This very Southern side dish is an old fashioned favorite that seems to be forgotten. My goal is to give it a resurgence.
Trust me when I say that this salad is much more flavorful and crave-worthy than it sounds. Sweet, crunchy peas; salty, smokey bacon; creamy cheddar cheese; lightly dressed with a sweet, tangy, and creamy dressing is a perfect complement to grilled meats, sandwiches, or by itself as a light lunch.
WHAT KIND OF PEAS DO I USE IN THIS SOUTHERN SIDE DISH?
My preference is to use fresh, baby English peas. They are super sweet and very crunchy.
When I can’t find fresh peas, frozen is the next best option. Choose baby peas, if possible, and thaw and drain them thoroughly before using them in the salad.
Canned peas would be too mushy for this recipe, in my opinion.
VARIATIONS TO THIS RECIPE
- Consider adding a protein to the recipe, either diced ham, turkey, or chicken for a complete meal.
- Substitute Monterey Jack cheese for the cheddar and add a minced jalapeno for a Tex-Mex flair.
- Not a fan of spicy food? Swap out the Cayenne Pepper for Seasoned Salt instead for a more savory, less spicy kick.
- Make it vegetarian and add diced bell pepper, celery, and canned chickpeas or beans.
Here are a few more suggestions for side salad recipes:
- Southern Style Cole Slaw
- Southwest Quinoa Quinoa Salad With Spicy Lime Vinaigrette
- Creamy Broccoli Salad
This Southern side dish classic combines crispy, sweet English peas, crisp and salty bacon, creamy cheese, and tangy dressing to make a crave-worthy salad.
8 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into ½-inch slices
2 pounds fresh English Peas
½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
1 small sweet onion, minced
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups shredded white cheddar cheese
In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and place on paper towels to drain. Discard the bacon fat.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a full rolling boil.
Add the peas and cook for 1 – 1 ½ minutes.
Drain the peas in a strainer and run very cold water over them until they are completely cooled. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, minced onion, vinegar, sugar, and cayenne. Stir well to combine.
To a large salad bowl, toss together the English peas, bacon slices, and most of the shredded cheddar cheese. Reserve a handful of the shredded cheese.
Pour the dressing over the peas and toss to coat the peas with dressing.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour to allow the flavors to marry.
When ready to serve, sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top and serve cold.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Southern
Keywords: Southern side dish, side dish recipe, salad recipes, pea recipes