Peaches practically dripping with sunshine yield to creamy goat cheese and the subtle bite of a Dijon vinaigrette in this peach salad recipe that embraces summer in every single bite! This colorful peach salad comes together in minutes and is certain to be a fan favorite in your home.

a peach salad in a serving bowl.
Photo Credits: Andrea Gralow

If summer in Italy were a food, it would be this peach salad. Like the Caprese or Panzanella, it celebrates the season’s summer bounty, including aromatic basil and delicately sweet peaches.

An unlikely pairing? Perhaps, though this Halloumi Salad with Peaches would beg to differ. I know once you try peaches with cheese you’ll fall in love with the sweet, tangy, and creamy combination that will have you dreaming of the Mediterranean.

Basil is an easy Italian ingredient to spot. As for peaches, well, Italy is one of the world’s largest producers of the juicy stone fruit thanks to its mostly mild climate and mineral-rich soil.

Then there’s the arugula that adds a touch of peppery spice. Finally, a crumbling of goat cheese hailing from the Piedmont region that’s slightly pungent and blissfully buttery. Top it all off with a drizzle of lemon and honey vinaigrette and…benvenuto in Italia!

Table of Contents
  1. Peach Salad Ingredients
  2. How To Make Peach Salad
  3. How to Cut a Peach
  4. Peach Salad Variations
  5. Making Ahead
  6. What To Serve With Peach Salad
  7. Sweet and Savory Summer Salad Recipes
  8. Peach Salad with Basil and Goat Cheese Recipe
ingredients for peach salad including peaches, red onion, arugula, fresh basil, crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, lemon, red wine vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper.

Peach Salad Ingredients

This peach salad recipe is best in the summertime when the peaches are juicy and the basil is vibrant. To make it, grab: 

  • Arugula: Arugula is a green typically used in salads that’s actually a weed from the mustard plant family, Brassicaceae. It has a bitter, peppery flavor that really stands out against the sweeter ingredients in this recipe.
  • Basil: Genovese basil is probably the most well-known Italian basil. You’ll see it on pizzas, in pasta sauces, and most famously pesto. It's also used as a green in salads where its notes of mint and clove are most noticeable. Any large-leaf sweet basil will also work.
  • Peaches: This fleshy stone fruit is available in a variety of colors and textures. This salad recipe calls for yellow peaches with a sweet, medium-firm flesh.
  • Onion: Red onions are perfect for enjoying raw since they are milder than other varieties and have a subtly sweet taste. And it just so happens that their magenta hue adds a stunning pop of color to this salad.
  • Goat cheese: Any goat cheese you have on hand will do, and chevre is commonly found in well-stocked supermarkets, but I love Tronchetto di Capra, a goat cheese from the Piedmont region of Italy. Its relatively brief aging tones down the pungent aroma while creating a buttery texture that adds a creaminess to this salad and brings out the sweetness in the peaches.
  • Walnuts: Walnuts are a fairly mild nut so substitutions are welcome but I wouldn’t leave this element out because it adds a pleasant crunch.
  • Vinaigrette: The lemon and honey dressing mimics and enhances the tartness in the cheese and arugula and the sweetness of the peaches. Dijon mustard adds a touch of spice while acting as an emulsifier that encourages the extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar to stay together. Salt and black pepper enhance the flavor. 
a close up of peach salad.

How To Make Peach Salad

This peach salad comes together in under 20 minutes and tastes best right after it’s made. Throw this easy recipe together right before you’re ready to enjoy it. To make this peach salad recipe:

  • Make the vinaigrette dressing: This is an easy, yet delicious vinaigrette dressing. The key is to whisk the ingredients until fully combined and emulsified. Whisk together 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon Dijon, and 2 tablespoons honey. Season with ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and black pepper to taste.dressing for the peach salad in a bowl.
  • Prepare the peaches and onion: Slice 2 ripe yellow peaches, discarding their pits. For the onion, remove the skin and cut it in half. Save one half for another use, like Focaccia Sandwiches. Slice the second half lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices.
  • Arrange the arugula and basil: Spread 2 packed cups of arugula into a shallow serving platter. Layer in ¼ loosely packed cup of basil. 
  • Top the greens: Evenly arrange the peaches and onions over top. Crumble on 2 tablespoons of goat cheese, and sprinkle with ¼ cup of chopped walnuts.sliced peaches layered on arugula in a serving bowl.
  • Add the dressing: When ready to serve, lightly dress the salad with the vinaigrette dressing, tossing gently. Or, dress each serving individually.a peach salad in a serving bowl.
  • Taste and serve: Since everyone’s tastes differ, taste the dressed salad and adjust where needed. An extra sprinkling of salt or a drizzle of honey can make all the difference. Once dressed, serve immediately.

How to Cut a Peach

To cut a peach, hold it so that the stem is pointing upwards. Insert a paring knife into the flesh at the center until you hit the stone. Turn the peach in a circle, stopping when you reach your original cut entry point. Gently pull the peach apart, twisting gently, if needed.

To remove the stone from the peach, pinch the pit with your thumb and index finger and pull it out. To slice the peach, use a small spoon to scrape away any stone remnants. Turn it so the center is faced down and, using a small, sharp knife, make even, lengthwise cuts, about ¼ to ½ inches each.

Peach Salad Variations

Peaches and basil are the stars of this dish so I recommend you give them a try if they’re in season.  Depending on the time of year and what you have on hand, you may need to substitute here and there to make a similar deliciously sweet and savory salad. Here are a few ideas:

  • Substitutes for arugula: Radicchio, dandelion greens, and endive all have a similar peppery flavor profile. For a more mild substitute, baby spinach works well.
  • Substitutes for the peaches: Ripe melon, such as Tuscan-style cantaloupe, offers a similar sweet and fleshy taste.
  • Substitutes for the Tronchetto di Capra: Any mild goat cheese or even feta cheese would pair well with the other ingredients. If you prefer a less tangy cheese, burrata cheese is a delicious choice.
  • Substitutes for the walnuts: Pine nuts, pecans, or almonds are similarly crunchy and buttery.
  • Add richness: For an extra layer of creaminess, try topping the salad with a few slices of ripe avocado.
overhead photo of a peach salad on a plate with a fork in front of an entire peach salad in a serving bowl with gold serving utensils, a bowl of peaches, a bowl of arugula and a glass of water.

Making Ahead

This salad is best served immediately after you make it. Luckily it comes together within minutes! To get ahead, prepare the vinaigrette dressing up to 3 days in advance. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container and let sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before using.

close of of peach salad on a plate with a fork.

What To Serve With Peach Salad

This peach salad has so many flavors and textures that it really is a light meal in itself. However, it’s not particularly filling so a carb would help round it out.

Some of our favorite choices include freshly baked focaccia drizzled with olive oil, our easy lemon pasta, or this northern Italian chickpea pancake

Sweet and Savory Summer Salad Recipes

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5 from 13 votes

Peach Salad with Basil and Goat Cheese

A picture of Candace Nagy.Candace Nagy
a close up of peach salad.
Juicy sweet peaches, tangy goat cheese, savory onions, crunchy walnuts, and fragrant arugula come together for a simple summer salad recipe that's layered with so much delicious flavor and texture.
Cook – 10 minutes
Total – 10 minutes
Cuisine:
Italian
Serves – 4
Course:
Salad

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ripe yellow peaches, sliced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 firmly packed cups arugula
  • ¼ loosely packed cup basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Tronchetto di Capra cheese or other mild goat cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions
 

  • Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
  • Layer the greens. Layer the arugula and basil in a shallow serving bowl or platter.
  • Add the remaining ingredients. Evenly arrange the peaches, onions, goat cheese, and walnuts over top.
  • Finish and serve. Dress the salad to taste. Enjoy immediately.

Notes

Nutrition

Calories: 326.8kcalCarbohydrates: 19.5gProtein: 3.7gFat: 27.6gSaturated Fat: 4.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5.8gMonounsaturated Fat: 16.4gCholesterol: 3.2mgSodium: 344.6mgPotassium: 203.8mgFiber: 2.1gSugar: 16.2gVitamin A: 636.3IUVitamin C: 8.9mgCalcium: 44.3mgIron: 1mg
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Candace Nagy is a passionate food writer who gets excited about sharing new ways of looking at the foods we eat, from food origins and heritage to systems and science, and everything in between. A Los Angeles native, she explores food through the lens of culture, class and creativity, often taking cues from the foods she grew up eating and those she has discovered during her travels. Her writing can be found at EatingWell, The Spruce Eats, Clean Plates, and elsewhere in the vast internet universe.
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5 from 13 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Toni Havala says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! I’ve brought this to several parties and always get asked for the recipe. The sweet peaches combined with spiciness of arugula just works!!

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Awesome! Thanks, Toni!

  2. Melanie says:

    5 stars
    Excellent salad! I will make this one again and again. The sweet of the peaches paired with the peppery arugula is a winner!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yes! Such a great combo!

  3. Sherry says:

    It's peach season and my college kids can't get enough! I mix arugula and spinach together and they do not notice the difference.

    1. TMD Team says:

      So glad you enjoyed this one, Sherry!

  4. Ellen L says:

    5 stars
    This was wonderful with perfectly ripe peaches. Another winner! Will repeat!

  5. Ona says:

    5 stars
    Delicious salad!!
    I don't like arugula, so I used spinach and butter salad. I highly recommend adding mint to this amazing salad it will improve that explosion of flavors even more.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks for sharing, Ona!

  6. Sherry says:

    Easy refreshing recipe and the entire family loved it. Added left over pomegranate seeds to add more color.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yum! Thanks, Sherry!

  7. Jessica says:

    5 stars
    This was the perfect combination of summer ingredients. Also great with fresh mozzarella

    1. TMD Team says:

      Yes! Thanks for taking the time to comment and review, Jessica!

  8. Julie says:

    5 stars
    This was great! I subbed a nectarine for one of the peaches since I only had one. Absolutely scrumptious!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much, Julie!

  9. Janet says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. Love love love this recipe. I’m sometimes finicky with fruit in greens salads but loved this combination. Thank you again 😘😘

  10. Trish says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely the best Summer Salad! I love the unexpected arugula and basil combination. I doubled the goat cheese and used Trader Joes Dry Roasted & Salted Pistachio Nutmeats in place of the walnuts and it was a huge hit! Will be a summer staple as long as peaches are in season.

    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks, Trish!

  11. Julia says:

    Can I use well drained canned peaches for fresh?

    1. TMD Team says:

      Sure!

  12. Marie says:

    5 stars
    If I could give 6 stars I would. This was so good. As my nephew said the night he came for dinner “ this kinds of explodes n your mouth with one later after another of flavors”. This is a keeper to make throughout the summer.

    1. Candace says:

      5 stars
      Thank you so much for sharing. I am the recipe developer for this salad and your comment just made my day (as well as the other lovely feedback).

  13. Emily says:

    Can I substitute balsamic vinegar for the red wine vinegar?
    Thanks!

    1. Summer Miller says:

      You certainly could. It would just be a little sweeter.