This summer Grilled Peach Salad is one of my most beloved summer salads. Grilling peaches brings out their natural sweetness, making them incredibly delicious!
This beautiful salad is made with grilled peaches, blackberries, blueberries, feta cheese, candied pecans, and crisp mixed greens…all tossed with an easy balsamic dressing.
Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, planning a picnic, or simply enjoying a light lunch, the grilled peach salad is perfect.
Peach season is here, and I’m here for it! I love freshly sliced peaches, but have you ever tried grilling them? If not, you have to do it soon!
Grilling peaches intensifies their sweetness by caramelizing the natural sugars and adding a little bit of smokiness. In this grilled peach salad, the combination of warm peaches with crisp mixed greens and fresh berries is beyond delicious!
Grilled peach salad is perhaps my favorite summer salad, and it’s really easy to make! The only “cooking” part involved is grilling the peaches, which takes just 8 minutes or less. In total, it takes about 20 minutes to make, so it’s a quick recipe.
Every ingredient adds so much texture, flavor, and balance. I love adding blackberries, blueberries, feta cheese, candied pecans to it. It’s dressed with a super easy balsamic dressing, but you can always opt for a creamy balsamic too.
I usually serve this grilled peach salad on the side, but also love pairing it with my Greek Chicken Kabobs or Huli Huli Chicken to make it a full meal.
I always get excited about incorporating all the wonderful summer produce and fruits! Check out my refreshing Watermelon Feta Salad, Strawberry Spinach Chicken Salad, Grilled Vegetable Platter.
Why we love this Grilled Peach Salad:
- Fresh and bright: The mixture of juicy peaches, berries, pecans, and greens is amazing. Grilled peach salad is basically summer on a plate!
- Grilling peaches brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their flavors.
- There is lots of great texture, and it’s the perfect balance between sweet and savory.
- Quick and easy!
- Versatile and customizable: Add your favorite ingredients, or make it a full meal with a simple grilled lemon chicken or any other protein of your choice.
How to Grill Peaches
You’ll find more detailed instructions in the recipe card down below, but here’s an overview on how to grill peaches. It’s very easy and straightforward, and I also share tips and tricks on how to prevent them sticking to the grill.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat: Preheating is VERY important. If the grill grates are hot, the peaches will start developing grill marks immediately, which minimizes sticking. Oil the grates.
- Cut the peaches, either into quarters or halves (remove the pit). Brush the flat side of the peaches, as well as the grill grates, with olive oil.
- Grill cut-side down for 2 to 3 minutes UNDISTURBED per side. Removing them from the grill too early will cause them to stick.
How to Prevent Peaches from Sticking to Grill
- Find peaches that are ripe but also firm. They need to be firm so they don’t get mushy, but also ripe for sweetness.
- Size matters. Bigger pieces of fruit work better. I’d recommend peach halves or quarters.
- Make sure the grill grates are clean.
- Use medium-high heat. This minimizes sticking to the grill. Brush the grill grates and peaches with olive oil.
- Let them grill undisturbed to get more defined grill marks. Check after 2-3 minutes and flip when ready.
- Use a thin spatula: It’s best to use a thin spatula to lift the peaches from underneath. Using tongs to flip peaches on the grill can sometimes rip the grill marks apart.
- Outdoor grill, stovetop grill pan, or indoor electric grill: I prefer cast iron, but if you’re worried about the fruit sticking to the grill, you can use a nonstick.
Grilled peach salad is made with lots of great seasonal summer ingredients! Below I share a few ingredient notes from recipe testing. As always, the full ingredient quantity list can be found in the recipe card down below.
For the salad:
- Fresh peaches: They should be ripe but firm. They need to be ripe for their natural sweetness to come out, but also relatively firm so that they don’t fall apart on the grill. The larger the peaches, the better.
- Olive oil: Brushing the peaches with olive oil helps prevent sticking.
- Berries: Use any fresh berries of your choice. Blackberries are my favorite for this recipe.
- Mixed greens: Choose a variety of mixed greens such as baby spinach, arugula, and romaine lettuce for texture.
- Feta crumbles: Adds fresh savory flavors. Other great choices are goat cheese, gorgonzola, fresh mozzarella, and burrata cheese.
For the balsamic dressing:
- Balsamic vinegar: For acidity and flavor.
- Olive oil: Use good extra virgin olive oil for better taste.
- Minced garlic: For flavor.
- Honey: To add sweetness and balance out the acidity.
- Dijon mustard: To help the vinegar and oil emulsify.
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Candied pecans:
Brown sugar: For sweetness. I use light brown sugar.
Water: To help the brown sugar melt and to thin it out.
Pecan halves: You can also use walnuts, if you prefer.
A pinch of salt: helps balance out the sweetness.
This grilled peach salad takes about 20 minutes to make. Here’s a tutorial so you can see how easy it is!
Step 1 | Make the candied pecans
In a small skillet, melt the brown sugar with the water over medium-low heat. Add the pecan halves plus a pinch of salt. Stir to coat for about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Want to spice them up? Add a little bit of ground cinnamon or cayenne pepper.
Step 2 | Make the balsamic dressing
In a mason jar, combine all the balsamic dressing ingredients. Seal the mason jar and shake vigorously until emulsified or evenly combined.
Step 3 | Prep and grill the peaches
Cut the peaches into thick wedges or halves, making sure they are about the same size (remove the pit).
Get your grill preheated to medium-high. Brush the grill grates with olive oil. Brush the peaches with olive oil to prevent them from sticking. Grill the peaches on each flat side for 2-3 minutes, undisturbed, or until they develop grill marks. Using a thin spatula, flip and grill the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 4 | Assemble the peach salad
Arrange a bed of mixed greens on a large platter. Top with the berries, the prepared candied pecans, crumbled feta, and grilled peaches. Drizzle the assembled grilled peach salad with the prepared balsamic dressing…and ENJOY!
Prep Ahead Tips
I wouldn’t recommend making the entire peach salad in advance, but you can certainly prep a few components ahead. If you do this, you can make the entire salad in less than 20 minutes!
- Make the candied pecans the day before and let them cool on the counter overnight. Keep them in a container or in a covered bowl.
- Make the balsamic dressing up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate. Before using, let it sit at room temp and shake it vigorously again before using.
- Note: I wouldn’t recommend cutting the peaches until ready to grill. They will release lots of juices, and turn soft and brown overnight.
Substitutions and Variations
Here are my favorite substitutions for my grilled peach salad:
- Greens: I use a simple blend of mixed greens. You can also use baby spinach, arugula, or your favorite lettuce. For some crunch, use romaine or little gem lettuce.
- Pecans: Walnuts work great too! Also try toasted pine nuts, pistachios, or almonds.
- Peaches: If you can’t find peaches, nectarines are a great substitute.
- Berries: Mix and match! Try blueberries, blackberries, strawberries.
- Cheese: Try goat cheese, gorgonzola, blue cheese, mozzarella, or burrata.
- Dressing: For a creamier texture, try my Creamy Balsamic Dressing. Other great dressings are raspberry vinaigrette and basil vinaigrette.
- Other favorite add-ins: Avocado, fresh grilled corn, prosciutto, pickled red onions.
Pairings and Serving Ideas
Serve this grilled peach salad with grilled chicken breast to make it a whole meal! You can also cook chicken breast on the stovetop.
Great main dish recipes that would pair great with it:
- Hawaiian Huli Huli Chicken
- Spatchcock BBQ Chicken (Grilled or Roasted)
- Marinated Beef Kabobs
- Salmon Burgers with Garlic Herb Sauce
- Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Other summer-inspired recipes you must try!
Yes, they should be ripe for sweetness, but also relatively firm so they don’t fall apart on the grill.
You can use nectarines as a substitute for sure. Apricots may be a bit too small to grill properly, but you can.
I personally prefer to keep the skin on, but you can peel them off if desired. I provide instructions in my peach prep tutorial.
Make sure the grill is HOT, brush the sliced peaches with oil, let them cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes before flipping, and use a thin spatula to lift and release the peaches from underneath the grill. Try not to use tongs.
Grilled peaches don’t store well, so I’d say no. However, you can make the balsamic dressing and the candied pecans in advance.
Tips for Success
- Pick ripe but firm peaches: They should be ripe for sweetness but firm enough so they don’t fall apart on the grill.
- Don’t overcook the peaches on the grill to prevent them from becoming mushy.
- How to prevent peaches from sticking to the grill: 1) Make sure the grill is HOT, 2) brush peaches with oil, and 3) let them grill undisturbed. 4) Use a thin spatula (rather than tongs) to lift and release the peaches from underneath. This will help maintain the grill marks on the peaches.
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Grilled Peach Salad
- Electric non-stick grill if not using traditional grill or stovetop
- Thin spatula for the peaches
For the salad
- 6 fresh peaches, ripe but firm
- Olive oil - for brushing the peaches
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- ½ cup fresh blackberries
- 5 ounces mixed greens
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbles
Simple candied pecans
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water, plus more as needed
- 1 cup pecan halves
- A pinch of salt
Honey balsamic dressing
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons honey - or to taste
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make the candied pecans
- Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat, and melt brown sugar with the water. Add the pecans plus a pinch of salt to the skillet. Stir to coat the pecans in melted sugar for about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
Make the honey balsamic dressing
- In a mason jar, combine all the honey balsamic dressing ingredients. Seal the mason jar with the lid and shake vigorously until evenly combined (emulsified). Set aside.
Prep and grill the peaches
- Cut the peaches: Insert a sharp knife along the natural line coming from the stem of the peach until you hit the pit in the center, and cut in half in this direction by rotating it around the knife. Separate each half and remove the pit. Then, cut each half into 2 or 3 thick wedges.
- Grill the peaches: Preheat grill to medium-high heat (it needs to be hot to minimize sticking) and oil the grates. Brush the sliced peaches on both sides with some olive oil. Grill each side for 2-3 minutes, undisturbed to allow grill marks to develop. Once ready, transfer to a plate. Tip: To flip the peaches, use a thin spatula and lift the peach from underneath to preserve the grill marks. Try not to use tongs.
Assemble the salad
- On a large platter, arrange a bed of mixed greens and top with the blackberries, blueberries, grilled peaches, candied pecans, and crumbled feta. Drizzle with the prepared honey balsamic vinegar to taste. Enjoy!
- Pick ripe but firm peaches: They should be ripe for their natural sweetness to come out, but firm enough so they don’t fall apart on the grill.
- How to prevent peaches from sticking to the grill:
1) Make sure the grill is preheated
2) Brush the peaches and grill grates with olive oil
3) Let them cook undisturbed until they get grill marks
4) Use a thin spatula (rather than tongs) to lift and release the peaches from underneath. This will help maintain the grill marks on the peaches.
- Prep ahead: The dressing can be made up to 2 or 3 days in advance. The candied pecans can also be made up to 2 days ahead.
Store leftovers in a container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Peaches: nectarines.
- Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries.
- Pecans: Walnuts.
- Mixed greens: Romaine, arugula, or a mix of various greens.
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