13 Peach, Basil, and Balsamic Pizza… Perfect for Poolside or the Patio!

By Natalie R.Toney, B.F.A., C.H., Healthy Planet Food editor

The summer season is upon us, as is the season for parties poolside, on patios, by the lake, and really anywhere else we can soak in the sun (with appropriate SPF, of course!) after long stretches indoors. This season also brings an abundance of fresh fruits such as a variety of melons, berries, mango, papaya, plums, and peaches, to name a few, all providing that much-needed vitamin C along with the boost of natural Vitamin D we absorb from sunshine. While these are all fabulous fruits to incorporate into your summer smoothies, salads, desserts, and as a snack, they are also a fun, healthy addition to many main dishes. The acidic (except most melons which are near neutral pH) sweet, fragrant, and even somewhat tart notes bring out and complement complex flavors that may otherwise remain dormant.

One of my new summer favorites is adding fresh grilled or caramelized peaches to homemade pizza (nectarines work, too). The pairing of the sweetness of peach with the slightly salty chewiness of mozzarella and the creaminess of burrata is all the more heightened by a drizzle of balsamic reduction topped with aromatic Basil leaves. This flavor profile works just as well for paninis or even assembling cold sandwiches for a quick lunch or picnic. A thin layer of pesto (I don’t recommend using a tomato sauce for a base) can infuse quite a bit of robustness. Otherwise, brushing the olive oil on your crust is flavorful enough and keeps your pizza from getting too dry or soggy. If you wish, top it with cheese like Asiago, Fotina, Parmesan, and/or crumbles of another, along with mozzarella and burrata instead. Veggies and additional ingredients such as squash, onion, eggplant, mushroom, broccolini, and fresh arugula or rosemary combine nicely with peach without overwhelming it. If you include meat in your diet, selections of prosciutto, bacon, or chicken tend to work best, and of course, all ingredients can be modified to suit individual dietary needs. The version for the recipe here calls for only peaches, basil, olive oil, balsamic, mozzarella, and burrata on a traditional-size crust to bake in a conventional oven. However, it can easily be cooked in a pizza oven or on the grill, with further adjustments to the recipe for individual-size pizzas and types of crust. Wherever and however you choose to prepare your Peach, Basil, or Balsamic Pizza, its presentation and palate of delightful flavors will surely make a splash!

Use fresh peaches only; canned or jarred peaches will not hold up and will have too much liquid content. Yellow or white peaches that are medium firm to firm are best. To prep peaches, wash and cut in halves, quarters, or thick slices and brush lightly with olive oil—Grill directly for 3 to 5 min. If no grill is available, caramelize by adding butter or olive oil to the skillet over medium heat (you can add a pinch of brown sugar as well); cook peaches for a few minutes or until just a bit darker and tender, without becoming mushy. For balsamic reduction, pour the desired amount into a saute pan and bring to a low boil on medium heat for ten minutes, then reduce heat to simmer, stirring frequently as it thickens to syrup consistency. You can add a small amount of honey to boil for more sweetness. A higher quality balsamic vinegar yields a better reduction, and pre-reduced balsamic is also available in stores. Pizza ovens and grills get considerably hotter than conventional ovens. The kind, size, and thickness of crust (and desired crispness or chewiness), ingredients, and cheeses will ultimately determine if your oven temp should be 450, 475, or 500 degrees and for how long your pizza(s)bake. Please check often while being careful not to let too much heat out.


  • 3-4 peaches, unpeeled and sliced
  • 16 oz./14” Pizza dough/crust (store-bought, homemade, gluten-free, whole wheat, cornmeal, naan, focaccia, etc.)
  • 8 oz. Shredded whole milk, low moisture mozzarella (if not adding fresh burrata or mozzarella, double amount), or nondairy version
  • 4 oz. Fresh burrata or mozzarella, thinly sliced (if not using shredded, double amount) or nondairy version
  • 1 C. Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/4-1/2 C. Fresh basil and/or arugula, rosemary, or other fresh herbs
  • 1/2 C. Pesto (jar or homemade)
  • Any other fruits, veggies, meats, and seasonings
  • Flour or cornmeal (for dusting if necessary)

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees with a pizza stone placed on the center rack. (If no stone, a pizza pan, inverted baking sheet, or cast iron skillet will work!) While the oven is preheating, reduce the balsamic, grill or caramelize peaches (you can also do ahead. Inst. for both balsamic and peaches in “Tips”), then brush olive oil on top and sides of rolled out pizza crust that is on a dusted peel, if adding seasonings to the crust, sprinkle on now if not already have mixed them into homemade dough. If using pesto, spread evenly over the crust. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella across the top, then place any meat or veggies (if not using shredded, skip to this step), place slices of burrata or mozzarella, arrange peaches or any fruit, then crumble any other cheeses on top. Transfer to a pizza stone or sheet, and bake for approximately ten min., depending on size, thickness, and ingredients. Remove when the cheese melts and the crust has the desired crispness. Top with fresh basil leaves or cut/or any other fresh herbs. Finish with balsamic reduction drizzle. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and in the freezer for two months. Yields approx. four servings.