This Pea salad recipe is a simple side dish that everyone loves.

Sweet peas, bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and a bit of red onion is tossed in an easy creamy dressing.

Since this uses frozen peas, it’s quick to make all year long!

The Best Bacon Pea Salad in a bowl

Ingredients in Pea Salad

This easy pea salad is jam-packed with flavor. It’s the perfect side dish for potlucks or next to a holiday meal like Easter brunch or Thanksgiving dinner!

Peas – Frozen peas are the best option for this salad as they’re sweet, tender, and don’t require cooking. To make pea salad with fresh garden peas, shell them and boil them for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool completely.

Add-Ins – I add crisp bacon, cheddar cheese, and red onion.

Variations

  • Use real bacon bits in place of cooked and crumbled bacon.
  • We love sharp cheddar cheese best in this pea salad recipe but you can swap in your favorite cheeses.
  • Green onion or sweet white onion can be used in place of red onion.
  • Chopped boiled eggs can be added if you’d like.

Dressing—This tangy and creamy pea salad dressing takes just a couple of minutes to prepare. Mayo is mixed with sour cream, a splash of vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Simple yet perfect.

  • For a lighter dressing, replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt.
Pea Salad ingredients in a clear bowl before mixing together

Holly’s Tips

  • You do not need to cook frozen peas to make green pea salad – run them under cold water to thaw.
  • Any frozen peas work but tiny peas, sometimes called baby peas or baby sweet peas contain more sugar and are preferred.
  • The dressing in the recipe is quick and adds the best flavor; you can replace it with Ranch dressing or premade coleslaw dressing in a pinch.
Closeup of Pea Salad

How to Make Bacon Pea Salad

Here are the steps to making a delicious pea salad with bacon:

  1. Thaw the peas by running them under cold water.
  2. Cook the bacon until crispy and then crumble.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients (recipe below) in a large mixing bowl. Add the peas, bacon, and onion, and stir to coat with the dressing.

Voila. It’s so easy!

Got Leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days. This pea salad does not freeze well.

More Veggie Salads

This classic pea salad is perfect on any potluck table. Here are more favorite quick salads.

The Best Bacon Pea Salad in a bowl
4.98 from 202 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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The Best Bacon Pea Salad

Bacon Pea salad is a creamy, flavorful side made with sweet baby peas, cheddar cheese, bacon, and red onion.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cool Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients  

  • 4 cups frozen peas thawed
  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • cup red onion diced

Dressing

  • cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, and white vinegar. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper.
  • Add peas, bacon, onion, and cheese to the bowl and gently stir to coat.
  • Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Season with additional salt & pepper to taste.

Notes

Frozen peas do not need cooking. Thaw them quickly by placing them in a colander and running cold water over them.
To make pea salad with fresh garden peas, shell them and boil them for 5-8 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool completely.
To save on cleanup, whisk the dressing in the same bowl where you’ll be mixing the salad.
Garnish with additional bacon and cheese if desired. 
Leftover salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. Stir before serving.
4.98 from 202 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 301 | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 336mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 965IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Lunch, Salad
Cuisine American
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The Best Bacon Pea Salad with creamy dressing and a title
The Best Bacon Pea Salad in a bowl and close up with a title

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Absolutely delicious!!! When I bring it to share with others they ask for the recipe and I direct them to your website – Thanks so much!!!5 stars

  2. Hands down the best pea salad recipe that you will find ANYWHERE!! This was a hit with my husband, AND with me!! I followed the recipe to a T and it came out perfecto!! Thank you so much for publishing this!!5 stars

  3. I was looking for an option with fresh peas and although I questioned cooking them like you suggested, I did it against my better judgment. I would hope you take that suggestion out of your recipe. it was a shame to grow, shell and then use them in this manor. Especially the quantity. Would have been better with fresh peas, especially if you don’t like cooked peas.3 stars

    1. Hi Lisa, we do find frozen peas are the best option as they are already blanched before frozen. And while we haven’t tried this recipe with uncooked garden peas, if you don’t like cooked peas then fresh would be a good alternative. Love to hear how it turns out if you attempt it again.

    2. Holly specifically stated that frozen peas are the best option for this recipe, but if you prefer fresh garden peas, shell them and cook 5-8 minutes OR until tender. Surely if you grow peas, you would know how long to cook them for a cold pea salad. It seems unfair to give this recipe a lower rating based on your mistake. This recipe is delicious as written!

  4. Taking this to picnic today ! I have taken it before and it was requested again this year5 stars

  5. Made it today for a BBQ. This is crazy good. I feared it would be too sweet, but definitely not – it’s perfect! The only thing I did (and always do) is soak the red onion in cold water for 10 minutes or so to take the bite out. I’ll absolutely be making this again (and again and again :)5 stars

  6. I made this for the second time today, such a nice summer salad. I skipped the cheese (preference) and it is perfect.5 stars

  7. Thank you for sharing your recipe! I made it once and my husband raved over it and asked me to make it for an event he was cooking for at the local Senior Center. Well everyone loved it. I am now using it for my favorite go to recipe especially when we have people over. Again Thank you!

  8. I made your Dill Pickle Pasta Salad and OMG, it was to die for. My sister and my daughter loved it as much as I did.
    Can’t wait to try this one! I love your recipes.