Cold Pea Salad

SaladQuick and EasyVegetarianPeas

Delightful Chilled Pea Salad, made with smoked almonds, water chestnuts and a hint of curry.

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Long warm summer days are perfect for chilled pea salad!

This recipe uses frozen peas, which you don’t even have to defrost, green onions, water chestnuts, and smoked almonds. The peas do thaw a bit, but they’re wonderful crunchy and cold too.

I first encountered this delightful salad at a friend’s potluck. It was one of the dishes that everyone went back for for seconds.

I’m not sure of the original source of the recipe, but since the recipes calls for Smokehouse Almonds, perhaps the almond company? It could easily be made with tamari almonds as well. You just want salty, crunchy, roasted almonds for this salad.

Do you have a favorite pea salad? Please let us know about it in the comments.

Photos and recipe updated, first published 2007


Cold Pea Salad Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

You can make this salad ahead of time on the day you want to serve it, but add the almonds at the last minute. The salad is still good the next day but it's best served on the day you make it.

You can substitute tamari almonds for the smokehouse almonds, in which case, you do not need to rinse them.

Wonderful served with sliced tomato and avocado and chicken for lunch.


  • 16-ounces frozen petite peas (do not thaw)
  • 6 ounces smokehouse almonds, rinsed to take off the excess salt, chopped (preferably by hand)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 8 ounces chopped water chestnuts
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1 Remove the excess salt and chop the almonds: In a fine-mesh strainer under cold running water, rinse the almonds to remove the excess salt. Spread between 2 paper towel layers and pat dry. Spread on a cutting board, and coarse chop with a large knife.

2 Combine the salad ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, curry powder, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the peas, scallions, and water chestnuts to the bowl.

Gently fold the salad into the mayonnaise dressing. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3 Add the almonds: Just before serving, stir in the chopped almonds.


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Cold Pea Salad

Showing 4 of 44 Comments / Reviews

  • Michael Zubitis

    Made and served this salad for a family reunion last Sunday. Everyone raved about it and wanted to know where I got the recipe; I’m sure they will be looking this site up.

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes you post!

  • Laura

    I shake the peas in a colander after letting them sit out for 30 minutes or so to get rid of excess ice/liquid. I use half mayo and half Greek yogurt instead of 100% mayo. Shake the nuts in a colander rather than rinsing to get rid of excess salt and do not add additional salt. (I am confused as to why you would rinse the nuts and then add salt.) Anything crunchy can be substituted for water chestnuts if you do not have any on hand like apple as others have suggested or celery. Best eaten immediately IMO. DELICIOUS!

  • Melody

    Made this today with apple and freshly blanched peas from the garden. It’s a keeper! Wonderful flavors and texture. Chopped cooked hard boiled egg might be a nice addition as well….

  • Angelique

    I tried to replace the water chestnuts by an apple, it works well and it is delicious. I make this salad every week!! Thank you!

  • Mary

    This is the salad I bring every year to July 4th community pool party. Great make ahead dish and so easy!


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