English Pea Salad is a vintage classic Southern side dish and a "must" for your Easter menu! It pairs well with ham and is ready in 20-minutes!
No Cooking Required.
English Pea salad is a Southern staple menu item during Easter. You'll find a big bowl of this at Southern funeral's, too. It's a vintage recipe that requires no time at all!
Why you'll like it!
- It's a "NO-COOK" recipe--literally, you don't have to cook anything!
- Easy, simple, affordable and tasty!
- Easy clean-up: two bowls and a cutting board then BAM, you're done!
- It's a perfect side dish with sweet or smoked ham, pork tenderloin or ribs!
- The texture is perfect! Cool and crunchy, with a hint of tart and creaminess from the sauce.
This dish might not be a widespread Southern thing, but it is very common in Texas--we serve it every Easter with the other fixins': Southern potato salad, spiral ham, Pineapple Cheese Casserole and rolls.
Some might consider it an "old fashioned" recipe, but I just consider it a classic side dish!
Here's what you'll need:
A bag of frozen sweet peas, a red onion, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheddar cheese, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper. That's it!!!
Canned peas do not work in English Pea Salad--they're too mushy! Use frozen, so your "salad" will be nice and crisp.
Here's how to make it:
Rinse and drain frozen peas, then chop the onion and cube the cheese. Put that in a big bowl.
In a smaller bowl, make the sour cream/mayonnaise/vinegar sauce and fold it into the peas and cheese bowl. Taste for salt and pepper. In this version, you can see I added a little dill weed:) We'll discuss variations later...
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes. When you're ready to serve, just let it sit out on the counter about 10 minutes. Stir it up with a spatula and serve!
If you're short on time, make the English Pea Salad sauce and store it in the fridge. On the day of serving, just rinse the peas, add the sauce and let sit in the fridge a bit.
Frozen or canned peas?
Canned peas do not work in this recipe. They turn to mush. Do not ask me how I know this.
Serve this slightly chilled. If you take it to an outdoor picnic or barbecue, serve it on a bowl of ice. The mayonnaise might go rancid if it sits out in the heat.
Even though this recipe is delicious as written, you can always add in your own stuff. Some people like to add the following:
- Diced red bell pepper
- Drained pimentos
- Tiny bits of radish
- Bits of bacon
- Boiled egg
- Dill weed
You might remember English Pea salad from your grandmother or great-grandmother's table...it's a Southern vintage recipe that still remains strong today!
If you're looking for more Spring and Summer side dishes, you might like:
♥ If you make this recipe, please leave a comment and rating! Thank you!
English Pea Salad
- 12 oz sweet peas , frozen, rinsed and thawed
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup red onion chopped
- ¾ cups cheddar cheese shredded
- salt and pepper , to taste
- Rinse, drain and thaw frozen sweet peas
- Add peas, cheese and onion to a large bowl
- Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and vinegar in a small bowl; fold this mixture into the peas
- Taste for salt and pepper
- Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes
- When ready to serve, let the salad sit out a few minutes; stir and serve
- Add one chopped boiled egg or cooked bacon crumbles
- Drained pimento slices
- Finely chopped red bell pepper
- Sprinkle a little dill weed in the salad