Mayo-Free Pea Salad with bacon, pecans and dried cranberries is a fresh, flavorful side dish, perfect for summer gatherings! This versatile pea salad recipe can be served as a side dish or added to a green salad to spruce it up.
For me, summers are all about pasta salad, potato salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, leafy green salads, quinoa salads…basically anything you can call a salad with a delicious saucy dressing, tons of goodies and served chilled.
WELL. Never have I ever believed summers were about pea salads, but after making this easy pea salad recipe with bacon, dried cranberries, and pecans, I can safely say, pea salad for prez!
Peas haven’t been high on my priority list ever since early childhood.
In fact, historically, I have been very unenthusiastic about them. When my parents tried to get my siblings and I to eat them, I’d squish them and hide the flat pea carcasses under my other food.
Suffice it to say, I thought peas could take a hike. Far far away, and never return.
Okay, so I hated peas. But look, they’ve grown on me.
Weird things happen to you when you age, and a strange appreciation for peas is one of them.
So even if you’re like me, and you know beyond the shadow of a doubt you won’t be in hot pursuit of peas during the zombie apocalypse, you may just enjoy this recipe, because…well, there’s bacon in it.
How about we make this thing before you delete me from your inner circle?
The amazing news is this salad comes together lightning quickly, requires very simple ingredients, and if you like things that go crunch, this thing’s your jam.
Ingredients for Pea Salad:
For the Salad: Peas (I use organic frozen peas but canned will work too. I think the texture on frozen peas is better than canned if you’re a texture person), bacon, red onion, dried cranberries, and pecans. This combo is over-the-top on the texture scale and includes so many flavors. If there’s one thing that makes peas enticing, it’s bacon!
For the Dressing: Greek yogurt, rice vinegar, avocado oil, sea salt, garlic, pure maple syrup. This combination yields a creamy dressing that isn’t overly fatty. It’s tangy, light, and vibrant and has a perfect zing to sweet ratio! If you love mayo, replace the Greek yogurt with mayo.
How to Make Pea Salad:
Thaw the frozen peas. To speed up the process, transfer the peas to a colander and run hot water over them.
Cook the bacon until crispy, then transfer to a cutting board and allow it to cool. Once cool, chop it up into small bits.
Stir together the ingredients for the dressing in a mixing bowl until completely combined.
Add in the remaining ingredients for the salad to the mixing bowl, and stir until everything is well coated.
Taste the pea salad for flavor and add more sea salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Note: The pea salad becomes more flavorful as it sits over time! If you can, make it 6 to 24 hours in advance. If you are making it in advance, add the chopped bacon and pecans just before serving so that the texture stays nice and crunchy.
- Chop up 2 to 3 hard boiled eggs and add them into the pea salad.
- Use mayonnaise instead of Greek yogurt
- Replace the pecans with walnuts or almonds
- Omit the bacon to make vegetarian
- Add ½ cup grated carrot
- Add 2 tablespoons of minced fresh herbs such as mint or basil
More Summer Salad Recipes:
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Easy Asian Cucumber Salad
- Keto Cauliflower “Potato” Salad
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing
- Mango Edamame Quinoa Salad
My cookbook, Paleo Power Bowls, is now available! CLICK HERE to check it out. Thank you for your support!
If you make this recipe, please feel free to share a photo on Instagram and tag @The.Roasted.Root!
Enjoy this fresh, crunchy, delicious vibrant salad at all your summer picnics and barbecues!
Pea Salad with Bacon (Mayo-Free)
- 4 strips thick cut bacon cooked and chopped
- 20 ounces frozen peas
- ½ cup red onion finely chopped
- ⅔ cup dried cranberries or raisins
- ½ cup raw pecans chopped
- If you're using frozen peas, bring them out of the freezer and thaw them completely. To speed up the process, transfer the peas to a colander and run hot water over them.
- Cook the bacon until crispy, then transfer to a cutting board and allow it to cool. Once cool, chop it up into small bits.
- Stir together the ingredients for the dressing in a mixing bowl until completely combined.
- Add in the remaining ingredients for the salad, and stir until everything is well coated.
- Taste the pea salad for flavor and add more sea salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Note: The pea salad becomes more flavorful as it sits over time! If you can, make it 6 to 24 hours in advance. If you are making it in advance, add the chopped bacon and pecans just before serving so that the texture stays nice and crunchy.