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Watermelon Salad with Basil

Watermelon Salad with Basil is filled with crunchy fruit and vegetables, fresh herbs, and delicious balsamic dressing. It's the perfect way to change up how you eat salads. Don’t let your healthy eating fall apart just because you’re tired of the same-old, same-old salad recipe. This fresh watermelon salad proves that salad is anything but boring! 

What you’ll notice right away about this summertime salad recipe is that it’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory. The natural crunch and sweetness of the ripe watermelon pair perfectly with the added feta cheese and basil or mint leaves. Get ready to become a salad fan all over again! 

plated watermelon salad

Why it's great

  • There’s no cooking required! 
  • It’s a simple way to introduce healthy foods without feeling like you’re eating healthy.
  • Watermelon salad is excellent for lunch, dinner, or as a side dish option as well. 

Once the hot months of summer hit, I’m all about eating lighter without having to give up any flavor. Salads tend to be one of my favorite go-to recipes, but sometimes I feel that they start to get a bit bland and lack creativity.

This is why this easy cucumber and watermelon salad recipe is the best. It’s refreshing, it’s light and crunchy, and it’s loaded with healthy fruits and vegetables! Even the kids will want to fill their bowls with this salad recipe because of the amazing flavor. 

The other important part of this gorgeous salad is that you get to make your own dressing. Why fumble through the store-bought dressings trying to find the right one when you can just make it up yourself? 

This is so delicious to munch on after a day at the pool or the beach and a great way to rehydrate and fuel the body, too. 

ingredients needed to make watermelon salad

Ingredients

  • watermelon - I always make sure to use a seedless watermelon.
  • mixed salad leaves - This adds a great flavor combination of greens.  
  • red onion - The sweet onion pairs perfectly with this delicious watermelon salad.
  • cucumber - I like to use English cucumbers for this watermelon cucumber salad.
  • blueberries - The more fresh ingredients and fresh fruit you want to add, the better.
  • feta cheese - The salty feta adds wonderful savory flavors.
  • basil or mint - Fresh basil or fresh mint leaves are a great idea.
  • balsamic vinegar - This is the star of the dressing and pairs well with the tangy feta cheese.
  • extra virgin olive oil - Using this is the best way to thin out the simple vinaigrette homemade dressing.
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How to make watermelon salad with basil

Step 1. Slice the watermelon

Begin by slicing the watermelon. To do this, cut both ends from the watermelon and discard. Place the watermelon sitting on one cut end on a chopping board in front of you. 

Use a large sharp knife to cut the rind away from the sides of the watermelon.

 Hold the knife horizontally about an inch from the top of the watermelon and cut slices. Next, cut vertical slices of about 1 inch, flip the board around, and cut slices of about 1 inch, and you’ll end up with 1 inch cubes of watermelon. 

Repeat until you have cubed the whole watermelon and set aside in a bowl to add to the salad later. 

Step 2. Assemble

To assemble the salad, peel and slice the red onion finely and cut rounds from the cucumber. Finely chop the mint. 

Arrange the salad leaves in a salad bowl or large platter. Add the sliced onion and cucumber. 

Heap the watermelon in a pile on top, then scatter over the blueberries. 

Step 3. Make the dressing

To make the balsamic dressing, add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk it well. Pour the dressing over the watermelon salad. 

fork stirring the dressing ingredients in a small bowl

Step 4. Add cheese

Use your hands to crumble the feta cheese over the salad, and finally, sprinkle over the basil or mint. 

Step 5. Serve

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Storage tips

This watermelon salad recipe is best eaten fresh, but you can store it for up to 1 day if needed. Just cover the bowl and add it to the fridge to keep it cool.

pouring balsamic dressing

Variations

  • Add extra watermelon if you’d like, or less! You can never have too much sweet watermelon.
  • If you don't want to add Greek feta, you can also add blue cheese or even goat cheese. Any of these make delicious summer salads.
  • Change up the type of greens that you add. I love arugula but this watermelon salad pairs well with spinach, kale, and romaine - you name it! 
  • Add more fresh fruit! Raspberries or blackberries or chopped peaches would be an awesome choice. 
  • I like to add fresh basil or mint, but fresh cilantro would be good as well. Almost any type of fresh herbs would be a great addition.
  • If you’re not a fan of olive oil, coconut oil or avocado oil would work, too.
  • If you want to add some citrus, add some fresh lime juice. It's a great flavor addition for a hot summer day. (Fresh lemon juice works well, too!)
forkful of diced watermelon with feta cheese

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close up of salad with fresh diced watermelon and feta cheese crumbles

Watermelon Salad with Basil

5 from 1 vote
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This flavorful watermelon salad with basil is full of diced watermelon and crunchy cucumbers. Don't forget to top with feta cheese and dressing!
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prep time: 10 mins
total time :10 mins
servings :2
author: Staff Writer

Ingredients 

  • 6 cups watermelon
  • 4-6 cups mixed greens
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cucumber sliced in rounds
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
  • ¼ cup basil or mint finely chopped

Instructions

  • Begin by slicing the watermelon. To do this, cut both ends from the watermelon and discard.Place the watermelon sitting on one cut end on a chopping board in front of you.
  • Use a large sharp knife to cut the rind away from the sides of the watermelon.
  • Hold the knife horizontally about an inch from the top of the watermelon and cut slices. Next, cut vertical slices of about 1 inch, flip the board around and cut slices of about 1 inch and you’ll end up with 1 inch cubes of watermelon.
  • Repeat until you have cubed the whole watermelon and set aside in a bowl to add to the salad later.
  • To assemble the salad, peel and slice the red onion finely and cut rounds from the cucumber. Finely chop the mint.
  • Arrange the salad leaves in a salad bowl or large platter. Add the sliced onion and cucumber.
  • Heap the watermelon in a pile on top then scatter over the blueberries.
  •  To make the dressing, add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Use a fork to whisk it well. Pour the dressing over the watermelon salad.
  • Use your hands to crumble the feta cheese over the salad and finally, sprinkle over the mint.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy
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Nutrition
Calories: 294kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 10gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 454mgPotassium: 740mgFiber: 4gSugar: 36gVitamin A: 3703IUVitamin C: 63mgCalcium: 233mgIron: 2mg
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