What goes well with peaches? Learn the best ingredient pairings, meal ideas, popular flavor combinations, and other helpful tips.
First things first though.
What are Peaches?
Peaches are round, fuzzy-skinned fruit about 2-3 inches in size with a hard pit (or stone) and sweet flesh that’s either yellow or white. There are only three types of peaches: yellow, white, and donut (an heirloom variety with white flesh).
All the peach varieties fall under two categories though: freestone and clingstone.
Freestone vs Clingstone Peaches
With freestone, the flesh is not attached to the pit, which makes for easy removal. This type is ideal for cooking, baking, and eating.
Whereas with clingstone, the flesh is attached to the pit, which explains why you sometimes get a peach that feels nearly impossible to remove the pit.
Clingstone peaches are usually a little sweeter and juicier which makes them ideal for canning and preserving, or eating (around the pit).
Where to find them: Supermarkets most often sell the freestone variety and farmer’s markets are where you’ll typically find clingstone. If you’re not sure what you’re getting, just ask the farmer you’re buying from.
When to Buy
The peak season for peaches is late spring through early autumn. Peep the seasonal produce guide to see what’s in season right now.
What to Look For
Look for peaches that feel heavy for their size and give a little with gentle pressure. They’ll also smell sweet. They’re unripe when hard, and overripe when soft and mushy. The color has to do more with the variety than the ripeness, so don’t use that as a gauge.
Peaches will ripen if kept at room temperature within a day or two. Once ripe, store in the refrigerator for no more than 2-3 days.
Peaches can be baked, broiled, grilled, poached, roasted, sauteed, stewed, or eaten raw.
What Ingredients Go Well With Peaches?
- chile peppers (jalapenos, etc)
- onions (esp yellow)
- apples, apricots
- blackberries, blueberries
- cherries, coconut
- lemon, lime
- oranges (juice, zest)
- papaya, passion fruit, pineapple, plums
- basil, bay leaf
- lemon thyme
- tarragon, thyme
- bay leaf
- cinnamon, cloves
- pepper (black, white)
- saffron, salt (kosher, Maldon, & sea), star anise
NUTS & SEEDS
- pecans, pistachios
- alcohol: bourbon, brandy, Champagne, cognac, cointreau, Grand Marnier, orange and peach liqueurs, rum, whiskey, wine (fruity or dry red/white or sweet)
- chocolate (white and dark), currants
- maple syrup, molasses
- oatmeal/oats, olive oil
- sugar (brown, white, coconut)
- vanilla, vinegar: balsamic, champagne, apple cider, red wine, rice, white
Popular Food Pairings That Go Well With Peaches
- apples + vanilla
- blueberries + mascarpone
- cream + honey + vanilla
- figs + maple syrup
- ginger + sugar
- orange liqueur + vanilla
- yogurt + sugar
Peaches are a common ingredient used in cocktails, custards, desserts and dessert sauces, fruit crisps, salads, salsas, and cold soups.
What to Make with Peaches
- Summery Peach Panzanella Salad
- Blueberry Peach Cobbler
- 1 pot oatmeal oatmeal (use peaches instead of pears) or add slices to cold cereal
- grill peach halves & top with vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of chopped nuts