The Best Classic Pea Salad is the easiest to make, cold, summer side dish!  Creamy pea salad is packed full of flavor with frozen sweet green peas, a flavorful mayonnaise dressing, crunchy onions, bacon, and cheddar cheese!

pea salad

Pea Salad may be an “old fashioned” side dish just like Grandma used to make, but, it truly withstands the test of time as a summertime favorite!

This classic salad is a Midwestern and Southern staple.  You won’t go to a potluck and not find it on the menu!  I personally have craved pea salad even as a child.  There is something so tempting about the slightly sweet and savory combination that I just can’t get enough of!


  • 1 16 Ounce Bag Frozen Green Peas
  • 1 1/3 Cups Mayonnaise
  • 2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 2.8 Ounce Bag Real Bacon Bit Pieces** See Note


  • Remove the frozen peas from the freezer.  Open the bag and place the peas in a colander.  Allow them to thaw slightly on the counter while you mix up the salad dressing.
  • In a large bowl mix together the mayonnaise, sugar, salt, and pepper with the red onion, cheese, and bacon bits.
  • Add the frozen peas to the salad and stir well, but gently to combine.
  • Chill the salad, covered, for at least one hour before serving.


**NOTE:  Real bacon can be used in place of the bacon bits.  Simply cook and crumble 8 slices of bacon and add to the salad instead.

NOTE:  This pea salad can be made 2 days before serving.  Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.