Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe – A Timeless Classic

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe is a delightful dish. You must start with tender green peas. Aim to mix in crisp bacon, creamy cheese cubes, and crunchy onions. For the dressing, homemade mayonnaise adds a rich taste. Remember to garnish with fresh parsley for a pop of color. This recipe is a best bet for a nostalgic, flavorful side dish. It brings both taste and tradition to your table.

Let me share a secret if you’re confused about what to serve at your next gathering. On a recent Middle-Eastern journey, I discovered a dish that turned heads: the Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe. Its vibrant colors and unique taste caught my attention in a bustling market. 

Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe

Back home, I faced a dilemma: how to recreate this masterpiece? My plan involved fresh peas, creamy dressing, and creativity.

To my delight, the result was a salad that reminded me of my travels and became a hit with friends and family. It even got the stamp of approval from my kids, who usually shy away from greens. This recipe might just be the answer to transforming your regular meals into an international culinary adventure.

What Is Old Fashioned Pea Salad?

Old Fashioned Pea Salad is a classic, comforting dish that returns to simpler times. It’s a blend of sweet green peas, often using canned or frozen peas for convenience and year-round availability.

The salad typically includes crunchy celery, sharp red onion, and sometimes hard-boiled eggs for added texture. A creamy dressing, usually made from mayonnaise and a touch of mustard, coats the mixture, infusing it with a rich, tangy flavor.

Cheddar cheese and bacon bits are common add-ins, offering a delightful contrast in taste and texture. This salad is a perfect side dish, bringing nostalgia and homely warmth to any meal.

What Is The Origin Of Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe?

The origin of the Old Fashioned Pea Salad recipe traces back to American culinary traditions, especially from the mid-20th century. It emerged during a time when convenience cooking became popular.

This era saw the rise of canned and frozen vegetables, making dishes like pea salad a household staple. The recipe reflects a blend of simplicity and comfort, typical of American home cooking during this period. It gained popularity due to its ease of preparation, affordability, and the ability to make it ahead of time.

The salad’s enduring appeal lies in its nostalgic connection to family gatherings, potlucks, and community events, where it’s often a beloved side dish.

Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe

Ingredients List

Canned Green Peas15 ounces
Onion2 Tablespoons
Hard Boiled Eggs3
Celery1/4 cup
Salt1/4 teaspoon
Black Pepper1/8 teaspoon
Cheddar Cheese1/2 cup
Mayonnaise1/2 cup

What Are The Variations Suitable For The Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe

There are numerous variations suitable for the Old Fashioned Pea Salad that can cater to different tastes and dietary preferences.

Curry Fusion

Infuse curry powder for an exotic and aromatic flavor profile.

Cheese Lovers

Mix in cubes of cheddar or Swiss cheese for a creamy, cheesy delight.

Herb Infusion

Elevate freshness with dill, parsley, or chives for an herby flavor.

Ranch Delight

Use ranch dressing instead of mayonnaise for a tangy kick.

Mediterranean Twist

Incorporate feta cheese, olives, and cherry tomatoes for a Mediterranean flair.

Spicy Kick

Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños for some heat.

Avocado Dream

Introduce diced avocados to enhance creaminess and provide a buttery texture.

What Are The Tips For The Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe?

  • Pea Quality: Use fresh or frozen peas for better flavor and texture than canned peas. If using frozen, thaw them properly.
  • Dressing: Aim for a balance in the dressing. If it’s too thick, thin it with milk or lemon juice.
  • Flavor Enhancement: Let the salad chill for a few hours before serving. This step helps the flavors meld together.
  • Add-ins: Be creative. Add ingredients like diced avocado, sliced radishes, or chopped bell peppers for extra crunch and color.
  • Cheese Choice: Experiment with different types of cheese for varied flavors.
  • Seasoning: Adjust salt and pepper towards the end after the salad has chilled, as flavors intensify over time.
  • Presentation: Garnish with fresh herbs or extra cheese before serving for an appealing look.
  • Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Consume within a day or two for best taste and texture.

Are There Any Unusual Or Exotic Ingredients That Work Well With Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe?

  • Truffle Oil: A drizzle of truffle oil can add a luxurious and earthy flavor.
  • Tahini: Mixing a bit of tahini into the dressing can give a creamy, nutty taste.
  • Pomegranate Seeds: For sweetness and color, sprinkle in pomegranate seeds.
  • Wasabi or Horseradish: Add a small amount for a surprising kick of heat.
  • Roasted Nuts: Consider exotic nuts like macadamias or pistachios for added crunch.
  • Edible Flowers: Garnish with edible flowers for an elegant and colorful presentation.
  • Preserved Lemon: Chopped preserved lemon can introduce a tangy, intense citrus flavor.
  • Smoked Paprika: A pinch can bring a smoky depth to the salad.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Adding pickled onions, cucumbers, or even capers can introduce a tangy twist.
  • Fresh Herbs: Beyond the usual parsley, try mint or cilantro for a fresh, vibrant flavor.
Bowl And Salad

Recipe Directions

  • Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix together the 15 ounces of drained canned green peas, 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, 3 chopped hard-boiled eggs, 1/4 cup of chopped celery, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.
  • Add Cheese and Mayonnaise: Gently fold in 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of mayonnaise until all ingredients are well combined and evenly coated.
  • Chill (Optional): For the best flavor, cover the salad and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. This rest time allows the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve: Serve the salad chilled as a refreshing side dish.

Enjoy The homemade feel of an old-fashioned pea salad recipe, a dish that’s both simple and deliciou

What Herbs And Spices Work Well In Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe?

  • Dill: Fresh dill adds a light, grassy note that complements the peas and mayonnaise.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley brings a clean, slightly peppery taste, perfect for brightening up the salad.
  • Chives: They lend a mild onion flavor without overpowering the dish.
  • Tarragon: Its slightly sweet, anise-like flavor pairs beautifully with green peas.
  • Basil: Fresh basil can add a sweet and aromatic touch.
  • Mint: A few mint leaves can give a refreshing zing, especially in summer.
  • Thyme: Thyme offers a subtle, earthy flavor that goes well with the creaminess of the dressing.
  • Paprika: A pinch of paprika can add color and a mild warmth.
  • Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper is essential for its spicy heat.
  • Garlic Powder: A small amount can add depth without the harshness of raw garlic.
Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe

Nutritional Values

The Old Fashioned Pea Salad offers a range of nutritional values. Green peas are an excellent plant-based protein and fiber source, aiding digestion and heart health.

The eggs and cheese contribute protein and calcium, essential for bone health. Mayonnaise, while adding richness, also provides fats.

The salad has vitamins A and C from the peas, celery, and iron from the eggs. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the sodium and fat content, particularly from the mayonnaise and cheese. This salad is a flavorful way to enjoy a mix of essential nutrients.

What Are The Total Calories In The Salad?

The total calories in the Old Fashioned Pea Salad require examining the caloric content of each ingredient. Canned green peas, onions, hard-boiled eggs, celery, cheese, and mayonnaise contribute to the overall calorie count.

The major calorie contributors are mayonnaise and cheese. On average, this salad could contain approximately 300 to 400 calories per serving, depending on the specific quantities and types of ingredients used. It’s a moderately caloric dish, balancing richness with the nutritional benefits of vegetables and eggs.

Health Benefits Of The Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe

High In Protein

Peas and eggs are excellent protein sources for muscle repair and growth.

Rich In Fiber

Green peas provide dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion and aiding in cholesterol management.

Heart Health

The fiber in peas can contribute to heart health by helping to lower cholesterol levels.

Bone Strength

Cheese and eggs in the salad provide calcium, crucial for strong bones and teeth.

Vitamins And Minerals

Peas are a good source of vitamins A and C; eggs contribute iron and B vitamins.

Low In Calories

When prepared with light mayonnaise or a yogurt-based dressing, this salad can be a lower-calorie option than other creamy salads.

Antioxidant Properties

The antioxidants in peas and onions help combat oxidative stress in the body.

Immune Support

The vitamin C in peas and celery supports a healthy immune system.

Eye Health

Vitamin A in peas contributes to good vision and eye health.

Mental Health

The folate in green peas is linked to supporting good mental health and mood regulation.

Nutrition Table

Nutrition table

What Dressings Are Best Served With Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe?

  • Classic Mayonnaise Dressing: The traditional choice, providing a creamy, rich base.
  • Ranch Dressing: Adds a tangy, herbaceous flavor.
  • Honey Mustard Dressing: Offers a sweet and tangy contrast to the peas and cheese.
  • Greek Yogurt Dressing: A healthier alternative to mayonnaise, adding a tangy twist.
  • Lemon Vinaigrette: Light and zesty, it can brighten up the flavors.
  • Caesar Dressing: For a garlicky, umami flavor.
  • Avocado Dressing: Creamy and full of healthy fats, adding a modern twist.
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette: Provides a sweet and tangy profile.
  • Blue Cheese Dressing: For a bold, tangy taste.
  • Italian Dressing: Light and herby, offering a refreshing change.
Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe

Experience The tradition of an old-fashioned pea salad recipe, a tasty treat from the past

Are There Any Unique Toppings That Can Elevate The Crunch Factor Of Old Fashioned Pea Salad?

  • Croutons: Homemade or store-bought, they add a classic crunch.
  • Slivered Almonds: Toasted for extra flavor and texture.
  • Sunflower Seeds: A nutty, crunchy addition.
  • Bacon Bits: Crispy and savory, they offer a delightful crunch.
  • Fried Shallots: Add a sweet, crispy element.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: Toasted for a crunchy, nutritious boost.
  • Tortilla Strips: A fun, crispy topping.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: Lightly toasted for a subtle, crunchy finish.
  • Sesame Seeds: For a small but impactful crunch.
  • Chow Mein Noodles: Adds a unique, crunchy twist.
Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe

What Is The Difference Between Homemade And Store-Bought Old Fashioned Pea Salad?

  • Freshness: Homemade salads typically use fresher ingredients, offering better texture and flavor.
  • Customization: You can adjust ingredients and proportions to your liking when making it at home.
  • Healthier Options: Homemade versions allow for healthier ingredient swaps, like using Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise.
  • No Preservatives: Homemade salads don’t contain the preservatives often found in store-bought versions.
  • Cost-Effective: Making the salad at home can be more economical than purchasing pre-made salads.
  • Flavor Depth: Homemade salads often taste better due to fresh, high-quality ingredients.
  • Nutritional Control: When preparing it yourself, you have better control over the nutritional content.
  • Portion Sizes: Easily adjust the quantity to suit your needs when making it at home.
  • Recipe Variations: Experiment with different ingredients and variations at home.
  • Satisfaction: The satisfaction of making a dish from scratch adds to the overall enjoyment of the meal.

How Can You Store Or Preserve The Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe Leftovers?

  • Airtight Container: Store the salad in an airtight container to keep it fresh and prevent odor absorption from the fridge.
  • Refrigeration: Always refrigerate the salad; it should not be left at room temperature for over two hours.
  • Consume Quickly: Best eaten within 1-2 days, as the quality deteriorates over time.
  • Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended as it can significantly alter the texture and taste.
  • Stir Before Serving: If the dressing separates, give it a good stir before serving again.
  • Keep Moisture Out: To prevent sogginess, ensure no moisture enters the container.
  • Separate Components: Store the dressing separately and mix just before serving.
  • Label and Date: Label the container with the date.
Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe

Special Tools & Equipment List

  • Large Mixing Bowl: Essential for combining all the ingredients.
  • Colander: For draining the peas, especially if using canned or thawed frozen peas.
  • Chopping Board: Necessary for chopping onions, celery, and hard-boiled eggs.
  • Sharp Knife: To ensure clean and efficient cutting of ingredients.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate measurement of ingredients like mayonnaise, cheese, and spices.
  • Egg Slicer: Useful for evenly slicing hard-boiled eggs.
  • Whisk or Fork: For mixing the dressing evenly.
  • Peeler: If you prefer to peel your celery.
  • Grater: Handy for shredding the cheese.
  • Spatula or Serving Spoon: For mixing the salad ingredients gently and serving.
  • Airtight Storage Containers: For storing leftovers.
  • Gloves: Useful if you prefer to mix with your hands, especially for a softer touch.
  • Salad Tongs: For easy serving.
  • Garlic Press: If you decide to add fresh garlic to your dressing.
  • Lemon Juicer: In case you’re using fresh lemon juice in your dressing.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I Use Fresh Or Frozen Peas Instead Of Canned Ones?

Yes, fresh or frozen peas can be a healthier alternative to canned peas. Fresh peas should be blanched until tender, and frozen peas should be thawed and drained.

Fresh or frozen peas enhance the salad’s flavor and nutritional value, as they are generally lower in sodium and have a fresher taste.

Is There A Way To Make This Salad Healthier?

Substitute mayonnaise with low-fat mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, or light sour cream to make the salad healthier.

These alternatives reduce the overall fat content. Additionally, incorporating more vegetables, like bell peppers or cucumbers, can increase its nutritional value.

How Long Can Old Fashioned Pea Salad Be Stored?

The salad is best consumed within 1-2 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Beyond this, the quality begins to deteriorate, especially the texture and freshness of the ingredients.

Can I Add Meat To This Salad?

Absolutely. Adding diced ham, bacon bits, or shredded chicken can make this side dish more substantial. These proteins complement the flavors and add a savory element to the salad.

Is Old Fashioned Pea Salad Suitable For Vegetarians?

The basic recipe is vegetarian, as it mainly consists of peas, eggs, and cheese. However, if you’re serving strict vegetarians, ensure the cheese is rennet-free and omit any meat add-ins like bacon.

For vegans, replace the eggs and cheese with vegan alternatives and use vegan mayonnaise.

Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe - A Timeless Classic

Old Fashioned Pea Salad Recipe – A Timeless Classic

0 from 0 votes
Recipe by Lana Rivera Course: Salads


Prep time





The Old Fashioned Pea Salad is a timeless classic known for its delightful combination of sweet green peas, creamy cheese, and the rich texture of hard-boiled eggs. It’s dressed in a smooth, tangy mayonnaise-based dressing enhanced with the crunchiness of celery and onions. This salad is a perfect side dish, bringing a comforting, nostalgic touch to any meal.


  • 15 Ounces 15 Canned Green Peas

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Onion

  • 3 3 Hard Boiled Eggs

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Celery

  • 1/4 Teaspoon 1/4 Salt

  • 1/8 Teaspoon 1/8 Black Pepper

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Cheddar Cheese

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Mayonnaise

Step-By-Step Directions

  • PrepareThe Ingredients
    Drain 15 ounces of canned green peas in a colander.
    Chop 2 tablespoons of onion.
    Chop 1/4 cup of celery.
    Shred 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
    Chop 3 hard-boiled eggs.
  • Mix The Salad
    Combine the drained peas, chopped onions, celery, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
    Gently fold in the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Add Dressing
    Measure and add 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to the bowl.
    Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper.
    Gently mix all the ingredients until they are evenly coated with the mayonnaise. Be careful not to mash the peas.
  • Chill The Salad (Optional)
    Cover the salad and place it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. This step is not mandatory but allows the flavors to meld together better.
  • Final Touches
    Before serving, give the salad a gentle stir to redistribute the dressing and flavors.
    Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Recipe Video


  • Versatility: Great for picnics, potlucks, or as a refreshing side with dinner.
  • Customizable: Easily adaptable with additional ingredients like bacon, herbs, or different dressings.
  • Make-Ahead Friendly: This can be prepared in advance, allowing flavors to meld.
  • Nutrition: Offers a balance of protein, fiber, and vitamins, but watch the fat content from mayonnaise and cheese.
  • Storage: Best consumed within 1-2 days and stored in the refrigerator.
  • Serving Suggestion: Serve chilled for the best flavor experience.
  • Allergen Info: Contains dairy and eggs; can be modified to suit dietary restrictions.

Grape Salad With Cream Cheese

Indulge in the creamy and sweet perfection of Grape Salad With Cream Cheese.

Citrus Salad Recipe

Indulge in the refreshing goodness of our Citrus Salad Recipe—a vibrant medley of fresh oranges, grapefruits, and creamy avocado.

Pineapple Salad Recipe 

Pineapple Salad is a refreshing dish combining sweet and tangy flavors. It features juicy chunks of pineapple mixed with crisp vegetables like cucumber and bell pepper.

Barley Salad Recipe

This Barley Salad is a delightful fusion of chewy barley and crisp, fresh vegetables in a tangy vinaigrette.

Leave a Comment

Author picture

soup chick!

You've entered a realm where each bowl isn't just a meal; it's an expedition to the core of comfort, well-being, and the sheer delight of feeding both body and soul. My name is Julia, and I'm here to navigate you through the flavorful worlds of Soup Chick. Together, we'll uncover the artistry behind each recipe, share stories that warm the heart, and celebrate the simple pleasures of making and enjoying soup.

More About Me