Classic Southern Pea Salad

Looking for a fresh and delicious addition to your next meal? Look no further than this Classic Southern Pea Salad recipe. Bursting with vibrant flavors and wholesome ingredients, this salad is a beloved staple of Southern cuisine. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or simply craving a taste of home, this recipe is sure to satisfy.


  1. 1 (16-ounce) package of frozen sweet peas, thawed (canned peas work too)
  2. 2 eggs, hard-boiled and chopped
  3. 4 to 6 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled (or 1 cup of cooked and chopped ham, optional)
  4. 1/2 cup of chopped green onions (substitute with regular onions if preferred)
  5. 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (feel free to use your favorite cheese)
  6. 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  8. 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon of celery seeds (or 1/2 cup of chopped celery)
  10. A sprinkle of cayenne pepper for a touch of heat
  11. 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  12. 1/2 cup of sour cream


  1. Combine the Salad: In a large mixing bowl, combine the thawed sweet peas, chopped hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon or chopped ham (if using), chopped green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.
  2. Season: Sprinkle in the black pepper, salt, garlic powder, celery seeds (or chopped celery), and a dash of cayenne. Stir thoroughly to ensure the seasonings are evenly distributed.
  3. Dress It Up: In another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and sour cream until they form a smooth mixture. Pour this dressing over the pea mixture and gently stir to coat all the ingredients.
  4. Chill and Serve: Cover the salad and refrigerate it for at least an hour before serving. This time allows the flavors to blend together wonderfully.
  5. Enjoy: Serve this Classic Southern Pea Salad as a refreshing side dish at your next barbecue or family gathering. It’s a simple yet satisfying recipe that’s bound to become a new favorite!

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Presentation Matters: When serving this Classic Southern Pea Salad, consider garnishing with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or additional shredded cheese for an extra pop of color and flavor.
  2. Chill for Best Flavor: For optimal taste, refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together, enhancing the overall taste experience.
  3. Serve with Style: This pea salad pairs well with a variety of dishes. Serve it alongside grilled meats, fried chicken, or as part of a picnic spread for a complete Southern-inspired meal.
  4. Leftover Love: If you have leftovers, store the pea salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to 2-3 days. Just give it a quick stir before serving to redistribute the dressing.
  5. Avoid Freezing: Due to the mayonnaise and sour cream in the dressing, it’s best not to freeze this salad as it can affect the texture and flavor upon thawing.
  6. Customize to Taste: Feel free to customize this recipe to suit your preferences. Add diced bell peppers, shredded carrots, or chopped crispy celery for added crunch and freshness.


  1. Vegetarian Twist: For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon or ham and add in some diced smoked tofu or tempeh for a smoky flavor. You can also toss in some roasted nuts like almonds or pecans for added crunch.
  2. Mediterranean Inspired: Give the salad a Mediterranean flair by swapping the bacon for crumbled feta cheese and adding in some diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and Kalamata olives. Drizzle with a balsamic vinaigrette for a tangy finish.
  3. Spicy Kick: If you love heat, kick up the spice level by adding diced jalapeños or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the salad. You can also mix in some chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for a burst of freshness.
  4. Creamy Avocado: For a creamy twist, substitute half of the mayonnaise with mashed avocado. This not only adds creaminess but also boosts the nutritional value of the salad with healthy fats.
  5. Greek Yogurt Dressing: For a lighter dressing option, swap out the sour cream for Greek yogurt. This adds a tangy flavor while keeping the creamy texture intact.
  6. Asian Fusion: Give the salad an Asian-inspired twist by adding soy sauce, sesame oil, and a splash of rice vinegar to the dressing. Toss in some edamame, shredded carrots, and chopped scallions for a colorful and flavorful variation

FAQs :

  1. Can I use fresh peas instead of frozen or canned? Absolutely! Fresh peas can be used for a crispier texture. Just blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes before adding them to the salad.
  2. Can I make this salad ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the salad a day in advance. However, it’s best to add the dressing just before serving to prevent the salad from becoming too soggy.
  3. How long does this salad stay fresh in the refrigerator? Properly stored in an airtight container, the salad will stay fresh for up to 2-3 days.
  4. Can I use low-fat or non-fat mayonnaise and sour cream? Yes, you can use low-fat or non-fat versions of mayonnaise and sour cream, but keep in mind that it may slightly alter the taste and texture of the salad.
  5. Can I make this salad dairy-free? Yes, you can use dairy-free alternatives such as vegan cheese, vegan mayonnaise, and dairy-free sour cream to make this salad dairy-free.
  6. How can I make this salad gluten-free? This salad is naturally gluten-free. Just ensure that all the ingredients you use, especially the bacon and any seasonings, are certified gluten-free.
  7. What can I substitute for bacon? If you prefer a meatless option, you can substitute the bacon with vegetarian bacon bits or skip it altogether for a lighter version.
  8. Can I add other vegetables to this salad? Absolutely! Feel free to add diced bell peppers, shredded carrots, or any other vegetables of your choice to customize the salad to your liking.
  9. Can I double or halve the recipe? Yes, you can easily adjust the quantities of ingredients to double or halve the recipe based on your serving needs.
  10. Is this salad suitable for outdoor events like picnics? Yes, this salad is perfect for picnics and outdoor gatherings. Just be sure to keep it chilled in a cooler until serving time to maintain freshness.

With its vibrant colors and irresistible flavors, this Classic Southern Pea Salad is sure to impress your guests and leave them craving more. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to prepare and guaranteed to delight. So why wait? Gather your ingredients and get ready to enjoy a taste of Southern hospitality with every bite!