Cold Pea Salad

SaladQuick and EasyVegetarianPeas

Delightful Chilled Pea Salad, made with smoked almonds, water chestnuts and a hint of curry. This pea salad is a great addition to your summer salad recipe collection.

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

Pea Salad – Perfect for Summer

Long warm summer days are perfect for cold pea salad!

I first encountered this delightful pea salad at a friend’s potluck. It was one of the dishes that everyone went back for seconds for. You can make this salad ahead of time on the day you want to serve it, just hold off adding the nuts so they retain their crispness. The cold peas and the crisp nuts pair lovely together.

How to Make 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’m not sure of the original source of this pea salad recipe, but since the recipe 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 cold pea 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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How to make pea salad with almonds

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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47 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. JUDI

    I’m wondering about the mayo – 2/3 cups seems like a lot! Plan to make this week and will adjust to taste and texture.

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  2. Julie

    One of my favorite BBQ side dishes, I make it all the time. I make it according to the directions, adding a little more green onions if I feel like it. Fantastic!


  3. 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!

  4. 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!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. 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….

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Cold Pea Salad in serving bowlCold Pea Salad