Pea Salad

$9.54 recipe / $0.95 serving
by Jess - Budget Bytes
4.29 from 7 votes
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Super simple and inexpensive, this creamy pea salad is the perfect side dish for your next family get-together. We coat sweet peas, salty ham, and savory cheddar cheese in a creamy dressing, creating the perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors. It makes a huge batch and comes together in just minutes, no cooking required!

overhead view of pea salad with a spoon.

What is Pea Salad?

Pea salad is a classic side dish made from sweet peas tossed with ham, cheddar cheese, and red onion, and coated in a creamy and tangy dressing. This salad has a beautiful balance of flavors and is so versatile!

Ingredients for Pea Salad

Here’s what you’ll need to make pea salad:

  • Greek Yogurt: Makes the dressing creamy and tangy with fewer calories and fat than sour cream. We highly recommend Greek yogurt over plain yogurt or sour cream for its thicker texture.
  • Mayonnaise: Adds richness and creaminess to the dressing.
  • White Vinegar: Adds a refreshing tanginess to the dressing to balance the creaminess.
  • Parsley: Adds a pop of freshness.
  • Frozen Peas: Just as bright and flavorful as fresh, these are a great budget option for this salad.
  • Ham Steak: You’ll need a 12 oz. ham steak, or you can use leftover ham or cooked bacon. Vegetarian? No problem! If you leave out the ham, this pea salad is still flavorful and fresh.
  • Red Onion: Adds a bit of bite to the recipe and a wonderful crunchy texture, creating a great contrast to the sweet peas.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Adds a creamy and salty component to this delicious salad.
  • Salt and Pepper: Enhance the overall flavor of the salad.

What Else Can I Add to Pea Salad?

This creamy salad is a great recipe to add leftovers to. We like to add:

  • Leftover short noodles, like macaroni or bowties
  • Finely diced carrots
  • Chopped broccoli florets
  • Raisins or other dried fruits
  • Vegetarian meat substitutes also work well.

Budget-Saving Tip!

If you want to make your money stretch a little bit further, then this is a great recipe to use up any leftover ham that you might have from the holidays. It will help reduce waste and make the recipe cheaper. That’s a win-win!😊

What to Serve with Pea Salad

This cold pea salad is the perfect refreshing side for smoky BBQ ribs, savory smash burgers, or garlic marinated chicken.

close up view of pea salad with a spoon.
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Pea Salad

4.29 from 7 votes
Super simple and inexpensive, this creamy pea salad is the perfect side dish for your next family get-together.
overhead view of pea salad with a spoon.
Servings 10 (1 cup each)
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 0 minutes
Total 10 minutes


  • 4 cups frozen peas ($2.28)
  • 2 cups cubed ham steak ($3.99)
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced small ($0.22)
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, cubed small ($2.49)
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley ($0.05)
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt ($0.32)
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise ($0.07)
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp salt ($0.05)
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper ($0.05)


  • Rinse the frozen peas in cool water. Strain and leave out at room temperature. Meanwhile, cut the ham into small dice cubes and prep the red onion, cheddar cheese, and parsley.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, white vinegar, minced parsley, and salt and pepper.
  • Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately or enjoy all week!

See how we calculate recipe costs here.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 214kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 18gFat: 11gSodium: 996mgFiber: 3g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
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pea salad in a white bowl.

how to make Pea Salad – step by step photos

ingredients for pea salad on a cutting board.

Rinse 4 cups frozen peas in cool water. Strain and leave out at room temperature. Meanwhile, cut 2 cups ham into small dice cubes, dice 1/2 small red onion, cube 8 oz. cheddar cheese, and mince 1 Tbsp fresh parsley.

stirred mayonnaise dressing with herbs in a white bowl.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp mayonnaise, 1 Tbsp white vinegar, the minced parsley, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper.

ingredients for pea salad in a white bowl.

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately or enjoy all week!

overhead view of pea salad in a white bowl.

This pea salad is such a beautiful centerpiece to any table!

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  1. I followed other people’s recommendations & doubled the amount of dressing/added ranch, & it turned out great! I used vegan smoked sausage instead of ham, & frozen mixed veg (peas, carrots, green beans, corn) instead of straight frozen peas, & I also threw in a red pepper that needed eaten, & it was sooooooo good! Thanks very much for the easy, simple, adaptable recipe!

  2. This one was a miss for me. I cut the added salt in half, and it was still very salty. I think the addition of some more herbs and seasonings would help. I might try it again with some tweaks.

  3. I love this. We make it constantly now and always add some cooked pasta for bulk. I usually double or triple the sauce and add some ranch dressing powder/mix for some added zip and coverage over the pasta. It lasts for days in the fridge and is always a quick refreshing side with a sandwhich for lunch or in the kiddos lunchbox.

  4. I was surprised with how much ham wis in two cups but that’s okay. I added more of the yogurt, mayo and vinegar and used Camp’s seasoning instead of salt and pepper and it came out wonderful. It’s is quick, easy and tasty!

  5. This was good. My family does not eat pork so I used turkey sausage instead (just like youvsaid we could substitute out) and the smokiness of the turkey, the extra sharp cheese all came together for a unique side dish.

    1. Yum! I’m so glad you enjoyed it and customized it to make it your own.

  6. I was so curious about this recipe that I jumped on it immediately, following it exactly. But it didn’t quite work for me: I should have left out the salt, and there was just too much ham and cheese. It seems that it would taste better as a casserole with a white sauce, and baked in the oven, served with elbow pasta or rice, and that’s what I’m going to to with the leftovers!