This is one delicious salad. My Grandma Smith was fond of these kinds of salads like carrot salad, roasted beet salad, and sauerkraut salad. These are folksy homey old-timey country salads with bright colors and flavors. They’re easy-peasy to put together. And they’ll go with almost anything like ham, any manner of chicken, pork chops, ribs, or grilled burgers. One batch will feed a crowd of 12 – sounds like picnic time to me!
Pea salad was made in the good old days with canned peas – yuck! Bags of frozen peas are the way to go. Their color is better. The peas themselves have a subtle crunch. Frozen peas taste so much better, too, ten times better than canned. And you don’t have to worry about sodium, which we do in our family.
Here’s a Tip or Two:
#1 I’m using more and more frozen vegetables nowadays. In a 12-ounce bag, you get all vegetables, no water. Frozen vegetables like peas & carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, diced or hash brown potatoes, and onions are prepared, meaning the only work you have to do is thaw them out. Or just add them frozen into your recipe. As an example, I dump a bag of frozen peas & carrots to the sauce for a tuna-noodle casserole. Or dump a bag or two of frozen broccoli florets into broccoli-cheese soup. Sometimes I’ll even use frozen chopped onions to start a mirepoix. You get the gist. Sometimes it’s just easier.
#2 I’m as big a mayonnaise fan as anyone. I’m beginning to substitute full-fat Greek yogurt for some of the mayo in recipes like this one. Yogurt lightens up the mix a bit and adds a nice tang. I like to make homemade salad dressings and Greek yogurt plays well swapped out for some of the mayonnaise. See Healthy Thousand Island Dressing for an example.
Wanna learn how to make this awesome pea salad?
P.S. I didn’t mean to take the picture for this post with lemons and avocados in the background. Avocadoes were on the counter when I decided to be creative. They are not in the recipe, but they are beautiful. Oops. Ha!
- 2-12oz. bags of frozen peas, thawed and patted with paper towels to remove moisture
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup red onion, diced
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 12 oz. bacon, cooked to crispy and drained on paper towels, broken or chopped into pieces
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries, lightly chopped
- ⅓ cup pecans, toasted and lightly chopped
- 1 Tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
- In a large bowl, mix dressing ingredients. mayo, Greek yogurt, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Stir or whisk dressing ingredients.
- Add peas, cranberries, pecans, and cheese. Lightly toss.
- Add bacon and lightly toss until combined.
- Chill salad in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Note: Can make salad night before. But add the pecans, cheese, and bacon immediately before serving.