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Amish Pea Salad with Ham & Cheese

Amish Pea Salad with Ham & Cheese is a delicious side dish that comes together in minutes. It’s a fantastic way to use up leftover holiday ham.

If you’re anything like me, you still have some leftover Easter ham in your freezer.

Despite regularly having to cook for a crowd, I always make too much, regardless of the holiday.

It’s not Easter without ham, and I always purposely buy one that’s bigger than we need to feed our family, so we have some leftovers. After the holiday is over, we enjoy ham sandwiches, ham and cheese omelettes, and I tuck some ham away in the freezer for later.

One of my favorite ways to use up that leftover ham is alongside sweet green peas in this Amish Pea Salad with Ham & Cheese.

Ingredients for Amish Pea Salad arranged on a gray countertop

WHAT IS PEA SALAD?

Pea salad recipes are a little bit like ambrosia salad recipes: every family seems to have their own, slightly different, version. 

Some use sour cream in the dressing. Some add red onion. Some use bacon while others add ham. Some use cheddar cheese while others use American.

Most of them seem to have a few things in common, though: A base of sweet green peas, a creamy dressing, and the addition of cheese and bacon and/or ham.

Whisk about to stir together the ingredients for pea salad dressing in a white mixing bowl

Our family’s version is based on our frequent visits to Amish country.

Eric started a little tradition where we head to Amish country every year around my birthday. We rent the same cabin and spend a couple of days wandering around Amish shops, bakeries and eating the best food in the local restaurants.

I’m fairly certain Eric could live on Amish pot roast and mashed potatoes, but I typically opt for broasted chicken and the salad bar because I know I’ll find pea and ham salad along with homemade rolls and Amish peanut butter.

Whisk stirring together dressing for Amish Pea Salad in a white mixing bowl

A few years ago, I purchased a cookbook from one of the restaurants because we love Amish food so much, and I wanted to try and replicate some of the recipes at home. 

I based this recipe on a pea salad recipe that I found in the cookbook, but of course added a few more ingredients.

The resulting Amish Pea Salad is easily served as a side dish along with ritz cracker chicken, meatloaf, or straight from the bowl. I’ve even been known to stuff it into a pita pocket for a simple lunch sandwich.

Green peas, cheddar cheese, ham, and bacon in a white mixing bowl

WHAT’S IN MY PEA AND HAM SALAD?

A lot of the pea salad recipes I’ve come across have a mayo and sour cream dressing base. Mine uses ranch dressing instead of sour cream and adds some extra herby flavor with fresh chives.

I also like to add in diced ham along with the bacon to make it like the Amish pea salads I love so much.

Spatula stirring together Amish pea salad in a white mixing bowl

To make my Amish Pea Salad with Ham & Cheese, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 16 ounces frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 ounces fully cooked ham, cubed
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 4 sliced fully cooked bacon, finely chopped

I always grab our favorite bottled ranch dressing for this salad, but you could totally use homemade ranch dressing if you have some on hand. 

Close up of a bowl of Amish Pea Salad garnished with fresh herbs

HOW TO MAKE THIS PEA SALAD RECIPE

As much as I love how this salad tastes, the thing I love even more is how easy it is to make.

To make this salad, simply whisk together the mayo, ranch dressing, chives, and salt and pepper. Then gently fold in the peas, ham, cheese, and bacon.

Let the salad chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.

This salad will keep in the fridge, well wrapped, for up to 3 days. Sometimes I like to add a few more fresh chives before serving to brighten it up – and after all, who doesn’t like extra fresh chives?

Overhead view of two small bowls of Amish pea salad on a white board surrounded by fresh peas, chives, and baguette slices
Close up of a bowl of Amish Pea Salad garnished with fresh herbs

Amish Pea Salad with Ham & Cheese

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

Amish Pea Salad with Ham & Cheese is a delicious side dish that comes together in minutes. It’s a fantastic way to use up leftover holiday ham.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 16 ounces frozen peas, thawed
  • 8 ounces fully cooked ham, cubed
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cubed
  • 4 sliced fully cooked bacon, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and ranch dressing until smooth. Add in the chives, salt and pepper, and stir to combine.
  2. Add in the peas, ham, cheese, and bacon and gently toss to fully coat in the dressing. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 8
Amount Per Serving Calories 273Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 43mgSodium 728mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 3gSugar 4gProtein 14g

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