The quintessential salad of summer! Watermelon feta salad with fresh basil, olive oil, and a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt. With less than 5 minutes of prep time, this salad will be on repeat all summer long!
- Watermelon – while you can buy watermelon year round in the States, it is best in the summer months (June – August) when the watermelon is sweetest!
- Feta – the feta adds both creaminess and a salty flavor; feel free to substitute with goat cheese or omit dairy entirely
- Basil – I love adding fresh basil in this salad! To me, it is the quintessential herb of summer. If you don’t like or have basil on hand, mint is another great option for this salad!
- High quality olive oil – I cannot stress this enough: you want a high quality, nutty olive oil. When you use so few ingredients in a recipe, you really want high quality, where everything can shine on its own.
- Flaky sea salt – do not underestimate how important the flaky sea salt is! Large, crunchy flakes add not just flavor, but texture as well!
- Freshly ground black pepper – To season all ingredients in the dish.
If you don’t have basil or just want a different flavor profile, mint is a wonderful substitution!
Don’t love feta cheese? Goat cheese is delicious!
I would not recommend switching out kosher salt in place of the flaky sea salt. The ratio varies based on the type of salt, and substituting kosher salt will be too salty. Also, the flaky sea salt adds a lovely crunchy texture! You will love.
Can watermelon salad be made ahead?
Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend making this more than 1-2 hours in advance. The longer the watermelon sits with the flaky sea salt on top, the more water is drawn out. No one wants a soggy watermelon salad. If you’re able mix this together within an hour of serving. With 5 minutes of prep time, it shouldn’t be too difficult!
Is watermelon salad gluten-free?
Sure is! This light, refreshing summer salad is vegetarian and gluten-free. If you leave out the feta, it is also dairy-free and vegan. A great option for all guests at summer cookouts, regardless of dietary restrictions!
What to serve with watermelon feta salad?
I love to keep dinner simple and serve this salad alongside crispy grilled chicken wings and a big green salad. But this would be great with any summer recipes, whether grilling or dining inside! Imagine serving this next to stuffed southwest turkey burgers (omg, yum!) or this fried chicken sandwich with Alabama white sauce. Excuse me while I wipe the drool away from my face…
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For more summer recipes, check out the following:
Watermelon Feta Salad
- ½ medium watermelon (about ~5-6 cups) cut into ½" cubes
- 2 oz feta crumbled, plus more for garnish
- 1 Tbsp basil thinly sliced
- ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, then gently toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. When ready to serve, garnish with a little extra feta cheese and flaky sea salt on top.
- Feta – you can substitute goat cheese in place of feta
- Basil – if you don’t have or don’t want to use basil, mint is wonderful in this salad
- Balsamic – a drizzle of balsamic is another wonderful addition to this recipe
- Make ahead – I do NOT recommend making this salad more than 1-2 hours in advance. The longer the watermelon sits with sea salt on it, the more water is drawn out. No one wants a soggy salad! Watermelon feta salad will keep for 5 days in a refrigerator, but is best eaten on the first day.
- This salad is gluten-free, vegetarian, and can be dairy-free and vegan if cheese is completely omitted.