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Watermelon basil salad hits the spot in summer! The blend of melon, feta cheese and herbs is simple and refreshing.

Watermelon basil salad
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Here’s one of the best ways to use a summer melon: watermelon basil salad! The classic combination of sweet melon and salty cheese is made even more perfect with basil. It gives a fresh, herbaceous finish that makes each bite positively irresistible! This summer salad is ideal for entertaining and we love having it on the table at parties or for a carefree evening al fresco. Here’s how to make this tasty side dish!

Ingredients in watermelon basil salad

This spin on the classic watermelon feta salad adds fresh basil to infuse fresh, herby flavor. It might seem like a trendy Pinterest invention, but the combination of sweet melon and salty cheese is a classic dish that’s eaten in the Middle East and Mediterranean. The juicy fruit paired with the savory feta is extremely refreshing: perfect for summer when you have ripe melon on hand. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Ripe seedless watermelon, chilled
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh basil
Watermelon basil salad

How to cut watermelon

Chopping watermelon can be intimidating at first: but there’s an easy way to cut this large melon into cubes! Here’s the best way to cut a watermelon:

  1. Use a large Chef’s knife to slice the watermelon in half through the middle (not lengthwise).
  2. Flip the half over onto the flat base, then cut it into slices.
  3. Switch to using a small paring knife (using a smaller knife gives you more control). Slice off the rind of each slice.
  4. Switch back to the Chef’s knife. Make a grid pattern to cut the watermelon into cubes.
How to Cut a Watermelon: Make a grid pattern

Tips for making watermelon basil salad

This watermelon basil salad is quick and simple to whip up: cut the watermelon into cubes, then toss with the feta cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped basil! But keep in mind: the salad is best made fresh. This isn’t the best salad for leftovers! Here are a few tips for making this salad:

  • Flex the basil quantity as desired. You can adjust the basil quantity based on what you have on hand. If you’ve got loads of basil, you can use up to ½ cup chopped basil to make the dish sing.
  • If making in advance, cut the watermelon and store it separately. Chopped watermelon releases a lot of liquid. The best way to make this salad in advance is to cut the watermelon into cubes and store it separately. Then make up the salad right before serving. Basil also becomes brown after you chop it, so chop the basil directly before serving.
  • Leftovers can work, but aren’t optimal. Watermelon releases so much juice that leftovers don’t look quite as appetizing. This recipe is best as fresh as possible!
Watermelon Basil Salad

Variations on watermelon salad

There are so many ways to make a great watermelon salad! Here are a few of our top variations:

This watermelon basil salad recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Watermelon basil salad

Watermelon Basil Salad

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Watermelon basil salad hits the spot in summer! The blend of melon, feta cheese and herbs is simple and refreshing.


  • 8 cups cubed ripe seedless watermelon, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice 
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve immediately. If making ahead, refrigerate the cubed watermelon separately: it releases a large amount of water after it is cut. Then assemble the salad right before serving. Leftovers store for up to 2 days.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Salad
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Sabrina says:

    great elevation of watermelon and always love feta, thank you!

  2. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!