The Best Bacon Pea salad is a simple summer side that everyone loves. Tender sweet peas are mixed with bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and a bit of red onion for some zest. A simple mayonnaise based dressing is seasoned with a little vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Simple yet perfect.
Already sounds tasty, doesn’t it? This easy side is a welcome salad at any potluck and perfect served next to grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, and other delicious mains!
Classic Pea Salad
The list of ingredients alone will be enough to show how you can take sweet peas and turn them into the perfect side dish for potlucks and barbecues! Green pea salad is versatile, add in bell peppers or other favorite veggies, substitute leftover ham for the bacon, your favorite cheeses instead of cheddar, and ranch dressing if you don’t have sour cream and mayonnaise.
English pea salad is another favorite variation, add in diced hard boiled eggs. Now that’s one hearty side dish, more like a main course!
Do You Have to Cook Frozen Peas for Salad?
You really don’t have to cook frozen peas before making green pea salad. That’s because anytime you buy frozen vegetables, they’ve already been blanched. (In other words, partially cooked and quickly chilled.) This prevents the cell walls from bursting and turning vegetables into mush.
To make a sweet pea salad, buy frozen tiny peas, sometimes called baby peas or baby sweet peas. They contain more sugar, and make a nice complement to the saltiness of the bacon.
Simply run the peas under cold water to allow them to defrost.
How to Make Bacon Pea Salad
Here are the steps to making a delicious pea salad with bacon:
- Defrost the peas under cold water and cook the bacon until crispy and then crumble.
- Whisk the dressing ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Add the peas, bacon, and onion, and stir to coat with the dressing.
Voila. It’s so easy! To make creamy pea salad with fresh peas from the garden, shell the peas and place them in a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool completely. If you’d prefer, bacon bits can be substituted for bacon.
Can You Freeze Pea Salad?
In a word, no. Freezing pea salad is not recommended. The mayonnaise will separate, the sour cream will get grainy, and you’ll probably wind up with a yucky mush. It will keep in the refrigerator for a few days however, so make it ahead if you need to.
More Easy Sides
- Italian Pasta Salad – Everyone’s favorite pasta salad!
- Fresh Summer Fruit Salad – the best dessert!
- Sweet Potato Salad – a colorful and flavorful twist on a classic.
- Favorite Spaghetti Salad – Tender spaghetti loaded with fresh veggies and dressing
- Caprese Salad – the perfect way to enjoy garden tomatoes
The Best Pea Salad
- 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- 4 cups frozen peas defrosted
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- salt & pepper
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add peas, bacon, onion and cheese to the bowl and gently stir.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)