Creamy Pasta Salad

Whenever Anita and I go antiquing we like to pack a light lunch for the trip. Taking our lunch instead of eating out means that way we maximize our antiquing time. But just because lunch is hauled in a cooler doesn’t mean that it’s going to be boring. I made a few fantastic Italian cold-cut wraps and this absolutely delicious creamy pasta salad for our last trip. We both could’ve eaten the salad all afternoon long, but that would’ve meant little time for looking for antiques! Perfectly creamy, with a little crunch from the onion, peas and pickles. Oh, and cheese.
Creamy Pasta SaladFor a great twist on this creamy pasta salad substitute chopped green or black olives for the diced pickles. Another great change is to use smoked cheddar cheese instead of extra sharp cheddar.

This salad is even better (I wouldn’t have thought it could be any better!) the next day.

Creamy Pasta Salad

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried elbow macaroni
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 7 ounce block of extra sharp cheddar cheese, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickles diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
  • 1 4 ounce jar pimentos, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta per package instructions. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to cool.
  • Add the peas, cheese, pickles, onion and pimento and fold to combine.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, cream, mustard and sugar. Fold into the pasta mixture.
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Buffalo Cowboy Caviar

Anita can attest to my (somewhat) shocking addiction to all things Buffalo wings, so she wasn’t surprised when I served up this Buffalo Cowboy caviar. What was surprising, though, was just how much we both absolutely loved it. Beans, peas, tomatoes, cilantro, green onions, all good things. But the crunch of the corn and the smoothness of the avocado, along with spicy Buffalo wing sauce pushed this side up a few notches on the ‘love it’ scale.
Buffalo Cowboy CaviarFor a twist, use corn-on-the-cob that has been roasted on a grill or under the broiler until lightly charred. Cut the kernels from the ears and add to the caviar. You’ll need 3-4 good sized ears to make Buffalo Cowboy caviar.

Also try my Cowboy caviar and my Georgia caviar recipes.

Buffalo Cowboy Caviar

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

For the salad

  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 15 ounce can black eyed peas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 11 ounce can corn, drained
  • 4 Roma tomatoes seeded, diced
  • 2 large avocados diced
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup green onions diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 2 jalapenos seeded, diced

For the marinade

Instructions

  • Place all of the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Whisk together the marinade ingredients and add to the salad. Toss to coat.
  • Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Pickled Black-Eyed Peas

I need a t-shirt that says “Don’t get between me and my pickled black-eyed peas”. I found them to be so dangerously good that I didn’t want to share with anyone. Ever. The peas absorb the vinegar, getting a really nice tart kick to them. For a little heat, jalapenos (they do get tamed down a bit the longer they pickle). Crispy red onions and a little garlic round out what is a perfect side dish.
Pickled Black-Eyed Peas

These pickled black-eyed peas remind me of the Georgia caviar I made a while back. Black-eyed peas are wonderful in a cold salad and even better when pickled. Don’t let the jalapenos worry you if you aren’t into spicy foods. You can of course leave them out but I found that they do not overpower the salad at all. You don’t have to eat them, but leave them in to add flavor.

If you prefer your black-eyed peas cooked, try my slow cooker recipe.

Pickled Black-Eyed Peas

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 15 ounce cans black-eyed peas, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 medium red onion sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeño cut into rings
  • 1/2 cup or more olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  • Combine the beans, onion, garlic and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the oil and vinegar.
  • Add the oil mixture ot the peas and stir to combine.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Note: If you find the peas to be too dry, now is the same to add a bit more oil.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Parmesan Peas

I’m on a never-ending quest to find recipes that jazz up canned or frozen vegetables. I stock up on them before winter hits because you just never know when you might get stuck in the house for a while because of a blizzard (at least here). Once winter has passed I then rush to use up all the cans and bags and boxes of veggies. These Parmesan peas are an outstandingly good way to use frozen peas. And once fresh peas are available again, I’ll make this recipe with fresh ones. But either way, frozen or fresh, these peas are great!
Parmesan PeasYou really have to watch these peas when you cook them. They’ll go from bright green to yellowish in a heartbeat. Once they are all bright green, get them off the heat! I was dangerously close to crossing the line when I made these. Not that they’ll taste bad if you do let them cook too far, not at all.

Also try my penne pasta with peas.

Parmesan Peas

Course Side
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 small shallots sliced or diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1 pound bag frozen peas, thawed completely
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the shallots along with a pinch of salt. Cook until the shallots are soft and translucent.
  • Add the peas and another pinch of salt. Cook until peas are soft and bright green, 2-3 minutes at most. Do not overcook or the peas will change color and no longer be bright green.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  • Serve sprinkled with the cheese and a pinch or two of pepper.

Potato Salad With Peas

I could sit down with a huge bowl of this salad  and eat it all day long. It has crunchiness. Creaminess. The pop of peas. And my favorite, Creole mustard. Certainly I’ve seen peas in pasta salad before. But I’d never had potato salad with peas until now. I’ve been missing out, that’s for sure.

Potato Salad with PeasI fought the temptation to add crumbled cooked bacon to this wonderful salad. It’s ok if you’re not that strong. Add it and enjoy.

For a similar salad but one that uses pasta instead of potatoes, check out our peas and pasta salad recipe and bacon potato salad.

Potato Salad With Peas

Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red potatoes peeled, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs peeled, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1/2 cup red onion diced
  • 2/3 to 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons Creole mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Put the potatoes into a saucepan and cover with water.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
  • Bring water to a boil, cover and continue boiling until the potatoes are just starting to get tender. Do not overcook them. Start checking them after 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, drain, place in a large bowl, and let cool.
  • Add the chopped eggs, peas and onion. Fold to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Whisk together 2/3 cups of the mayo, the sour cream and mustard in a medium bowl.
  • Fold into the potato mixture. Add a bit more mayonnaise if too dry.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

Penne with Peas

Peas and penne pasta go well together. There’s nothing like the ‘pop’ of a pea when you bite into it. Throw it in with some other great things, like cream and bacon, and you’ve got a great side! I like to use a good, thick, smoky bacon to add a little more flavor contrast. Fried pancetta would be great too. It would add a nice crunch, but without the smokiness. Either way it’s still great!

Penne with PeasI often substitute this penne with peas dish for pasta salad. It’s almost like a pasta salad, but a lot more decadent.

Also try my Parmesan peas.

Penne with Peas

Course Side
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 4 sliced thick-cut bacon
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 pound frozen peas
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  • Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain, but keep 1 cup of the boiling liquid just in case you need it later on.
  • Cut bacon into small pieces. Add to a large skillet over medium high heat and cook for about 3 minutes.
  • Add the onion and cook until softened and the bacon begins to crisp.
  • Add the butter, peas and 2 tablespoons of water, and cook until the peas are tender, 2-5 minutes.
  • Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the cheese, a little at a time, stirring to combine, until melted.
  • Add the pasta and stir to coat.
  • If the mixture is too thick and a LITTLE bit of the reserved pasta water and stir. Add more liquid if required.