Sugar snap peas are here. Woot! I love this super easy recipe for blistered snap peas with bacon and mint. It’s sweet, smokey, and bright, and ready in under 20 minutes. This is a delicious early summer side dish recipe that you can learn how to cook in a snap. Hehe.
The start of summer on the east coast is imminent, and I know this for sure because of three very important events:
- Our pool passes arrived
- The pots of mint on my patio are going wild
- Sugar snap peas are making appearances in my co-op and farmer’s market
Cue awkward-mom-dancing in the kitchen.
I mashed up two of these very fine signals of summer’s arrival to bring you today’s recipe – sugar snap peas with bacon and mint.
Would you just look at these guys? Sweet, salty, minty pods of tasty.
Recipes like this one are what keeping me motivated to cook all summer long. Vibrant seasonal produce, bright fresh herbs, and a cook time under 20 minutes. It really doesn’t get better than this.
Pin it! Click here to save this sugar snap peas recipe to your side dish board on Pinterest.
Recipe Notes: Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon and Mint
This recipe for snap peas with bacon and mint is a tasty side dish that’s perfect for a simple weeknight dinner – I served it with grilled steak and fresh fruit, and it was perfect.
Sugar Snap Peas vs. Snow Peas
There are two varietals of edible pod peas I see most frequently available at my local co-op and grocery stores – sugar snap peas and snow peas. Sugar snaps are the plumper, opaque pods (pictured below and used here), and snow peas are the thinner, more tender and translucent ones.
The good news for you? Both work in this recipe. I prefer the meatier sugar snap peas for a crunchier texture, but if you only have access to snow peas, they’re definitely an option. Just adjust the cooking time (shorter) to retain their brightness and crunch.
How to Cook Sugar Snap Peas
Sugar snap peas can be blanched, steamed, sautéed in a stir fry, roasted, or simply eaten raw (with any kind of hummus is the very, very best way to do that). So many possibilities for these little green guys.
My favorite cooking method is to quickly blister them in fat in a cast iron skillet. Traditional? No. Delicious? Um, that’s a yes.
Pan roasting sugar snap peas over very high heat will blister and char the outsides, enhancing their sweetness, while still keeping the final texture crunchy and snappy. Let’s get started!
Chop up some bacon into 1/2″ pieces. I use kitchen shears to cut bacon, and it’s way easier than struggling with a knife. Add the bacon to your cast iron skillet and sauté until it’s nice and crispy. Pour all but about a tablespoon of fat from the skillet – you want just a thin layer of fat covering the bottom of the pan or the roasted snap peas will be too greasy.
Add the sugar snap peas to the skillet and roast ’em up. Toss the pods every minute or so with tongs to keep them moving around the pan – this will help them get charred and tender without overcooking into mush. Stop cooking once the outsides are charred, but the peas are still bright green and crisp. Go ahead and taste one for doneness before you call it a wrap.
Finish it all off with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and zest and a handful of chopped fresh mint. Toss it up, and then take a minute to check for seasoning. Add a little more salt, pepper, or lemon juice until the flavor is just right.
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Sugar Snap Peas with Bacon and Mint
- 4 strips bacon chopped
- 1 lb sugar snap peas or snow peas
- 1/2 tsp sea or kosher salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/4 c chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the bacon is crisp, 6-7 minutes. Be mindful of splatter.
Pour all but one tablespoon of bacon fat from the skillet (a thin layer of fat should cover the bottom of the skillet).
Add the snap peas to the skillet along with the salt and pepper. Pan roast the snap peas, tossing frequently to keep them moving, until the pods are charred and soft, but still retain a snap, about 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the mint, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Toss and serve immediately.
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