Classic Pea Salad

The Classic Pea Salad is a delightful and refreshing dish, often celebrated for its simplicity and vibrant flavors. This traditional salad primarily features peas as the star ingredient, which are typically used in their sweet, tender, and slightly crisp form. Fresh green peas are ideal, but frozen peas, thawed to room temperature, can also be used effectively.

The peas are mixed with a variety of complementary ingredients that add both texture and flavor. Common additions include diced red onions, offering a sharp, slightly spicy counterpoint to the sweetness of the peas. Crunchy elements such as chopped celery or even bell peppers are often included, lending a fresh, crisp texture. For a creamy component, hard-boiled eggs, diced into small pieces, are a popular choice. Their rich, savory flavor harmonizes beautifully with the other ingredients.

A hallmark of the Classic Pea Salad is its dressing, which is typically a blend of mayonnaise and sour cream. The mayonnaise provides a creamy, slightly tangy base, while the sour cream adds a rich, velvety texture and a hint of acidity. To this, a variety of seasonings can be added: a pinch of sugar to balance the flavors, salt, and black pepper for seasoning, and sometimes a touch of vinegar or lemon juice for a bright, zesty kick.

Cheddar cheese is another frequent addition, often shredded or cut into small cubes. Its sharpness and creamy texture make it a perfect complement to the bright, fresh flavors of the peas and vegetables. Some variations also include crispy bacon bits, which offer a smoky, savory depth.

Before serving, the salad is usually chilled for a period, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify. This chilling process makes the Classic Pea Salad a particularly popular dish for warm weather, as it’s served cool and refreshing.

The final presentation of the Classic Pea Salad is often garnished with fresh herbs like parsley or dill, adding a pop of color and a fresh aroma. The salad is versatile, served as a side dish at picnics, barbecues, or as a complement to a variety of main courses.

In summary, the Classic Pea Salad is a harmonious blend of sweet peas, crunchy vegetables, rich eggs and cheese, dressed in a creamy, flavorful dressing, making it a beloved dish for its ease of preparation and delightful combination of textures and tastes.


  • 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

How To Make Classic Pea Salad

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayo, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and salt until combined.
  2. Add peas, bacon, onion, and cheese to bowl and gently stir to coat in dressing.
  3. Chill until ready to serve, but at least 1 hour. Garnish with more crispy bacon if desired before serving. Enjoy!
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