This refreshing watermelon basil salad is the perfect side dish or light lunch for warm summer days. It's simple to make in just a few minutes, and pairs perfectly with your summer BBQ!
Why you'll love it
- Make it in 5 minutes
- Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated
- Juicy and refreshing summer side dish
- Perfect for hot summer days
- Customize the recipe to suit your preferences
- Vegetarian, gluten free, and low calorie
- Omit the feta cheese to make it vegan and dairy free!
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Watermelon: If you use seeded watermelon, you can choose whether you want to remove the seeds or keep them in. You can also avoid the seeds by using a seedless watermelon if they are available to you.
Cucumber: Refreshing cucumber is perfect in this salad. I use a sliced English cucumber, but you can also use mini cucumbers if you have them.
Feta cheese: This makes the salad a little more filling and interesting. The feta is completely optional but adds a lovely salty component to the dish.
Basil: Fresh basil elevates this dish completely. Make sure to use traditional Italian basil. It cannot be substituted for dried basil in this recipe.
Lemon juice: Keeps the ingredients fresher, and adds a lovely kick of flavor to the salad. You can also substitute this with lime juice if you prefer.
Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper is perfect for balancing out the sweetness in this salad. You can of course omit it if you prefer a really sweet salad, but I think this addition makes the salad more suitable as a side dish for savory meals.
You can find full instructions + ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this page
One: Dice or slice the cucumber and watermelon into small, bite-sized pieces. Make sure to remove the green rind off the watermelon. I like to cut the watermelon into little cubes, and the cucumber into half circles to give them slightly different textures.
Two: Add the watermelon and cucumber slices to a salad bowl. Crumble feta cheese on top, and add finely sliced basil along with freshly squeezed lemon juice and finely ground black pepper.
Three: Use salad tongs or spoons to combine the ingredients together. Serve the watermelon basil salad immediately, or store it in the fridge for up to a day.
- As the ingredients in this salad contain a lot of water, I think it's juicy enough to not need a salad dressing. However, feel free to add a light Apple Cider Vinaigrette or Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette if you prefer.
- Dice the watermelon and cucumber into small pieces to make the salad easier to eat.
- Serve the cucumber watermelon salad immediately to ensure it's as fresh as possible.
This watermelon summer salad is really versatile. I love to enjoy it as a refreshing snack or light meal on warm summer days, and it's perfect when it's too hot to cook outside.
If you're serving the dish as a meal, I recommend pairing it with some garlic bread to make the meal a little more filling.
Watermelon and basil salad is also perfect to serve as a side dish for your favorite hearty summer entrees, like grilled meat. Try serving it with Cajun Chicken Wings, Pan Fried Sea Bass, Air Fryer Fish Sticks, or Ribs for an easy but satisfying lunch or dinner.
Dairy-free watermelon salad: Omit the feta cheese to make this dish dairy-free. You can also try using a vegan feta cheese substitute, which you can find in most major supermarkets.
Add mint: Fresh mint and watermelon are a fantastic combination. You can add additional fresh mint leaves to the salad, or substitute them for the basil.
Added vegetables or fruit: Feel free to add any fruit or vegetables you like to this salad. Sliced red onions, diced red peppers, strawberries, cherries, and cherry tomatoes are fantastic options.
🥗 More SALAD RECIPES from Hint of Healthy
Basil watermelon salad with cucumber is best served immediately but can be stored in a sealed container in a fridge for up to a day if needed. If you have any leftovers, you should attempt to eat them within the next day to prevent the vegetables from getting soggy.
Avoid storing the salad at room temperature for long periods of time. This dish is not suitable for freezing.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, watermelon is great in a salad. It contains a lot of water and can contribute to making your salad refreshing and tasty.
Absolutely! Fresh basil leaves are safe to eat and taste fantastic. Make sure to wash them as you would wash any leafy green or lettuce before eating.
You might also like these recipes
- Strawberry Walnut Salad
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- Strawberry Salad with Chicken
- Pear and Walnut Salad
- French Potato Salad
- Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables
If you make this recipe, make sure to post a photo to Instagram with #hintofhealthy!
Watermelon Basil Salad
- 1 Salad Bowl
- 1 English cucumber
- ¼ Watermelon (4 cups diced)
- 2 ounces feta cheese
- ½ lemon (juice only)
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- Dice or slice the cucumber and watermelon into small, bite-sized pieces. Make sure to remove the green rind off the watermelon.
- Add the watermelon and cucumber slices to a salad bowl. Crumble feta cheese on top, and add finely sliced basil along with freshly squeezed lemon juice and finely ground black pepper.
- Use salad tongs or spoons to combine the ingredients together.
- Serve the salad immediately, or store it in the fridge for up to a day.
- Serve the salad immediately, or store in a fridge for up to a day to keep it fresh.
- Feel free to add some olive oil or a light vinaigrette if you prefer to add a salad dressing.
- If you don't have watermelon available, you can use any other melon instead!
Food safety tips
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Cover and refrigerate the salad for optimal storage