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Classic Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon

This Classic Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon is a delicious side dish that is full of flavor with sweet peas, savory bacon, and bites of sharp cheddar cheese. Perfect for weeknight meals or easy to make ahead for special occasions, potlucks, or holidays.

bowl of Classic Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon and a napkin and spoon in the background

A Classic Side

If you have ever been to a potluck, then you most likely came across this classic side dish. This Creamy Pea Salad is a get-together staple for the best reasons. It has the perfect balance of sweetness from the cool peas and the creamy sauce with the savoriness of sharp cheddar and crispy bacon. And it can be made ahead of time so it’s an easy go-to staple for any bbq, party, or holiday.

cold pea salad in a bowl with a napkin and spoon in the background

Ingredients

  • Peas– the main ingredient and the key to success is using frozen peas. Do not use canned. In my opinion, they are way too soft and have a very different taste from frozen peas.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese– what doesn’t taste better with cheese? Sharp or mild will work well.
  • Red Onion– dice it small and it will really enhance the dish. If the onion flavor is too strong, soak the onion in cold water for up to thirty minutes, drain, and pat dry before mixing together. This will make it milder.
  • Bacon– this could be optional but it really adds a good savoriness to the dish.
  • Sour Cream and Mayonnaise– this combination makes it super creamy.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar– white vinegar also could be used if needed.

How to make it

This salad is so simple to make. All you have to do is:

  1. Mix- mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until it blends together.
  2. Fold – in the peas, cheese, onion, and bacon until everything is covered and the dressing is evenly throughout. If you prefer the bacon to be crispy, set it aside and mix in right before serving.
  3. Refrigerate– covered for at least an hour and up to 24 hours in advance.
  4. Store– covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad.

Variations

  • Try a variety of cheeses like Mozzarella or switch out the cubes for shredded cheese.
  • Take out the bacon for a meatless option.
  • Add diced boiled eggs to make it more of an English Pea Salad.
  • Bulk it up with some tomatoes or garnish with green onions.

Make ahead options

Pea Salad is perfect to make ahead! Just prepare per the recipe, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

I do not recommend freezing this salad. The mayonnaise and sour cream will lose their taste and texture and make it much less desirable.

side view of pea salad in a bowl

Frequently asked questions

How long does pea salad last?

This side dish will last in the refrigerator covered for up to 3 days.

Do you cook the peas for pea salad?

No, you do not need to cook the frozen peas since they are already flash-steamed before they are frozen. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight or run cool water over frozen peas and drain before making the recipe.

What goes well with Old Fashioned Pea Salad?

Pea salad is perfect for any occasion. Enjoy this side dish with barbeque meats, sandwiches, fried chicken, or bring to any potluck for a delicious meal.

close up of pea salad garnished with cheese and bacon on top

More delicious salad recipes

bowl of Classic Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon and a napkin and spoon in the background

Classic Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon

This Classic Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon is a delicious side dish that is full of flavor with sweet peas, savory bacon, and bites of sharp cheddar cheese. Perfect for weeknight meals or easy to make ahead for special occasions, potlucks, or holidays.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Refrigerate 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 239 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups frozen peas thawed
  • 4 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese cubed
  • 1/3 cup red onion diced
  • 8 slices cooked bacon diced or crumbled

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper until creamy.
  • Gently fold in peas, cheese, onion, and bacon into the bowl and combine until the dressing is evenly covering everything.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours before serving.

Notes

Tips:
* If you want the bacon crispy, add it in right before serving. Save a little for the top for a garnish!
* Store leftovers in the refrigerator covered for up to 3 days.
* Do not use canned peas. They will not have the same consistency or flavor as frozen peas.

Nutrition

Serving: 10gCalories: 239kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 12gFat: 15gSodium: 588mgSugar: 5g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Nutrition Facts
Classic Creamy Pea Salad with Bacon
Serving Size
 
10 g
Amount per Serving
Calories
239
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
15
g
23
%
Sodium
 
588
mg
26
%
Carbohydrates
 
13
g
4
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
12
g
24
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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