Watermelon salad is the essence of summer. The refreshing combination of sweet watermelon, cool cucumbers, and salty feta with a pop of fresh mint means this watermelon feta salad recipe is easy to make and easy to enjoy with friends and family.
Every bite of this watermelon salad is refreshing and packed with sweet and salty flavors. Watermelon season is my absolute favorite! I love the sweet, cool, refreshing taste of this summertime fruit so much that I add it to sangria in my Watermelon Sangria recipe and I even put it on the grill. When it comes to watermelon I do not mess around.
Growing up by the shores of the Mediterranean, my summers in Port Said, Egypt consisted of two things: the beach and watermelons. I remember spending long days on the sunny beach with my favorite snack in hand: slices of watermelon topped with crumbles of creamy feta. I spent hours with my father at the local market called the Souq where he would teach me how to pick watermelon so it was sweet and ripe everytime. These are skills I still use to this day.
I still love nothing more than the combination of salty feta over sweet, cool watermelon. And this watermelon salad with feta, cucumbers and fresh herbs, is another level of delicious. I think of this watermelon feta salad as grown up version of my favorite snack, and the zesty honey-lime dressing sure brings everything together.
Watermelon Salad Recipe Ingredients
This summer salad is the perfect combination of flavors. Like my Strawberry Spinach Salad, it shows how delicious fruit can be in a savory salad. Juicy cubed watermelon pairs beautifully with cool cucumbers, fresh herbs, and, of course feta cheese. It's the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Here are the fresh ingredients you need and some notes on how to prepare them:
- Watermelon: You can use 1 small watermelon or ½ a large watermelon. You'll need to peel and cut the watermelon into cubes. I have a step by step tutorial on how to cut a watermelon if this is new to you, but you can also slice it in half and use a melon baller, if you're feeling fancy!
- English cucumber or hot house cucumber: English cucumbers are sweeter and their skin is thin so you don't need to peel them. If you end up using American slicing cucumbers, you'll want to peel and seed the cucumbers before slicing.
- Mint and basil leaves: I used a good amount of herbs here, about 1 cup packed of each (or 15 leaves of mint and 15 leaves of fresh basil), roughly chopped or torn. Trust me, you need the punch of freshness from these herbs!
- Creamy feta cheese: You'll need about ½ cup or more of creamy crumbled feta. I usually start with a small block of feta packed in the brine, and I don't mind crumbling it myself. Feta packed in the brine is more creamy and not as salty as dry, already crumbled feta (besides I always keep a block of feta on hand in case the mood strikes for a delicious baked feta appetizer).
Watermelon Feta Salad Dressing
With juicy watermelons and cucumber, you may think the dressing is unnecessary. While this watermelon and feta salad is delicious without a dressing, a simple and bright dressing like I use here does bring it together and enhances the flavor. You only need 4 ingredients for the honey-lime dressing:
- Honey: I used 2 tablespoons of our Greek honey from Crete, the thyme and wild herb flavor really enhances and balances the other ingredients.
- Lime juice: Use lemon juice if that's what you have on hand.
- Extra virgin olive oil: I recommend 2 tablespoons of our Greek Early Harvest EVOO or our fruity Spanish Hojiblanca EVOO for this salad.
- Kosher salt: Just a pinch is all you need here to help draw out some of the delicious juices in the cubed cucumber and watermelons.
How to Make Watermelon Salad
Summer picnic salads like thes are easy to make, add color to your table, and are so refreshing to eat on hot summer days. You can make the salad dressing ahead of time and wait to dress the salad just before serving. It should keep in your fridge for up to 3 days.
- Add your watermelon cubes, cucumber, torn fresh herbs in a large salad bowl or platter.
- Pour the honey-lime dressing on top, then gently toss to combine.
- Finally, crumble feta cheese and sprinkle it all over the salad.
Make this Watermelon Salad Your Own
I keep this salad pretty simple—watermelon, feta, cucumber and mint, but consider this a watermelon salad foundation! In addition to the ingredients already in the salad the following extras will take this salad to the next level. Play around! It's important to have fun with your food!
- Shallots or red onions: Thinly sliced shallots will add a little punch and an extra pop of color.
- Avocado: Dice up a creamy avocado to add a little indulgence and healthy fat to this salad.
- Hot peppers: You can slice up some jalapeño rings for added crunch and heat.
- Red pepper flakes such as Aleppo pepper: I love Aleppo pepper over watermelons and over mangos, it is not too spicy but adds enough of a kick with hints of sweetness. I highly recommend it, which is why we offer it in our shop. If you try it don't stop with fruit. I love Aleppo pepper on a simple Cherry Tomato Salad or sprinkled over the top of Creamy Whipped Feta Dip. I could go on and on about my love for this spice, but I will stop here!
What to Serve with Watermelon Salad
Watermelon salad means backyard get togethers with friends and family! The sun is shining, the grill is going, and pitcher drinks of freshly made Strawberry Lemonade or White Sangria are flowing. Once the sun begins to shine my Mediterranean heart lightens up and I'm reminded of growing up in Port Said.
When it comes to pairing this quintessential summer salad with main meals I have you covered! Because watermelon salad is so cool and refreshing it's a nice way to balance anything spicy. I like to serve it with Grilled Chicken Legs with Garlic Harissa or keep it simple with Grilled Pork Souvlaki, or Chicken Kebabs.
If summer means fish, seafood or sandwiches to you then you're in luck! This watermelon feta salad goes beautifully with Salmon Burgers, Grilled Swordfish or even Shawarma.
Summer Salads Worth Savoring
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Watermelon Salad Recipe with Feta and Cucumber
For the Honey-Lime Dressing
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoons quality extra virgin olive oil I used Greek Early Harvest
- pinch of salt
For the Watermelon Salad
- ½ watermelon peeled, cut into cubes
- 1 English or Hot House cucumber, cubed (about 2 cupfuls of cubed cucumbers)
- 15 fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 15 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese, more to your liking
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lime juice, olive oil and pinch of salt. Set aside for a moment.
- Make the Salad: In a large bowl or serving platter with sides, combine the watermelon, cucumbers, and fresh herbs.
- Finish and Serve: Top the watermelon salad with the dressing and gently toss to combine. Top with the feta cheese and serve!
- Variations: you can add shallots or red onions, avocado cubes, or hot peppers. You can also season the salad with a dash of Aleppo-style pepper flakes which adds a little bit of heat with sweet undertones.
- Tips for Leftovers: Because this is a super watery salad, with watermelon and cucumber being the star ingredients, it is best to finish it on the same day you prepare it. However, if you have some leftovers, you can store in a tight-lid glass container for a night or two (test before serving.)
- Visit Our Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils and spices!
*This post has been recently updated with new information and media for readers' benefit.
I made this salad today and it was amazing! I told my husband of 41 years if we weren't married he would be proposing after he tasted this salad. He agreed!
Lol! Thanks, Jean!
What a wonderful salad! I only made 1/2 as there was only 4 of us, Really enjoyed by all us. I rarely pin recipes, but I pinned this one. So refreshing! Thanks!
I made this watermelon salad and it was absolutely delicious!! The watermelon and the honey and that burst of lime was so good! I'll make this again soon!
Awesome! Thanks, Sandy!
Made this for a potluck with some of my friends and it was a huge hit! Perfect and refreshing for the hot weather.
LOVE this salad! It is my new go-to when I'm to bring something to gatherings. It's easy, healthy, yummy, and looks so pretty, too.
Yay! Thanks so much!
Made this with chicken souvlaki, homemade pita and tzatziki. This was a major flavor party! Thank you, Suzy. Your recipes and instructions are spot on!
Delicious everyone loves it.
So glad to hear! Thanks, Mike!
I prepped this salad (without dressing) 1 hour before serving, and I added the dressing at the last minute. Loved the dressing with the watermelon. However, I would make this recipe again only if I were putting the cubes of melon and cuke on a person's plate just before he ate it. In no time flat, the serving bowl was half filled with "soup", which diluted the dressing and made the whole presentation pretty iffy. Sorry I took it to the party!
This recipe was fantastic!!! The fresh herbs brighten this up SOOO much. The ingredients all work perfectly together. Can't wait to make it again!
Awesome! Thanks, Joan!
Your recipes are just amazing, tasty, innovative and delicious!
Thanks so much
You're very sweet, Daphne! Thank you!
This is Wonderful! Fresh mint from the garden & smells so good. Kids loved it & wanted it again. Everything just goes together & very flavourable . Happy I had everything on hand. Thanks again for another great recipe!
So glad you enjoyed it, Stephanie!
What would I replace if I don’t like fresh mint and my BF does not like fresh basil? I love everything else!
Hi, Wendy. You can try just leaving the herbs out. It won’t be the same as far as the flavor profile, but it will still be tasty and refreshing.
Love this salad! I added a bit more mint & basil and also some diced red onion. Yum!
Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!
So, I have made this salad for a number of dinner parties ALWAYS a huge hit. It's also one of my husbands and I faves.
It's quick and so easy to put together. The combination of sweet, salty, Feta and the fresh herbs MMMMMMMMM.
Watermelon salad with Feta???.......... a " Mediterranean" dish??? PLEASE give us Greeks a LITTLE Credit. I had this at my Yia-yia's house in the 1950's. It did not make the Culinary fashion show that passes for our food obsessed culture until the 1990's. There are all these traditional GREEK recipes on your site and elsewhere and suddenly POOF!!!
they are "Mediterranean".
The Greeks had the FIRST unified cuisine in the Mediterranean Basin and their food's history reflects that origin.
PLEASE GIVE THE CREDIT WE ARE DUE. Labelling soemthing as "Mediterranean" suddenly does not make it NOT Greek.
Paul in NY
Hey Paul, thank you for stopping in and for sharing. I will respectfully share that I myself grew up on the Mediterranean in Port Said, Egypt. And we ate watermelons and feta all summer long. I love Greek food and many of my friends are Greek. But let us remember that the sunny Mediterranean encompasses several countries from South of Europe to North Africa and the Middle East. And while we have some distinct differences, we also have a lot in common...we share many flavors and we share a heart that is hospitable and generous. That is the spirit of this site. Labeling this salad Mediterranean does not mean it is not Greek, but it also does not mean it is not Egyptian or even Spanish. This is a simple salad that likely has variations throughout the Mediterranean. How lovely it is that we can share and celebrate the beautiful Mediterranean.
Yummy. Easy to make and it's light and refreshing. We loved it and I was asked for the recipe by several guests, who I sent the link to!
Awesome! Thanks, Patti!
Loved this. It was refreshing with lots of flavor. I probably got the ratios wrong for the honey dressing but it was a little sweet for our taste so we used a balsamic vinaigrette.
Another of your recipes that we will be having again, and trying two more tonight!
Awesome! Thanks, Andy!
I was looking for a good Watermelon Feta Salad recipe, and this was by far the best one I found. The flavors melded perfectly and the salad was delicious! The cucumbers were a really nice addition, and pairing the fresh basil with the mint was a great idea!
Thank you so much!
This is totally amazing my family loved this recipe. I have a question… How would this taste with blue cheese instead of feta?
Hi, Andrea! I have never tried those together before, so I can't really give you any guidance here. Stop back to let us know your thoughts if you give it a try!
This was astoundingly good. I made one alteration and that was to mince shallots (because I adore shallots) and add them to the lime juice. I let that sit just lime and shallot for about an hour and added the rest of the ingredients. Use an olive oil you love the flavor of - I used a sharper, greener EVO because the astringency goes nicely with the sweet of the watermelon and the creaminess of of the feta. I will make this again and again - so good. This whole website actually is a fave - I have never once followed a recipe off of here and had it less than totally delicious.
Thank you for sharing, Lola!
I had this salad at a family bbq... loved it... but I'm not a fan of mint... does it really need it? I would be happy with just the fresh basil... any other herb suggestions?
You can omit the mint, Debra, and just use basil if you enjoy it.