Southern-Style Pea Salad

This is certainly one of those dishes that I tend to associate with the holidays and family gatherings. My aunt loves to make this tangy and unique-tasting side dish for big family dinners, and it’s always a huge hit. It’s one of those vegetable-based dishes that tastes nothing at all like vegetables.

One thing I really enjoy about making this dish is that it’s pretty much foolproof. Aside from the bacon, which can be bought precooked, there’s no real cooking involved. There’s also a ton of room for experimentation with this dish, particularly with the cheese. I’ve made this pea salad with pepper jack and Colby cheeses in place of mozzarella and cheddar, and it was definitely a nice twist on the classic.

This recipe makes approximately ten servings, but it can be easily halved for a casual weeknight dinner side item. The bacon can also be omitted to make this a vegetarian-friendly dish.


  • Two 16-ounce bags of frozen peas
  • A half-pound of bacon or turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
  • One cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • One cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • One diced red onion
  • One cup of mayonnaise
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika to season


  1. Start by combining all of the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl, making sure that all the peas are coated evenly by the mayonnaise mixture.
  2. Refrigerate the dish for at least three hours before serving.

That’s it, you’re done! So if you’d like a sample of down-home Southern cooking without the actual cooking or the hassle, be sure to give this pea salad a try.

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