Layered Pea Salad...a Southern Favorite!



This is a salad that has been around a long time.  I am not sure when people began making it, but it was probably in the 1970's or earlier?   Some call it 7 layer salad, some layered pea salad and some just call it pea salad, which is what we have always called it.  It's an interesting mixture of ingredients that you layer in a pretty bowl or trifle dish and then 'ice' with mayonnaise and sugar.  Yeah, I know, only in the south.  But if you are not from the south or haven't ever had this pea salad, don't be so quick to judge.   It's delicious, it can be made ahead and it will feed a crowd. My mother wouldn't think of not having a pea salad in the fridge when my sister and her family are coming to visit.  It's one of their favorites. There must be something that folks like about it, because it's still around and people are still asking about how to make it. You will always find it at a church potluck or many times at holiday meals.   Here is what you will need to make it:

4 cups of chopped salad greens (usually iceberg lettuce)
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
4 hardboiled eggs, sliced or grated
1 bag frozen peas, thawed or 1  15 oz. can baby peas, drained (like LeSeur)
2 cups mayonnaise mixed with 2 tsp. sugar
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
7-8 slices crisp cooked bacon or 1 pkg. real bacon bits (the bacon bits hold up better if you are making it the night before or to travel)



Place chopped salad greens in a pretty salad bowl or trifle dish. Next layer chopped onion and sliced celery over that.  Next layer the peas over that.
 
Layer the egg over the peas.  Some just sliced the eggs, I usually grate them.
 
Mix the mayonnaise and sugar and spread over all, sealing to the edges. Sprinkle with cheese and bacon or bacon bits.  Refrigerate until time to serve.  This can be made the night before.  Sometimes to change it up a bit I add 2 tsp. Ranch dressing and 3 Tbs. Parmesan cheese to the mayonnaise mixture and add a layer of water chestnuts after the egg layer.  You can add or leave out whatever your family likes.
 
 
 
 
 






32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. We add sliced water chestnuts to our 7 layer salad. Delish

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  2. Thanx for posting this recipe. I've never had "pea" salad so i'm curious. I always have these ingredients in my home, so anytime is the right time, to make it.

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    1. The cornbread salad is yummy, the left overs set over night and was still very good, did not get to soggy.

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  3. I've made this salad quite often & it always gets cleaned up. I do want to try your cornbread salad (never have had it.. maybe too far North .. Montana) and will see how it goes over. Thanks
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    1. @Gram...try the corn bread salad! I'm originally from Chicago and you will love it!

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    2. Cornbread salad is great too.From an AL girl.

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  4. For the topping I mix mayo and sour cream (half and half) instead. Family favorite in East TN.

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  5. Served this with Christmas dinner. Everyone LOVED it ! Thanks

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  6. I think we called it 7 Layer Salad...it is delicious!

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  7. Bacon bits can make it vegetarian

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  8. Pea Salad!! Yum..... I always ask my mother-in-law to make this for every gathering. I would love to hear some different variations to replace the mayo though.

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  9. Have you ever tried it with slaw mixture instead of salad greens ? it's great .

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  10. I have also had this with steamed shrimp or tuna in the layering--I bet chicken would be good too--This is a real yummy salad!

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  11. I have made this, and included lemon juice in the mayo and omitted the sugar. I will try your recipe next time with the sugar and no lemon juice! Yummmy!

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  12. Add 1/4 cup of parm cheese to the top and it is splendid

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  13. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this and make it often! We used to buy it from our fave grocer and they wouldn't give up the recipe! This is exactly what our little small town grocer makes! Love it!! Now we don't pay $4.99 a pound! Thanks so much for sharing this one!

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  14. I use red bell peppers with the onion and celery layer, I love this salad and the first time I tasted it was in the 70's. Always a winner in my group. I love this site Sweet tea and Cornbread has replaced the other blogs I was watching you're the best!!!!!!!!! Rita

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  15. Thanks for posting this! My whole family is from PA Dutch Country and this is popular there too...only we call it "seven layer salad". :) Super yummy!

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  16. Use the plain flavor, low fat greek strained yogurt instead of the mayo. Dress it up with a little ranch if you like or use some fresh parmesan mixed into the yogurt.

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  17. We were doing this in Texas in late 60's. Mother used to take it to church socials. Finally somebody has pretty much the original recipe but it actually called for frozen peas and made the night before as they would defrost and the whole thing would "mel" together with its special taste. Dont know who invented it but sure am glad they did.

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  18. I make this at work I sometimes add red and green diced peppers layer and use miracle whip and sugar for the dressing followed by bacon and cheese.

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  19. OMG 7 layer salad is the bomb!!! I had never had it until I moved to Illinois!! But I grew up on pea salad which is just basically peas, onions, hard boiled eggs, shredded cheese n mayo

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  20. I use brown sugar with miracle whip and sometimes substitute corn for peas. Delicious!

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  21. I have had it since I was a kid...I love it!!!!!!

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  22. I use half mayonnaise and half "lite" sour cream mixed together... Very good!

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  23. Kathy, truly a classic. Pinned and sharing on my FB page tomorrow. Melissa

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    1. Thank you, Melissa. I just now saw this. I will definitely share for you also today!

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  24. As a teenager I worked at MORRISON'S CAFETERIA in our local mall...an we had 7 layer salad on the line....I thought it was an odd combination, but tasted so good...thanks for this recipe, brought back good memories.

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  25. This has always been one of my favorites....love it! Does anyone mix it all together right before serving or just have everyone 'dip' down into the layers? Never sure which was the best!

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    1. I stir my all together. I think the flavors blend together better that way .

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  26. One of my favorites! I will only use LeSeur peas

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