Here are all the best peas recipes for using this healthy green veggie! This list of pastas, soups, and salads uses everything from green peas to pea shoots.
Are you a peas lover? Peas have had a troubled reputation: “eat your peas” is a mantra of well-meaning but controlling parents to their children. Why the bad rap? We’re not sure, but these days, peas have a new lease on life. They’re beautifully bright green and taste fresh and sweet. Even better, they’re full of plant-based protein (and one of the best vegetables you can eat).
Here are all the best peas recipes for using this bright green vegetable! From vibrant green vegetable chowder to pasta with peas, feta and dill, there is no shortage of inspiration for cooking with these green orbs. Most use green peas, but we’ve thrown in a split pea recipe and a few for cooking with pea shoots, too. Ready to get cooking?
Did you know frozen peas can taste amazing in 5 minutes? Yep, you can transform a bag of these frozen green spheres into an easy side dish that everyone around the table will love. The secret? A little olive oil, butter, garlic and lemon. That’s it! The Italian-style flavors transform a boring bag of peas into something beautifully delicious and fresh. In fact: they’re hard to stop eating!
First up in our best pea recipes: this spring pea soup! This vegetable chowder has a vibrant green color and homey vibe, full of spring vegetables like green peas, potatoes, baby greens, chives, and mint. It has a hearty and almost meaty flavor from cumin, coriander, and garlic, which are set off by the fresh herbs. Add a squeeze of lemon for a bright zing, and load up with fresh mint. It's a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
Speaking of crowd pleasers, this is our #1 fan favorite green peas recipe! This zesty green pea dip is out of this world, and loved by everyone including avowed pea haters. It takes just a few minutes to make: simply blend up green peas (frozen and defrosted) with a load of cilantro and salsa verde. It turns into a flavorful dip that's perfect with pita chips!
Peas are perfect in pasta recipes! Here they're mixed with bowtie pasta (farfalle) and flavored with Mediterranean-style flavors: fresh dill, feta cheese and lemon. It's a fantastic main dish peas recipe that works well for lunches or even as a pasta salad for potlucks.
Here's a tasty peas recipe: throwing them into a springy pea salad! You can use either fresh or frozen peas here: fresh peas would be absolutely stunning! Throw them over lettuce with radishes, lemon zest and feta cheese, and cover it all in a zingy lemon vinaigrette with fresh oregano. It's a stunning salad with a spring-time flair.
Pasta carbonara often is served with peas! While they're not traditionally included in the Italian version of this Parmesan and pancetta pasta, it's still a tasty way to get your green veggies. This vegetarian version of carbonara pasta is full of smoked mozzarella cheese, an ode to the smokiness of bacon, and topped with a raw egg yolk to make a creamy sauce. (Don't worry, it's safe to eat because it's cooked by the hot pasta!)
Most of these are green pea recipes, but we had to sneak in one with split peas! Are green peas the same as split peas? Yes! A split pea is the peeled and dried version of a green pea. As you may know, they make the most delicious soup! This one is simmered with broth and veggies and flavored with liquid smoke to simulate the flavor of bacon. It's cozy and hearty, perfect with biscuits or cornbread. (See also: Instant Pot Split Pea Soup.)
Here's another springy green pea soup recipe: this one is a silky smooth puree! It's creamy and light, and perfect to accompany a grilled cheese or the first course in a dinner party. For the garnish, savory croutons made with rye bread are the perfect compliment. And if you have them, add chive flowers: they add a beautiful touch! If not, thinly sliced chives work perfectly as well.
What's fried rice without peas? This pea recipe is all about keeping with tradition: those green orbs bring the perfect color and bit of protein to warm, crispy fried rice. This one is straightforward and flavored with garlic and ginger. You can use any veggies in your fridge for this one (just make sure to include peas!).
And last but not least, a pea recipe featuring another part of the plant: pea shoots! Pea shoots are baby pea plants that are cut before they grow into actual peas. They're harvested as a sort of microgreen: a leafy green that tastes just like fresh peas! You can find them at farmers markets or grow them in your garden. Throw them into salads like this arugula salad: it's perfect with a vinaigrette and shaved Parmesan!
Peas fun facts
Want to learn more about peas? Here’s a bit more info about these healthy veggies that may convince you to eat more peas recipes:
They’re part of the legume family, like chickpeas and lentils. But they’re more often eaten as a starchy vegetable (like corn or potatoes).
They are high in plant-based protein. 1/2 cup of peas has 4 grams of protein. The calorie count is also fairly low: 62 calories for the same amount. (Source)
Split peas vs green peas: what’s the difference? Split peas are a peeled and dried version of green peas. Of course the most common way to serve split peas is as a soup (here’s our recipe).
Are fresh peas better in recipes than frozen? Actually according to Epicurious, no! Fresh peas are great for snacking, but frozen hold up better in recipes and have all the same nutrients.
Should I eat canned peas? There’s often lots of sodium in canned peas, and their texture becomes pretty mushy. So we recommend using frozen!
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.