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If you’ve yet to try a watermelon cucumber salad, you’re in for a treat! The texture and natural sweetness of the watermelon pairs perfectly with the crisp cucumbers and creamy feta. The balsamic vinegar adds a touch of acidity and depth of flavor, while the basil brings a bright freshness to the dish. Plus, this salad is so easy to throw together and can be served as a side or light main course.
This refreshing watermelon cucumber salad is the perfect summer dish! It’s easy to make and full of flavor. The fresh feta and basil really elevate the flavors in this salad, and the balsamic vinegar provides a delicious depth of flavor. This would be a great dish to bring to a potluck or summer barbecue!
why you’ll love this watermelon cucumber feta salad
- Refreshing and light. On hot summer days, I often find myself craving something light and refreshing. This watermelon cucumber salad hits the spot! Not only is it hydrating, but it’s also delicious!
- A fun way to use watermelon. I love watermelon, but sometimes it can be a little boring on its own. This salad is a fun and flavorful way to use watermelon in a dish.
- Great for summer entertaining. This salad is perfect for summer potlucks and barbecues! It’s always a hit with guests, and it’s so easy to make ahead of time.
- Kid-friendly. Even if you have a picky eater in your house, they’ll probably enjoy this salad! The watermelon is so enticing they’ll have a hard time resisting.
Ingredients to make watermelon cucumber salad
- Watermelon: Use a ripe watermelon for this salad. You’ll want to cut it into small bite-sized pieces so that it’s easy to eat.
- Cucumber: I like to use Persian cucumbers for this salad because they’re nice and crisp. You could also use regular cucumbers, but you may want to peel them first.
- Feta: Feta is a must in this salad! It’s creamy and tangy, and it pairs perfectly with the watermelon.
- Basil: Fresh basil really brightens up this salad. If you don’t have fresh basil on hand, you could use mint or parsley instead.
- Dressing: It’s a light version of a balsamic vinaigrette with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.
How to pick a good watermelon:
- The watermelon should feel relatively heavy for its size. That means it’s packing in lots of juices! So pick it up and get a feel for it.
- Check for the field spot on the watermelon, and notice if the color has a light and creamy yellowish tone. If it does, it’s a signal of ripeness.
- Look for a symmetrical shape – it can be round or oval, but symmetry is important because it usually means that the watermelon had consistent sun and water in the field, which will translate to an even ripeness all around.
- Tap (bang) it to check for firmness, which means that it’s not too ripe (and mushy). This is the test my kids love to do!
How to make watermelon cucumber salad
- Place the cut watermelon and cucumbers in a large bowl.
- Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad.
- Gently toss the dressing with the cucumber and watermelon.
- Add the feta cheese and basil on top.
Tips for making a watermelon cucumber salad with basil
- Cut the watermelon into bite-sized pieces. This will make it easier to eat and will also help the watermelon absorb the dressing.
- Add the dressing right before serving. This salad is best when the watermelon is fresh and crisp. If you dress it too early, the watermelon will start to get mushy.
- Use a good quality feta cheese. Feta is a key ingredient in this salad, so you’ll want to use a good quality cheese. I like to use goat’s milk feta for its rich flavor.
- Gently cut the basil right before adding it to the salad. This will help it retain its flavor and color.
popular substitutions & additions
- Add more fruits. A popular choice is other melons like cantaloupe or honeydew, but you can also make this with other fruits like kiwi, pineapple, or peaches.
- Switch out the herbs. Basil is fresh and fragrant in this watermelon cucumber salad, but mint works wonderfully as well. You can also try dill or parsley.
- Add some fresh spinach. If you want to make it a full salad with leafy greens, baby spinach is a nice mild option and pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Make it a main dish salad. If you want to turn this into a meal, you can add some grilled chicken or shrimp.
how to store watermelon salad
You can store this watermelon salad in the fridge in an air-tight container.
how long will watermelon salad last in the fridge?
This salad will last for about two days in the fridge. After that, the watermelon will start to get mushy.
Frequently asked questions
If your watermelon is mealy, it’s probably overripe. Watermelons should be ripe when you cut into them, but still have a firm bite, so if yours is mealy, it means it was not fresh.
If you don’t like feta, you could use goat cheese or even ricotta.
I wouldn’t recommend it. Balsamic is unique in its sweetness and acidity, which is what makes it work so well in this salad. If you use a different vinegar, it might make the salad too sour.
I hope you enjoy this watermelon cucumber salad! It’s the perfect light and refreshing summertime dish. And if you’re looking for more easy summer recipes, be sure to check out my other recipes.
More watermelon recipes:
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This Watermelon Cucumber Salad recipe was originally published on July 24, 2018. The recipe has not been modified, and the post now includes new step-by-step photos for how to make the watermelon salad recipe.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad
- In a small jar, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and black pepper to create a dressing. Set aside until ready to serve the salad.
- Place the watermelon and cucumbers in a large bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top of the salad. Add the feta cheese and basil on top and enjoy immediately.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.