Sautéed peas with mint is a classic recipe that’s a beautiful reminder of the power of simple, fresh ingredients. Here, I added more fresh herbs and smokey, salty bacon for a side dish that’s perfect for Spring.
- Fresh, Seasonal Flavor: This recipe celebrates the arrival of spring by showcasing one of its earliest and most delicious bounties – fresh peas.
- Nutrient-Rich. Peas are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber, providing a nutritious boost to your meal.
- Under 100 calories and 5 net carbs per serving, naturally gluten-free, and whole 30 compliant (if you use uncured, sugar-free bacon.)
Take Peas from Basic to Boujie
As the days grow warmer and the first signs of spring begin to emerge, my thoughts usually turn to vegetables. There’s no better way to celebrate the arrival of this beautiful season than with one of its first bounties: peas!
Peas are usually shoved to the sidelines, but peas a versatile and delicious veggie that deserves their moment in the spotlight!
Sautéing peas in bacon fat and tossing them with crispy bacon and loads of fresh herbs is a fantastic way to add a touch of elegance to your springtime table.
If fresh peas aren’t in season where you are yet, don’t worry. I’ll show you how to make this recipe with fresh peas or frozen ones, so you can enjoy it year-round!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Green Peas (fresh or frozen): Sweet peas are the star of this recipe, bringing a burst of freshness and vibrant color to the table. When they’re available, fresh peas are wonderful. I save myself time by purchasing small bags of them that have already been shelled (look for them in the refrigerator section, usually near the bagged salads.) If fresh peas aren’t available, frozen peas are a great alternative! I like to grab the bag marked “sweet peas” rather than the standard peas (sometimes labelled garden peas), since they tends to be smaller, more tender, and have a milder flavor.
Bacon: Smoky bacon complements the sweetness of the peas so well. What’s better than peas cooked in bacon fat? For the best flavor and texture, look for thick cut bacon without too much fat. If you prefer a vegetarian option, leave the bacon out and cook the peas in a tablespoon or two of olive oil or your favorite neutral cooking oil.
Shallot: I love shallots because they have a sweeter, milder flavor than onion. Choose shallots that are firm, heavy for their size, and free of soft spots or sprouting. If you don’t have shallots on hand, you can substitute them with a tablespoon of finely minced yellow onion.
Fresh Mint, Parsley, and Scallions: Fresh herbs are key to achieving the fresh, vibrant flavor of this recipe, so don’t be temped to swap them out for dried versions. To select the best herbs, look for bunches with bright green leaves without signs of yellowing or wilting. You can use flat-leaf (Italian) or curly parsley in this recipe, but I prefer the texture of flat-leaf. Chives can be used in place of the scallions (green onions.)
How to make it
If you’re using fresh peas, you’ll need to start by cooking them. Bring a shallow pan of salted water to a boil and add the peas. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until they’re bright green. Immediately remove them from the heat and drain them. To stop the cooking process, run cold water over the peas or add them to a bowl of ice water.
Cook the bacon. Starting in a cool pan, cook the bacon until it crisps up and the fat renders. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the pan.
Sautee the shallot in the bacon grease for a minute or two, until it softens.
Add the peas and cook until warmed through.
Toss the peas with the fresh mint, parsley, and scallions. Season to taste with salt.
Pro Tip: Cooking Fresh Peas
Peas cook very quickly, so it’s easy to overdo it. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like mushy peas! For perfect peas with a slightly firm texture and a vibrant green color, blanch the peas in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, until they turn bright green, then immediately transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
Commonly asked questions
How to store Leftovers
Leftover will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can I Freeze It?
Yes, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the dish in the refrigerator overnight and then gently warm it on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the dish ahead of time and reheat it gently before serving. However, for the best flavor and texture, it’s recommended to serve the dish immediately after cooking.
Can I use frozen peas instead of fresh?
Yes, you can use frozen peas if fresh peas are not available. Frozen peas are flash-frozen at peak ripeness, so they retain their sweetness and tenderness.
How do I choose the best fresh peas?
Select bright green, firm, and full pods. Avoid pods with blemishes, bruising, or yellowing.
Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?
This recipe is all about the fresh herbs. I do not recommend substituting dried herbs for this.
More vegetable side dish ideas
- Honey Chipotle Roast Acorn Squash
- Grilled Zucchini
- Easy Grilled Carrots With Basil Vinaigrette
- Roasted Beet And Citrus Salad With Cilantro-Lime Dressing
- Spicy Broccoli Sauté
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- Strawberry Cucumber Salad With Feta And Mint
- Dilled Pea Pasta Salad
Peas with mint and bacon
- 10 ounces green peas fresh or frozen
- 3 slices bacon cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 shallot minced
- ¼ cup fresh mint finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- sea salt to taste
- If using fresh peas, start by bringing a shallow pan with 1-2 inches of salted with to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 2 minutes, or until they turn bright green. Immediately remove them from the heat and transfer them to an ice bath or run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.
- Add the bacon to a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-9 minutes, or until it begins to crisp.
- Stir in the minced shallot and cook 1-2 minutes, until softened.
- Add the cooked fresh peas or frozen peas and stir until heated through.
- Remove from the heat and add in the mint, parsley, and scallions. Season to taste with sea salt.