Watermelon Feta Salad

5 from 5 votes

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Sweet melon combines beautifully with tangy, salty feta, slivered onions, and mint in this inimitable summer salad recipe.

Watermelon Feta Salad in white serving dish on wood table.

This fast and easy warm-weather watermelon and feta salad recipe has changed many people’s lives, including mine! The distinctive, unbelievably refreshing, and interesting combo of sweet, juicy watermelon and briny, creamy, but crumbly feta brightened up with some red onion and mint is something I want to eat several times a week during watermelon season, aka summer. I never get tired of it, and I’m far from alone.

And, have you tried grilling watermelon? That’s another sensory and flavor surprise! Also, try Grilled Peaches with Burrata, another fruit and cheese master pairing.

Serve this salad with burgers, grilled NY strip steak, grilled lobster tail, or baked salmon. It can be a first course, a side dish, or part of a wonderful summer buffet.

Watermelon Feta Salad in a white bowl.

Watermelon Feta Salad: Sweet melon combines beautifully with tangy, salty feta, slivered onions, and mint in this inimitable summer salad.

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Watermelon Feta Salad Ingredients

For this salad recipe, you’ll need watermelon, of course! This salad is made from so few ingredients that you want each one to be the best it can be.

  • Watermelon – The sweeter the watermelon, the more amazing this salad is. You can use large watermelons, baby watermelons, red or yellow watermelons, or whatever is available.
  • Feta cheese – Get the best feta you can find, preferably fresh and not packaged. You can choose from French feta, Greek feta, Bulgarian feta…maybe you can even find Lebanese feta!
  • Red onion – The contrast between the juicy, sweet melon and the crunchy, sharp, peppery onions (not to mention the crumbly, creamy feta) is terrific. Other onions can be used, but I love the color and pleasant sharpness of red onions in this salad.
  • Fresh mint – This herb ties everything together beautifully with its fresh bite. Mint oxidizes and turns dark very quickly after it is cut or torn, so tear or roughly chop it just before assembling and serving the salad.
  • Salad Dressing – A very straightforward dressing of olive oil, balsamic or red wine vinegar, and a bit of salt and pepper (if desired) pull this salad together brilliantly. Taste the feta to see how salty it is before you add salt to the dressing. The ground pepper is optional — I like a few grinds added in, but you can skip it if you don’t want to distract from the simple salad.
White bowl of colorful Watermelon Feta Salad.

Watermelon Salad Tips

  • Seedless watermelons are pretty easy to find these days, and they make the eating experience so much better. You can just shovel it in at a brisk clip and not worry about spitting out those crunchy seeds.
  • If you can, chill your watermelon before you cut it up for this salad; your salad will be good to go right away. However, if you start with a room-temperature melon, I recommend chilling the salad before serving.
  • If you prefer to make balls with a melon baller instead of dicing the melon, go for it. Make sure to save the extra watermelon for snacking or to make a watermelon smoothie or watermelon lemonade!
  • You can dice or crumble the feta. If you choose to crumble it, don’t crumble it too finely. The pleasure of this salad is in the fun complimentary bites of the different flavors and textures, so you don‘t want them to blend together too much.

Recipe Variations

  • Change out the mint for another herb — try chervil, basil, or thyme.
  • Add 1 to 2 cups small diced seeded cucumber.
  • Replace the feta with crumbled goat cheese, diced fresh mozzarella, or ricotta salata.
  • Add a few handfuls of peppery arugula leaves.

How to Make Watermelon Feta Salad

  1. Make the dressing: In a small bowl or container, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, if using.
Woman whisking vinaigrette in glass mixing bowl.
  1. Start building the salad: In a large shallow bowl or serving platter, distribute the ingredients evenly and attractively. Spread a layer of half of the watermelon cubes or balls, then sprinkle over half of the onions, then feta.
Building salad with cubed watermelon, feta, and red onions in white dish.
  1. Add another layer: Tear half of the mint leaves into large pieces and sprinkle over the feta. Repeat with another layer of watermelon, onions, feta, and mint.
Woman adding fresh mint and red onions to watermelon feta salad.
  1. Dress the salad and serve: Shake or stir the dressing to re-combine, and pour it evenly over the salad. Serve chilled.
Dressing pouring over a Watermelon Feta Salad.

Make Ahead and Storage

You can cube or ball the melon up to 2 days ahead of time. Drain off any juice that may have collected in the bottom (and pour it into a glass and drink it up…Delicious!).

You can also cube or crumble the feta 2 days ahead of time and store all of the components in the fridge.

Leave the assembly until right before you serve the salad. You can assemble the salad up to 2 hours ahead of time if needed, but make sure to tear and add the mint just before serving so it doesn’t start to darken.

Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a day. It starts to become watery after that, and the textures of the melon and the feta change a bit.

FAQs

What is watermelon salad made of?

This type of watermelon salad is based on a combination of watermelon and feta cheese. I add red onions, which adds a wonderful crunchy peppery bite that contrasts wonderfully with the juicy melon, and a handful of fresh mint for a refreshing brightness. A small amount of a simple vinaigrette pulls it all together.

Why do people eat watermelon with feta?

One bite will present you with the answer to that question! The salty, sweet contrast that people love is really highlighted in this salad. Every bite is a perfect combination of sweet melon and savory salty cheese. The textures work terrifically together as well.

What to Serve With Watermelon Feta Salad

Watermelon Feta Salad in white dish on wood table.

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5 from 5 votes

Watermelon Feta Salad

Sweet melon combines beautifully with tangy, salty feta, slivered onions, and mint in this inimitable summer salad recipe.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 People
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Ingredients 

For the Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons good balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • Freshly ground pepper (to taste; optional)

For the Salad:

  • 6 cups cubed or balled watermelon (chilled)
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 ½ cups diced or crumbled feta cheese
  • cup whole mint leaves

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl or container, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper, if using.
  • In a large shallow bowl or serving platter, distribute the ingredients evenly and attractively. Spread a layer of half of the watermelon cubes or balls, then sprinkle over half of the onions, then feta. Tear half of the mint leaves into large pieces and sprinkle over the feta. Repeat with another layer of watermelon, onions, feta, and mint.
  • Shake or stir the dressing to re-combine, and pour it evenly over the salad. Serve chilled.

Notes

  • Change out the mint for another herb — try chervil, basil, or thyme.
  • Add 1 to 2 cups small diced seeded cucumber.
  • Replace the feta with crumbled goat cheese, diced fresh mozzarella, or ricotta salata.
  • Add a few handfuls of peppery arugula leaves.

Nutrition

Calories: 219kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 33mg, Sodium: 625mg, Potassium: 233mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 1130IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 206mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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1 Comment

  1. jude says:

    katie, this was so so good. i added cubes of cukes, as you suggested, and didn’t even use any dressing other than some freshly ground white pepper. there was so much juice from the melon and tomatoes, i didn’t miss it. i just had it for a mid morning summer breakfast. thank you for another great one!