This Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe is a classic, simple cold side dish that will feel at home next to just about any main! Perfect to feed a crowd, it’s great for picnics, pitch ins and potlucks, the sweet peas combine perfectly with salty bacon in a creamy mayonnaise dressing!
Why You Will Love This Recipe!
There is nothing like a delicious side dish that can really put a meal over the top. Sometimes, I love the side dish even MORE than I love the main course. And a delicious pasta, fruit or vegetable salad is often just what the doctor ordered for just about any dish!
This is one of those dishes where, if you’ve never had it, you’re like…. “hmmm… pea salad…?” I admit it doesn’t sound that appetizing. But wait until you try it! The sweet peas, the creamy dressing and the crunchy and salty bacon is like a symphony in your mouth!
And it’s so easy! Just throw it all together and let it chill in the fridge for a bit. And it’s all made in one bowl. Easy clean up, here we come!
Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe
Just a few simple ingredients, a couple minutes of prep and a little while chilling in your fridge and you are gonna be in Pea Heaven! Here’s what you need to get started:
- PEAS – We use canned peas for this recipe. Make sure you drain them well before adding them. I’ve seen some recipes that use frozen peas. I’ve heard that frozen peas (thawed) will stand up to the dressing a little better. But these canned seemed to do fine.
- ONIONS – We recommend using red onions in this recipe. But yellow can work too. The red onions have a bold, crisp flavor and texture. And they look great in the salad!
- EGGS – Like frozen or canned peas, some people put hard boiled eggs in their Pea Salad and some don’t. We do. But this is optional if you want to omit it.
- BACON – Cook it however you like to. But make sure it’s nice and crispy. Or, to make this recipe even easier, you can use bacon bits. Or, you can even sub for leftover ham if you’ve got some hanging out in the fridge.
- MAYONNAISE – You can lighten this up by using the reduced fat mayo.
- SUGAR – It’s just a little sugar that balances well with the other ingredients.
- CHEESE – We used a nice shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese for this recipe. Sharp Cheese works the best, but go ahead and sub for something else. You can also use Cheese Cubes to give the dish a little more texture. I’ve also heard they can stand up to the dressing a little more.
Pea Salad Storage
Your Pea Salad Recipe should stay good in your refrigerator for about 3 days in an airtight container. Depending on the quality of your peas, they may start to get a little mushy at different paces. Honestly, this is probably a dish that is best eaten after it is freshly made.
Can you freeze this Pea Salad recipe? Nope, I wouldn’t. Mayo based dressings just don’t do well when frozen. Sorry.
Notes, Tips and Variations
- ADD VEGGIES?- We just used some sliced onion in this recipe. But any “crunchy” vegetable could work. Red or yellow Bell Peppers would be great! Celery would also work. Or slice some apples and put them in. Yum!
- FEEDING A LARGE CROWD? – This recipe is SUPER easy to double or even triple if you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed.
- CHOP VEGGIES SMALL – I know it’s time consuming, but this recipe works best if you chop all the veggies really small…. Like, smaller than the peas.
- TOPPINGS – Top with diced green onions for a little more flavor and presentation.
- SALT AND PEPPER – We don’t have salt or black pepper on the ingredient list. But you can add to taste if you’d like.
I hope you enjoy this Classic Pea Salad Recipe. It’s one of those dishes that everyone will be asking the recipe for on their way out the door. Let me know how it turns out in the comments! Thanks for reading!
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Classic Pea Salad Recipe
- 3 15- ounce cans sweet peas
- ½ cup onions chopped
- 3 eggs hard boiled and chopped
- 4 strips of bacon cooked and chopped
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Carefully stir until all ingredients are well combined, being careful not to smash the peas while stirring.
- Cover and chill for at least one hour before serving.