This creamy Loaded Pea Salad with bacon and cheddar cheese is served chilled and bursting with fresh flavor! It’s the perfect summer potluck dish that everyone loves!
Easy Creamy Pea Salad With Bacon
This refreshing and creamy Pea Salad is the perfect side dish for spring and summer! You might be thinking, why would I want a salad filled with peas? Trust me, you do. It’s also full of bacon bits, cheddar, and creamy mayonnaise dressing. But tasting is believing… so try it! You won’t regret it.
While it will pair wonderfully with whatever you’ve got on the grill this summer, it’s also one of my favorite side salads to put together year round. It takes literally 5 minutes to prepare, and then you’re done! This pea salad is easy to toss together, can be made ahead, and travels great, making it the perfect potluck or party side dish!
For this chilled pea salad you’ll need 9 simple ingredients. Round up the following:
- Frozen Peas: I like to use frozen peas because they have the best texture once thawed.
- Bacon: I used 6 slices, sliced into ¼ inch pieces, cooked and crumbled. This is my favorite way to cook bacon in the oven.
- Cheddar Cheese: you’ll need an 8 oz block, cut into small cubes. You can also use shredded cheese if you want or already cubed cheddar cheese.
- Sour Cream: You can substitute plain full fat greek yogurt for the sour cream.
- Fresh Dill: I like to use fresh minced dill for the best flavor, however you can also use ½ teaspoon dried dill.
- Salt and Pepper
- Red Onion: You’ll only need a few thin slices, so I recommend picking up a small red onion. If you aren’t a raw red onion fan, you can use a shallot instead.
How to Make Pea Salad
Like I said above, this pea salad won’t take you more than 5 minutes to throw together. All you have to do is mix the ingredients and the dressing together, and you’ve got yourself a creamy side salad!
Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, place peas, bacon, cheddar cheese and toss to combine.
Make Dressing: Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper together and pour over peas. Add onions and stir to combine.
Serve or Store: Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
Tips for Success
Here are some tips and tricks for the best pea salad results!
- To Defrost the Frozen Peas: run them under cold water; you don’t have to cook them because frozen peas have already been blanched.
- Canned Peas vs Frozen Peas: you can use canned peas, but they won’t have the same crunch as thawed frozen peas. If you are using canned peas, be sure to drain them well.
- Refrigerate Salad Before Serving: I usually serve the salad immediately, but if you let the salad sit in the fridge for a little bit, you can serve it extra cold and crunchy.
- Ranch Flavored: Another option for this pea salad is to skip the salt, pepper and fresh dill and use a tablespoon (or more!) of ranch seasoning!
What Goes with Pea Salad?
You may be wondering what to prepare with this pea salad. To me, pea salad goes great with a variety of dishes, but I have had it most commonly served at potlucks (where everything goes!), with grilled dishes or bbq. Here are a few suggestions:
- Grilled Meat: Anything from Grilled Flank Steak to Grilled Chicken Breasts would go great with pea salad; or go for something unique and try out this Grilled Rosemary Honey Mustard Chicken!
- Pulled Pork: A pulled pork sandwich goes great with pea salad! I have a great recipe for Crockpot Pulled Pork that is super easy, but seriously delicious.
- Corn: It’s another side dish, but Grilled Corn would be a great addition. Or how about Mexican Street Corn!
- More Potluck Dishes: There are so many! Here are a few favorites: Grape Jelly Meatballs, Cheesy Potato Casserole (or also commonly called Funeral Potatoes!) and The Best Baked Beans.
How to Store Leftovers
Store any leftover pea salad in an airtight container, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Do not freeze – the mayonnaise dressing will separate.
Can I Make This Ahead?
Yes! This pea salad makes a great make ahead party side dish. Follow all directions in the recipe, but DO NOT add the bacon. Save the crispy bacon in a separate container and add it right before serving, this will make sure it doesn’t get soggy.
more Yummy salad recipes
Here are some more delicious salad recipes that I think you will enjoy:
- Dill Pickle Pasta Salad
- Greek Salad with Greek Salad Dressing
- Easy Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Copycat Maggiano’s Chopped Salad
- Greek Pasta Salad
- Creamy Tuna Macaroni Salad
- Creamy Waldorf Salad
- Mediterranean Orzo Pasta Salad
- Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint
- Creamy Chicken Pasta Salad
Loaded Pea Salad
- 4 cups frozen peas
- 6 slices bacon, sliced ¼ inch pieces, cooked and crumbled
- 8 oz block cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill, minced or ½ teaspoon dried dill
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 thin slices red onion
- In a large bowl, place peas, bacon, cheddar cheese and toss to combine.
- Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper together and pour over peas. Add onions and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
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