Made with just a few pantry staple ingredients, this flavorful Pea Salad with Ham is the perfect dish to bring a potluck or complete your meal!
AN EASY POTLUCK DISH
Pea-lease your taste buds with this delicious pea salad recipe that’s sure to make everyone ask you for the recipe at your next BBQ! Say goodbye to boring salads and hello to a burst of flavor and texture in every bite! With creamy peas, savory ham, yummy cheese and creamy dressing, this pea salad will make you forget all about those bland side dishes. So grab a fork and let’s get ready to whip up some goodness!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Ham and pea salad is a classic dish that is made with ham, frozen peas, a mayonnaise based dressing, and a few other staple ingredients.
Peas can be thawed in a few different ways. The quickest and simplest method is to run cold water over the peas until they are fully thawed. This process should take less than five minutes. You may also choose to place the peas in the refrigerator overnight, allowing them to thaw gradually. For a faster option, you can place the frozen peas into a microwave-safe bowl and heat them on high for a minute or two until they are no longer frozen. Be sure to stir every 30 seconds or so during this process to ensure that all of the peas thaw evenly and avoid overcooking them.
Yes, pea salad can definitely be made a day ahead. It is often recommended to let the flavors hang out for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Make sure to store your pea salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator so that it stays fresh and flavorful.
Yes, you do have to let the ham and pea salad chill before serving. This allows the flavors of all ingredients to meld together and create a delicious, balanced flavor profile. It also gives you time to prepare any other dishes or sides that may be part of your meal. Plus, it’s best served and enjoyed when it’s nice and cold.
Yes, some other ideas to add in are broccoli, cauliflower and matchstick carrots. However, keep in mind that whatever you plan on adding in, you may need to make a little more dressing to make sure it will be able to coat everything.
Leftovers should be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I don’t suggest trying to freeze this due to the dressing and other ingredients, they may not freeze well.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- mayonnaise – Duke’s mayonnaise is my go-to but Hellman’s is definitely my next favorite when it comes to mayonnaise. I am not a fan of Miracle Whip in salads like this but if you love it then go for it!
- sour cream – if you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute with plain Greek yogurt.
- ranch seasoning – you can use a store-bought packet or make it homemade.
- finely chopped fresh dill – you can use dried dill or leave it out altogether. Dried seasoning is more potent than fresh so I would start with just half a teaspoon and add more to taste.
- granulated sugar – it might seem strange to add sugar but it really enhances the sweetness of the peas without making this dish super sweet. It offsets the other flavors and there is only one teaspoon in this entire dish but you can leave it out if you insist.
- garlic powder and onion powder – I really try to add layers of flavor and seasoning to salads but feel free to play with the flavors to suit your tastes.
- frozen peas – frozen peas are best, I do not like canned peas for this mainly because they aren’t a bright green color. Frozen peas are picked at the peak of freshness and defrost very quickly and retain a beautiful bright green color.
- cooked ham – don’t want to use ham? Try using cooked and crumbled bacon!
- cheddar cheese – I like to cut up the cheese into chunks – this is my personal preference but if you prefer shredded cheddar cheese, you can do that. You can also switch up the flavor of cheese: colby jack, monterey jack, pepper jack, and Swiss cheese all work well.
- red onion – if you don’t like red onion then you can leave it out or perhaps substitute it with a finely diced shallot or green onion.
HOW TO MAKE PEA SALAD:
Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, dried ranch seasoning, fresh dill, sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, kosher salt, and black pepper in a large bowl, until smooth.
Add the thawed peas, diced ham, diced cheddar cheese, and diced red onion to the bowl. Stir to combine until everything is coated in the dressing.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. Give the salad a good stir before serving as some of the dressing may pool at the bottom of the bowl.
Serve the salad chilled and enjoy!
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Pea Salad (+Video)
For the dressing:
For the salad:
- 3 (12 ounce) packages frozen peas, thawed
- 2 cups small-diced cooked ham
- 8 ounces block cheddar cheese, diced into small cubes
- ¼ cup small-diced red onion
- Whisk together 1 cup mayonnaise, 2 Tablespoons sour cream, 2 Tablespoons dried ranch seasoning, 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder,1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, until smooth.
- Add 3 (12 ounce) packages frozen peas, thawed, 2 cups small-diced cooked ham, 8 ounces block cheddar cheese, diced into small cubes and 1/4 cup small-diced red onion to the bowl. Stir to combine until everything is coated in the dressing.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. Give the salad a good stir before serving as some of the dressing may pool at the bottom of the bowl.
- Serve the salad chilled and enjoy!
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- You can make this ahead of time, in fact, it’s recommended since it needs a few hours to chill to help the flavors meld.
- You can trade out the red onion for green onion or diced shallots, if needed.
- Feel free to try other cheese options like blue cheese crumbles, colby jack, monterey jack, pepper jack, and Swiss cheese.
- You can add other veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and matchstick carrots. You may need to adjust the amount of peas or dressing.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Don’t try to freeze it. It won’t turn out well.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.