Easy Ham and Pea Salad with Cheddar Cheese

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Looking for the perfect pea salad recipe? This easy ham and pea salad recipe is just the thing. Learn how to make pea salad with mayonnaise and sour cream. With green onions and cheddar cheese added in, this ham pea salad can be a filling lunch. Make this pea ham salad with leftover ham from Christmas or Easter. Whether you are making spring pea salad, a summer pea salad, or a winter pea salad, this pea salad with ham is good any time of the year. Since it’s served chilled, this ham and pea salad recipe makes a refreshing potluck dish. Ready to make one of the best pea salad recipes? Let’s get started!

easy ham and pea salad with cheddar cheese and mayonnaise

My Pea and Ham Salad Backstory

I had never heard of ham and pea salad until we were traveling in rural Oregon and stopped in the town of Fossil for lunch. Fossil is a little town known for its fossil beds. In fact, I had traveled there years before on a field trip to dig for fossils with my youngest son. The fossil bed is located right next to the high school football field. Fossil is a great place, but it was a Sunday, and the only eatery open was a cute location called Sally Foods LLC. We ended up getting a little container of ham and pea salad with some cookies. They were all delicious.

Fossil Oregon courthouse
This is the cool courthouse in Fossil, Oregon, which is the Wheeler county seat.

It was a hot, dry day. The chilled ham and pea salad with mayo and some cheddar cheese chunks was amazingly refreshing. When we returned from our travels, I set out to create a ham and pea salad of my own, trying to replicate the simple pea salad recipe we had tasted. This is my ham and pea salad recipe. I tried a few different variations, which I’ll share with you as well. If you are looking for a salad with ham to use up some leftovers, this is a great option. Here’s how to make pea salad with ham!

easy ham and pea salad photo collage

Equipment Needed for Ham and Pea Salad

The equipment needed for this easy pea salad recipe with ham is pretty basic. You will need a large bowl and a medium-sized bowl, a cutting board, and a knife. Super simple!

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Equipment Needed for Ham and Pea Salad

1 large serving bowl, preferably with a cover for chilling (This set has you covered. I use mine all the time.)

1 small mixing bowl

1 large spoon for stirring

1 basic sharp knife for chopping

1 cutting board

Measuring spoons and cups

Ingredients for Ham and Cheese Salad with Peas

1 12-ounce package frozen peas

1 cup cubed cheddar cheese

1 cup chopped ham (leftover ham is ideal, but deli sliced ham or even bacon may be used)

2 tablespoons chopped red onion or 2 chopped green onions

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon of dill (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped preserved lemons (optional)

Instructions for Pea Ham Salad

Pour the frozen peas into a bowl.

Ham and Pea salad frozen peas

Chop up the cheese, ham, and onions.

Ham and pea salad ingredients separated

Add to the bowl and toss ingredients together with the peas.

Ham and pea salad ingredients tossed together

In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper, dill, and chopped preserved lemons, if using. Add the mixture to the salad bowl and toss to mix.

Finished ham and pea salad

Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. Makes 6 side-dish servings or 4 main-dish servings.

Common Ham and Pea Salad Questions

Is Ham and Pea Salad a Side-Dish or a Main-Dish?

This salad is often classified as a side-dish salad. With the ham added in, I think it makes an ideal luncheon salad. In my opinion, it can be either. To me, the addition of meat makes all the difference between a side-dish and a main-dish. As far as salads with ham, this one is the best I’ve eaten.

Can You Substitute Canned Peas for the Frozen Peas?

The frozen peas add such a delicious, crisp coolness. I would not recommend substituting the frozen peas for canned peas. The canned peas are a little too soft. However, if you are in a pinch and only have the canned variety on hand, you can chill them first.

How Long is Pea Salad Good for in the Fridge?

Typically, pea salad can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. Make sure to keep it in an airtight container to maintain freshness.

Chopped Ingredient Variations

There are many variations to the chopped ingredients for this ham and pea salad. Some people like to add a couple of chopped, hard-boiled eggs to the mix. When we were on our travels, I think the delicious salad we ate included chopped water chestnuts, which were satisfyingly crunchy.  Other chopped ingredient possibilities include chopped celery and chopped red pepper.

Seasoning Variation

I love curry, so I’ve tried this recipe with curry before, and it was delicious. Curry pairs well with sour cream, so it’s an ideal spice variation for this recipe. If you are a fan of the curry sour cream combination, you might also like to read about using leftover turkey in my Easy Curried Turkey recipe post. The spices for ham and pea salad can vary with taste. It’s fun to experiment!

easy ham and pea salad with mayonnaise and cheddar cheese

Still More Variations

If you aren’t fond of mayonnaise, you could try a green pea salad without mayonnaise version by just using sour cream. Ham and peas with red onion added makes a great combination, but if you don’t have a red onion, a sweet yellow onion would also be tasty. Some people try a black-eyed pea salad with mayo. Still others like to make pea salad with pickles. Since I have dill weed as one of the ingredients in my recipe, I can see where the dill pickles might be a terrific option. I have also heard of hard-boiled eggs being used as an ingredient. See how versatile this salad is?

What Goes Well with Ham and Pea Salad?

Since some use this as a side dish, here are some winning combinations if you choose to serve ham and pea salad as an accompaniment to a main dish. Ham and pea salad goes well with hamburgers, chicken, and steak. This salad would be delicious with fish as a main course.

If you decide to use ham and pea salad as a main dish for lunch, warm rolls would compliment this dish nicely. You could also serve other salads. In the heat of summer, a fruit salad would be very refreshing alongside this ham and pea salad recipe. Keeping with the fruit theme, you could serve an Easy Blueberry Cobbler to round out the meal.

Easy Ham and Pea Salad

Easy ham and pea salad is a refreshing dish to serve with any meal. Gather the simple ingredients and have it ready in 15 minutes!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 side-dish
Calories 208 kcal


  • 1 12-ounce bag frozen peas
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese cubed
  • 1 cup ham chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion or 2 green onions chopped
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed optional


  • Pour the frozen peas into a bowl.
  • Chop up the cheese, ham, and onions and add to the bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream, salt, pepper, and dill, if using. 
  • Add the mixture to the salad bowl and toss to mix.
  • Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours.
Keyword easy recipes, salads, side dishes

A Note About the Calorie Count

The calorie count is an estimate based upon the ingredients included in the recipe. It is an estimate and will vary depending upon the ingredients you choose to use. To decrease calories, fat-free mayonnaise may be used.

Easy Ham and Pea Salad with Cheddar Cheese

Other Ways to Use Leftover Ham

I have grown to appreciate leftovers. I’m also a big fan of cooking a large quantity of meat and freezing it. Although I usually have leftover ham after Easter, I sometimes cook a big ham at other times of the year as well. I chop or slice the leftover meat and put it into freezer bags for use in quick recipes like this one. If you find you need a variety of recipes for an abundance of leftover ham, I’ve got you covered. You could make leftover ham and potato casserole in the crock pot. If you have leftover turkey as well, you could make some easy Thai curry chili. Leftover ham lends itself well to many versatile breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes.

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy

For other side-dish salad recipes, see my posts called Special Side Dish: Crowd-Pleasing Seafood Salad and Delicious Berry Mandarin Tossed Salad. If you like serving salads as a main dish, here are some more ideas:

Related Posts Detailing Other Easy Meals You Might Like:

More Food Inspiration

Is easy ham and pea salad calling your name? Do you now have a craving for easy ham and pea salad? It’s such a refreshing dish. Maybe you are thinking of working this easy 3 ingredient ham glaze recipe into your next dinner party, holiday party, or potluck. It’s always nice to have a plan when it comes to meals or parties. If you’re looking for a way to get more organized with your meal-planning efforts, I’ve got something for you. Free, editable meal planners! The templates can be used over and over, as often as you need them. You can make as many duplicates as you like, and you’ll be able to save old meal plans for future reference. I hope it simplifies things for you.

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Get my digital, editable, printable templates!

If you would like even more recipe ideas, consider following my Easy Recipes board on Pinterest. Have a fabulous day, and I hope you get to enjoy this easy ham and pea salad recipe.

First Name Signature Conclusion

Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to create recipes and entertain guests, often using fresh ingredients from her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. For more delicious, easy recipes, click on over to the Food page.

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15 thoughts on “Easy Ham and Pea Salad with Cheddar Cheese”

  1. 5 stars
    A delicious recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • You are very welcome. I am always happy to share favorite recipes like ham and pea salad.

  2. This looks wonderful. I agree the frozen peas are the better choice for this salad. I do use the reduced fat mayo in mine.
    Carley Creative Concepts

    • Reduced fat mayo is a great idea for this ham and pea salad. Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. 5 stars
    This looks great, would love to make this for lunch this week. Can’t go wrong with a meal that is 15 minutes either. Thank you for this!

  4. 5 stars
    What a refreshing salad! I can see why this easy ham and pea salad is perfect for summer. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yes, and it’s so easy. I hope you get to try it!

  5. Wow! This is a perfect spring/summer salad with all of my favorite ingredients! Delicious!

    • Thank you for your enthusiasm! I hope you get to try the recipe.

  6. Now this is an interesting take on a salad. I love how simple it is to make. I think I have all of the ingredients on hand, except for the ham, so once I get that I’m going to give it a try. I bet my family will love it too, as they go crazy over anything that involves ham.

    • I do hope you get to try it, and I’m glad you think your family will like it.

  7. Yum! Definitely trying this out!

  8. 5 stars
    Love the look of this salad. So colorful! Thanks for sharing.

    • So glad you think it looks good. Happy salad-making!


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