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This easy Watermelon Basil Salad tosses cubed watermelon, basil, mint, feta, and red onion in a sweet and floral champagne honey vinaigrette. It’s a refreshing side dish that’s best enjoyed under the summer sun!
Watermelon is a sweet summer treat, but how are you supposed to use up the entire melon? I’ve got it… Watermelon Basil Salad!
Sweet and refreshing watermelon salad with feta and basil is the answer when you need to use up the leftover watermelon in your fridge. This recipe uses a whopping 6 cups of watermelon, so there’s enough for the whole potluck or summer party!
You’ll find an elegant and irresistible mix of watermelon, feta, basil, mint, and red onion in this easy summer salad. The refreshing and herbaceous mix is complimented by the 4-ingredient champagne vinaigrette, leaving you with a crowd-pleasing salad to serve at the start of your summer meals. It’s delicious with grilled chicken, white bean salad, and more!
- Nothing quite says “summer” like watermelon feta basil salad. It’s ultra-refreshing and a celebration of fresh summer produce.
- Dressed in a champagne vinaigrette, every bite is deliciously sweet, tangy, floral, and delicate.
- It’s always crowd-pleasing and a must-have for summer meals, backyard parties, potlucks, and barbecues.
- You can play around with the ingredients to find your perfect flavor! Swap the cheese, add more fruits or vegetables, or change the dressing.
Champagne honey vinaigrette - The watermelon salad is dressed in a floral, sweet, and tangy dressing. It’s easy to make using champagne vinegar, honey, olive oil, and salt.
Watermelon - When shopping, look for a seedless watermelon that feels heavy for its size, has dark green skin, and has a large yellow-green “field” spot (this blemish marks where the melon grew in the field). All of these qualities mean that the watermelon will be full of flavor and perfectly ripe.
Red onion - I love the contrast of crunchy and pungent red onion next to the sweet watermelon. You can use shallots as a substitute if the red onion is too strong for you.
Feta - Feta and watermelon are a match made in heaven. The cheese is creamy and salty, which cuts through the sweet and juicy watermelon.
Basil and mint - The herbs must be fresh!
Step 1: Make the dressing. Whisk the vinegar, honey, olive oil, and salt together in a glass measuring cup or small bowl.
Step 2: Assemble. Add the watermelon, onion, feta, basil, and mint to a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over top, toss to combine, and enjoy!
Tips and FAQs
- Feel free to make the dressing ahead of time and keep it in a jar in the fridge until it’s time to make the salad. Or use it on other salads in the meantime! Its floral and sweet notes help it pair well with delicate green salads, like my Candied Pecan Frisée Salad and Baby Kale Salad.
- Use pre-cut watermelon instead of cutting it yourself to make this recipe extra speedy.
- This recipe makes enough salad for 4 people but you can easily double or triple it so there’s enough for all of your guests at the party.
Is raw red onion too tart for you? Soak the slices in cold water for 10 minutes. This way, the stronger onion flavors will be toned down and will taste much more appetizing.
Watermelon basil salad is so much fun to play with. There are endless variations and substitutions available and, with the following ideas, you can make it your own! Check them out:
- Add more fruit and veggies - Add sliced peaches, blueberries, blackberries, avocado, or cucumbers.
- Instead of feta - Toss the salad with goat cheese or torn burrata cheese.
- Add heat - Use diced chili peppers, red pepper flakes, or Tajin to give this salad a spicy kick.
- For a Mexican-inspired flavor - Dress the salad in lime juice and olive oil, swap the feta for crumbled cotija cheese, and replace the mint and basil with fresh cilantro.
- To make a vegan watermelon feta salad - Use maple syrup in the salad dressing and swap the feta for vegan feta cheese (or omit it entirely).
- Swap the dressing - Dress the watermelon salad in balsamic vinaigrette or olive oil and lime juice instead of the champagne vinaigrette.
What goes well with watermelon salad?
Every summer meal should include watermelon feta salad as an appetizer or side dish. Pair it with BBQ chicken thighs, buffalo chickpea burgers, grilled zucchini, and Mediterranean pasta salad for a flavorful and well-balanced dinner.
Can you make watermelon salad in advance?
Yes, the salad can be assembled without the dressing up to 1 day in advance. Wait to add the dressing until right before serving or else the salad will become soggy and watery.
Refrigerator: Store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
More refreshing summer appetizers
If you made this recipe, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below. Thanks!
Watermelon Basil Salad
For the dressing:
- Whisk the vinegar, honey, olive oil, and salt together in a glass measuring cup or small bowl; set aside.
- Add the diced watermelon to a large bowl, then add the onion, feta, basil, and mint.
- Pour the dressing overtop then gently toss to combine. Enjoy!
- NOTE: If you’re making this ahead of time, wait to add the dressing until serving (otherwise, the salad will become too soggy over time).