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Welcome to our classic recipe collection! Today, we’re excited to share a timeless favorite: Classic Pea Salad. This creamy and savory salad is perfect for picnics, potlucks, or as a side dish for any meal. With the sweetness of peas, the crunch of bacon, and the sharpness of cheddar cheese, this salad is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Let’s dive into the recipe!


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste as needed
  • 4 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, cubed small


Step 1: Prepare the Dressing

  1. Mix the Dressing: In a large mixing bowl, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, granulated sugar, apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Whisk until the ingredients are well blended and smooth.

Step 2: Prepare the Salad Ingredients

  1. Thaw the Peas: Place the frozen peas in a colander and run under cold water until thawed. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
  2. Cook and Crumble the Bacon: Cook the bacon slices in a skillet over medium heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain, then crumble into small pieces.
  3. Dice the Onion and Cube the Cheese: Dice the red onion finely and cut the cheddar cheese into small cubes.

Step 3: Assemble the Salad

  1. Combine the Ingredients: Add the thawed peas, crumbled bacon, diced red onion, and cubed cheddar cheese to the bowl with the dressing. Gently toss everything together until the ingredients are evenly coated with the dressing.

Step 4: Chill and Serve

  1. Chill the Salad: Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.
  2. Serve: Give the salad a quick toss before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed. Enjoy this creamy, crunchy, and savory pea salad!

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Bacon Options: For convenience, you can use pre-cooked bacon or bacon bits. However, freshly cooked bacon will provide the best flavor and texture.
  • Cheese Choices: While cheddar cheese is a classic choice, you can experiment with other cheeses such as Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, or even a sharp white cheddar for a different flavor profile.
  • Make-Ahead: This salad can be made a day in advance. The flavors will improve as it sits in the refrigerator.


Healthier Version

To lighten up this salad, substitute the sour cream and mayonnaise with Greek yogurt or a light mayo alternative. This will reduce the calorie content while maintaining the creamy texture.

Additional Vegetables

Add more crunch and color to the salad by mixing in diced bell peppers, shredded carrots, or chopped celery. These vegetables will add a refreshing crispness.

Herb Infusion

Enhance the flavor by adding fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, or chives. Simply chop the herbs and mix them into the salad.

Low-Carb Version

To make a low-carb version, ensure that all ingredients, including the mayonnaise and sour cream, are sugar-free and low-carb friendly. Additionally, use a sugar substitute for the granulated sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use canned peas instead of frozen?

While frozen peas are preferred for their firmness and sweetness, you can use canned peas in a pinch. Be sure to drain and rinse them well before using.

How long does this salad last in the refrigerator?

This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Give it a good stir before serving.

Can I add other proteins to this salad?

Yes, you can add additional proteins such as diced ham, grilled chicken, or hard-boiled eggs to make the salad more filling.

Is it necessary to chill the salad before serving?

Chilling the salad allows the flavors to meld together and enhances the overall taste. It’s highly recommended, but if you’re short on time, you can serve it immediately.

What can I serve with this pea salad?

This pea salad pairs well with grilled meats, sandwiches, or as part of a potluck spread. It also makes a great side dish for barbecues and picnics.

This Classic Pea Salad is a timeless dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Its creamy dressing, combined with the crunch of bacon and the sweetness of peas, makes it an irresistible addition to your meal. Whether you’re serving it at a family dinner, picnic, or potluck, this salad is sure to be a hit. Enjoy!

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