A bowl of salad made with watermelon, vegan feta cheese, mint and red onions.

What is Watermelon Salad?

Well, if we were writing this post a few years ago, we might describe watermelon and feta as a surprising flavor combination. However, we think you’ve seen it at enough BBQs and picnics to be familiar by now. Although it probably originated somewhere in the Mediterranean, watermelon salad with feta) is enjoyed everywhere – and with good reason! However, what we don’t see often is a vegan watermelon salad. Accordingly, we’re here to fill that gap with our very own salad recipe including watermelon, mint and vegan feta cheese!

We’ve added ideas for two watermelon salads in this post. To begin with, we have a simpler “classic” recipe with just 4 ingredients (plus a tasty dressing). In addition, we have a second recipe we call the “leveled up” version, which is substantial enough to move from side dish to main meal!

Classic Watermelon Salad

Recipe ingredients laid out on a marble surface along with bowl of dressing.

Watermelon and vegan feta cheese combine to form a sweet/salty combination that really pleases the palate! In addition, fresh mint leaves add a herbal aroma that makes our watermelon salad even more enticing! Finally, we top things off with a bright, zesty dressing of olive oil, lemon, and balsamic vinegar. Is your mouth watering yet?

The “Leveled Up” Salad

A bowl of recipe ingredients alongside a bowl of dressing.

To give this salad a level up, we put in some extra ingredients before adding the dressing. Firstly, kalamata olives add some more complex salty flavors. Also, the olives combine with the balsamic vinegar dressing for a burst of delicious umami, which gives the salad a more savory edge.

To balance these stronger flavors, we lighten the watermelon salad with fresh, crunchy cucumbers, and the leafy green goodness of spinach. Note: for a peppery twang you can substitute the spinach for arugula. Overall, this “leveled up” version transforms your watermelon salad from a side dish into a satisfying main meal.

How to Make Watermelon Feta Salad

The quality of your ingredients is essential in a recipe this simple. Therefore, here are our recommendations for finding the most delicious produce!

Selecting a Great Watermelon

A small seedless watermelon with a wedge cut from it. A knife is resting by its side.

Here are a few tips for getting your watermelon choice right:

  • Look for a creamy yellow spot on one side of the watermelon. This is the ‘field spot,’ which rested on the ground while the melon grew. A creamy yellow field spot means the watermelon should be ripe and sweet.
  • Heft the melon in your hands. A good, juicy watermelon will feel heavy for its size. A light watermelon is probably dry and mealy.
  • Knock on it! A ripe watermelon will make a deep, hollow sound. An unripe or overripe melon will sound “muted.”
  • Read Up on some more great watermelon tips.

Vegan feta? Really?

It’s a fact, vegan cheese is getting better and better! And there’s no greater proof than the feta we used for this recipe. It comes from a Greek company called Violife, and they’ve used every drop of their heritage to make this stuff! In fact, it comes in a soft, briny block that you won’t believe is plant-based. Therefore, it’s the perfect complement to a vegan watermelon salad recipe. You’ll never miss dairy-based feta again!

Assembling the Salad

A bowl of watermelon salad being tossed with large wooden spoons.

There aren’t any special tricks to putting the watermelon salad together. We’ve already talked about selecting quality ingredients, which is the most important step. It’s as easy as putting all the elements into a large bowl, sprinkling with the dressing, and stirring it together!

You might also wonder: can watermelon salad be made ahead? Well, that can be tricky. Both versions of the salad are a little watery. So, if they aren’t eaten quickly, the liquid will pool in the bowl. The best method for preparing ahead is to chop the ingredients and store them separately in the fridge. Then, when you’re ready, mix everything together and add the dressing just before serving.

Now you have a cool, refreshing and vegan watermelon feta and mint salad to keep you and your friends cool at summer gatherings! If you make these salads, please let us know how they turned out with a comment and rating. Every bit of feedback helps make The Plant Riot even better!

And if you’re looking for more cooling watermelon treats, check out our super-fun Watermelon Popsicle Recipe! We can also help you beat the heat with our frozen Pitaya Bowl and refreshing Cold Brew coffee.

A bowl of salad made with watermelon, vegan feta cheese, mint and red onions.
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Watermelon Salad with Mint + Vegan Feta

A bowl of salad made with watermelon, vegan feta cheese, mint and red onions.

This refreshing watermelon salad is perfect for a hot summer’s day! Watermelon, mint, and vegan feta create a salad with maximum cooling power!

  • Author: Rachel Steenland | The Plant Riot
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings, as a side 1x

Ingredients

Scale

Watermelon Salad – Classic

  • 4 cups seedless watermelon, cubed (this is about half a mini seedless watermelon) – cold or room temperature
  • 2 mint sprigs, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 oz vegan feta cheese, crumbled (we like this brand)

 

Watermelon Salad – Leveled Up

Ingredients from above, plus the following:

  • 2 cups spinach, lemon arugula or arugula
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 handful parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 oz vegan feta cheese, crumbled

 

Zesty Balsamic Dressing

Instructions

  1. Place watermelon salad ingredients (besides the vegan feta) into a bowl. Tip: use a medium bowl if making the classic Watermelon Salad, or a large bowl if making the Leveled Up version. Stir carefully to combine.
  2. Add all dressing ingredients to a small bowl, whisk well.
  3. Drizzle dressing over the salad (use as much or as little dressing to suit your taste) and sprinkle with vegan feta. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • This deliciously refreshing salad is best prepared within 2 – 4 hours of serving. It doesn’t take long to make, so if you can, make it just before you need it!
  • Nutritional information provided is for the classic Watermelon Salad with Mint + Vegan Feta and Zesty Balsamic Dressing (without the Leveled Up ingredients).
  • Nutritional information is to be used as a guide only as calories and nutrition vary between products and brands worldwide.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that The Plant Riot (Rachel’s Fit Kitchen, LLC) will make a small commission if you purchase using these links. The price you pay as a consumer does not change. The Plant Riot only recommends products that we know, trust and love!