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Grandma’s Pea Salad with Peanuts

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Some recipes become instant family traditions! It happened the first time we tasted Grandma’s Pea Salad With Peanuts! Sweet Peas, Roasted Peanuts, Sweet Pickles, and simple dressing combine for one tried and true family favorite!

I’ve never dedicated a post to anyone. Today’s post is the exception… and it’s dedicated to my Grandma Helen! My number one “Shero”! She understood children, loved playing in their magical world, and knew their hearts! 

Bowl full of Grandma's Pea Salad

Grandma loved Life! She loved working! Seriously she LOVED hard work! She was an example to her family her entire life of the joy of work! She loved family, exploring, travel, learning, laughing, and having fun!

If she could have been the first woman to the moon…she’d have jumped at the chance! She loved being a Mom and a Grandma! My childhood is filled with the most wonderful memories of times spent together!

She was fearless in the kitchen! FEARLESS! Which at times was a jewel to her creativity crown…and at others…was a test to the rest of us “less fearless” souls! (Word to the wise…don’t EVER kill your granddaughters pancake breakfast dreams by adding wheat germ to the batter! DO NOT DO IT!)

That lack of fear in the kitchen made her eager to try new recipes! She loved reading cookbooks and magazines in search of new and exciting dishes.  New recipes like this Pea Salad.

What makes this Pea Salad different from all the others? Canned Peas! That’s right…most Pea Salad recipes call for thawed frozen peas with all kinds of other delicious ingredients added in.

Grandma’s was simple. Four ingredients…one of them being “canned Peas! (Don’t run away…keep reading! I promise this recipe will “Wow” ya!)

Grandma's Pea Salad With Peanuts

I still remember the first time it made its grand appearance at a Family gathering. We all looked at it skeptically. (I’m completely downplaying this…there was a lot of whispering and “Oh heck No I’m not eating that!)

One thing about Grandma…y’all were gonna try any new recipe! It was an unspoken LAW! (I’m not kidding… there was the great “pig stomach” dinner of 1979! Yes…you read that right! I should be in therapy over that one!) 

So no one was escaping the “taste testing” of what would soon become the newest food member of the family tree!

So…gulp… I took a scoop of that Pea Salad and picked up my fork with two little peas teetering on the edge and “Plop” in they went! Chew, chew, chew…as fast as you can…and WAIT a second… Hey…HEY! This is GOOD! It was REALLY good! 

So before you turn your nose up at Grandma’s Pea Salad give it a try. Even my guys like it! My son-in-law openly admitted it wasn’t as good as the Frito Corn Salad.… how can Peas compete with Fritos…but he did say it was good! 

How To Make Grandma’s Pea Salad 

Start out by draining two cans of baby sweet peas. Grandma just used canned Peas. I like to use the baby sweet peas. They are perfect in this salad.

Grandma's Pea Salad

Chop one cup of roasted salted peanuts! They should be chopped small, we want them to blend with the Peas not overpower them. I’m pretty sure these peanuts were the big “lure” for Grandma. She loved…L.O.V.E.D. nuts!

Peanuts crushed and chopped with knife for Pea Salad

Drain 1 small jar of sweet pickles.  About 8–10 pickles. Chop finely.

TIP: Do NOT use sweet pickle relish! I know it’s tempting. But don’t do it. The juices in the relish don’t bode well for this salad. Thus, you need to get down to work and chop up those slick little sweet pickles.

Chopped Sweet Pickles

Place chopped peanuts and pickles to a medium mixing bowl.

Chopped pickles and peanuts side by side in medium size bowl.

Place drained Peas in the mixing bowl on top of the peanuts and pickles. (Yes! I know how strange this recipe sounds…you’re just gonna have to trust me!)

Drained Peas Added to nuts and pickles in mixing bowl

Using a rubber spatula carefully mix the peas, pickles and nuts together giving them a gentle toss. This will help when it’s time to add the dressing.

Gently mixing the peas, peanuts, and pickles

Which is right now! 

Time for true confessions… Grandma didn’t write down exact measurements. When it came to the “dressing” for this salad she just wrote “Add mayonnaise or salad dressing” (Miracle “Gag” Whip! This is the one thing Grandma and I didn’t see eye to eye on. I use Mayonnaise. She used Miracle Whip half the time. Don’t do that. Please. Petty, please! Mayo is much better in this recipe!)

I added 1 cup of Mayonnaise which was plenty. If you think it is too dry…add more. Salt and Pepper to taste! Remember that the peanuts are salty, the peas have been in a salt liquid, and the pickles are salty. So be sure to taste BEFORE you salt! 

Gently fold in the mayonnaise being careful not to crush the peas! 

Adding 1 cup mayonnaise

Once all the ingredients are combined, cover and chill 4 hours or overnight! As the salad chills the flavors from the sweet pickles blends with the mayonnaise and create a wonderful base for this salad.

I know this salad is super easy, and you might be thinking “Can just those four ingredients really create a delicious unique salad?” My response… “Cheese and corn chips equals Nachos!” Sometimes simple ingredients create the most delicious recipes!

Pea Salad ingredients all combined and mixed together.

Serve Grandma’s Pea Salad with Peanuts right out of the refrigerator. Give it a little stir beforehand and you’re good to go. You can garnish with a few extra crushed peanuts like I did and a sprinkle of Paprika! Just to spruce it up a bit.

Grandma's Pea Salad with Peanuts in a serving bowl

It’s creamy and crunchy all in one thanks to the Pea and Peanut combination! This recipe is going to surprise you! It always takes everyone by surprise.

Now, if you’re no a fan of  Pea’s I wouldn’t expect you to like this salad. If you like Peas, then I’d expect you to love this salad, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if it became a regular at your family gatherings, like it did at ours.

I think Grandma would be tickled that I shared her recipe here with all of you today! Grandma truly believed that good food and family went together hand in hand.

Cooking was a way to demonstrate to those you loved just how much they meant to you! (Even if it meant wheat germ in your pancakes!)

Grandma's Pea Salad on a special hand towel.

I believe the same thing. Food made with love is one of the greatest gifts we can give to family and friends.

Other Family Favorite Salad Recipes

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you have a great week and come back soon!

Happy Nesting!

Norines Photo and signature

Grandma's Pea Salad with Peanuts

Grandma's Pea Salad with Peanuts in a serving bowl

Tender young canned baby sweet peas are combined with crushed roasted peanuts, sweet pickles and dressing to create a unique and delicious Retro Pea Salad.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 2 cans sweet peas, drained
  • 1 small jar sweet pickles, about 10 pickles. Drained and chopped.
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Additional chopped nuts and paprika for garnish


  1. In a large bowl combine drained peas, chopped peanuts and chopped pickles.
  2. Add 1 cup mayonnaise and stir gently until all ingredients are mixed. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Stir right before serving and garnish with additional chopped nuts and Paprika.

Nutrition Information:


6-8 servings

Serving Size:

3/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 25gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 781mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g

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Linda Kelly

Thursday 8th of June 2023

I love pea salad. Never had it made with peanuts tho. Have to give it a try. I do make it with shredded cheese though. Usually Velveeta. Tastes pretty good that way too.

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Friday 9th of June 2023

Hi Linda! That sounds good too! I think it would be a great addition to Grandma's salad. Let me know what you think of this recipe. We all love it. Norine

Linda Cochran

Saturday 13th of February 2021

I grew up with this salad! A favorite that I dream about. I haven’t had it since I left home 50 years ago. I am adding it to my menu for this week. Can’t wait to taste home again.

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Monday 22nd of February 2021

Hi Linda! This warms my heart so much! Grandma's salad always made me feel warm and loved! There is nothing better than a taste of home is there. Enjoy! Thanks for sharing with me. Have a wonderful week! Norine


Saturday 17th of October 2020

My 90 year old mother just told me about her mother in south Texas making a canned pea and peanut salad. I thought her memory was going but looked it up and Voila! - this recipe just like mom remembered. It sounds refreshing and I’ll definitely try it!

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Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Hi Marie! I LOVE this so much! Thanks for taking the time to share it with me. My grandmother loved making this salad for all of us and would be in her 90's had she lived. She lived in Texas for a while and I wonder if that is where she got this recipe. It really is so good and holds so many special memories for our family. Let me know how you like it! Happy Nesting! ~Norine


Friday 23rd of August 2019

I am intrigued by your Grandmother's recipe. I grew up in a "Miracle Whip" home but found out as I grew older that mayonnaise is just needed in some recipes. I still like Miracle Whip in others. That said, my question is not with the mayo vs. Miracle Whip as much as it is with the peas. I don't like canned peas. Do you think defrosted and thoroughly dried frozen peas would work as well?

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