This easy watermelon salad recipe combines fresh fruit, crisp cucumber, salty feta cheese, and fragrant basil, tossed in an easy and delicious lime dressing. A beautiful, healthy summer salad for a BBQ that will be the first to disappear!
Watermelon and cucumbers together is one of the most refreshing summer combinations ever. Toss in some feta cheese and basil, and coat it all in a simple lime vinaigrette, and you’ve got an incredible Watermelon Salad that everyone will fight over.
Ingredients for watermelon salad
- Watermelon – use a ripe, seedless watermelon. Nobody wants to be spitting out seeds as they’re trying to enjoy their salad.
- Cucumber – crisp and refreshing, cucumber goes so well with watermelon. English (hot house) cucumbers are best for this salad because they contain fewer seeds, do not have the wax coating, and tend to be sweeter and more easily digestible than standard cucumbers have.
- Feta cheese – the saltiness of feta cheese pairs perfectly with melons.
- Basil – fresh basil is so fragrant with almost a sweet smell.
- Dressing – the dressing is made up of lime juice, honey, olive oil, and salt. That’s it! Just a little bit to coat is wonderful and ties everything together.
How to pick the best watermelon
Since watermelon is the star of the show here, we want to use the absolute best one, right? Here are some tips:
- Check out the shape – typically, a rounder watermelon will be sweeter than an oblong shaped one.
- Pick it up and feel it – no matter if it’s small or large, the watermelon should feel heavy for its size.
- Look for the biggest yellow spot – watermelons develop a splotch where they lie on the ground. When this splotch is yellow, it’s ripe. The bigger the splotch, the sweeter the melon will be.
- Tap the underbelly – give the watermelon’s lower surface a thump. You’re listening for a deep hollow sound, which indicates it’s ripe and full of wonderful juice. If it sounds dull, it’s either over-ripe or not ripe enough.
- For added heat, add in a small diced jalapeño.
- Add in some sliced red onion, for additional flavor and texture.
- Swap out the salty feta for creamy goat cheese.
- Creamy diced avocado is a tasty addition.
- Use mint instead of basil, which actually come from the same family. That’s why they work so well together!
- If watermelon isn’t your thing, you could use strawberries instead.
Can I make this ahead of time?
Not really. I mean, you could, but I don’t recommend it. It’s best served right away before the watermelon breaks down and feta gets soggy. If you absolutely must make it the day before, wait until serving time to toss in the feta and basil.
How to store leftovers
This salad is best when eaten right after preparing it. However if you have any leftovers, it will still be delicious. Any extra should be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
What to serve with Watermelon Feta Salad
This salad is one of my favorites to serve in the summer as a light lunch or snack, or to bring to potlucks. Everyone loves it, and it goes so well with whatever you’ve got on the grill, like Grilled Chicken, Turkey Burgers, or Hot Dogs.
Watermelon cucumber salad is truly a wonderful way to cool off on a hot summer day. Plus delicious, and healthy! Make it before summer is over and watermelon is all gone!
Watch the video for Watermelon Salad
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- 5 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
- 1 English (Hot House) cucumber , cubed (about 2 cups of cubed cucumber)
- 15 small fresh basil leaves , torn or chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese , or more to your liking
- In a small bowl, make the dressing by whisking together the honey, lime juice, olive oil, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or serving platter, combine the watermelon, cucumber, and basil.
- Drizzle the watermelon salad with the honey vinaigrette and gently toss to combine.
- Top with the feta cheese.
- Serve right away and enjoy!