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
4.97 from 205 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
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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.
4.97 from 205 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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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. One of my favorite side dishes during summer! Highly addicting! Every time I have brought this dish, there have been no leftovers! I slightly tweak recipe and use Le Sueur canned peas. In my opinion, they are so much better than frozen.

  2. My family and I have been making a version of this for many decades. Your dressing is bettee,! I also add hard boiled eggs diced up. Wonderful summer dish. Having it tonight with Fried chicken!5 stars

  3. I love peas salad and your recipe is a little different from mine but I am going to try yours hope it is as good as it looks thank you

  4. Used all the bacon I had, about half what’s called for. Didn’t have red onion so used yellow. Probably it could use the bacon. I tasted it before chilling, chef’s job. Really very tasty. My wife’s sudden desire for pea salad was the catalyst for making it & she’ll taste it in the morning.5 stars

    1. I definitely agree any good chef must perform quality control as you go! I hope she enjoys it!

  5. It is the pea salad I remember of my youth. I have a serving of it right in front of me.
    It is really good. I would take it to share as well.5 stars

  6. I’ve never had a ‘pea salad’ ever, but I love peas. WOW, who knew something so simple is that good! That recipe is a keeper!5 stars

  7. This recipe is so delicious and tangy just the right amount of vinegar. The mixture was a little thick so I added about 2 tablespoons of milk.

  8. This is so good. I’ve already made it twice in one week. I used a sweet onion instead of red. Thanks for a great side dish!!5 stars

  9. This is sooo tasty! If raw red onions are too strong for you, possibly saute them briefly, that usually takes out the “bite”. I did mine raw and love it that way, but we all have different tastes :) The onion powder was a good suggestion too for those who can’t do raw onions. This is a great salad!!5 stars

  10. My hubby loved this pea salad and I will be making it again per his request. I did use canned peas and tossed the salad gently after I added the dressing. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to add onion powder instead of the diced onion. Quick and easy to put together with great flavor. Made and reviewed for What’s On The Menu recipe tag game.5 stars

    1. So happy to hear you loved this salad as much as we do Lori! Onion powder would be a bit lighter. Thank you for sharing!

  11. I made this six months ago, enough for three meals. I split up what was left into two FoodSaver bags and FROZE them. I thawed one out yesterday to have with dinner tonight and it was just as fresh as the day I made it. So, YES, you can freeze it but probably only if you use a Food Saver System, not a ziplock.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for letting us know Steve, I haven’t tried freezing this so that is very helpful! Glad you enjoyed it!

  12. WOW! First batch, and we ate it all at dinner. Very refreshing. I’ll make a double batch next time. I’ll try it without the sugar, the peas are very sweet alone. I like to keep a couple cold salads in the fridge during the summer months. It keeps us from making bad food choices.5 stars

    1. I am thrilled that you enjoyed this salad Dawn! I too love to have cold salad ready for easy and healthier lunches on busy days!

  13. Made this bacon and pea salad today..it is to die for. Yummmm! I added a little dried dill weed to the dressing for a little added taste.

  14. Must tell you that your Easy Blueberry French Toast casserole was so delicious. Took it as a breakfast treat to a ceramic class and they loved it, as did my son who had to test it before it left the house just to make sure it was good.