A vibrant and healthy snap pea salad featuring three kinds of peas—snap peas, snow peas, and green peas. Tossed with a simple vinaigrette, fresh mint and shallots, this snap pea salad gets piled onto whipped goat cheese and finished with lemon zest and black pepper. Simple, light and flavorful!

Large white plate with a creamy white layer topped with thinly sliced peas and sweet peas.

What is Pea Salad

Classic pea salad is made with a creamy mayo or sour cream-based dressing that’s sweetened with sugar. The salad often features ham or bacon, red onion, and sometimes cubes of Cheddar. This retro type or salad is very ressemblent of macaroni salad.

This is the era of giving those retro salads a makeover! My version is much lighter, more flavorful and bursting with fresh flavor from lemon, mint and a combination of crisp snap peas and snow peas. 

This recipe for pea salad is made:

  • without bacon
  • without mayo
  • without sour cream
  • without sugar 
Large white plate with a creamy white layer topped with thinly sliced peas and sweet peas.

Healthier Pea Salad

Instead of the heavy creamy dressing, this pea salad features a simple vinaigrette (just four ingredients!) and gets piled onto a silky bed of buttermilk-whipped goat cheese. Instead of the salty ham (or bacon) and Cheddar cheese, this salad finds its flavor in the form of fresh shallots, mint and lemon zest. A quick turn of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil brings everything together. 

If you’re looking for a pea salad that uses only sweet peas, check out our take on the classic Italian recipe for Peas, Prosciutto and Pinot!

Ingredients Needed

  • fresh goat cheese
  • buttermilk
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • white wine vinegar—champagne or tarragon vinegar are great substitutions.
  • Dijon mustard
  • honey—maple syrup will also work
  • sugar snap peas
  • snow peas
  • frozen peas
  • shallot
  • fresh mint—if you don’t like mint, tarragon would also work well.
  • lemon
two images next to each other. the left featuring snow peas, snap peas, sweet peas, oil, vinegar, dijon, salt, pepper, mint and shallot arranged on a gray table. the right featuring white goat cheese whipped in a bowl with a whisk

How to Make Pea Salad

  1. Thinly slice the snow peas and snap peas. Thaw the frozen sweet peas.
  2. Whisk the goat cheese and buttermilk together until light and airy. This will require vigorous whisking! Don’t forget to season with salt and pep.
  3. For the vinaigrette, whisk together oil, vinegar, Dijon and honey in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the peas, shallot and mint to the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to combine.
  5. Spread whipped goat cheese over a large plate or platter.
  6. Pile pea salad over goat cheese and finish with minced lemon zest, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serve Pea Salad With

How to Thaw Frozen Peas

Your first instinct may be to zap the frozen peas in the microwave. It will certainly thaw them, but it will also overcook the peas and cause them to take on a wrinkly skin. Instead, place the frozen peas in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let the peas sit for 5 minutes, then drain and repeat until the peas are completely thawed.

How to Prep Snow Peas

Snow peas have a tough string running down the length of their straight side. To quickly and easily remove that tough string, snap the tapered end of the pea and drag the tip down the length of the straight side of the pea. This will drag and remove that pesky tough string. Check out this video for a tutorial!

How to Store Pea Salad

I don’t recommend making this salad in advance. It’s the type of side dish that’s best served right after making. If you have leftovers, store them in a glass container or bowl with a tight fitting lid in the refrigerator for up to two days

Large white plate with a creamy white layer topped with thinly sliced peas and sweet peas.


  • add chopped dates of currants to the salad.
  • add toasted slivered almonds for some additional crunch.
  • use only snap peas for a simpler, more streamlined pea salad.
  • make this salad dairy-free by skipping the whipped goat cheese.
  • make this salad vegan by skipping the whipped goat cheese and using maple syrup in place of honey.

Side Dish Salad Recipes You Might Also Like

Triple Pea Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Yield 5 cups (5 servings)
Category Side
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant


A vibrant pea salad featuring a tangy vinaigrette, fresh mint and shallot. Piled atop a bed of silky smooth whipped goat cheese, this is one stunning side dish!


  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil + more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • 6 –8 ounces sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
  • 6 –8 ounces snow peas, strings removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallot
  • cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested


  • In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk together goat cheese, buttermilk, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper until light and airy (this will take some muscle!). 
  • In a large bowl whisk together oil, vinegar and Dijon; season with salt and pepper. Add snap peas, snow peas, thawed green peas, shallot, and mint; toss to combine.
  • Spread goat cheese mixture over a large plate or platter. Pile pea mixture over top and finish with a few turns of cracked pepper, minced fresh lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.


Snow and Snap Peas: I offer a range in weight because the size of bags that snow and snap peas come in can range from 6 to 8 ounces. Either size works for both types of peas. If you can’t find snow peas substitute with snap peas, and vice versa.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 172kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 8.5gFat: 8.5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 282mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5.5g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Large white plate with a creamy white layer topped with thinly sliced peas and sweet peas.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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