This Pea Salad recipe is tasty side dish that’s been brightening picnics and potlucks for decades! Made with simple ingredients and a creamy homemade dressing, this dish couldn’t be easier to whip up. Vibrant and colorful, Pea Salad is perfect for all your spring and summer get togethers.
This recipe for pea salad is a classic for a reason. Generations of home cooks have been serving Pea Salad for Easter Sundays, brunches, and family gatherings for decades. This easy side dish combines the natural sweetness of peas with diced ham, sharp cheddar cheese and a mayo based dressing that’s seasoned to perfection!
With no cooking involved, this salad is quick to make and ready in less than 10 minutes. The bright green peas, golden cheddar cheese, purple of the onions and the pink of the ham really combine to create a colorful dish that will liven up any table!
Leftovers make great additions to lunches if family and friends manage to leave anything in the bowl. Mix everything in your favorite serving bowl to cut down on clean up and make this process even easier for yourself. Parties, potlucks, and BBQs will welcome this timeless delicious salad to their mix.
Savory Spring Appetizers To Try
- Caramelized Onion and Bacon Dip
- Hot Spinach Dip
- Buffalo Chicken Pastry Bites
- Turkey Pesto Appetizer Bites
- Salsa Cream Cheese Chicken Wraps
Pea Salad RecipeIngredients
Easy, fresh, and flavorful, this simple Pea Salad recipe comes together quickly and is ready to serve just a few hours later! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need…
For the Dressing:
- mayonnaise – Or miracle whip if you prefer.
- sour cream – Full fat for the best flavor but reduced fat can be used. Greek yogurt can be used in place of the sour cream.
- dried ranch seasoning – The ranch seasoning adds a ton of flavor to this easy salad!
- minced fresh dill – Dried works too but fresh has a brighter flavor.
- granulated sugar – This adds a touch of sweetness that compliments the sweetness of the peas and the tangy flavors in the rest of the dressing.
- garlic powder and onion powder – Adds additional savoriness to the pea salad.
- kosher salt and black pepper – To taste.
For the Salad:
- frozen peas – Thawed and left uncooked.
- ham – Diced into small cubes for easy bites.
- sharp cheddar cheese – I like to use small cubes but shredded cheese can be substituted.
- diced red onion – I love the crunch and flavor this brings!
How to Make This Creamy Pea Salad
- Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, ranch seasoning, fresh dill, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. To make it easier, go ahead and mix this right in the bowl you intend to serve the salad in. Whisk until the dressing is smooth.
- Fold in the now thawed peas, diced ham, cubed cheddar cheese, and diced red onions until everything is nicely coated.
- Refrigerate covered for 2-3 hours before serving so the flavors have time to meld together.
- Stir once more before serving, garnish with sprigs of fresh dill, and enjoy!
Pea Salad will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container. Leftovers are great for next day lunches! I don’t recommend freezing this recipe.
Once served, be wary of leaving the Pea Salad out for too long (especially outside) due to the dairy elements. After about 2-3 hours it’s best to put it back in the fridge and have your guests get seconds or thirds from inside.
Trish’s Tips and Tricks
- Looking for some variations to the recipe?
- Use bacon instead of ham for an added crunch!
- Red or orange peppers can be tossed in for more veggies.
- Instead of sharp cheddar, try Colby Jack or Monterey Jack cheese.
- Add hard boiled eggs for added protein.
- Greek yogurt can be used instead of the mayo and sour cream for a lower fat version of this dressing.
- Add a dash of cayenne pepper for some spice!
- You can throw in a dash of apple cider vinegar for a little tang in the dressing.
Pea Salad FAQs
Can Fresh Peas Be Used Instead Of Frozen?
Fresh or canned peas can be used instead of frozen but canned peas are typically softer. I find frozen peas hold up the best and require the least amount of effort when making this salad.
Can This Dish Be Made Ahead Of Time?
It sure can! Once made this salad will stay fresh 3-4 days so you could safely make it about 2 days in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
More Fresh Spring Salad Recipes
How To Make This Pea Salad Recipe
Pea Salad Recipe
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons dried ranch seasoning
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
For the salad:
- 36 ounces frozen peas thawed
- 2 cups ham cut into small cubes
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup small-diced red onion
- In a large bowl, combine the dressing ingredients (mayonnaise, sour cream, ranch seasoning, dill, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper) and whisk together until smooth
- Fold in the peas, ham, cheese and red onion until all ingredients are evenly coated in the dressing.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours before serving.
- Before serving, stir to redistribute the dressing, garnish with fresh dill and serve.