Watermelon feta salad is the ultimate fresh summer treat! Sweet melon with salty cheese is laid back and perfect for the season.

Watermelon feta salad

Here’s the best recipe for when watermelon is in season, hands down: Watermelon Feta Salad! This classic combination of sweet juice melon and salty cheese is one of summer’s great pleasures. This summer salad has grown to massive popularity in recent years, and for good reason: it’s fast and easy to make, and has a lazy, laid-back vibe that screams flip flops, pool parties, and picnics.

What is watermelon feta salad?

Watermelon feta salad combines fresh cubed watermelon with feta cheese, and is often topped with olive oil or a quick vinaigrette. The origin of this salad may be Egyptian in origin, and it’s consumed in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.

Why it works? It’s a refreshing dish for hot weather, and highlights the pairing of sweet fruit with salty cheese, an age old tradition in these cuisines. So while you may see it all over Pinterest: no, it was not invented by social media influencers!

Watermelon feta salad

Ingredients for watermelon feta salad

This watermelon feta salad recipe was the very first recipe we ever wrote for this website, back in August 2010. So much has changed since then, of course. But this salad recipe has grown massively in popularity! You’ll often see this type of recipe at summer potlucks and cookouts. Some recipes use a quick vinaigrette to dress the watermelon, but we like a simple drizzle of olive oil. Here are the watermelon feta salad ingredients:

  • Ripe watermelon
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh herbs: basil or mint
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

The best part of this concept is you barely need to measure. Cube the watermelon, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with herbs. It’s that easy! We prefer the fresh bite of a watermelon feta mint salad, but it’s nearly as delicious with fresh basil.

How to find a ripe melon (important!)

Because this watermelon feta salad is so simple, it’s important that you buy the best quality ingredients. An unripe watermelon tastes bitter and flat: not at all what you need for this salad! Here’s how to select a great ripe fruit:

  • Shop in watermelon season. It’s the only sure way we’ve found to get a great fruit.
  • Look for the field spot. Most watermelons should have a patch on the bottom, which is where they were resting on the ground before being picked. If the patch is yellow, the watermelon is ripe (if it’s white, it’s unripe).
  • Look for a watermelon that feels heavy for its size. That means there’s lots of juice inside! Honestly this one is hard to assess in the grocery, but keep it in mind when you’re shopping.
Watermelon feta mint salad

Buying the best feta cheese

Equally as important is the feta cheese you purchase. Skip the pre-crumbled stuff, and go for a block of full-fat feta cheese. This kind of feta has the best flavor, and it’s most like the feta served in Greece.

You also want to avoid feta that’s made from cow’s milk, as that’s not true feta. It crumbles more easily, which isn’t what you want. Feta from Greece has incredible flavor if you can find it! We’ve been able to locate Greek feta at our local grocery store.

Storage and make ahead instructions

This watermelon feta salad is best freshly made, so we have a few tips for making it ahead:

  • Cut the watermelon and store it separately. Cut watermelon releases a lot of liquid. So 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.
  • Leftovers store up to 2 days. However, this salad is sub-optimal as leftovers because it releases so much juice. It does work, but it’s better for laid back lunches than impressing dinner guests.
Watermelon feta salad

Variations on watermelon feta salad

There are lots of variations on watermelon feta salad, swapping in different cheeses, herbs, and dressings. Here are a few options:

  • Mint and lime: This Watermelon Mint Salad is a favorite variation! Add lime juice and mint, and skip the feta entirely.
  • Cucumber: Add cucumber for Watermelon Cucumber Salad. The cooling veggie pairs well with melon.
  • Onion: Add red onion slivers or minced shallot for a hint of savory spice
  • Baby arugula: Add baby arugula for a fluffy texture

More watermelon recipes

Watermelon feta salad is one of our top ideas for using this summery melon! But there are many more great ways to use this summer fruit. Here are some top watermelon recipes to try next:

This recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, go to Watermelon Salad with Mint.

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Watermelon feta salad

Watermelon Feta Salad


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Watermelon feta salad is the ultimate fresh summer treat! Sweet melon with salty cheese is laid back and perfect for the season.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 cups cubed ripe seedless watermelon (5 pounds or 1/2 medium watermelon)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 4 basil or 6 mint leaves, minced
  • Lemon zest (optional)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, for garnish
  • Fresh ground black pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Chop the watermelon and arrange it on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with feta crumbles, basil or mint, and kosher salt. Add lemon zest or black pepper if desired.
  2. 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: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Watermelon feta salad, watermelon feta mint salad

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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