Watermelon salad is sweet, tangy, juicy, crisp, vibrant, and refreshing. It’s the perfect salad for hot summer days.

Excellent for picnics, barbeques, or as a light and healthy meal, this watermelon feta salad will leave you satisfied, nourished, and hydrated.

watermelon salad with feta cheese, mint leaves, and lemon

There’s no better way to celebrate summer than with a colorful, nourishing, and delicious watermelon salad.

You’ll love this recipe because it’s easy to make with simple ingredients. Yet, it packs a combination of flavors, colors, and textures worthy of a sophisticated restaurant dish.

Expect a crisp, crunchy, and juicy texture at every bite, followed by a perfectly balanced sweet, tangy, citrusy, minty, and salty combination.

This watermelon feta salad is an explosion of summer on a plate, it’s a feast for the mouth and the eyes, and there’s no other recipe that captures the essence of summer like this one.

watermelon feta salad on a serving platter

Ingredients & Substitutions

Watermelon salad ingredients

Watermelon

Look for seedless watermelons at the store; they are usually smaller with a uniform dark green-colored shell.

Giant watermelons with black seeds are delicious; however, making a salad with them might be challenging because you might have to remove at least some of their black seeds.

We like to cut the watermelon into cubes with a knife, but you also use a melon baller.

You can substitute strawberries for watermelon.

Feta Cheese or non-dairy Feta

Feta is a Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep and goat’s milk. Its salty flavor and creamy texture are a match made in heaven with watermelon.

Depending on your diet, you can use regular feta cheese or non-dairy feta cheese.

Our favorite non-dairy Feta is from Violife.

Fresh Mint

Fresh mint leaves have perfect flavor affinity with watermelon and Feta. Add plenty, finely chopped.

You can substitute fresh basil leaves for mint.

Lemon Juice

Freshly squeezed lemon juice adds acidity and freshness and behaves like a flavor booster for the other ingredients.

You can substitute lime juice for lemon juice.

Lemon Zest

Finely chopped lemon peel, only the yellow part, not the white pith, adds a beautiful citrusy flavor irresistible in this watermelon salad recipe.

We recommend using an organic lemon since you are eating the peel.

Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil adds a wonderful fruity flavor and a little fat, making the salad irresistible. It’s also heart-healthy and an excellent source of healthy fats.

Salt and Pepper

A pinch of sea salt and a twist of black pepper make the flavors of this salad pop.

Watermelon cucumber salad with feta and avocado.
Watermelon salad with avocado and cucumber.

How to make watermelon salad

Cut the watermelon in half, put it on a cutting board, cut side down, and cut off the rind and the white flesh with a sharp knife.

peeling the watermelon with a knife

Next, cut the watermelon into about 1-inch (2 cm) slices.

cutting the watermelon into slices

Cut each slice into 1-inch (2 cm) sticks, then into bite-size cubes.

cutting the watermelon into 1 inch cubes

Gently transfer the watermelon cubes into a large bowl or serving platter.

Add extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, finely sliced mint leaves, salt, and black pepper.

Toss gently with a spoon or with your hands to distribute the condiments.

watermelon on serving platter with mint and condiments

Finally, garnish with crumbled Feta, toasted pistachio nuts, finely chopped lemon peel, and more mint leaves.

Serve immediately and enjoy with a spoon so that you can pick up the delicious juices.

watermelon feta salad with mint and pistachios

Variations

Optional Add-Ins

add-ins for watermelon feta salad

While we prefer to keep the ingredient list to a minimum and let the three main ingredients (sweet watermelon, feta cheese, and mint leaves) shine, you can turn this watermelon salad into a more substantial meal by adding one or two of the following ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion or shallots
  • Fresh basil
  • Black olives or Kalamata olives
  • Balsamic glaze, balsamic vinegar, or pomegranate molasses
  • Arugula

Watermelon Tomato Salad

watermelon tomato salad with black olives

Combine sliced black olives, a few halved cherry tomatoes, one half thinly sliced shallot or red onion, and fresh basil leaves with the watermelon cubes.

Season with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss gently, then add crumbled Feta, lemon zest, and more basil.

Watermelon Cucumber Salad

Watermelon cucumber salad with feta and avocado.

Add diced cucumber, sliced basil leaves, and thinly sliced red onion to the watermelon cubes. Then, add diced avocado to make this watermelon salad recipe tastier and creamier.

Season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Top with crumbled Feta and lemon zest.

Serving Suggestions

Our favorite way to serve this watermelon salad recipe is as part of a main dish with other delicious salads, spreads, and dips.

For example, you can serve it as a light meal or bring it to a potluck with:

Alternatively, you can serve it as a refreshing appetizer with tomato bruschetta or homemade croutons topped with olive tapenade for a crunchy and tangy flavor.

Finally, you can certainly serve watermelon feta and mint salad as a side dish with many of our easy plant-based dinners. Try:

Storage

Make ahead: to get ahead in the kitchen, you can dice the watermelon in advance and keep it in an airtight container or a bowl wrapped in plastic for up to a day. You can also finely chop the lemon zest and keep it ready. However, avoid mixing the salad more than a couple of hours ahead; combining the ingredients shortly before serving is best.

Refrigerator: watermelon salad will last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. However, the salad tastes best as soon as it’s made because the watermelon is crisp, the Feta creamy, and the mint fresh and bright.

Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.

Questions

What goes well with watermelon?

Feta cheese, mint leaves, lemon juice, and lemon zest go perfectly with watermelon salad.

You can also add tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, olives, and avocado.

Can you make watermelon salad ahead?

We don’t recommend mixing the watermelon salad ahead because the watermelon will lose its crisp texture and it’ll get soggy. Also, the fresh herbs will turn brown, and the Feta will dry up.

If you want to get ahead, cut the watermelon into cubes and store it in an airtight container without mixing it with the other ingredients.

How long will watermelon salad last in the fridge?

The salad will last for three days in an airtight container in the fridge; however, it’s best eaten soon after it’s made.

What cheese goes well with watermelon?

Creamy and salty feta cheese or non-dairy Feta are the best cheeses to pair with watermelon.

What flavor tastes good with watermelon?

Savory and umami-rich flavors with soft and creamy textures go particularly well with crisp and juicy watermelon. Think of feta cheese, black olives, and avocado.

Citrus is also a good match, especially lemon juice, zest, and lime juice.

More Summer Salad Recipes

If you’re a fan of fresh and vibrant summer salads, try the following:

For many more salad ideas, check out our salads category page.

watermelon salad with feta on a white platter

Watermelon Salad

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 3 votes
Watermelon salad is sweet, tangy, juicy, crisp, vibrant, and refreshing. It's the perfect salad for hot summer days.
Excellent for picnics, barbeques, or as a light and healthy meal, this watermelon feta salad will leave you satisfied, nourished, and hydrated.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 – 6 people
Course: Appetizer, salad
Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 6 cups watermelon cut into bite-size cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 handful mint leaves finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon peel finely diced or grated
  • 2 ounces feta or non-dairy feta
  • 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts

Instructions 

  • Cut the watermelon in half, put it on a cutting board, cut side down, and cut off the rind and the white flesh with a sharp knife.
    peeling the watermelon with a knife
  • Next, cut the watermelon into 1-inch (2 cm) slices, then each slice into 1-inch (2 cm) sticks, then into bite-size cubes.
    cutting the watermelon into 1 inch cubes
  • Transfer the watermelon cubes into a large bowl or serving platter.
    Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 handful mint leaves (finely sliced), ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
    Toss to combine.
    watermelon on serving platter with mint and condiments
  • Finally, garnish with 2 ounces feta (crumbled), 2 tablespoons lemon peel (finely chopped), 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts (chopped), and more mint.
    Serve immediately and enjoy with a spoon so that you can pick up the delicious juices.
    watermelon feta salad with mint and pistachios

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 portion of watermelon feta salad out of 6.
SUBSTITUTIONS
  • Watermelon: sub strawberries.
  • Mint: sub basil.
  • Lemon: sub lime.
  • Olive oil: you can keep it out or sub avocado oil.
OPTIONAL ADD-INS
  • Avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion or shallots
  • Fresh basil
  • Black olives or Kalamata olives
  • Balsamic glaze, balsamic vinegar, or pomegranate molasses
  • Arugula
 
STORAGE
Make ahead: to get ahead in the kitchen, you can dice the watermelon in advance and keep it in an airtight container or a bowl wrapped in plastic for up to a day. You can also finely chop the lemon zest and keep it ready. However, avoid mixing the salad more than a couple of hours ahead; combining the ingredients shortly before serving is best.
Refrigerator: watermelon salad will last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. However, the salad tastes best as soon as it’s made because the watermelon is crisp, the Feta creamy, and the mint fresh and bright.
Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.

Nutrition

Calories: 108kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Potassium: 215mg, Dietary Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 945IU, Vitamin B6: 0.2mg, Vitamin C: 17mg, Vitamin E: 1mg, Vitamin K: 2µg, Calcium: 65mg, Folate: 11µg, Iron: 1mg, Manganese: 0.1mg, Magnesium: 21mg, Zinc: 0.5mg
Tried this recipe? Leave a comment below or mention @theplantbasedschool on Instagram. We are also on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and TikTok.

If you liked this watermelon salad, you might also enjoy:


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

Easy right?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




1 Comment

  1. Non capisco perché il mio commento riguardo il fatto che un formaggio non è un alimento “plant based” venga cancellato ogni volta.