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Classic Pea Salad

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This classic pea salad has sweet peas, salty bacon, and cubed cheddar, all wrapped in a delicious mayo sour cream dressing. You’re going to love bringing this salad to your next BBQ!

Classic Pea Salad in a white bowl.

Have you ever had pea salad?

Pea salad is a classic (some may say it’s old-fashioned,) recipe, that is a delightful combination of salty bacon, cheesy cheddar, spicy red onions, and sweet peas, smothered in a tangy and savory mayonnaise and sour cream dressing. 

It’s super easy to make and comes together in about 15 minutes!

Served cold, you can easily make this salad a day before your big party.

Trust me, you gotta try this pea salad!

Ingredients to make pea salad on a table.

Ingredients for pea salad

For salad:

  • Frozen peas – Frozen is perfect to use here! They’re always super sweet and ripe. 
  • Cooked bacon – Bacon brings a crispy, salty and meaty bite to the mix.
  • Cheddar cheese – Cubed cheddar cheese is sharp and earthy; the perfect cheese to stand on its own in this salad.
  • Red onion – Raw red onion is crunchy and gives a slightly spicy bite.

For dressing:

  • Mayonnaise – Feel free to use your favorite homemade or store-bought varieties.
  • Sour cream – Sour cream gives a great creaminess to the dressing.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Slightly sweeter than regular red wine vinegar, ACV is the perfect balance of sour and sweet.
  • Granulated sugar – All things need balance, a sprinkle of sugar helps bring the dressing together!
Classic Pea Salad ingredients in a bowl not yet stirred.

Cutting some calories

If you’re looking to cut back on some of the calories, and increase the amount of protein in this salad, you could use half the required mayo, and replace the rest with plain Greek yogurt.

Also, make sure the yogurt says plain, and not vanilla.

Plain Greek yogurt is still creamy and tangy, but has fewer calories than mayo, and has the benefit of added protein. 

How to get a perfect pea

Frozen vegetables are an excellent buy because they are frozen at the peak of ripeness, so you’re always guaranteed the best-tasting veggie!

Make sure they are only halfway thawed. If they’re completely thawed or at room temperature, they may break down when you go to stir them in.

If you’d instead use freshly shelled peas, that would be a perfect substitute here!

Lightly steam your freshly shelled peas, and cool them completely before adding them to the salad.

I do not recommend using canned peas here, they are too soft and will instantly fall apart upon stirring.

Classic Pea Salad in a bowl topped with extra bacon.

Storage and leftovers

This pea salad is arguably better the next day!

Storing leftovers is easy. This pea salad keeps nicely in an airtight container in the refrigerator and will last up to 2 days. 

More salad recipes

Classic Pea Salad

Classic Pea Salad

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

This classic pea salad has sweet peas, salty bacon, and cubed cheddar, all wrapped in a delicious mayo sour cream dressing. You’re going to love bringing this salad to your next BBQ!


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 cups frozen peas, thawed halfway
  • 1 cup chopped cooked bacon
  • 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper until well combined. 
  2. Add the green peas, cheese, and red onion and toss in the prepared dressing until well combined. 
  3. Cover the salad and serve it chilled. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 612mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 16g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

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Classic Pea Salad pin for Pinterest.


Thursday 1st of September 2022

Your pea salad is one of the rare my kids would eat. Can't thank you enough!

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