Old Fashioned Pea Salad is the definition of tried and true! A summertime staple, this easy side dish recipe is a real classic. Peas, bacon, onions, and plenty of sharp cheddar cheese are tossed together in the BEST creamy dressing! Plate this retro recipe alongside chicken, steak, or any other entree of your choice for a dinner that everyone from the kids to the grandparents will love.

A bowl of pea salad is topped with cheese, bacon, and onions.

Old Fashioned Pea Salad

Retro recipes are so very in right now! I feel like every time I see videos lately, they’re all about classic recipes that our grandmothers used to make. While I’m not about to dive head first into making a shrimp jello ring or anything like that, I can appreciate the simple recipes like Old Fashioned Pea Salad. Peas, bacon, cheese, and onions all together in a bowl with creamy dressing? Yes, please!

Usually, when older recipes as referred to as “salads,” they’re typically not. Well, not in the modern sense at least. But this Pea Salad actually contains plenty of peas, which is obviously a veggie, making this way more of an actual salad in my mind! As it’s mainly peas, I consider this recipe to be one of my favorite healthier side dishes. I paired it with Chicken Kiev recently (another one of my favorite retro dishes), and it was amazing.

While I usually make this Pea Salad as a side dish on weeknights with my family, it’s also great to bring with you to potlucks and parties! The best part is, you know that virtually no one else will be bringing a classic recipe like Old Fashioned Pea Salad with them.

It always garners a lot of attention for being unique, and tons of compliments for being delicious! Oh, and it travels like a dream, so it can go to any party with you – no matter how far the drive may be.

The ingredients for pea salad are placed side by side in a white bowl.

How to Make It

This recipe comes together in just a few minutes. It’s great for making when you’re in a time crunch! The only hard part is waiting for it to chill in the fridge. If your patient, though, the chilled results are so very worth it!

Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise and vinegar together until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the salad ingredients to a bowl. In a larger bowl, add the peas, bacon, onion and cheese.

Toss it all together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.

Chill. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once it’s nice and cold, feel free to serve and enjoy!

Dressing is being poured into a bowl of tossed pea salad.

Tips for the Best Old Fashioned Pea Salad

  • The bacon tastes just fine when it’s mixed in with the other ingredients. However, if you want it to be extra crispy, you can just toss it into the mix right before serving. Just make sure it’s not hot.
  • Remember, your frozen peas should be thawed – not cooked! Just leave the peas in the fridge or on the counter until they’re no longer frozen.
  • Don’t add any salt or pepper to the dressing until after you’ve tasted it. When you do add salt and pepper, don’t go overboard! The bacon is already salty, so the dressing shouldn’t add to that saltiness too much. Plus, you want the dressing to compliment the pea salad, not overpower it.

Storing

In an airtight container in the fridge, Old Fashioned Pea Salad will stay fresh for about 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing Pea Salad.

A spoon is lifting a small portion of pea salad from the bowl.

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A spoon is lifting a small portion of pea salad from the bowl.

Get the Recipe: Old Fashioned Pea Salad

A classic, retro favorite side dish, Old Fashioned Pea Salad is simple to make in minutes with fresh or frozen peas in a creamy dressing.
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Ingredients

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup low fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

For the Salad:

  • 4 cups frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled or chopped
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Equipment

  • mixing bowl

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise and vinegar together until smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a larger bowl, add the peas, bacon, onion and cheese.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

To keep the bacon crispy, you can wait and add it right before serving.
Calories: 181kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 0.03g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 206mg, Potassium: 190mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 473IU, Vitamin C: 20mg, Calcium: 88mg, Iron: 1mg