Green Peas with Bacon is an easy side dish recipe that takes frozen peas to a whole new level with crispy bacon and garlic!
You can use frozen, fresh, or canned peas! This simple side dish recipe can be made in about 10 minutes!
This post was originally written in 2015 and updated in 2023 with new photos and content.
Side dishes seem like one more thing when it comes to planning a meal.
They either have to be make-ahead side dishes or take less than 10 minutes to throw together or they don’t happen at my house! Bacon and peas fall into both categories!
This peas and bacon recipe is a favorite side dish recipe because it’s easy and economical…and it has bacon and every boy loves bacon!
Plus, there are different ways to change them up and make them exactly what your family loves! You’ll love this pea recipe!
Be sure to check out more great side dish recipes; Slow Cooker Cheesy Corn Casserole, Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, and Maple Glazed Carrots for more easy side dish ideas! Oh, and Spinach Mashed Potatoes are pretty amazing too!
Why Peas with Bacon are the Best
- Everything is better with bacon…including sweet green peas! Even my picky eater child loves these!
- Use fresh peas, frozen peas, or canned peas. I’m a big fan of recipes like this because it’s easy to keep the ingredients on hand.
- A quick and easy side dish! You don’t even need to thaw the peas first!
We’re trying to get more dietary fiber into our diet and adding peas is a great way to do that! Cauliflower Green Pea Salad is another delicious side dish recipe!
I love that this recipe uses simple ingredients that are easy to keep in the freezer or pantry. Let’s talk about substitutions!
Green Peas: Frozen peas have the best flavor and texture. I also loved the bright green color of frozen peas. Canned peas can be used, but they will be a little softer.
- Canned peas need to be drained and rinsed before being added to the skillet. They need less time to cook, about 2 minutes. Just make sure they are warmed through. If you overcook canned peas they’ll be mushy.
- To use fresh peas boil them in water for a few minutes before sauteing them. (I never use fresh because it takes so long to shell one pea!)
Bacon: Cooking and crumbling bacon is the BEST! Making a big batch of bacon in the oven ahead makes recipes like this really quick and easy. You can also use store-bought bacon bits. Be sure to use the real ones!
Onions: Yellow, white, or sweet onions will work great. Red onions will work too, but they are better eaten raw. Shallots have a mellow flavor and are a great option too. If you’re kids really don’t like onions just leave them out!
Butter: I’m in love with the flavor of butter, you can use olive oil though.
Garlic: I’ve fallen in love with Gourmet Gardens Garlic Paste because it tastes just like minced fresh garlic without the hassle. Feel free to use garlic cloves if you’d like!
How to Make Green Peas with Bacon
Using kitchen shears is an easy way to cut bacon! It’s also easier to cut bacon if it’s slightly frozen. Put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then slice.
Step 1: Cut bacon into pieces. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the bacon bits until they’re crispy. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon and set it on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. (you can also fry the bacon strips and then break them into pieces too)
Step 2: Turn the heat down to medium heat. Carefully drain the bacon grease and wipe the pan clean with a paper towel. Turn the heat to medium.
Step 3: Add a tablespoon of butter, garlic paste, and the frozen green peas and a to the skillet with the onion. Stir frequently until the peas are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Add bacon to the peas. Stir. Add a pinch of salt, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Bacon is salty so you’ll want to adjust seasonings depending on the saltiness of the bacon.
Step 5: Serve with grated parmesan cheese if desired.
Tips and Variations
This recipe is a basic recipe that you can change up to be exactly what you want it to be! Get as creative as you’d like!
Parmesan Cheese: A great way to serve peas with bacon is by topping them with grated parmesan cheese!
Peas with Bacon and Cream: To make creamy peas with bacon add a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream to the sweet peas.
Peas with Bacon and Onions: Sauté diced onions until golden brown and tender in the bacon grease.
Other Add-ins: Mushrooms, diced sweet bell peppers, and prosciutto.
Adding butter, salt, pepper, and other herbs are great choices. Adding bacon makes even the pickiest eaters love green peas!
Beef, chicken pork, and seafood all go well with peas.
What to Serve with Peas with Bacon
Honestly, this peas and bacon recipe goes with just about everything. Try some of these easy main dish favorites!
- Tenderloin Steaks
- Shredded Sweet Ham
- Ritz Parmesan Baked Chicken
- Make Ahead Ravioli Casserole
- Tenderloin Steak Bites
- Smoked Meatloaf with BBQ Glaze
Sauteed Green Peas and Bacon
- 2 strips bacon
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 12 ounces frozen green peas
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese optional
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add raw bacon strips and fry bacon until browned and crispy. Remove bacon from the skillet and set on a paper towel lined plate. After the bacon cools break it into little pieces or bits.
- Carefully drain the excess grease from the pan. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add butter, garlic paste, and frozen peas to the pan. Sauté stirring frequently until the peas are cooked and warmed through, about 4-5 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper. Taste. And adjust seasonings.
- Serve with grated parmesan cheese if desired.