The freshest sweet, plump peas shine in this sweet pea salad recipe. Simple to make using fresh or frozen sweet peas, this healthy green pea salad is easily portable and make ahead ready! This recipe is vegetarian + gluten free and easily vegan.
Sweet pea salads have been on my agenda for as long as I can remember. Those plump and juicy green pops of bliss are even more satisfying during the hot summer months. This cold sweet pea salad is refreshing and a beautiful side dish to all the summer things.
My idea of pea salad shifted when I saw the inspiration for this sweet pea recipe in Greg Atkinson’s In Season cookbook. Growing up, creamy pea salad was never seen without cubed cheddar cheese and loads of mayo. Now, I love that green pea salad, but wanted to try a fresh take on a classic.
What I love about Greg’s recipe is the light dijon dressing and that it calls for a bit of horseradish. I was a little hesitant and although I appreciate horseradish’s peppery punch, I was thinking it would overwhelm the delicate flavor of peas. But with only a little bit of horseradish in the dressing, it offers a mild point of interest without overpowering the sweet peas. A nice surprise. I thew in the radishes because horseradish pairs deliciously with them and peas. Plus, I love the color contrast.
This vegetarian pea salad recipe can be made using fresh shelling peas or frozen sweet peas. When local farms are offering fresh, that’s what I use. Otherwise, frozen peas are a fabulous way to extend their season. Both are a delight in this bright English pea salad recipe.
Quick Guide: How to Make Sweet Pea Salad
Pea salad comes together quick once the fresh peas are shelled (if using). Frozen are so convenient and fabulous when fresh are unavailable. In summary, here’s how to make this salad (see recipe card for details):
- First, blanch the frozen or fresh peas. Frozen peas have already been blanched, but I blanch again, to freshen them, and it improves their texture.
- Second, boil, peel and chop the eggs if using.
- Third, slice the radish thin and chop the scallions or chives.
- Fourth, to make the dressing, in a lidded jar add the apple cider vinegar, horseradish, dijon mustard, maple syrup, olive oil and salt. Shake it up!
- Last, place all the veggies and chopped hard boiled eggs into the mixing bowl with the peas and add the dressing. Add a bit of salt and pepper, toss, chill then share.
This cold green pea salad salad is best shared the day made for freshest color and texture. But I’ve enjoyed this salad two days out. While the radishes soften and lose a bit of their crunch, the salad is still delicious.
How to Blanch Sweet Peas
Blanching peas turns their color a brighter green without compromising their fresh flavor. It’s easy to do too!
- First, put a pot of water on to boil and prepare a bowl of ice water that a colander can fit in. Plunge the peas into boiling water for 2 minutes if fresh, 30 seconds if frozen.
- Next, strain the peas in a colander then place the colander in the bowl of ice water to halt the cooking process.
- Last, drain. The sweet peas are now ready to use in any recipe.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Use fresh or frozen peas in this sweet pea salad recipe.
- Make and share this vegetarian pea salad the day it’s prepared for freshest flavor, texture and color.
- For a vegan green pea salad, simply omit the chopped hard boiled eggs.
- No horseradish? No problem. Leave it out and add more dijon instead. But I highly recommend the horseradish!
- For the horseradish, use prepared horseradish (watch those ingredients tho) or a prepared horseradish mustard – I love the short ingredient list. I use this on sandwiches, veggies, mashed potatoes and other salad dressings as well. It’s delicious!
- Pictured, this healthy pea salad is topped with pea shoots. If available, they’re fabulous. Otherwise top with any sprout or microgreen or arrange the pea salad on a bed of bibb lettuce leaves for serving.
More Summer Salad Recipes to Love
- Nectarine, Pistachio and Goat Cheese Salad
- Curried Potato Salad – by Occasionally Eggs
- Carrot Raisin Salad w/ Creamy Honey Lemon Dressing
- Honey – Miso Summer Salad Bowls – by Floating Kitchen
- Creamy Cucumber Salad – by Foolproof Living
Sweet Pea and Radish Salad Recipe
For the Salad:
- 3 Eggs optional
- 4 C (283g) Sweet Green Peas fresh or frozen - if frozen, 2 10oz bags will do - if fresh you'll need about 1lb per cup of fresh peas.
- 1 C (160g) Radishes sliced thin, about one bunch
- 1/2 C (15g) Chives chopped thin or 2-3 scallions, green parts only
- Pea Shoots, Microgreens, or Bibb Lettuce optional for serving
For the Dressing:
- 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbs Water plus more to thin
- 1 1/2 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 tsp Prepared Horseradish or dijon mustard* see note - add another tsp for more spice
- 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard *see note
- 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
Boil the Eggs:
- In a medium sauce pot, place eggs in water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and lid for 10 minutes. Drain and place eggs in cool water. Peel eggs, then chop. Set aside.
For the Salad:
- Prepare the Peas (fresh or frozen): Bring a small sauce pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile prepare an ice water bath. Plunge the peas into the boiling water. Blanch the fresh peas for 2 minutes, frozen for 30 seconds (the water does not have to come to a boil again). Drain the peas into a small colander, then set the colander into the ice water bath to halt cooking.
- Place the peas into a medium mixing bowl and set in the refrigerator while preparing the remaining ingredients.
For the Dressing:
- In a lidded jar, add the olive oil, water, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, horseradish (if using), dijon mustard and salt. Shake until the ingredients are emulsified.
- To the mixing bowl with the peas, add the radish, chopped eggs, scallions or chives and pour the dressing over the salad (to taste). Add a few twists of fresh ground black pepper and toss the salad. Taste for seasoning adjustment. Scatter pea shoots or microgreens if using over the top of the salad. Or plate on a bed of bibb lettuce leaves. Garnish with chive flowers if possible. Refrigerate if time permits for at least an hour prior to serving.
- Store in a lidded container, in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
Loving this lightened up salad Traci! I also love my summer peas. What a great idea to add the horseradish for some extra kick. Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
I love simple salads like this, Traci – just a few ingredients but properly balanced – and you have a wonderful salad. Yes to horseradish – I love its peppery bite. Looking forward to trying this one! Hope you have a great weekend.
WOW… this looks fabulous! The traditional pea salad with cheddar cubes, celery, pickles, and mayo has long been a favorite of mine, but this looks tantalizing… crisp… flavorful… full of nutrition… and the colors – stunning! I can feel the crunch of the radish surrounding those peas. Alongside the horseradish, PARTaaaaY in the mouth! Thank you for yet another delightful recipe, sister!
Ahhh, I know you love that traditional style pea salad! But this is quite nice, and super refreshing! Party in the mouth is right!
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
This is SO green! I love it! I can’t even imaging adding cheese and mayo. I would choose this lighter version anyday!
SO green, right?! I love it too, and the horseradish is a nice surprise! Can you imagine this by the pool with a cold beer and sammie?