Snap Peas with Lemon, Mint, and Pistachios

The pick-your-own garden at our CSA Sunrise Farm is twisted with beautiful pea vines right now! Both snow peas and snap peas are on the menu, and I’m delighted to see both of them. They’re two of the three legumes—green beans/wax beans are the other one—that are paleo-friendly (because they’re more pod than pea… YAY!).

Snow peas, a.k.a, Chinese pea pods, are the flat ones with the teeny-tiny peas inside. Snap peas, a.k.a., sugar snap peas, are actually a cross between snow peas and garden peas. I love the crunchy texture of snap peas with those plump pearls of sweetness inside.

Although both types of edible-pod peas usually show up in recipes for Asian stir-fries, between us friends, I usually just eat my snap peas au naturel because they’re so tasty just as they are. But that’s hardly a recipe.

snap peas

Wash and eat.

So here’s something with a bit more inspiration, something you can share with guests or use to turn a regular dinner into something special. This recipe tastes like summer sunshine: crisp, light, and lemony.

It’s also got a kick of mint! There is a gorgeous patch of vibrant green mint growing under the tree behind the barn at the farm, and I found it irresistible. Fresh mint simultaneously reminds me of my dad and my Lebanese great-grandmother, two of the best people to ever walk (and cook) on this plant. And since everything tastes better when nuts are involved, I added crunchy pistachios to the mix, although you can certainly leave them out, or replace them with walnuts or hazelnuts, if pistachios aren’t your thing.

Snap Peas with Lemon, Mint, and Pistachios

Makes 2 cups | Prep 10 minutes | Whole30 compliant

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 pint snap peas

  • 2 scallions

  • 7-10 mint leaves

  • 1/8 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped


In a large bowl, mix olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Set aside.


Cut the snap peas, scallions, and mint leaves into julienne slivers lengthwise and place in the bowl with the dressing. Add the pistachios. Toss to combine. Allow flavors to meld about 10-15 minutes before eating.

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  • Shannon says:

    I made this last night but had to sub lime since my lemon was found dead.

    SO good, texture, taste, combo. Really nice, will make this again often.

  • JennF says:

    I made this last night and is was fantastic! I made extras and had them for lunch today. The peas stayed crisp and it was just as good after sitting in the fridge last night.

    I love pea season and will be making this again – probably by the end of the week!

  • Christ K. says:

    mmm. would this count as a full meal if some salmon was included? great blog, for some reason I feel less intimidated reading your posts than by reading the W30 book.

    • Yes! That’s a great idea. I think either fresh or canned salmon — or steamed shrimp — would taste really good. You could also pile this on top of a grilled chicken breast, too!

  • Susan says:

    This sounds absolutely wonderful, very fresh. And the pistachios are perfect for my tastes.

  • Helen says:

    So good. Had leftovers so fried up an egg and some Parma ham to add for lunch. AMAZING!

  • Joan Weataway says:

    Making this tonight as all ingredients handy. Yay!
    I was under the impression green or string beans were allowed as well, because they are, like green peas, crunchy green flesh…
    Why would they now seem to have been excluded? Or was it because you had your yummy peas in front of you?
    Pinged by a pea-shooter? LOL!

    • Green beans are totally compliant — that was just an oversight on my part. Sorry about that! I’ve corrected the blog post. I was in a snap pea haze 🙂

      • Joan Weataway says:

        Like I said… Hi-jacked by a pea-shooter! Thanks dear Melissa!
        Have to admit that I don’t stay as W30 as you, succumbing to real butter abd cream, and GF desserts every now and again. But it is my lifestyle! It is how I think, how I shop! Have to do another Whole30!
        xxooxx Joan

  • Seraphina Chew says:

    Hello! This is really late but I just wanted to say how much I love this! I made it for a lunch party once, and everyone complimented it (coming from a bunch of Asians who don’t usually eat their vegetables raw). I then had the leftovers for breakfast with some eggs, and I’ve been making it regularly since. Thank you so much for fantastic recipes, and I can’t wait for your next book 😀

    • That’s so awesome! It is NEVER too late for a sweet compliment like this! I’m really glad it was a hit with your friends. And I’m happy you’re excited about the new book — we are, too!

  • Anna says:

    Hi there – I made this today, as my Farm stand had the sugar peas fresh from the fields when I arrived. YAY. This was a fantastic recipe that my husband and I enjoyed. We laughed as we pulled the strings from the pods over and over – that this would have to be a once a year salad. Now that we ate it – I want more. Thank you so much for the recipe!