Creamy Pea Salad (One Bowl)
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The best classic, old fashioned, quick and easy green pea salad recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in one pot or bowl in 20 minutes. This cold Summer salad is loaded with tender green peas, creamy sour cream and mayonnaise dressing, crunchy onions, bacon and lots of cheddar cheese! Also known as English pea salad.
Every family has their own version of this recipe that’s been passed along generations from Grandmas, aunts and cousins, just like the classic Creamy Cucumber Salad (One Bowl) or the Best Creamy Macaroni Salad (One Bowl). They are also all super popular in the South and Midwest.
How to make pea salad with bacon?
- Mix together sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, shredded cheddar cheese.
- Add onions, green peas, cheddar cubes, bacon bits and mix.
What sides to serve with sweet pea salad recipe?
This is a fresh Summer salad that makes a delicious side dish with smoked, baked or grilled chicken, steak and even fish (salmon). It’s a classic side for picnics, potlucks and BBQ parties.
Try it with some of these family favorite main dishes:
- Grilled Chicken Breast (One Pan)
- Honey Garlic Chicken (One Pan)
- Chili Lime Chicken (One Pan)
- Garlic Butter Steak Bites (One Pan)
How to make creamy salad dressing?
All you have to do is mix together sour cream, mayo, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, shredded cheddar cheese until smooth and creamy. Mix in your favorite veggies and enjoy.
Layered pea salad– This is beautiful and composed of layering ingredients separately. Start off with a layer of lettuce, topped off with tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, cheddar cheese cubes, boiled eggs, creamy mayo sour cream dressing and finally, lots of bacon.
Make it spicy– By mixing in some red chili flakes.
Add herbs– Such as finely chopped parsley, chives, cilantro, basil, dill. You can also use dry herbs but fresh is always better, especially in Summer recipes.
Make it vegetarian– My omitting bacon.
Make it healthier– By using low fat mayo and sour cream and omitting bacon. Please note that it will not taste as good as my version.
Pea salad with egg– Mix in 2-3 diced hard boiled eggs.
Pasta salad with peas– Double the ingredients for the dressing and mix in 2 cups boiled macaroni.
Tips and Techniques
Use full fat ingredients– Especially when it comes to cheese, mayo and sour cream. The higher the fat content, the richer and creamier the end result.
Can I use canned peas or fresh peas? Yes, you can use them but I am not too fond of them because their texture is too soft and they tend to become “mushy” when you are mixing. However, if you still decide to use them, be sure to drain and rinse them. Fresh peas, on the other hand, taste amazing!
Do I need to thaw frozen peas? You don’t have to but please note that the salad can become slightly watery, as the peas thaw and and little ice crystals melt eventually.
Adjust quantities- This is a very versatile recipe. Add more or less of whatever you like or dislike.
Do I serve cold pea salad or heat it? It’s always served cold. Don’t heat it because some of the ingredients will loose their crunch.
Serve a crowd– Double or even triple this recipe to serve a lot of guests.
Let it rest- This is a very important step. You cannot serve this salad immediately. Allow it to rest and marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour because it allows the flavors to deepen.
Can I use real bacon instead of bacon bits? Yes. Cook 6-8 slices of bacon. Then, chop them up and mix into this salad.
What cheese to use? Use a combination of shredded and cubed cheddar. You can also just use one or the other. If you are not fond of cheddar, use any other cheese that you like.
What to do if salad dressing is too thick? The consistency of the dressing can sometimes vary, depending on the brand of ingredients you are using. Thin it out by mixing in a little bit of water or milk until you are satisfied with the consistency.
More Classic Salad Recipes
- Three Bean Salad (One Bowl)
- Creamy Broccoli Salad (One Bowl)
- Waldorf Salad Recipe (One Bowl)
- Creamy Grape Salad (One Bowl)
Easy Creamy Pea Salad
- 1 cup Mayonnaise, Full fat
- 1/2 cup Sour cream, Full fat
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar, Optional
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese, Shredded
- 1/2 cup Red onions, Finely chopped
- 1 Bag Frozen green peas, 16 oz. bag, Thawed
- 1/2 cup Cheddar cubes, Optional
- 1/2 cup Bacon bits
- In a large mixing bowl or salad bowl, add mayo, sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder, sugar, vinegar (optional), shredded cheddar cheese and mix until smooth and creamy.
- Add onions, peas, cheddar cubes (optional), bacon bits and mix until combined.
- Cover and chill for at least 1 hour for the flavors to deepen.
- Prior to serving, garnish with more bacon bits. Enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Happy cooking everyone!