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.


  • 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 204 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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  • 4 cups frozen peas thawed
  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • cup red onion diced


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


  • 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.


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 204 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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Recipe Rating


  1. I surprised my family with this awesome recipe! I will be making this weekly. I love pasta salad but carbs! Thank you again5 stars

  2. Old fashioned delish! So simple and good and a great blast from the past of my moms cooking. Without the bacon as she was a vegetarian!5 stars

  3. First time I made this I didn’t use sour cream and it was delicious! Just made it with sour cream and it’s a runny mess. Won’t be taking it to the get together I made it for.

  4. This is the best cold pea salad I’ve ever had. I’ve always added mustard, but this is way better. The sour cream, bacon and cheese are a delicious addition.5 stars

    1. This can be made a day ahead. I would suggest setting the bacon aside and adding before serving to keep it crisp.

    1. To.add to my original post I used red wine vinegar and left out the onion (for the kiddos)…adjust to your family. Loves it!5 stars

    1. As mentioned in the post Carriw, 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.

  5. This is a winner for sure. Taste great and is a nice side dish or salad. The peas were surprisingly sweet and crisp. The bacon added a nice smokey flavor with just the right amount of saltiness. I love red onions but they can be a bit inconsistent, some running hot or sweet, others strong and sharp. Just alter the amount based off your liking. I’m not a fan of ranch so the original dressing was wonderful. So glad I have added this in my winners rotation!5 stars

  6. I love your recipes but this one missed the mark. I made this recipe exactly as stated in the instructions. It was so soggy and just looked like mush. It was not a hit. I’ll definitely be back for more of your great recipes but this one was not one of them :(2 stars

  7. I was just about to start making this pea salad when I realized that I don’t have enough sour cream. Can I omit the sour cream and just use plain Mayo? I have all other ingredients on hand. Thanks!

    1. That should be ok, this will make it a bit richer and thicker. You can thin out with a touch of milk if needed. Greek yogurt or plain yogurt can be used.

  8. Love ❤️
    I make this salad all the time, for years!
    I use real bacon bits to simplify and if I cooked my own bacon —-It probably would never end up in the salad!
    5 stars

  9. I put salted peanuts in it for crunch factor as the restaurant in Mi did 40 yrs ago. They used the old fashion type peanuts not dry roasted.5 stars

  10. Bacon hack—I saw this on a TV cooking show. For easier diced or crumbled bacon, freeze the bacon strips, chop them while still mostly frozen, then toss into the pan to fry. Easier to chop, easier to fry (more stirring than flipping strips). Be sure the drain well on paper towels.

      1. I usually Bake a whole package of bacon at 400° for 20 minutes, flip halfway through. Drain on paper towels, wrap in a paper towel and freeze in Ziplock bag. Whenever I need bacon for a recipe it’s in the freezer ready to chop up or throw in an omelette. It really simplifies recipes when this is pre-cooked.