Creamy Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon – bright green sugar snap peas combined with crispy bacon and a luxurious cream sauce in this exceptional Spring side dish. Serve it alongside roast meats, tasty barbecue or as an attractive brunch option.
Who said it ain’t easy being green? From the tender green shoots of spring to the verdant greens of summer, it’s so easy to ‘eat green’. This fresh and vibrant Fennel Asparagus Salad will have you dreaming of the Italian countryside while these Pickled Green Beans ensure you have summer greens all year long.
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Creamy Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon
Who doesn’t love a light side dish that’s full of flavour and texture? These Creamy Sugar Snap Peas retain their characteristic ‘snap’ while the garden peas explode under slight pressure, releasing their sweet flavour.
The light cream sauce ties all the flavour and textures together with a slight tang of lemon juice and herbaceous notes from the fresh dill.
Then, there are the crispy bacon bits. Who could resist a dish accented by bacon? The salty umami flavour is the perfect match for sweet peas, fresh dill, and lemon cream.
This dish was inspired by the Creamy Spring Peas with Pancetta recipe from the Food Network. Of course, their recipe was most likely inspired by very common Italian side dishes, which usually contain peas, pancetta, and shallots (or onions).
Now, I love a dish with lemon and fresh dill, and I couldn’t resist adding this summer herb to the dish. Dill goes perfectly well, if not better with peas than mint. It brightens up a dish and leaves you wanting more.
- Sugar Snap Peas
- English Peas
- Heavy Cream
- Chicken Stock
- Lemon Juice
- Fresh Dill
- Salt and Pepper
- Pea Sprouts
For maximum pea flavour, there are two kinds of peas in this side dish. Sugar snap peas are small sweet peas inside an edible pod. The pod and peas are tender enough that they can be eaten raw. Note that they are not the same as Snow Peas (Chinese Pea Pods). Snow peas are flatter, tougher, and must be cooked before being eaten. They’re the pea pod you find in most stir-fries.
English peas or garden peas are larger and have a tougher outer shell which is inedible. They are available as fresh peas in the summer or frozen year-round. Both fresh and frozen English Peas will work in this recipe.
The cream sauce, or suprême sauce, is a step further from a velouté sauce which is a French mother sauce of stock thickened with a white roux. It uses heavy cream to thin out the (chicken) stock thickened with butter and flour.
The addition of lemon juice and fresh dill adds further seasoning and brightens up the suprême sauce.
Pancetta vs. Bacon
Pancetta and bacon are both preserved meats from the belly of the pig. Italian pancetta is seasoned and salt-cured but not smoked. It has a silky texture and can be sold in cubes or slices. Pancetta is mostly salty in flavour with just a touch of nuttiness.
Bacon is first brined and then smoked. It has a slightly chewy texture and loads of smoky flavour, which pairs well with the sweet peas in this dish.
Pancetta and bacon can be used interchangeably in most recipes, though if you prefer a bit of smoky flavour in your dish, it’s best to use bacon.
How to Make Creamy Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon
Prepare the Peas
For the sugar snap peas, remove any stems by snapping them off and pulling them down along the concave side of the pea pod. Next, thinly slice the pods at an angle. Set them aside in a medium bowl.
For the English peas, fill a small saucepan with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the fresh or frozen Spring peas and boil them for one minute only. Drain the peas and immediately transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Blanching the peas in this way will ensure they stay a nice vibrant green colour.
Make the Cream Sauce
Slice the bacon into bits. Fry it in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until crispy. Scoop the bacon from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate.
Next, add butter to the frying pan with the bacon grease and melt it over medium heat. Scatter flour over the melted butter. Stir and fry the flour for 1 minute, then stir in the chicken stock, lemon juice, and heavy cream. Season with pepper.
Allow the flour mixture to cook on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Thin out with more heavy cream if the mixture becomes too thick.
Assembling the Sugar Snap Peas Recipe
Add the bacon bits to the mixing bowl, along with the snap peas and chopped fresh dill. Drain the English peas well and add them to the bowl.
Finally, pour the hot cream mixture over the peas and stir gently to combine. Garnish with more chopped dill and pea shoots if using. Serve immediately.
Leftover Creamy Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon
In the event that there are leftovers of this tasty side dish, store them in an airtight container in your fridge for up to three days.
They make a great cold snack right out of the fridge. However, if you prefer them warmed up, place them in a saucepan. Warm them gently on medium-low heat, then add a bit more cream. Note that they may not retain their bright green colour or textural crunch from the sugar snap peas.
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- 3 cups (1 lb) sugar snap peas
- 1 cup English or garden green peas
- 4 oz bacon
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup heavy cream (36%)
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons fresh dill; chopped
- pepper to taste
- fresh pea sprouts (optional)
- Thinly slice sugar snap peas on an angle. Set aside in a medium bowl.
- Fill a small saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Add the frozen Spring peas and boil for one minute only. Drain the peas and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water.
- Slice the bacon into bits. Fry on medium-low for 5 minutes or until crispy. Scoop the bacon from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Add butter to the frying pan with the bacon grease and melt it over medium heat. Scatter flour over the melted butter.
- Stir and fry the flour for 1 minute, then stir in the chicken stock, lemon juice, and heavy cream. Season with pepper.
- Allow the flour mixture to cook on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Thin out with more heavy cream if the mixture becomes too thick.
- Meanwhile, add the bacon bits to the bowl along with the snap peas and fresh dill.
- Drain the green peas well and add them to the bowl.
- Finally, pour the hot creamy mixture over the peas and stir gently to combine.
- Garnish with more chopped dill and pea shoots if using. Serve immediately.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 328Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 601mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 17g
Recipe calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. If you need nutritional calculations for medical reasons, please use a source that you trust.