Easy Watermelon Feta Salad

by | Jul 19, 2018 | All, Side Dishes

This salty & sweet, 4-ingredient Watermelon Feta Salad is the perfect side dish for any BBQ or potluck. Easy to make and great for groups

This post was updated in June 2020.

White bowl of Watermelon Feta Salad on a checkered napkin. Forks, watermelon cubes and feta cheese surround the bowl.

BEST Watermelon Feta Salad with mint

This watermelon recipe is one of my favorite summer side dishes.

You’ll see variations of watermelon salad recipes all over the internet. Some have red onion, others have cucumber or even arugula. 

So why do I like this recipe the best?

For starters, it has only four ingredients, so it’s super easy to make.

But beyond ease, this Watermelon Feta Salad tastefully bridges the gap between sweet and savory flavors with the perfect combination of juicy watermelon, salty feta cheese, fresh mint leaves and a splash of tangy rice vinegar.  

Trust us; everyone ALWAYS asks for this recipe.

Dark gray cutting board filled with fresh watermelon cubes, salty feta cheese, fresh mint sprigs and rice vinegar.

Ingredients

As promised, there are only FOUR ingredients in this quick and easy salad (not counting salt and pepper):

  • Watermelon
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Rice vinegar – If you’re unfamiliar with rice vinegar, it has a very delicate, almost sweet flavor that is often used in recipes that call for quick pickling as well as a variety of Asian recipes. It definitely has a mild flavor when compared to white or apple cider vinegar. You can find this inexpensive item in the Asian foods section of your grocery store. 
Fresh watermelon cubes, crumbled feta cheese and chopped mint leaves in a glass bowl.

How to pick a ripe watermelon

A ripe, juicy watermelon is key to the flavor of this Watermelon Feta Salad.

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, but it can also mean 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: 

  1. The watermelon should feel heavy for its size. A heavy melon is a juicy melon. 
  2. 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. 
  3. 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. 
White bowl with black rim filled with watermelon feta salad. Garnished with fresh mint.

Feta cheese: block vs. pre-crumbled

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. 

Instructions

This Watermelon Feta Salad comes together quickly. The most time-consuming chore is chopping up the watermelon, which can be done up to two days ahead of time and kept covered in the refrigerator. 

  1. Place watermelon cubes in a large bowl. Add feta cheese and mint leaves and gently stir to combine. 
  2. Sprinkle with rice vinegar and salt and pepper, if desired. Gently stir again and serve immediately. 
White bowl of watermelon feta salad on a black and white checkered napkin.

Can I make this salad in advance? 

Yes and no. You can cut the watermelon, and you can prep the feta and/or mint the same day you are serving the salad but don’t assemble the salad until serving. 

Why?

The vinegar will start to slowly break down the melon. This Watermelon Feta Salad is best enjoyed immediately after making it and is not a great candidate for leftovers. 

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.

The combination of flavors in this Watermelon Feta Salad is perfect for all of you salty-sweet lovers out there like me.

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. One last sprinkle of salt and pepper on top, and you have a familiar but intriguing twist on a staple summer side dish. 

P.S. Got leftover watermelon? Use it to make a batch of these refreshing Watermelon Margaritas or a pitcher of this Watermelon Gin Punch!

White bowl filled with watermelon feta salad

Need more summer side dish recipes? 

Classic Macaroni Salad

Grilled German Potato Salad

Arugula Goat Cheese Corn Salad

Summer Fruit Dinner Salad

Easy Pea and Cheese Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Or explore all of our Side Dishes in our recipe archives!

Yield: serves 4-6

Watermelon Feta Salad

White bowl of Watermelon Feta Salad on a checkered napkin. Forks, watermelon cubes and feta cheese surround the bowl.

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
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Gently stir together watermelon, feta cheese and mint.
  2. Sprinkle with rice vinegar and gently stir again. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately.

Notes

This salad is best served right away. The vinegar starts to break down the watermelon if made too far in advance. If you are bringing it to a potluck, combine all ingredients except the rice vinegar ahead of time and then stir in the vinegar right before serving.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 410mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 6g

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You’ll be the star of your next BBQ with this easy, refreshing Watermelon Feta Salad. Made with only 4 ingredients, it’s an irresistible salty and sweet recipe that everyone always asks for!

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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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