Hands-down, this melon salad exceeds the expectations of no boring salads allowed here at FITK.
It’s an unexpected fruit salad, one that’s tangy, savory, sweet, and bursting with flavor. Not to mention it’s incredibly refreshing thanks to those juicy, perfectly ripe summer melons.
You won’t need any fancy melon baller (although, go ahead if you want) to make this recipe, and you won’t need more than 15 minutes. Just chop, toss, and serve.
It’s a delicious side dish to serve at summer potlucks alongside carrot dogs, jackfruit BBQ sandwiches, fresh sweet corn, or burgers. Don’t stop there though, enjoy it for a light summer lunch. Trust me, you’re gonna love this versatile fresh fruit salad (yes, you’re gonna love a salad!) and will find every excuse to enjoy it.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Maybe you have too many melons and you’ve got to figure out ways to use them before they go bad, or maybe you have just the right amount and you’d like to expand your repertoire of melon recipes.
Either way, this easy recipe with simple ingredients is going to fit the bill!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Watermelon and Cantaloupe: could you use one or the other? Yes, you could, but the combination of the two together is absolutely wonderful. If you have it and need to use it, you could also throw some honeydew in there.
- Red Onion: adds a lovely bright tangy crunch to the salad. Temper down the bite of the red onion by soaking it in water for about 10 minutes before serving. Or, use a shallot for a sweeter, more mild onion flavor.
- Feta Cheese: the tang paired with the citrus dressing and the sweet, juicy melons?! Unreal. Looking for an alternative? Try mozzarella pearls or burrata (always a good option) – they’re more mild so you won’t have the tang, but they’re creamy and delicious.
- Basil: if we’re making a summer salad, you know there’s gotta be basil. The fresh, sweet, and savoriness of basil complement the other flavors marvelously.
- Dressing: a little lime juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil coat the salad for a light, tangy dressing. It’s not overpowering, it’s simply there to enhance the flavors of the fresh ingredients. Oh, and of course a little salt and pepper to do the same.
Let’s Make Melon Salad!
Please see the full recipe card below for detailed instructions.
One of my favorite styles of recipes is the throw-and-go method, where fresh ingredients come together without a whole lot of fuss and result in a fantastic dish.
That’s exactly what this salad recipe is because while you might want to start by whisking together the “dressing” it’s also super easy to just drizzle and toss. So, go ahead and whisk together the “dressing” to start, but no pressure.
The most involved part of this recipe is actually chopping the melon into bite-sized pieces. Even better, if you’ve already chopped the melon and just need to toss it all together.
Combine the cubes of watermelon and cantaloupe, and toss them together with red onion slices, feta cheese, and basil as well as the dressing.
Add salt to taste, which brings out all of the flavors – from savory to sweet – and is a must! If you’re a black pepper fan, add a few grinds, too.
Make Ahead & Storage Tips
If you want to prepare melon salad ahead of time, I would recommend prepping the melons, slicing the red onion, and whisking together the dressing, but waiting to toss it all together until it’s time to serve.
The salad isn’t great more than a day or two after making it, especially because of the fresh basil, since it tends to spoil quite quickly. If you do have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge and try to enjoy within the next day.
- Add in arugula – the pepperiness pairs well with the sweetness.
- Meat eater? Add in some prosciutto for a savory, salty addition.
- Add honeydew for another melon.
- Add berries – strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries are excellent options!
- Mix up the shape of the melon for funsies – try balls, triangles, or various-sized cubes.
- Add (or substitute) fresh mint – it, too, compliments all of these fresh flavors, beautifully!
- Want a sweeter dressing? Add a drizzle of honey, or try this honey-lime vinaigrette.
- Easily make a smaller batch, this is a super versatile recipe!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe 15-Minute Melon Salad with Feta and Basil
- Dressing: in a small bowl or jar, whisk together the dressing ingredients.1-2 Tablespoons lime juice, 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, Salt and pepper
- Salad: In a large bowl, combine the cubed melons, red onion, and feta in a large serving bowl. Toss with the dressing and then add in the basil. Garnish with additional feta and basil upon serving, as desired. Don't forget to check salt levels, too – finishing with flakey sea salt is an excellent move here. Enjoy!4 cups watermelon, 4 cups cantaloupe, ½ cup red onion, ¼ cup fresh basil, ½ cup crumbled feta