Watermelon Salad with Feta
This fast and easy warm weather salad has changed many people’s lives including mine! The distinctive and unbelievably refreshing and interesting combo of watermelon and feta 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.
What is in Watermelon Salad:
Watermelon – of course! The sweeter the watermelon the more amazing this salad is. You can use large watermelons, baby watermelons, red or yellow watermelons, whatever is available. 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, you’re 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 into a watermelon smoothie, or watermelon lemonade!
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’re lucky enough to find Lebanese feta! This salad has so few ingredients, you want each one to be the best it can be. 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, so you don‘t want them to blend together too much.
Red Onion – The contrast between the juicy, sweet melon and the crunchy sharp, peppery onions (not to mention the crumbly, creamy feta) is terrific.
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.
Simple Watermelon Feta Salad Dressing – a very straightforward dressing of olive oil, balsamic or red wine vinegar, and a bit of salt and pepper, if desired, pulls 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.
Watermelon Feta Salad: Sweet melon combines beautifully with tangy, salty feta, slivered onions, and mint in this inimitable summer salad.Tweet This
Make Ahead Watermelon Feta Salad
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 two days ahead of time, and store all of the components in the fridge. Leave the assembly for right before you are serving the salad. You can assemble the salad up to two 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.
How to Make Watermelon Feta Salad
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.
Variations on Watermelon Feta Salad
- 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
What to Serve with Watermelon Feta Salad
Other Summer Salad Recipes:
- Late Summer Cobb Salad
- Cherry Tomato Antipasti Salad
- Spinach Salad with Burrata
- Melon-Cucumber Salad with Feta
- Tomato, Avocado and Cucumber Salad
- Tomato, Watercress and Feta Salad
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Watermelon Feta Salad
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
- ⅓ cup whole mint leaves
- 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.
The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.
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