thawed and drained

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced

  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes

  • 8 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper until smooth and well combined.
  • Add the thawed peas, diced red onion, cheddar cheese cubes, and crumbled bacon to the bowl with the dressing. Gently stir until all the ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate the pea salad for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours, to allow the flavors to meld together. Give it a stir before serving.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with some extra bacon crumbles on top if desired.
  • Serve the pea salad cold or at room temperature. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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