Fresh Herb and Watermelon-Feta Salad

The first time I’d ever heart of watermelon salad with feta was on the last season of The Next Food Network Star. And I won’t lie, I thought it sounded pretty grim. But throughout the last year, I’ve seen it popping up here and there in magazines, cooking shows, and the blogosphere and I finally decided to get up the guts to try it. And I’m so not regretting it.

I remember being a kid when my dad would sprinkle salt on his watermelon and I thought he was nuts until I tried it myself. The same idea is in action here–the salty creaminess of the feta complements the sweet crispness of the watermelon really nicely. In fact, for all the reputation that feta has for being a strong flavor, in this salad, the feta is probably the most subtle of all the flavors. With the spiciness of the onions and basil and the sweetness of the mint and watermelon, the gentle tangy-ness of the feta balances things out perfectly.

Ingredient Notes

  • Watermelon – You’ll need about 6 cups of watermelon, or one medium-large watermelon. If you prefer, pick up a tub of pre-cut watermelon to make things easier!
  • Herbs – Only use fresh mint, cilantro and basil, no dried herbs. If you don’t care for cilantro, the original recipe called for 2 cups of watercress in it’s place. You could also consider subbing in 1 cup fresh minced parsley or 2 cups fresh chopped spinach.
  • Onion – Red onion provides a nice punch of flavor here. If you must substitute, choose a sweet onion, as cooking varieties will be too strong.
  • Lime Juice – Use fresh-squeezed juice here, nothing from a bottle.
  • Feta – I prefer Athenos brand crumbled feta, but any brand will do.

How To Make Fresh Herb and Watermelon Salad

  1. In a serving bowl, you’ll just combine some watermelon, fresh basil, fresh mint, thinly sliced onions, crumbled feta, lime juice, and coarse salt.


  1. Then you just give it a quick toss and serve it ASAP.

And I’ve gotta tell ya…you know how there are some foods that just make you feel good after you eat them? Like your body is just thanking you for giving it some of the good stuff? This salad is totally that way. You just feel nourished after you eat it, like you never want to have a chocolate hangover again. If only I could bottle that feeling…

Serving Suggestions

This salad has summer bbq written all over it! It would be delicious alongside Latin flavors like Brazilian Style Black Beans and Rice and Taco Chicken or with Greek and Mediterranean flavors like Gyro Burger Pitas, or Grilled Greek Pizza.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I make this ahead of time? This salad is best served right away after assembly. To prep ahead, feel free to slice your watermelon ahead of time (or buy it pre-cut). You can also chop your herbs and onions a few hours ahead and store in airtight containers in the fridge until you’re ready to toss everything together.

Did You Make This?

I’d love to hear from you! Snap a picture and tag me on Instagram, then come back and give this recipe a rating!

Fresh Herb and Watermelon-Feta Salad

With the spiciness of the onions and basil, and the sweetness of the mint and watermelon, the gentle tangy-ness of the feta balances things out perfectly. Great for a summer shin-dig!
Prep Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cubed 1/2" cubes watermelon
  • 1 cup minced cilantro*
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions about 1/2 of a small red onion, maybe a bit more
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint leaves plus more for garnish
  • juice of 2 limes 3-4 tablespoons
  • 1 4- ounce package of Athenos crumbled feta cheese divided
  • 1/2 heaping teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • Gently combine the ingredients (reserve 1/4 cup of feta). Sprinkle with reserved feta, garnish with basil and mint leaves, and lightly sprinkle with additional salt. Serve immediately.

Notes

Notes

  • The original recipe calls for 2 cups of watercress. If you prefer watercress, feel free to substitute it for cilantro in this recipe. If you don't like cilantro or watercress, try substituting 1 cup minced Italian parsley or 2 cups chopped spinach.
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
 
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. My family calls this “that weird salad” because they just don’t get it but I don’t mind, I can eat it all myself and be perfectly happy. It’s a sneaky way to get my kids to slow down on the watermelon and get more myself.

  2. I've heard of this recipe, but always thought it sounded too strange. I only tried it because I trust your tastes implicitly.

    It was delicious! Thanks!

  3. Tried it. Surprising good.

    I made it using warm watermelon straight from the store. I then stored it in the fridge to get cold. Bad Idea. By the time we went to eat it, it was very watery and although good. Not very pretty. so, I'd advise, chilling the watermelon and then serving immediately.

  4. So I LOVE this sight, but enough with the feta already. How much longer are you doing it again? Hopefully not much! 🙂

  5. I've got to admit I'm hesitant to try feta with watermelon. But you guys haven't led me wrong before, so I'll have to give it a try.

  6. I am trying this tonight and I think it will go perfectly with the grilled lamb tips, tzatziki and zucchini I'm making. So excited!

  7. My first thought was "ARE THEY CRAZY??", but I will admit, you have me intrigued. I do think it looks pretty strange, but I really love strange flavors that don't seem like they'd go together but actually do, so I'm going to try this. I love all the ingredients individually, so I'm sure I will enjoy it. And for the record, I love salt on watermelon!

  8. I first had this salad a few years ago and it was instantly my fav new summer salad. People think I'm crazy when I tell them about it. Once I even took it to a BBQ and I was the only one who would try it. Joke on them, more for me.
    I love all your recipes and I'm glad to get a little validation on an amazing recipe. By, the way, made the greek pita…Yum. I could drink that yogurt sauce!!

  9. Esta receta si que es original, y además muy fresquita.
    Sin duda que la probaré.
    Un beso

  10. I've made a variation of this salad. It's very tasty! I just sent the recipe to my mom a few weeks ago, so I'm pleasantly surprised to see it turn up here too :).