This Spring Pea Salad Goes Great With Easter Ham


Growing up, my family would go to Sunday brunch a few times a year, and I still remember going through the buffet line and loading up on… well, everything. From to to to to to desserts, all those delights will forever be etched in my memory. A couple of years ago, when my sister and I went to our hometown and had Sunday brunch with , you’d better believe all those same brunch-ie wonders were still there…and you’d better believe I loaded up just like I did as a child. It was all about the nostalgia, after all! 

Oh, and I was really, really hungry.

Despite all the other dishes competing for attention at Sunday brunch, the one I most remember was a delicious pea salad with big chunks of cheese, slivers of red onion, and a light, creamy dressing.


I don’t even want to think about how many metric tons of the stuff I must have consumed through the years, but I loved it… and still love it every bit as much today. 

It’s a fun, simple, that’s great for any spring or summer gathering, but it's a particularly nice addition to your  since it’s bursting with lovely green peas. You can stir this  together in just 15 minutes, but be sure to let it chill for a few hours for the best flavor.

Why is my pea salad dry?

Just like with pasta salad, the dressing has a tendency to sort of disappear while it chills in the fridge. I like to add about two-thirds of the dressing, and save the rest to add before serving, if it looks like it needs it.


 You can also make a double batch of the dressing if you like a creamier pea salad—I like mine only lightly dressed. This salad tastes even better after it sits at room temperature for about 30 minutes which gives time for the dressing to loosen up some.

What kind of cheese is best in pea salad?

I can’t speak with authority on this since I never watched the Sunday brunch chef make the pea salad, but I’m 80% sure the cheese used in that pea salad was American cheese. It just had that unapologetic American cheese quality about it. I should make an anonymous phone call over there someday and pretend I’m taking a survey of country clubs across the nation and ask them what kind of cheese they use in their pea salads.


(And while I’m at it, I’ll ask them if their refrigerator is running…) (Man, I love prank calling. It’s a shame it’s a fading art form.) As for me, I’m using sharp cheddar, just to be rebellious. Monterey Jack would be nice, too!

1/3 c.

sour cream

1 tbsp.


Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tbsp.

white vinegar

4 c.

frozen green peas, almost totally thawed


slices bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped


small red onion, halved and sliced very thin

6 oz.

cheddar or American cheese, cut into small cubes

3 tbsp.

minced fresh parsley, plus more for serving

Step  1 In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and vinegar together to make the dressing.


Step  2 Stir two-thirds of the dressing into the peas until the peas are coated. Gently stir in the bacon, onion, cheese, and parsley until all combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours before serving. (Pop the extra dressing in the fridge, too.) Step  3 Remove from the fridge and stir in the rest of the dressing to your liking. Sprinkle with more parsley before serving.

Let's talk pea salad! There's nothing complicated about it.


Start with peas! Frozen peas are great, and here’s what I do: I let them thaw for just a bit at room temperature, but I don’t let them go all the way. You want them to stay nice and cold and firm so they don’t freak out and get mushy when you mix the salad together.

While the peas are thawing a bit, fry some bacon. I would highly recommend waiting until your husband leaves the house to meet with his father-in-law about an issue with a fence before you do this. Otherwise, the bacon won’t wind up in the pea salad.


It will wind up in his mouth.

For supah flavah, slice a red onion (otherwise known as a purple onion) in half and remove the weird core if it’s large like this.

Then slice the onion as thin as you can.

This is way more than I need for the salad, but if I’m going to slice a red onion (otherwise known as a purple onion), I’m going to slice a red onion (otherwise known as a purple onion.


) Can I get an amen?

I have no idea what I just said.

One of the defining ingredients in the pea salad I’ve always loved are nice chunks of cheese throughout the whole darn thing. I use cheddar.

Slice the cheese into slices…


Then cut the slices into sticks…

And cut the sticks into cubes.

While you’ve got the knife handy, chop the bacon into little bits…

And grab some parsley and mince it up.


Next, for the dressing, measure some mayo…

And some sour cream…

And put them in a bowl with a little vinegar, salt, and pepper.

And stir it until it’s nice and smooth.


Put the peas into a bowl and plop on about 3/4 of the dressing, reserving the rest for later if you think it needs it.

Stir until the peas are coated…

Then add the red onion…

The bacon…


And the cheese.

Stir it together until it’s all coated…

Then sprinkle in some parsley…

And stir until it’s all mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings—add more salt and pepper if it needs it…


Then cover it with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.

When you pull it out of the fridge, give it a stir and a taste and make sure it’s all good. Add a little more dressing if it needs it (sometimes the dressing “disappears” a tiny bit when it sits in the fridge) and definitely add more salt and pepper if it needs it.


Serve it in a pretty bowl with whatever else is on your table! (Note: The salad is even better if you let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.)

Mmmmm. *Almost* as good as the original!


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