easy Green Pea Salad with bacon

Sweet green peas are mixed with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, and zesty onion and wrapped up in a creamy dressing. Mixed in are some new ingredients like sugar snap peas, tortilla strips, and water chestnuts to give this summer favorite salad a delicious upgrade. The best part is that this salad is mixed up and in the fridge in less than 30 minutes!

Serve up this salad alongside your favorite grilled chicken, burger, or hot dogs for a perfect grill-out companion.

A bowl of green pea salad with fresh peas, bacon, shredded cheese, and more.

easy Green Pea Salad

This salad is cr-az-y easy to make and serve! Frozen peas keep this fast and easy and this salad is perfectly suited to customize to your family's faves. Make it up in advance of a cookout or picnic to keep your day easier. This salad always looks vibrant and fresh on the table.

This recipe can be changed up and adapted to suit your family's preferences or your pantry. Swap out gouda or pepper jack cheese, swap diced ham or chicken for the bacon, use fresh chopped chives in place of the onion, even pull out your own favorite dressing to mix it up with instead of the recipe's version. You can't go wrong!

Ingredients for green pea salad recipe. Bacon, sweet peas, cheddar cheese, onion, sour cream.

Key Ingredients:

Easy peasy ingredients that most everyone has in their kitchen, right now.

  • Frozen peas. Frozen peas work fantastic with this recipe because it allows for you to make it in advance and, as the salad melds in the fridge, the peas thaw and become that perfect "pop" in your mouth.
  • Fresh pea pods, optional. Fresh pea pods give additional texture, color, and freshness. Skip them if you don't have any on hand.
  • Water chestnuts. Heck yes! Don't skip these for additional texture and crunch. So good!
  • Celery. Celery adds additional nutrition, texture, and color.
  • Onion. With all of that sweetness from the peas and richness from the bacon, onion adds a needed kick.
  • Cheddar cheese. Perfect with bacon and sweet peas, cheddar cheese gives a fun color as well as that creamy flavor.
  • Bacon. Oh my, bacon adds EVERYTHING to this salad. You can skip it, of course, if you are vegan or don't eat pork and still have a tasty salad. But bacon and peas. Bacon and cheese. Bacon and...anything. Always bacon.
  • Tortilla strips. Add these right before serving to keep them crispy and give delicious crunch to the dish.

Side note: I was trying to figure out the difference between Sweet Pea Salad and English Pea Salad. It appears the addition of hard-boiled eggs makes the classic Pea Salad into the English Pea Salad. Correct me if I am wrong, will you!

Ingredient swaps to try in this recipe:

  • Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • Honey instead of sugar.
  • Jicama or apple instead of water chestnuts.
  • Grilled chicken instead of bacon.
  • Try adding raisins, dried cranberries, or even walnuts.
  • Croutons or chow mein noodles instead of tortilla strips.
A spoonful of green pea salad with bacon and cheese

How to make:

  • Cook bacon, if needed. Try baking it in the oven to keep your stovetop nice and clean!
  • Combine the frozen peas, fresh pea pods, water chestnuts, celery, onion, cheese, and bacon. Stir it all together, and set aside. 
  • Combine the Miracle Whip, rice wine vinegar, sour cream, sugar, honey Dijon mustard, garlic, seasoned pepper, and salt, and blend until well mixed. 
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to coat all salad ingredients. 
  • If serving immediately, add tortilla strips to salad. If making ahead; cover the bowl, and put it into the fridge until ready.

Do you have to cook the frozen peas?

Nope! Using frozen peas helps them stay nice and firm in the salad. If, however, your frozen peas are frozen in a big chunk it would be wise to simply run some water on them and let them dry.

Make ahead/storage:

  • You can mix the dressing separately from the veggies several days prior to needing it. Simply add it to the veggies a few hours before serving.
  • Always add the tortilla strips right before serving to keep them crunchy and fresh.
  • I wouldn't recommend freezing this salad because Mayo and sour cream don't do well in the freeze/thaw cycle. Because this salad does so well being made in advance I would recommend that route, instead.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. If possible, serve leftovers with fresh tortilla strips.

If you are looking for easy and fresh salad ideas packed with nutrition and flavor you need to give my Cauliflower Potato Salad a try. A long time reader favorite, swapping out cauliflower for the potato makes for a surprisingly delicious (and healthy) dupe of the traditional Potato Salad. For real, give it a try!

Crunchy Pea Salad

This crunchy pea salad is bursting with flavors of Spring and fresh ingredients, that are tossed in a delicious dressing everyone will love. This is quick and easy to make, and you can make it ahead and keep it in the refrigerator ready to serve whenever you need it. This is sure to be a favorite. 
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Prep Time 15 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 466 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 16 ounce bag of frozen peas
  • 1 6 - 8 ounce package of fresh pea pods optional
  • 1 small can of sliced water chestnuts - drained
  • 4 stalks of celery - washed and sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion - peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of crumbled bacon - 8 slices
  • 1 15 - 16 ounce package of crunchy tortilla strips usually found with the salad toppings

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • 2 cups of Miracle whip
  • ¼ cup of rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup of low-fat sour cream
  • ¼ cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of honey Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of seasoned pepper
  • teaspoon of salt

Instructions
 

  • In a large serving bowl, combine the frozen peas, fresh pea pods, water chestnuts, celery, onion, cheese, and bacon. Stir all together, and set aside. 
  • Combine the Miracle Whip, rice wine vinegar, sour cream, sugar, honey Dijon mustard, garlic, seasoned pepper, and salt, and blend until well mixed. 
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss with two large spoons to coat all salad ingredients. 
  • If serving immediately, add tortilla strips to salad. If making ahead; cover bowl, and place in refrigerator until time to serve. Remove from refrigerator when ready to serve, and give the salad a good stir to make sure dressing is well blended. Add tortilla strips to salad just before serving. 

Notes

OPTIONAL: You can also add chopped red bell pepper, shredded carrots, cashews, peanuts, or chopped bok choy to the salad, or other favorite ingredients if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 466kcalCarbohydrates: 67gProtein: 10gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 1125mgPotassium: 372mgFiber: 6gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 1196IUVitamin C: 58mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 2mg
Keyword pea salad
Made this recipe?Mention miznelliebellie or tag #NBRecipes!

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