Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil
Published Jun 25, 2018, Updated Aug 06, 2023
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This watermelon feta salad pairs juicy watermelon with feta, onion and basil for a refreshing summer dish. Eat on its own or pair with protein for a delicious meal-sized salad.
This salad reminds me of my childhood when I used to eat watermelon with salt sprinkled on top all summer long. Have you ever tried it? I’ve heard it’s a southern thing but if you haven’t tried it, you need to! The salty, sweet combo is so delicious. Salt on pretty much any melon is tasty so if by some chance you’re not a watermelon fan… you’ve got choices. 😉
This salad goes a step further — I’m using feta for the salty component, adding a little red onion, fresh basil and a balsamic reduction to sweeten things up just a tad. All the flavors work really well together.
Whether you’re new to the kitchen or a pro, I feel confident saying you can impress with this salad.
Ingredients in Watermelon Salad
Sometimes the best recipes are the most simple ones. While this recipe doesn’t have a lot of frills and crazy ingredients, I think that’s what makes it so good! Here’s what you need:
- watermelon – the star of this recipe here! Plus, watermelon is super hydrating and high in vitamin C, vitamin A and many healthy plant compounds. (Source)
- feta – we’re using crumbled feta as our salty component in the recipe.
- red onion – I prefer to use red onion, but if you’re not a fan you can use yellow.
- basil – the fresh basil helps to tie all the flavors together, but you could also use mint.
- red wine vinegar & olive oil – helps the flavors pop in this salad.
- black pepper – for a little seasoning.
- balsamic reduction – we’re using a lightened up balsamic reduction made from balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar, which helps to sweeten things up just a tad.
Notes & Substitutions
Vegan – If you need this salad to be vegan you can totally opt out of the feta cheese or use a dairy-free feta.
Basil – If you’re not a fan of basil, mint would be a lovely substitution.
Balsamic reduction – If you don’t have time to prep the balsamic reduction, most grocery stores sell a bottled balsamic glaze or you can simply skip it. The salad will still taste delicious without the reduction. Cutting the balsamic reduction will also reduce the sugar content of the dish!
How to Serve Watermelon Salad
Watermelon is extremely hydrating and refreshing so it’s perfect for a picnic or summer potluck and is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
I would categorize this salad recipe as more of a side because it doesn’t contain healthy fat, protein or fibrous veggies, but there are easy upgrades you can make to enjoy this as a meal-sized salad! Here are some serving suggestions:
- Simply serve it over a bed of greens (fibrous veggies: check!)
- Serve it with grilled shrimp or grilled chicken (protein: check!)
- Add sliced avocado (healthy fat: check!)
I can already see myself relying on this salad through the hot months of summer.
How to Store Watermelon Salad
This watermelon salad is best served fresh, but it will keep for a few days if you make it in advance. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
More Fruity Salads to Try
- Strawberry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Kale Pomegranate Salad with Goat Cheese
- Fuji Apple Salad
- Easy Fruit Salad
- Waldorf Salad
- Blueberry Corn Salad
- Grilled Salmon Salad with Peaches
- Pear Salad with Walnuts and Chicken
- Grapefruit Avocado Salad
- Fruit Salad with Mint
More Feta Recipes to Try
- Asparagus Salad with Lemon and Feta
- Egg, Spinach and Feta Breakfast Wrap
- Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers
- Spaghetti Squash Baked Feta Pasta
- Kale and Feta Crustless Quiche
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil
- 1 pound cubed watermelon
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup onion, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, or mint
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
- Make the balsamic reduction: Add balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a slight boil and reduce by half, about 6-8 minutes; set aside and let cool.
- Mix remaining ingredients: In a large salad bowl gently toss watermelon, onion, feta, basil, olive oil and vinegar. Taste and season with pepper.
- Serve: Drizzle balsamic reduction over salad just before serving. Serve immediately with a slotted spoon because the salad becomes juicy as it sits.
- Vegan – If you need this salad to be vegan you can totally opt out of the feta cheese or use a dairy-free feta.
- Basil – If you’re not a fan of basil, mint would be a lovely substitution.
- Balsamic reduction – If you don’t have time to prep the balsamic reduction, most grocery stores sell a bottled balsamic glaze or you can simply skip it. The salad will still taste delicious without the reduction. Cutting the balsamic reduction will also reduce the sugar content of the dish!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.