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This easy, healthy Pea Salad recipe is a tasty appetizer to bring to your next potluck or family gathering! Made with green peas, bacon, red onion, and cheddar cheese, plus a lightened up creamy dressing, it comes together in under 15 minutes!
Spring is officially here, and I say bring on all the spring recipes, like this Pea Salad!
Any recipe that can be made in 15 minutes from start to finish is my kind of recipe. Typically my go-to is this cannellini bean salad because it's light, flavorful and quick to prepare. This pea salad fits right into that category as well!
I like this salad for many reasons, but one of them is that it's actually HEALTHY! Peas are the base of the recipe, and yogurt is the base of the dressing, both of which are incredibly good for you. So, you should feel zero guilt if you accidentally eat half this salad for lunch one day.
- The perfect side dish or appetizer to bring to any summer gathering
- This pea salad is healthier than others because it uses Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
- Loaded with salty-sweet flavors like bacon and honey
- A great way to use frozen peas!
- Great to bring alongside this Mediterranean pasta salad
Frozen peas - Frozen petite green peas, thawed. You can use canned peas, but the flavor and texture will be slightly different than sweet peas.
Bacon - The saltiness of the bacon pairs really well with the sweetness of the dressing (thanks to the honey). Plus, crispy bacon makes everything better, right?
Red onion - Or sub shallot if you prefer, but don't skip it!
Cheddar cheese - Buy pre-shredded sharp cheddar cheese to make this even faster, or shred it right off the block. Other cheese options include colby jack, gouda or monterrey jack cheese.
Greek yogurt - Using Greek yogurt as the base of the dressing helps to lighten up this side dish and make it a bit healthier. If you don't like yogurt, try using sour cream instead.
Mayonnaise - Every pea salad dressing needs mayo! I always use avocado oil mayo because I prefer the taste, but any kind will work.
Honey - Don't skip the honey! Trust me on this one. It adds a hint of sweetness to the otherwise savory dish.
Apple cider vinegar - Similar to the honey, the vinegar balances the flavor of the dressing and the salad as a whole. White wine vinegar is a good substitute.
Step 1: Cook the bacon. First, chop the bacon into bite-size pieces, then cook it in a large skillet until it's crispy. Remove it with a slotted spoon and transfer it into a paper towel-lined plate.
Step 2: Make the dressing. Next, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, and vinegar together in a bowl or glass measuring cup. Add a little salt and pepper, then do a quick taste test and add more salt and pepper if you'd like.
Step 3: Assemble the salad. Finally, pour the thawed peas into a large bowl, then add the bacon, red onion and cheese. Pour the dressing over the salad, then use a large spoon to stir everything together.
Tips and FAQs
- Some pea salads call for ranch dressing. Personally, I'm not a huge fan, which I realize makes me strange. If you want to use ranch, I'd start with one tablespoon and increase to taste.
- To save time, you can make the dressing up to a few days in advance and store it in the fridge until you're ready to assemble this salad.
- Hard boiled eggs
- Grape tomatoes
- Sliced almonds
- Thinly sliced radishes
- Fresh herbs like parsley and/or chives
Can this salad be made without bacon?
Yep! To make a vegetarian pea salad, I'd sub hard boiled eggs for added protein, or use my tempeh bacon, which is incredibly flavorful. The bacon in this salad adds flavor, so you don't just want to omit it without replacing it with something else.
How to thaw frozen peas?
Pour peas into a fine mesh strainer, then run cool water over them to quickly thaw them out.
Refrigerator - Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
More easy appetizers
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
- If you haven't already, chop the bacon into bite-sized pieces, then transfer it to a large skillet and cook it until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a paper towel-lined plate.
- Next, make the dressing: whisk the yogurt, mayo, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl; set aside.
- Last, assemble the salad: place the peas, bacon, red onion, and cheddar cheese into a large bowl, then pour the dressing overtop and stir to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!