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Watermelon Basil Salad With Feta

Watermelon basil salad is so refreshing! It’s the perfect summer side dish for a hot day or summer BBQ. The sweetness of the watermelon pairs nicely with the fresh herbs, and saltiness of the feta. Plus, it’s dairy-free and easy to customize!

Looking for more summer salads? Try my zucchini corn saladsouthwest mango black bean salad, or peach Panzanella salad

What You’ll Love About This Recipe

  • Simple ingredients – fresh ingredients such as juicy watermelon, fresh herbs, and a simple vinaigrette take this fruit salad to another level.
  • Easy – this easy salad comes together quickly. The hardest part is chopping the watermelon. 
  • Perfect flavor pairing – Good food is all about what flavors pair well together for the perfect combination. In this case, it’s sweet melon, fragrant basil, and salty feta cheese.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this watermelon feta basil salad:

  • Sweet watermelon – get a seedless watermelon if possible.
  • Feta (dairy-free or regular) – adds a nice salty element. For dairy-free, I like the Follow Your Heart brand or Trader Joe’s brands.
  • Fresh basil – for freshness and a sweet/savory flavor.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – the base of the dressing.
  • Lime juice – gives the dressing a little zing.
  • Raw honey – a touch of sweetener helps to bring out the natural sweetness in the watermelon.
  • Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper – to taste.

How to Make Watermelon Basil Salad: Step By Step

Here are some quick visual instructions. The full instructions and ingredient list will be in the printable recipe card below!

1. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, and raw honey. Season to taste with kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper.  

2. Toss. Add the cubed watermelon, crumbled feta, and basil to a large bowl and pour the dressing over. Toss lightly to combine.

3. Plate and garnish. Arrange the dressed watermelon cubes in a large salad bowl. Add more hand-torn basil leaves and a pinch of flaky salt.

Helpful Tips

  • To add or not to add cucumber? This salad is delicious with cucumber and adds a nice crunch. Sometimes I add it, other times I don’t. Because these two fruits are from the same plant family and have similar hydrating qualities, I find the crisp, juicy watermelon to be enough on its own.
  • Switch up the shape of the watermelon by using a melon baller instead.

Quick Tip: Skip the pre-cut watermelon. Buy a whole watermelon and cut it yourself. You’ll get much more bang for your buck, plus it’s more eco-friendly because there’s no unnecessary plastic packaging. With any leftover watermelon, make fresh watermelon juice or a watermelon slushie.

Storage

This salad is best the day you can make it, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and consume it within 1-3 days.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this watermelon salad recipe using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No feta? – leave it out and sprinkle the salad with extra flaky salt instead.
  • No raw honey? – use maple syrup.
  • No lime juice? – use lemon juice.
  • No fresh basil? – use fresh mint leaves instead.
  • Add-ins – diced Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers, thinly sliced red onion, or fresh blueberries.

Variations

  • Mixed melon salad – use a combination of watermelon, honeydew, and canteloupe.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best way to pick a ripe watermelon?

Look for the field spot. This is the creamy yellow spot on the rind of a watermelon that rested on the field as it grew. If the field spot is more white than yellow, it was picked too early and won’t be sweet enough. See my what goes with watermelon post for more tips.

Is the dressing necessary?

While you don’t have to use the dressing, it helps tie all the flavors together and adds a nicely balanced taste.

How far in advance can I make this watermelon feta salad?

It’s best to make the salad right before serving it. However, you can prep a few components ahead such as chopping up the watermelon and making the dressing. Store them separately, then toss together with fresh basil and feta before serving.

More Summer Recipes

I hope you love this Watermelon Basil Salad! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment & a star rating so I know how you liked it!

Watermelon Basil Salad with Feta

5 from 3 votes
Watermelon salad with cubed watermelon, torn fresh basil leaves and crumbled feta.
Watermelon basil salad is so refreshing! It's the perfect summer side dish for a hot day or summer BBQ. The sweetness of the watermelon pairs nicely with the fresh herbs, and saltiness of the feta. Plus, it's dairy-free and easy to customize!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients
 

  • 6 heaping cups cubed watermelon
  • 4 ounces dairy free feta, crumbled or regular if not dairy free
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • kosher salt & pepper, to taste
  • large handful fresh basil leaves torn

Instructions

  • Make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, and raw honey. Season to taste with kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Toss. Add the cubed watermelon, crumbled feta, and basil to a large bowl and pour the dressing over. Toss lightly to combine.
  • Plate and garnish. Arrange the dressed watermelon cubes in a large salad bowl. Add more hand-torn basil leaves and a pinch of flaky salt.

Notes

See the blog post for help tips, storage, and FAQs.

Make It your Way: Substitutions & Variations

No feta? – leave it out and sprinkle the salad with extra flaky salt instead.
No raw honey? – use maple syrup.
No lime juice? – use lemon juice.
No fresh basil? – use fresh mint leaves instead.
Add-ins – diced Persian cucumbers or English cucumbers, thinly sliced red onion, or fresh blueberries.

Variations

Mixed melon salad – use a combination of watermelon, honeydew, and canteloupe.
Variations – add in sliced strawberries or blueberries, use a mix of melons such as honeydew, canteloupe, and watermelon, leave out the cucumber, etc.

2 Comments

  1. Carol Gamell says:

    Thank you Lindsey. I was wanting to make a watermelon salad and this has all the ingredients we love.

    1. Perfect! Happy 4th, Carol! 🙂

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