Easy Bacon Pea Salad

Easy Bacon Pea Salad with Cheddar Cheese. Perfect for Easter or any time! www.foodiewithfamily.com

Salad and I are like *THIS*. That probably comes at no surprise at this point. What you may not know, though, is that I have an especially soft spot for marinated salads. You know which ones I mean… The ones that fill bowl after bowl at late spring and summer parties. The ones in oil and vinegar or mayonnaise based dressings that become even tastier the day after they’re made. Macaroni salad, potato salad, corn salad, and baby… that pea salad you see in the picture above.

Even when I was a picky kid, peas were always a friendly food at the dinner table. A bowl of peas meant I had something I could dig into with abandon. I always loved the little POP of biting into peas. I love them so much that I’ve even been known to dig into the bag of frozen peas for a fast, cold snack in the dog days of summer.

When I saw my friend Amy’s Pea Salad pop up in my feed reader a couple of weeks ago, it was a no-brainer that I was going to make it. I did. And it was glorious. The next day when I made my second batch (I told you I liked peas), I added a bunch of crispy bacon and upped the cheddar and onion a bit and loved it so much that we polished off the whole batch  in a matter of hours. Yes. I’ve done the math. I am completely aware of how many pounds of peas we ate in two days.

I self-imposed a two-day moratorium on pea-salad in the house.

But PEOPLE! (Pea-ple?) Easy Bacon Pea salad? Well, it’s like hand and glove, Rocky and Bullwinkle, peas and, er, bacon! It just goes together. I haven’t done anything but eat it directly from the tupperware container with a spoon, yet, but I guarantee you couldn’t find a tastier  or easier side dish for just about any grilled, roasted, or broiled meat or fish.

The sweet POP of the pea, creamy mayonnaise dressing, crunchy mild red onion, and crispy bacon taste great right after being stirred together, but they taste even better after having sat in the refrigerator for a day, making this an IDEAL side dish to serve with an Easter Ham, summer picnics, Labor Day festivities and everything else the whole dad-burned year. Easy peasy, my pea-ple!

Easy Bacon Pea Salad with Cheddar Cheese. Perfect for Easter or any time! www.foodiewithfamily.com

 Cook’s Notes:

  • I prefer to use frozen peas that have thawed overnight in the refrigerator. I prefer the texture and flavour of them over canned peas. If you have fresh peas, blanch them as you would to freeze them and use them after they’ve chilled.
  • We served scoops of this on top of salad the other day and loved it. Bonus: No dressing necessary.
  • This can be served immediately after stirring it together, but tastes even better if allowed to sit, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for an hour or up to three days. It should be eaten within 3 days of being made, which is NOT a problem. Trust me.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Bacon Pea Salad
Adapted from and with thanks to the talented Amy of She Wears Many Hats.
  • 1 pound of bacon, cooked according to package instructions, drained and crumbled or finely chopped
  • 2 pounds frozen peas, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
  • ¾ cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ small red onion, peeled, and finely chopped
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  1. Stir together all of the ingredients and serve immediately, or (preferably) put in a tupperware, Gladware, or other tightly covered container in the refrigerator to give the flavours a chance to meld for an hour but up to three days prior to serving. Give it a gentle stir from top to bottom before serving.

This post was originally published April 7th, 2014.



  1. says

    I’d be just like you and eat it out of the container, opting to make and finish the bowl before the rest of the family got home so I wouldn’t have to share. I love marinated salads as well so I can already tell that this’ll have to get made.

  2. Ginny McMeans says

    What a beautiful and refreshing salad. It reminds me of one that my mom use to make. I will absolutely make this. Thanks.

  3. Rie says

    I will be making this for sure. How can anything be bad with a POUND of bacon in it. I’d eat my own elbow if it was wrapped in bacon. YUM!!!!

  4. jeri says

    This sounds perfect for a make-ahead side dish for Easter. I was thinking of lamb this year, so I’ll probably throw some fresh mint in too.

  5. Sherri says

    My mom used to make a salad very similar to this, only it had chopped hard boiled eggs and no bacon. I MUST try this; bacon makes everything better!

  6. says

    I saw this floating around the internet today, and kept thinking how I LOVE all these flavors. What a great side dish to serve alongside something off of the grill – lamb chops?

  7. says

    This would be a wonderful side for a spring family reunion. I mean, I’d eat this anytime. You kind of had me won over at the word “bacon.” LOL!

    All the best,

  8. margaret says

    I make a variation of this salad sans the bacon, and add sliced green olives. Think I might try with bacon next time. A good trick if you only have frozen peas, add the frozen peas directly to the hot pasta, will defrost the peas quickly. Than let cool, add other ingredients, and let chill in fridge. Definetely sooo much better the next day:)

  9. Rhonda says

    Just made this and it is fantastic!!!! My hubby thought it was the best pea salad he has ever had. I do agree. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. Amanda says

    I made this salad a few days ago i changed a few things up just a tad not that it needed it however lol i used 3lbs of frozen peas to accommodate a larger crowd for a dinner party. I only used the 1/2 small red onion for the 3 pounds of peas along with that i cooked up 12ozs of fresh bacon and used a 2.8oz package of real bacon bit pieces i put 8ozs of fresh grated sharp cheddar and mixed 1/2 a cup of bacon ranch dressing with the mayo. EVERYONE RAVED OVER THIS DISH ALL NIGHT Thanks so much! Also with the leftovers to add a different dimension to it i sprinkled some crunchy imitation bacon bits on top which was truly superb.

  11. jaimus says

    You can also add fresh dill, its fantastic! Ive even made it vegan…used veganaise, chopped carrots and red onions fresh dill and salt and pepper. And a little pinch of smoked paprika! Surprisingly amazing!

  12. Amy Rundstrom says

    Oh my. Oh my, oh my, oh my! This was SO GOOD! It was like an upscale version of the 7 Layer Salad (which I’m a bit embarrassed to admit I love as much as I do). I did end up using a bit more may than called for to make it all come together, he first time I made it I found out my red onion was, um, bad (to put it mildly) so I used green onions instead. Wonderful – with either kind of onion. And I pretend like it’s health food…what with the peas and onions, you see….

  13. Janet says

    I had a pea salad that was bought at a deli today and decided I wanted to make some myself, this looks yummy, I will also add waterchesnuts, they were in the salad I ate to day and it added a nice different crunch to the lushes’ pea crunch

  14. Bluegrass state blonde says

    Made this salad for a Mothers Day get together. My family ate every last bite of it. I used a tad bit more mayo than what recipe called for. Also– ’round here we love Dukes Mayo.

    Such a delightful recipe. Thanks for sharing this keeper!

  15. says

    Hi, can you please tell me how many servings this makes? I’d like to make it for an upcoming women’s club lunch, and I need to make a salad for eight people. Thanks.

    • says

      I always hesitate to suggest how many servings you can get out of something, mainly because my family is comprised of ravenous beasts. If you look at the starting point, though, it’s 2 pounds of peas, so divide that by 8 and you have roughly 1/4 pound of peas per person. Since there’s about 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of peas in a pound, that means you’re looking at 1/4 to 1/3 cup per person before other ingredients are added. If that seems sufficient, go with it. If not, I’d say increase it! 😀

  16. Tery says

    I substituted store bought Poppy-seed dressing and added sunflower seeds! The crowd I made it for devoured it!

  17. Betsy says

    I have been making this for 20 years but my partners hates peas. Is there any suggestions to switch out peas for something else and still taste good?


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