This recipe for pea salad has stood the test of time, for good reason!

The ingredients are often already on hand, it comes together in a minute, and everyone loves it! This green pea salad is loaded with sweet peas, bacon, and cheese all folded in a tangy and creamy dressing. This summertime favorite recipe will make any meal complete. It’s healthy, filling, and great for prepping in advance because it always tastes better the next day!

Pea Salad with cheese on top

What is Pea Salad?

  • Green pea salad is colorful, crunchy, and perfect for picnics and potlucks! Simple enough for a casual meal but elegant enough to add to an Easter or Thanksgiving table!
  • Pea salad is so different and a welcome departure from salads made with leafy greens and like most vegetable-based salads, it’s more filling, nutritious, easy to transport, and holds up well on buffet tables.
  • Budget-friendly pea salad is great for bigger families and large gatherings, especially if cooked and cooled macaroni, bowtie pasta, or orzo is added in.
sour cream , mayonnaise , vinegar , bacon , onion , peas , cheese , and seasonings with labels to make Pea Salad

What Goes in Pea Salad?

Peas: Most frozen and canned peas are English peas with a sweet flavor, bright green color, and uniform size. Snap peas are best kept in their pods and used in stir-fry dishes because of the time it takes to trim and peel them. But if using fresh peas from the garden, shell them and boil them in water for about 5-8 minutes, then drain them in ice water to stop the cooking process and retain their bright green color. A small can of black-eyed peas or corn kernels can be drained and added for extra color!

Dressing: Pea salad dressing is creamy and tart. Miracle whip can be used instead of the mayonnaise, and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream offers a lighter texture. In a pinch for time? Replace the dressing entirely with Ranch dressing.

Add-Ins: Bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and red onion add layers of flavor to Pea salad. Diced ham, cooked, shredded chicken, or bay shrimp can replace the bacon, and feta or blue cheese crumbles are excellent options in place of the cheddar. Add some crunchy walnuts, pecans, or slivered almonds, if desired. Even hard-boiled eggs can be used as a garnish (sliced over the top) or chopped and added to the salad.

How to Make Pea Salad

  1. Place peas, cheese, and vinegar in a bowl (as described in the recipe below).
  2. Mix in the remaining ingredients and toss.
  3. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
close up of Pea Salad

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Pea Salad

  • Thaw frozen peas by placing them in a colander and running cold water over them, or put them in a bowl in the refrigerator. They do not need to be cooked since they are blanched before freezing.
  • This recipe tastes best when the peas are cold, otherwise, chill the salad before serving.
  • Whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, and salt and pepper together first so it’s easier to mix into the salad in Step 2.

Storing Pea Salad

Keep leftover pea salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

taking a spoonfull of Pea Salad

Other Tasty Veggie Salads!

Pea Salad with cheese on top
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Pea Salad

Make this easy recipe for pea salad and bring to the next pot luck or bbq!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Candace


  • 32 ounces frozen peas defrosted (2 pounds, approximately 6½ cups)
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese cut into ¼-½ inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup bacon bits *
  • cup mayonnaise
  • cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper or to taste


  • To a large mixing bowl, add peas, cheese, and apple cider vinegar.
  • Add onion, bacon bits, mayonnaise, sour cream, dill, salt, and pepper.
  • Toss together until well combined. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.
  • Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until serving.


  • * or approximately ½ pound bacon cooked and crumbled.
  • Thaw frozen peas in a colander under cold running water, or in the refrigerator. 
  •  Tastes best served chilled.
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 292 | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 966mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2058IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 243mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Salad
Cuisine American

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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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