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The Best Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon

This creamy pea salad is the perfect dish to take to any potluck party or picnic. It's light, healthy and full of flavor. It's made with peas, red onion, cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayo, cider vinegar and seasoning. It can be prepared in a matter of minutes too. This  classic pea salad recipe will be your new favorite go-to for summer salads!
Green pea salad in a white bowl.

This creamy pea salad is the perfect dish to take to any potluck party or picnic. It’s light, healthy and full of flavor. It’s made with peas, red onion, cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayo, cider vinegar and seasoning. It can be prepared in a matter of minutes too. This  classic pea salad recipe will be your new favorite go-to for summer salads!
Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon Pin

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How do I make Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon? 

Pea salad is a pretty simple and straightforward, no fuss recipe. That means it’s ingredients are basic and easy to find at the grocery store. Here is what you will need to prepare this Bacon Pea Salad:

  • Frozen Peas
  • Cheddar Cheese Cubes
  • Bacon Bits
  • Red Onion Slivers
  • Sour Cream
  • Mayonnaise
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Dill

Pea Salad Ingredients

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How do I make the Bacon Pea Salad?

There are just three simple steps to make this classic summer salad recipe. Here is what you will need to do to make it.

Step 1: Prep the Pea Salad Ingredients

Place frozen peas in a colander and gently rinse with cold water to help thaw out. Take care to not saturate the peas or damage the shells. While peas continue to thaw, thinly slice the red onion and set aside. Cut the cheddar cheese into half inch cubes and set aside. 

Peas in a glas bowl.

Step 2: Combine the ingredients

Take a paper towel and pat dry the peas in the colander. Then, add them to a large bowl. Next, add the sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and dill to the bowl with the peas. Gently fold the ingredients together until a creamy dressing has formed over the peas. Finally, add in the cheddar cheese cubes, sliced red onion and bacon bits and toss gently to combine.

Pro Tip: Use real bacon bits instead of imitation ones if possible as they add a wonderful flavor to the salad.

Step 3: Serve and enjoy!

This salad can be served right away or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator before serving. I prefer to make it at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry in the bowl.

Creamy Pea Salad in a white bowl with a spoon in it.

What kind of peas are best for pea salad? 

I like using frozen green peas in this salad because they tend to stay firm. If you’re using frozen peas, gently bring them to a chilled state rather than a frozen state. You can also use fresh green peas in the salad. The most important thing is to make sure the peas do not get mushy as they will smash up when mixed and alter the texture and taste of the salad. So, canned peas do not work well in this recipe.

How do I make homemade bacon bits?

You can use imitation bacon bits in this salad, but I highly recommend real bacon bits. You can buy them at the store or make your own at home. To make your own, simply line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven safe baking rack on top of the foil. Line up strips of bacon on the rack and bake on center rack in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove from oven, allow to cool and pat some of the grease off with paper towels.

Spoonful of green pea salad.

Can I make pea salad the night before?

Yes, you can prepare this pea salad recipe ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you need it. Just make sure to store the pea salad in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. This step actually allows you to skip the thawing process, as the peas will thaw in the fridge on their own.

Can pea salad be frozen? 

No. This pea salad recipe is not the type of salad you can freeze. The dairy involved with the salad turns out pretty gross after thawing. Prepare this salad the day of or the day before you plan to serve it.

Overhead view of pea salad with bacon.

How healthy are frozen green peas?

Frozen peas are one of the healthiest vegetables available. They’re full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A lot of diets use peas to replace the protein you get from meat, making it a staple in vegetarian and vegan diets. Plus, they are easy to grow and cheap to buy.

Are peas ok on a keto diet? 

Peas are not included in most low carbohydrate diets, including the keto diet. This is because peas contain sugars and starches that can quickly turn into sugar during digestion. However, if you’re looking for low-carb diet options, you can replace the peas with chopped lettuce or cucumber. 

What main meals go well with pea salad? 

This is a side dish that goes well with almost any main meal. You can serve it inside tacos or wraps, on top of lettuce for a salad, or by itself as an appetizer. It is also a wonderful way to balance out dishes commonly found at a cookout or barbecue.

Green pea salad in a white bowl.

The Best Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon

This creamy pea salad is the perfect dish to take to any potluck party or picnic. It's light, healthy and full of flavor. It's made with peas, red onion, cheddar cheese, sour cream, mayo, cider vinegar and seasoning. It can be prepared in a matter of minutes too. This  classic pea salad recipe will be your new favorite go-to for summer salads!
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Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Creamy Pea Salad, Pea Salad, Pea Salad with Bacon
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 333kcal

Ingredients

  • 32 Ounces Frozen Peas thawed
  • 8 Ounces Cheddar cubed
  • 1 Red Onion slivered
  • cup Mayonnaise
  • Cup Sour Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Dill
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 3 Ounces Real Bacon Bits *See notes below to make them at home (you may substitute with

Instructions

Step 1: Prep the Pea Salad Ingredients

  • Place frozen peas in a colander and gently rinse with cold water to help thaw out. Take care to not saturate the peas or damage the shells. While peas continue to thaw, thinly slice the red onion and set aside. Cut the cheddar cheese into half inch cubes and set aside.

Step 2: Combine the ingredients

  • Take a paper towel and pat dry the peas in the colander. Then, add them to a large bowl. Next, add the sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and dill to the bowl with the peas. Gently fold the ingredients together until a creamy dressing has formed over the peas. Finally, add in the cheddar cheese cubes, sliced red onion and bacon bits and toss gently to combine.

Step 3: Serve and enjoy!

  • This salad can be served right away or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator before serving. I prefer to make it at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to marry in the bowl.

Notes

  • How do I make homemade bacon bits?

    You can use imitation bacon bits in this salad, but I highly recommend real bacon bits. You can buy them at the store or make your own at home. To make your own, simply line a baking sheet with foil and place an oven safe baking rack on top of the foil. Line up strips of bacon on the rack and bake on center rack in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove from oven, allow to cool and pat some of the grease off with paper towels.
  • There are quite a few variations to this recipe since it’s been around for a long time. However, this combination is pretty classic. So, try it and adjust to your preferences. 
  • You can swap the mayonnaise for miracle whip and the cubed cheese for shredded, if it’s preferred. 
  • Do not over warm your peas. You simply want to warm them enough to where they’re not frozen, but not piping hot. You want them to still be cold, as this will save you chilling time. If you overheat the peas, no problem, just chill the salad before serving. 
  • This salad will keep in the fridge, covered properly, for up to 5 days. An airtight container would be best. I do not recommend freezing this salad due to the dairy it contains. 

Nutrition

Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 859mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1226IU | Vitamin C: 47mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 2mg
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