Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint

My husband loves feta. During the summer, one of his favorite snacks is freshly sliced chilled watermelon with crumbly slices of feta. The saltiness of the cheese is a perfect compliment to the cool sweetness of the watermelon. He introduced me to the flavor combination, and now I’m hooked, too. Nothing says summer like fresh watermelon and feta!

A couple of weeks ago we had some friends over for dinner. The weather was just starting to warm up (it’s been a long winter here in California), so we decided to make it an outdoor dinner in our back yard. As I grocery shopped for the meal, my mind was on all the summery foods we’ve been missing. I browsed the produce section and noticed that ripe seedless watermelons were on sale. Of course, my mind went to watermelon and feta! I decided to create a simple summer salad with seedless watermelon chunks, crumbled feta cheese, fresh mint, and a homemade lime juice dressing.

After a little experimentation with the dressing, this is what I came up with! The salty citrus dressing really brings out the flavor of the watermelon, the mint is refreshing, and the feta adds a perfect touch of creaminess. Even those of you who don’t like sweet, fruity salads may appreciate this one– the flavor is truly unique. It was a big hit with our friends, and I’m guessing it will be making regular appearances on our summer menu. It would might just be the perfect side-salad for your 4th of July barbecue. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

If at all possible, try to find goat or sheep’s milk feta– preferably the larger chunks sold in delis or cheese markets. I personally prefer the flavor to pre-crumbled cow’s milk feta. No big deal if you can’t find it– the other feta will work just as well!

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Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint

Ingredients

  • 1 7-8 lb. seedless watermelon, chilled
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (goat or sheep milk feta is best)
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Kosher Key: Dairy
  • Note: This salad is best made just prior to serving. Prepare one hour or less before your meal.
  • Cut rind from the watermelon, then chop the fruit into 1 inch chunks. Place chunks in a colander to drain as your chop.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing.
  • Place watermelon in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing and chopped mint over the watermelon and toss gently to coat.
  • Pour the crumbled feta into the salad bowl and stir gently to integrate the cheese into the salad. Serve.
  • The salt and the citrus in the dressing will activate the juices in the watermelon, so a lot of liquid will collect in the bottom of the salad bowl. This is normal, and does not affect the flavor. To avoid having liquid transfer to your plate, serve the salad with a slotted spoon.

Comments (104)Post a Comment

  1. Tori…..YUM! Watermelon, Feta & Mint – delicious! I recently discovered the joys of mint with feta – it doesn’t make it minty….just fresher! Your photos are amazing, as always. what a great recipe! ….Thanks!

    1. Feta and mint do compliment each other, don’t they Ann? This whole salad tastes very Greek to me, like I could be eating it on a boat somewhere in the Mediterranean… I wish!! Sigh…

  2. Ooooh! Very cool flavor combo. My brain is like ‘really!? We must try this!’ Guess I’m gonna have to give this a whirl :) Thanks for sharing and for swinging by Deep Dish

  3. Hi! I’ve got cut up watermelon in the fridge and can’t wait to try this. It looks yummy and such a summery dish. The colours are just beautiful. Now I just wish my summer weather will quickly come.

    1. Barry, that is adorable! I’ve never heard of a mint-sneezing allergy. It will taste great without the mint, but you can also substitute basil for a different flavor (if you like basil– and it doesn’t make your wife sneeze!).

  4. I never would have thought to combine watermelon with feta! That sounds so interesting. I love both watermelon and feta, so why not! I’m going to have to give this one a try. :)

  5. Hi. Can’t wait to try this. Do you know if the flavor changes too much if you use lemon instead of lime in the dressing?

    Thanks!
    Rebekah

    1. Hi Rebekah– not too much, but you might not need as much lemon juice (lemon juice is sharper than lime). Taste the dressing as you go and add lemon juice only until it tastes good to you. Should turn out great! Let me know how you like it. :)

  6. I have never seen goat or sheep’s milk feta in our stores here. They are all made of cows milk. Will it still work?

    1. Millisa, you can absolutely use cow’s milk feta, no worries. Goat/sheep feta is just a flavor preference of mine, but cow feta will work equally well. Enjoy the salad!

  7. This was “the lunch” during summer months at my grandparents’ house when we were kids. Not the mint but just watermelon and feta. That is a good way to replenish salt and water lost during summer. I love the dressing idea. Will give it a try this week! Hope you are doing well :)

    1. Hey Ilke, thanks for stopping by! This salad makes me miss the Mediterranean. You’re right, it is a great way to hydrate… I’m actually serving it tomorrow at our 4th of July pool party! Hope you’re having a great weekend. :)

  8. I just made this tonight and will be making it many many more times this summer. And I love your site! I found you via Tasty Kitchen

  9. I happened upon your website and I cannot wait to make this salad. I have mint taking over my garden and watermelon in the fridge. Now I just have to “get to town” so I can purchase more feta. Thanks for this recipe!

  10. Hey, I have found that queso fresco is a good sub for feta, as my husband LOATHES feta — can I perhaps use a bit more salt (oh, I have smoked salt on hand) to get a similar effect, or am I simply out of my mind?

    1. Hi Matti! If your husband doesn’t like feta, I would recommend halloumi cheese as a substitute. Halloumi has the salty taste, but it’s quite different form feta. Halloumi is best grilled/seared, so what I would do is cut it up into chunks and fry it in a skillet (no oil) until the chunks gets golden brown. Let the chunks cool and then add them to the salad. It will taste amazing, no extra salt needed! Do not use smoked salt, it will taste super strange in this recipe. Let me know how it turns out for you! :)

  11. I made this for a group of friends last weekend. I had made enought for 20+ and there were only a dozen of us. Every drop disappeared. Even the kids loved it. This will be my “go to” receipe for the rest of the summer. Todah rabah!

  12. Found your site tonight and this recipe jumped out at me. Sounded very interesting and from your description and the reviews, sounds extremely delicious as well.

    I plan on trying this recipe as soon as I can as a surprise for my fiancee who loves feta and loves watermelon, no opposed to mint either so… we shall see!

    Your site looks very good Shiksa!

  13. Wow, this looks amazing. I just recently found your facebook and web page and am so thrilled! The only problem is what recipe do I try next? I’m making the watermelon salad and the baba ghanoush today!

  14. I am so happy to find this website on Zabars!
    I love this salad. I had a slightly different version of this at an Italian restaurant the other day. It added some melon balls, and sweet tiny cherry cut-up tomatoes, as well as the watermelon, feta and mint. It was wonderful. Diana

  15. I never ever tried feta with watermelon..i love both but never together..Looks great, I have to try before season ends:))
    Oh by the way I’ve tagged you in a 7 link Challenge game..I hope you can find time to present some of your fabulous dishes..more info on my blog!

  16. When in Israel, I often order a slice of watermelon that comes with a hunk of Feta. I always loved the salty and sweet together. I never thought to make a salad of it. I have to try it…looks so yummy!

  17. Hi Tori, I just cut up a huge watermelon and don’t know how much it weighed to begin with. About how many cups of chopped watermelon does a 7-8 pound watermelon yield when the rind is removed?

    1. I’m not sure Amanda, what I would do is make the dressing and add a little at a time to the watermelons, mixing and tasting till it tastes right. If you need more dressing you can whip up another batch. Good luck!

  18. Hello from Greece!
    Feta with watermelon brings me back to my childhood. We used to have it as a snack in the evening, or even for a light dinner. In fact, it’s so common here in Greece that I am amused that people are surprised by the idea. I never thought of it as a salad. What a great idea!

  19. I have lemon mint growing in my flower bed. Have wild spearmint in the fields around me? What store bought mint did you use? Peppermint or spearmint pr something else? Thanks!

  20. Served this for a dinner party . What a hit!!!! Men and women just loved it. making it again for the 4th.

  21. I AM CURRENTLY GROWING WATERMELON IN MY GARDEN AND I LOVE FETA! I WILL HAVE TO TRY IT. IT SOUNDS SO GOOD!! I WOULD HAVE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE TWO TOGETHER. I WILL THINK OF THIS UNTIL I HAVE IT! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING SOMETHING THAT SOUNDS SO GOOD, AND LOOKS SO BEAUTIFUL TOGETHER! THANK YOU AGAIN!

  22. I made this for the 4th of July yesterday. I added lime zest and blueberries to make it red, white, and blue.

  23. I made this for potluck in my office and It was a hit!!! I was a little apprehensive about it in the beginning, but its my best summer thing to eat now… The simple dressing was great….While many other recipes called for Balsamic Vinegar, I just did not want to spend money on something without knowing if I would ever use it again….

    Thankyou

  24. This sounds so good that I’m headed to the store in the RAIN :-) to get the mint so that we can have w/dinner tonight!

  25. Tried this salad from a random food truck last year.They would not give me the recipe.I knew the basic ingredients but had know idea what a similar tasting dressing would consist of…thanks to this recipe I finally found it! And I have been using this recipe (with some variations for fun) all summer long at work potlucks/BBQ’s etc…it’s my go to “show off” salad that even got me a couple of dates haha!

  26. a friend brought something similar to a picnic and it was a HIT. I’m bringing it to a different function tonight and (if I do say so myself) it is DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe! (and such beautiful pictures! :)

  27. I made this last night for a dinner party, and everyone raved – they ate every bite! I added halved cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumbers, and it was a delicious combination. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  28. Look good but lime juice over powered watermelon taste, mint fine, pepper fine, salt fine, feta cheese fine, lime not so.

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