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The Best Creamy Pea Salad Recipe

This Classic Pea Salad Recipe is a perfect side for any meal! Sweet peas, crispy bacon, red onion and chunks of cheese all mixed in a creamy dressing. Pairs perfectly with ham at Easter, or with grilled meats. Creamy and flavourful!

If you’re looking for a delicious and easy pea salad this Classic Creamy Pea Salad is a great side dish. It’s perfect for dinner any day of the week, and it’s especially delicious with holiday meals (with ham or turkey), served at family gatherings, and it’s a perfect summer salad for potlucks and picnics!

Pea Salad Recipe

About this Pea Salad

This is a cold pea salad that is light and creamy. The sweetness of the peas with the cheddar cheese, red onion, crispy salty bacon, and creamy dressing makes for the most delicious side dish. And it’s so perfect served with ham.

Simple Ingredients:

  • peas
  • bacon
  • cheese
  • onion
  • mayonnaise
  • sour cream
  • milk
Pea Salad Recipe

Add this Pea Salad to your Easter Menu!

This salad makes an appearance every year at our Easter dinner, it’s the perfect side dish with baked ham! This salad actually reminds me a lot of the 7 layer salad that we love so much, but it’s more simple and quick to make. 

Pea Salad Recipe

Make ahead or serve right away!

Really, you could make this pea salad in about 15 minutes and then serve it right away (assuming you have some cooked bacon ready to go). Or if you wish, you can prepare this simple side dish up to a day ahead and have it ready ahead of time. It’s so easy to make, and really, the longest part of making this salad is cooking the bacon.

Pea Salad Recipe

Delicious and simple.

Pea Salad Recipe Tips:

  • PEAS: Use FROZEN sweet green peas. If you use fresh peas, you will have to cook them. Do not use canned peas. For frozen peas, the big question is whether to thaw or not to thaw? If you want to serve the salad right after you make it, you should thaw the peas in the fridge overnight. OR you can toss the salad with frozen peas if you are planning to serve the salad a few hours later, or even the next day. Sometimes I will let the peas thaw while I cook the bacon as well. Or you can float the sealed bag of peas in a large bowl of cool water to thaw.
  • BACON: I like to cook bacon in the oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, making sure that the paper goes over the edges so the bacon grease will stay in the paper. Lay the bacon out on the paper, making sure not to layer it. Then put it in the oven, and set the temperature to 425 degrees F. Cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until the bacon is cooked enough to crumble.
  • SOUR CREAM: You can also use Greek yogurt as an alternative. I’ve also used ranch dressing in a pinch.
  • MAYONNAISE: I prefer to use real mayo, but you can use miracle whip.
  • CHEESE: Use a sharp cheddar cheese for maximum flavour.
  • ONION: This recipe calls for red onion, but green onion is delicious too.
  • MAKE AHEAD: You can make this salad up to 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and mix well before serving.
  • LEFTOVERS: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Mix well before serving.
  • VARIATIONS: You can serve with sliced hard-boiled eggs, or substitute the bacon for turkey bacon. This is a very versatile pea salad.
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The Best Creamy Pea Salad Recipe

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This Pea Salad Recipe is a perfect side for any meal! Peas, crispy bacon bits, red onion and chunks of cheese all mixed in a creamy dressing. Pairs perfectly with ham at Easter, or with grilled meats. Creamy and flavourful!

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 68 servings 1x
  • Category: Salad

Ingredients

Units Scale

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 (750 g) bag frozen peas, thawed (see notes)
  • 1 lb bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup small cubed cheddar cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tsp milk

Instructions

  1. In a salad bowl toss together the thawed peas, onion, cheddar cheese cubes and cooked and crumbled bacon.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend together the ingredients for the dressing: the mayonnaise, sour cream and milk. I like to use a hand blender for this step, you can also use a whisk.
  3. Add the dressing to the peas and mix well.
  4. You can serve this salad right away, or it can chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve it, for up to 1 or 2 days. This salad actually gets better after it has rested. Just make sure to give it a stir before serving.
  5. If you wish, you can season with salt and black pepper to taste.

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Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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More Delicious Recipes for Spring:

I hope you enjoy this easy pea salad recipe as much as we do! Have a delicious day!

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19 Comments

  1. I am always looking for side dishes that are quick to make, especially when entertaining. This pea salad looks amazing… pinning to try. Winter was definitely long this year, hoping spring is hear to stay. Love all the recipes from this “spring” collaboration. Have a great week Jo-Anna!

  2. That looks like a great side salad! My family loves peas so I’ll have to try it. I LOVE your idea about making the inside of your house feel spring-like. I love buying potted tulips and other flowers so I can enjoy them indoors then when they die off I transplant the bulbs into my garden. Happy Easter!!

  3. Oh that pea salad looks delishious. Love the bacon and mayo. Yep baking bacon is the best! Montreal has also a rain/snow mix spring, unitl yesterday. Just had lunch in flip flops and shortsleeves right now. Tomorrow back to rain and cold.

  4. Yummy salad, and so easy to put together too ! Love the addition of bacon….really, who doesn’t ?! I like to brush some maple syrup when I bake mine. It was a nice round-up ! Happy Spring !

  5. I absolutely love this, Jo-Anna! I’ve never made a pea salad before, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to whip up because they always look so scrumptious. I’m totally going to give this a go this summer, and I’ll replace the bacon with this vegetarian bacon I’ve found that actually does its meaty counterpart justice. Maybe I won’t even tell anyone… maybe no one will suspect a thing 🙂 I deffo don’t want to leave it out. That salty crunch sounds like it would add so much to the creamy goodness of this bad boy.

  6. I hear you. We are in Alberta as well, and this morning it was snowing….I am soooo ready for warm temperatures and sunny days! Where I am from, spring starts at the end of February and by now the temperatures are already summer-like 🙁 – Anyway, this pea salad will be on our menu soon, maybe like Dana, with a “fake” bacon to replace the real one 🙂 . Love it and it sounds so easy and quick, which is always a plus!

  7. I am so in love with this! Bright, flavourful, and definitely reminds me of spring. This would be perfect on my Easter table (and I have to agree, Easter is probably one of my favourite holidays because of the food!)

  8. Wow, this looks delicious! I don’t eat bacon so I’d leave it out but it looks plenty flavourful that it would still be amazing without 🙂 hope you get some warm spring-y days soon!