Watermelon Feta Salad

by | Jul 19, 2018 | All, Side Dishes

This sweet and salty, 4-ingredient Watermelon Feta Salad is a surprising favorite at any summer BBQ or potluck. Easy to make and great for groups!

White bowl of Watermelon Feta Salad on a checkered napkin. Forks, watermelon cubes and feta cheese surround the bowl.Nothing screams summer like a wedge of watermelon. It is the quintessential summer fruit.

My daughter is the biggest watermelon fan in our house and could easily go through a melon a week if I let her. Don’t get me wrong; I love watermelon, too, but after a few weeks of gorging myself on plain melon, I need to shake it up a bit.

That’s why I love this Watermelon Feta Salad. It’s just different enough to wake up my tastebuds but not so different that I forget I’m eating one of our favorite spoils of summer.

What is a Watermelon Feta Salad? 

Any salty-sweet lovers out there? Then this Watermelon Feta Salad is for you!

The combination of four flavor-packed ingredients gives this summer side dish an incredible taste: juicy watermelon, salty feta cheese, tangy rice vinegar and fresh mint leaves.

Now for those of you who consider salting their watermelon sacrilege, hear me out. Most people associate watermelon with sweet not savory foods, but this surprising dish is the best of both worlds.

The feta actually makes the melon taste sweeter (but not too sweet thanks to the rice vinegar) while the fresh mint ensures every bite is lively. Trust me on this one! 

How to pick a ripe watermelon for your watermelon salad

With only four ingredients in this Watermelon Feta Salad recipe (not counting salt and pepper), you need to be sure you choose a ripe, juicy watermelon.

Although it’s easy to make a beeline for the first fresh watermelon you see at the grocery store, try to resist. The best watermelons are those that are grown in season, so that means July for us northerners and a few weeks earlier for warmer climates.

My first choice for picking a ripe watermelon is to buy direct from the farmer at the farmer’s market. I always ask for a ripe melon and they never steer me wrong.

If I can’t make it to the farmer’s market, there are a few rules I follow when choosing a ripe melon:

  • The watermelon should feel heavy for its size. A heavy melon is a juicy melon.
  • Look at the underbelly of the melon where it has been sitting in the field. What color is it? You’re looking for a creamy yellow color. Any other color (green or white) means it’s not fully ripened yet.
  • Give the melon a good thump. If it has a full, hollow sound, you’re in for some sweet, juicy melon. If you hear a dull thud, the melon will not likely be as ripe.

Dark gray cutting board filled with fresh watermelon cubes, salty feta cheese, fresh mint sprigs and rice vinegar. Combine ingredients to make Watermelon Feta Salad.

Which feta cheese is better: block feta or pre-crumbled feta?

Although it’s tempting to reach for the pre-crumbled feta cheese at the store, try to resist. We know; sometimes it’s just more convenient to grab the container that’s already crumbed.

But feta in block form that has been packed in brine is always more flavorful and more moist than any dry crumbles from the deli. Plus it’s usually around the same price and you always get more cheese in block form than you do in the pre-crumbled container. 

Can I make this Watermelon Feta Salad in advance? 

Yes and no. (How’s that for a non-answer?!)
 
You can cut the watermelon up to two days ahead of time, and you can prep the feta and/or mint the same day you are serving the salad, but I would not assemble the salad until serving.
 
Why? The vinegar will start to slowly break down the melon and no one likes soggy melon. This Watermelon Feta Salad is best enjoyed immediately after making it.
 
One last sprinkle of salt and pepper on top, and you have a familiar but intriguing twist on a staple summer side dish.
 

Pin this Watermelon Feta Salad recipe for later! 

White bowl filled with Watermelon Feta Salad. Bowl sits on a grey and white checked napkin on a dark grey wood board. Surrounded by forks, fresh watermelon cubes, feta cheese and mint sprigs.

Looking for more melon inspiration? We’ve got loads of great ways to use one of summer’s best fruits with these tried and true watermelon recipes:

Watermelon Gin Punch – Garnish with Lemon®
 
 
Watermelon Salsa – Garnish with Lemon®
 
 
Watermelon Mojitos – Garnish with Lemon®
 

Need more summer side dish recipes? 

 
 
 
 
 
Click HERE for all of our side dish recipes
 
Yield: serves 6

Watermelon Feta Salad

Watermelon Feta Salad

A perfect combination of salty and sweet, this 4-ingredient Watermelon Feta Salad is a refreshing side dish for any summer BBQ or party.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 7 cups of cubed watermelon, chilled and well drained
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Gently toss melon with rice vinegar, feta cheese and mint. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Serve immediately.

Notes

This salad is best served right away. The vinegar starts to break down the watermelon if made too far in advance.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 4g

This Watermelon Feta Salad is the quintessential summer recipe for your backyard BBQ. With only 4 ingredients, this side dish comes together quickly and is the perfect combination of salty and sweet! 

 

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

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About Anna

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20 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Aw thanks for sharing my watermelon salad. I love cheese on watermelon…so addictive. Your pic makes me want to dig in!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Your salad looks mouthwatering. Had to include it, Cathy!!

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    Oh how I LOVE salting my watermelon. 🙂 Believe it or not, though, I’ve never tried the watermelon-feta combination… need to change that soon! This looks amazing!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Steph, I was a newbie to salted watermelon until recently, too. Such a great combo!

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    How refreshing! I made a similar salad with goat cheese and a balsamic reduction and it was heavenly! Can’t wait to give your version a try 🙂

    Reply
    • Avatar

      You had me at goat cheese, Chung-Ah! Love the suggestion.

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    I have had a similar salad before and just loved it. The mint really adds great flavor! Perfect for the 4th!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Agreed, Julia An unexpected but yummy combo. Have a great 4th!

      Reply
  5. Avatar

    I made the Watermelon and Feta Salad tonight and it was so refreshing on a hot Summer night as a side dish with your Turkey Burgers. The sweet and salty thing is so delicious!

    Reply
  6. Avatar

    Very tasty and looks very pretty. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      We had our first melon last week. Soooooo tasty!

      Reply
  7. Avatar

    Love summertime watermelon, but have never had it this way before. Sounds great, definitely will try this way 🙂

    Reply
    • Avatar

      The sweet and salty combo is the best!

      Reply
    • Avatar

      Agreed, Katalina!

      Reply
    • Avatar

      Thank you!

      Reply
    • Avatar

      It’s one of our favorites, too. Never fails to impress (and disappear)!

      Reply

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