Southern Pea Salad is one of the most simple yet deliciously flavorful salads you’ll sink your teeth into this season. It is packed with organic green peas, carrots, celery, Colby-Jack Cheese, ham, crisp bacon, hardboiled eggs, crunchy sweet pickles, and red onions dressed in a creamy dressing made from a mayo base.
If you have ever been invited to a Holiday dinner, BBQ, or Potluck South of the Dixon line, chances are you have noticed this classic Southern Salad sitting on the tables waiting for passings guests to dig in. If you love peas, you won’t be able to resist this fantastic Southern concoction for very long. It’s just that damn good, maybe even better.
It has been suggested, that the modern version or spin-off of Southern Pea Salad originates from the Iconic 1950s Southern Sevan Layer Salad that featured peas as the main ingredient in layered salad consisting of a mixture of green peas, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, hard-boiled eggs, sharp cheddar cheese, and bacon pieces. The Layered salad is then topped with a mayonnaise-based dressing, and sour cream is added.
I like both ideas for this salad and have seen the original at some of our church potlucks and never thought much of it being the inspiration for the Southern Pea Salad. How in the heck did I miss that over the years? I mean minus a few ingredients such as lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes, it’s the same. Have you had Sevan Layer Salad? Which do you prefer that or the Southern Pea Salad? Or do you enjoy both Southern dishes?
I have been in love with the combination of ingredients in this fantastic Southern Pea Salad since I was a small child, how can you not love a tasty mixture of organic green peas, carrots, celery, Colby-Jack Cheese, ham, crisp bacon, hardboiled eggs, crunchy sweet pickles, and red onions dressed in a creamy dressing made from a mayo base? So GOOD! You can’t just have a small spoon of this; it just isn’t in the cards after the first bite.
Look at all those amazing flavors and textures in this beautiful salad. It’s a jumble of the total yumminess of epic proportions. Have you ever had the chance to taste Southern Pea Salad? If not, you absolutely must try this Classic Southern Pea Salad as soon as possible. I’m telling you, you have been seriously missing out on one heck of a classic side dish from the South. I have to say there are many variations, but mine is The Best! TOOT! TOOT!–That’s me tooting my own horn there lol! Can’t you tell I love this salad, Y’all?
Southern Pea Salad
Two-16-ounce bags of Frozen Organic Sweet Peas
Six slices thick-sliced Hardwood Smoked Bacon, fried crisp, then chopped
One cup Honey Ham, diced
Four Hardboiled eggs, peeled and diced
One cup Diced Colby-Jack cheese, small dices + more if desired
1/2 cup organic Matchstick Carrots
1/2 cup Red Onion, finely diced
1/4 cup Celery, finely diced
Six Baby Gherkins Pickles, diced
One cup Dukes Mayonnaise or your brand
1/4 cup Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour cream
One tablespoon Organic Apple Cider vinegar
One Pinch of Sugar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Most frequently asked questions About Southern Pea Salad
How do you thaw frozen peas for the salad? Remove frozen peas from their package. Place in a colander or strainer, run cold water over vegetables until thawed, and drain. Or place the container in a resealable plastic bag, and submerge in cold water until thawed.
Can you put the salad in the freezer? I do not recommend freezing the pea salad after making it. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container for 3-4 days instead.
Are Frozen Peas Already Cooked? Typically, vegetables are blanched before they are frozen. Blanching means that the vegetable, in this case, peas, is briefly plunged into boiling water for a few minutes and then into ice water.
Southern Pea Salad
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Large Salad Bowl
- Small Glass Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- 2-16- ounce bags of Organic Frozen Peas Thawed
- 6 slices Crisp Hardwood Smoked Bacon Chopped
- 1 cup Honey Ham Diced
- 4 large Hard Boiled Eggs Peeled and diced
- 1 cup Colby-Jack Cheese Diced
- ½ cup Organic Matchstick Carrots
- ¼ cup Celery Diced
- ½ cup Red Onion Finely diced
- 6-7 Baby Gherkins Pickles Diced
- 1 cup Duke's Mayonnaise + more if needed
- ¼ cup Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
- 1 tablespoon Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 pinch Sugar
- Kosher salt to own taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper to own taste
- Cook the 6 slices of Hardwood bacon until Crisp, about 12 minutes
- In a large bowl combine thawed organic peas, chopped hardwood smoked bacon, diced honey ham, diced hard boiled eggs, Colby-Jack cheese, celery, carrots, finely diced red onion, and diced pickles,
- In a small bowl combine Mayo, Greek Yogurt or sour cream, organic apple cider, and salt and pepper. Whisk until creamy.
- Add the homemade dressing to the salad, toss to combine, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Other Southern Salads on the Blog
- Southern Macaroni Salad screams flavorful and delicious! Combining elbow macaroni, chopped pickles, red onion, red pimentos, green bell peppers, creamy Duke’s mayonnaise, chopped hard-boiled eggs, and garnished with a little paprika.
- Southern Corn Salad is hands down one of the best Iconic salads for summer. This summer-friendly salad is made with grilled corn on the cob, avocados, fresh organic tomatoes, red onions, jalapeno peppers, fresh herbs, and a homemade dressing.
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