When sugar snap peas are fresh and tender, this Sugar Snap Pea Salad is the ideal way to enjoy them. Sweet, crisp sugar snap peas are thinly sliced, seasoned simply, and adorned with a creamy, tangy yogurt dressing, flaky salt, and a drizzle of good olive oil. A beautiful, simple salad recipe with no cooking required!
This Sugar Snap Pea salad caught my eye a couple of years ago in Bon Appétit magazine. It happened to be early spring, when sugar snap peas were at their peak. I made it once and we were hooked.
I simplified the recipe slightly, skipping buttermilk in the dressing. Plain yogurt, fresh lemon juice, and garlic deliver plenty of tangy flavor without it. And in addition to a pool of dressing on the bottom, I like to dribble some over the top.
At times I've embellished the recipe further, adding slivered fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced radishes (for more crunch and a pop of color), and slices of avocado to add a buttery element. We've enjoyed every version, though the one I'm sharing with you is my favorite, and the one we always come back to.
Sugar Snap Pea salad makes a hearty side dish to almost any main (fabulous with Pan-Fried Lamb Chops), but can also stand alone for a light meal.
Sugar Snap Pea FAQ
No, you can eat snap peas raw. And, when they're at their peak in the spring, you should!
You can thinly slice sugar snap peas lengthwise with a sharp knife. Or stack them on their sides in the chute of your food processor and run them through the slicing blade. (Both methods pictured below).
Yes. The strings are edible, but can be difficult to bite through. Strings run along both sides of the sugar snap pea. With your thumb and index finger, snap off the stem end of the pea to expose the string and gently pull away to remove it. Repeat process on the other side. (Both the convex and concave sides of the sugar snap pea can have tough strings.)
You'll want to cut the stem end off of sugar snap peas. The other end is optional, though snapping it loose can help with removing the string(s).
More must make spring salads!
When asparagus is at its peak, try Asparagus Nicoise Salad, a riff on the French classic Nicoise Salad. And Strawberry Spinach Salad, Bibb Lettuce Salad and Arugula Salad are others not to be missed this time of year!
How to make Sugar Snap Pea Salad
Step 1: Make dressing by whisking together yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
Step 2: Toss sliced sugar snap peas with olive oil, lemon zest, and black pepper.
Step 3: Divide most of the dressing between 4 individual salad bowls. Top each with dressed sugar snap peas and drizzle with remaining dressing. Season with freshly ground black pepper, flaky sea salt, and a swirl of olive oil. Serve.
Sugar Snap Pea Salad
- 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 small clove garlic finely grated (ideally on a microplane)
- pinch kosher salt
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas strings removed and thinly sliced lengthwise (see recipe note)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus more for finishing
- freshly ground black pepper
- flaky sea salt such as Maldon, for finishing
- Whisk yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, and a large pinch of kosher salt in a small bowl.
- Add sugar snap peas, 2 Tbsp. oil, and 1 tsp. lemon zest to a large bowl and toss to coat; season with freshly ground black pepper.
- To plate the salad, smear a generous amount of dressing in the bottom of 4 shallow serving bowls. Top each with ¼ of the sugar snap peas. Drizzle each with more dressing (thin with a little water if necessary). Finish with a drizzle of good olive oil, more lemon zest, some flaky sea salt, and coarsely ground black pepper. Serve.
- You can thinly slice the sugar snap peas lengthwise by hand, but it's much faster using the slicing blade of a food processor. Be sure to stack the snap peas on their side before slicing instead of feeding them through the chute. (See recipe video for demonstration.)