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Pea Salad served in two separate bowls.

Recipe for Pea Salad

Summer time for us is always jam-packed with cookouts, parties, and get-togethers. We host plenty of them but always like to bring a dish along when invited to others’ homes. This recipe for pea salad is easy to make and transport. Plus, it’ll have the whole crowd asking for the recipe….pssst…send them my way?

Normally, I like to cover a dish’s origin, maybe tell a little story, or talk about why I think a dish is important. However, this is pea salad and I don’t know who created the recipe or where it originated.

All I know is it’s cold, it’s damn good, and it’s super easy to make.

So let’s jump right in!

Ingredients for Pea Salad

Like I said before, this is so easy to make and I even cut out a step I think most people may find a little strange.

I use frozen peas. I know that in itself isn’t different than most, but what I mean is that I don’t thaw them at all. Just dump the frozen peas in a big bowl. This isn’t going to take long at all to make so it can be made way ahead of time. The peas will thaw in the fridge or on the way to your party.

Unless you don’t eat meat or pork you’ll definitely want some bacon in there. I personally like to cook mine on a Blackstone Griddle. Mainly because I can cook a lot of it at once. That way you can get our slices cooked up for the pea salad recipe and breakfast all at the same time.

The cheese is also a pretty big part of this as well. I personally feel like sharp cheddar is too overpowering and that American cheese is too soft in its texture. So I always opt for Mild Cheddar. It has just enough flavor that it compliments the other flavors and holds its texture nicely.

Some diced red onion is essential to me for a great pea salad. Again, it adds a crunch of texture and has a distinct flavor that adds another level. I don’t think I would go with a yellow or white onion here but to each their own. If anything I would just leave it out. So if you don’t love red onions skip it all together I think.

The remaining ingredients are all for the dressing so to speak. So be sure to grab some sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley, kosher salt, black pepper, and sugar.

Pea salad served and photographed from above.

How to make Pea Salad

This is pretty darn simple. Start by cooking up some bacon and then letting it cool and drain on some paper towels. Once the bacon has cooled dice, crumble, or cut it into bits.

Next, dice up the red onion and slice the mild cheddar cheese block into small cubes.

Now, pour the frozen peas into a bowl and gently stir the onion, bacon, and cheese into the peas.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley, kosher salt, black pepper, and sugar.

Pour the dressing mix over the pea mixture and gently stir to combine. One of the best parts about using frozen peas is that you don’t have to worry about mushing them up at this stage. They’ll be just fine.

Lastly, cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. This allows time for the flavors to combine and the peas to fully thaw.

In Conclusion

This recipe for Pea Salad is possibly one of the easiest side items that could be made. However, it’s always one of the most talked about at any gathering. It pairs well with almost every grilled or smoked meat and the more commonly seen cookout side dishes.

Pea salad stands on its own in texture from the crunch to the softness as well as its flavor profile from sweet, vinegary, creamy, and comforting.

I hope you give this a shot and let me know what you think in the comments. If there’s anything you added that took it to the next level, let us know.

That’s why we’re here in the Chicken Fried Kitchen community, to share and cook better together.

Thanks for stopping in and as usual…

Happy Cooking,


Recipe for Pea Salad

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Chicken Fried Kitchen Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy




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Total time





Pea salad is so easy and full of flavors and textures which is what makes it such a popular dish at any summer cookout or gathering.


  • 4 Cups 4 Frozen Peas

  • 8 Slices 8 Bacon, cooked and crumbled

  • 8 Oz 8 Mild Cheddar, cubed

  • 1/2 1/2 Red Onion-diced

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Sour Cream

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Mayonnaise

  • 1 Tbsp. 1 Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 tsp. 1 Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

  • 1 Tbsp. 1 Sugar

  • 1/4 tsp. 1/4 Kosher Salt

  • 1/4 tsp. 1/4 Black Pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl stir together the peas, bacon, onion, and cheese.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour the dressing over the pea mixture, stirring to fully cover the peas.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the peas have completely thawed.
  • Serve and enjoy!

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