Sweet peas, salty bacon, and sharp cheddar cheese coated in a creamy, tangy dressing add up to an easy, tasty summer side dish. This bacon pea salad is a timeless favorite that is a great addition to any meal.
Pea Salad with Bacon
I have a thing for old-fashioned recipes. You know, the dishes found at every family gathering. The recipes that have been handed down from great-grandmas and aunts get me every time.
Pea salad ranks right up there with German Cucumber Salad when I think of the old-school classics. Sharing food and the stories and traditions that go along with them makes my heart happy.
I think that is why cookbooks that have stories along with the recipes are some of my favorites. I gave up on containing my cookbook collection long ago. I have no idea how many are in the house at this point. As far as collections go, it’s a pretty useful one.
Bacon Pea Salad
The combination of flavors and textures in this salad makes the ingredients a match made in heaven. The pea salad magic starts with a simple bag of frozen peas. Feel free to use fresh peas, if they’re available.
Frozen peas are flash-steamed before they’re frozen, so they’re already ready to eat. If you choose to use fresh peas, I recommend steaming them for a few minutes to soften the crunch slightly.
I do not recommend canned peas for this recipe. Period. The End. (No one in my family is a fan of canned peas, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever see a recipe here that calls for them.)
You can make this salad in less than 10 minutes. Thaw the frozen peas by placing them in a strainer and running cold water over them for a few minutes.
While the peas are thawing, slice the cheese into matchsticks. (The texture this provides is really great in the salad.) Yes, you can make this with shredded cheese if you prefer. But, please shred it yourself, and don’t be pre-shredded for this recipe. It’s well worth it.
The larger pieces of cheese combined with the round peas, diced red onions, and crumbled bacon create a flavorsome bite with the sweet vinegary dressing.
Recipe for Pea Salad with Bacon
To make this recipe you will need the following:
- frozen peas
- sharp cheddar cheese
- red onion
- sour cream
- white vinegar
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
While you can prepare this salad in mere minutes, allow a couple of hours for it to rest in the refrigerator before serving. This is a solid make-ahead option for potlucks and barbecues too, as it’s even better when made a day in advance.
Pea salad will keep nicely for up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stir before serving.
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Pea Salad with Bacon
- 16 ounces frozen peas thawed about 2½ cups
- 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
- ⅓ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded or cut into tiny matchsticks
- ¼ cup red onion finely diced
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper adjust to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add the peas, bacon, onion, and cheese to the bowl with the dressing. Stir to coat.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving, to allow the flavors to mingle. Taste and adjust the salt and pepper before serving.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Season with additional salt & pepper to taste.