Food & Drink

Boiled Peanut Salad with Bacon Dressing

How to work your favorite road trip staple onto the dinner table


Photo: Jonathan Boncek

As he makes this boiled peanut salad, the only thing that slows down Anthony DiBernardo, the pitmaster at South Carolina’s Swig & Swine barbecue, is his own appetite. “I keep eating the peanuts as I’m shelling them,” he says. “So it takes me three times longer than it should.”

The classic summer-in-the-South roadside snack adds a salty punch to the bright flavors of just-shucked grilled corn, ripe tomatoes, and crunchy cucumbers. And if you’re not up for boiling your own or lack a nearby stand, you can find the peanuts in a can in stores or online. Give the whole thing a drizzle of bacon dressing and a crank of black pepper, and meet your new favorite side dish. “This is the perfect little potluck dish if you’re going to a summer barbecue,” DiBernardo says, “or making pork chops, chicken, steak—you name it—at home.”

Consider the salad an entry point for anyone in your life skittish about the beloved yet squishy Southern legume. “Once you’ve got corn, tomatoes, boiled peanuts, and a bacon dressing going on and hitting so many spots on your palate,” DiBernardo says, “if it’s the boiled peanuts that turn you off, you have issues.”


  • Boiled Peanut Salad (makes 4–6 servings)

    • 1 cup boiled peanuts, shelled

    • 2 ears of corn, grilled, and kernels removed from cob

    • 1 cup diced tomatoes

    • 1 cup diced cucumber

    • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

  • Bacon Dressing

    • 8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped

    • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

    • 1 tsp. sugar

    • ½ tsp. Dijon mustard

    • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. Combine salad ingredients and set aside.

  2. To make dressing, cook bacon to your liking, turn off heat, and add other dressing ingredients. Stir until combined.

  3. Pour over salad ingredients and mix well.