Strawberry and feta salad is hands down one of my favorite summer salads. This refreshing watermelon salad with feta cheese and mint leaves though is just as delicious. It’s bright, flavorful and the perfect side to serve on a warm summer day, especially when there are guests.
Our family loves cookouts and grilling outside whenever the weather allows. There are a lot of healthy and delicious options here. Yet there’s just something about juicy watermelon with balsamic vinegar, fresh mint leaves, and creamy feta.
You can serve it alongside some grilled veggies with fresh herbs and grilled meat. Or try it on top of some arugula lettuce. It makes the perfect summer side to bring to a bbq or potluck. We’ll often eat it with a weeknight meal too.
Dressing the Watermelon Salad
Some watermelon salad recipes use a fruity dressing with lime juice or fresh lemon. I like pairing this with a balsamic vinaigrette though. The musty tang of the aged vinegar compliments the sweet watermelon nicely. One side note is that the addition of vinegar can reduce the Glycemic Load by up to 35%.
My homemade recipe calls for olive oil, garlic, Dijon mustard, black pepper, and a few other things. It’s optional though and I don’t always add it. Fresh fruit, herbs, and cheese alone are also delicious.
Choosing Your Cheese
My favorite type of cheese to use here is sheep’s milk feta. It’s creamier than the cow milk version plus it’s suitable for those who don’t tolerate cow milk well. Many grocery stores have sections with specialty cheeses so it’s getting easier to find things like sheep milk feta. If you can find it from a local farmer’s market or health food store then even better!
The Best Kind of Watermelon
We grow a lot in our garden and sometimes you’ll find watermelon in there too. If you don’t grow it yourself then a local, pesticide free watermelon is the best option. Most of the ones at the grocery store are seedless watermelons. First introduced in the 1950s, the seedless versions are a result of selectively crossbreeding certain watermelon varieties.
If you’re using a homegrown watermelon you need to deal with the seeds but I find they usually taste better. Either way, watermelon boasts some impressive health benefits. A 2020 study reports they’re high in the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline. Watermelon can also play a role in healthy blood pressure and reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes. Researchers have also found it may help reduce the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.
So you’re doing your health and your taste buds a favor when you make this watermelon salad with feta!
Watermelon Salad With Feta and Mint
- 6 cups watermelon (cubed)
- 1 cucumber (sliced)
- 1 small red onion (thinly sliced)
- 4 oz feta (diced)
- ¼ cup fresh mint (chopped)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinaigrette (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the cubed watermelon, sliced cucumber, and red onion.
- Sprinkle the feta and garnish with fresh mint over the top.
- Stir gently to combine.
- If desired, drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette immediately before serving.
This article was medically reviewed by Jessica Meyers, MPAP, PA-C, RH(AHG), who specializes in herbal protocols and functional medicine. You can also find Jessica on Instagram. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
What’s your favorite meal to pair with a fruit salad? Leave us a comment and let us know!
- Integrated Pest Management: University of Missouri. (2020, July 17). Watermelon: A Brief History.
- Wirth, M. D., Shivappa, N., Khan, S., Vyas, S., Beresford, L., Sofge, J., & Hébert, J. R. (2020). Impact of a 3-Month Anti-inflammatory Dietary Intervention Focusing on Watermelon on Body Habitus, Inflammation, and Metabolic Markers: A Pilot Study. Nutrition and metabolic insights, 13, 1178638819899398.
- Petsiou, E. I., Mitrou, P. I., Raptis, S. A., & Dimitriadis, G. D. (2014). Effect and mechanisms of action of vinegar on glucose metabolism, lipid profile, and body weight. Nutrition reviews, 72(10), 651-661.
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