We made this refreshing Watermelon Feta Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette while vacationing in Northern Minnesota. 

This Watermelon Salad Recipe was so cool, delicious, and irresistible on a hot summer day!

Watermelon Feta Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette in a white bowl.

Why You Must Make

  • This Watermelon and Feta Salad is an unusual, refreshing summer salad which is perfect for your next picnic or potluck.
  • There are numerous varieties of this watermelon dish, some with mint and parsley others with a lime or red wine vinegar-based salad dressing.
  • When I was up in Northern Minnesota for a mini family reunion, the cooks in the family gathered in the kitchen and made this delicious version replete with feta, kalamata olives, basil and a balsamic vinaigrette.

If you have any leftover watermelon, I am also a huge fan of this flavorful watermelon gazpacho, these fun watermelon jello shots, as well as this splendid watermelon grapefruit wine slush!

Recipe Tips

As its name suggests, watermelon is filled with water. In fact, they’re 92% water! Therefore, any dressing you add will be diluted with the juices from the fruit.

  • To avoid having the dressing diluted with watermelon juices, which makes a less flavorful salad, serve immediately after tossing with the dressing.
  • Another option is to cut the watermelon, place it in a colander over a bowl, and let it rest in the refrigerator to allow excess juice to drip into the container.
  • If you do the latter, you can prep the olives, feta, and dressing ahead of time to streamline the process at dinnertime.
  • Add some thinly sliced red onion if you enjoy onions in your salads. I like to soak them in ice water after they’re sliced to decrease their pungency. Let drain and pat dry before adding to the salad.
Watermelon Feta Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette in a white ceramic bowl with a red handled fork.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Salt, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, Olive Oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
  • Watermelon – Rind removed and cut into bite-sized chunks. A seedless watermelon is nice if you have access to them.
  • Feta Cheese – Cut into bite-sized cubes. If you’re not a fan of feta, try another soft cheese.
  • Green or Red Onions – Sliced (I forgot to add these!)
  • Kalamata Olives – Pits removed and cut in half
  • Fresh Basil – Chiffonade* or chop
  • Balsamic Vinegar – See if you can find an aged balsamic, it will be sweet and syrupy. I get an 18-year old balsamic at a local spice shop.

Boy did we have a blast cooking together. When I get together with my sisters, we start planning the next meal even before our plates are empty. We took turns at the helm and  had some amazing meals. My aunt, Angela, had a notebook of recipes she had collected over the years. She whipped up a marvelous black bean feta dip that I must recreate. This was her version of the best watermelon salad!

My grandmother’s Ginger Crisps and Raspberry White Chocolate Bars, which I schlepped through TSA from Indianapolis, were noshed on after dinner, and we found that melted Dove chocolates paired beautifully with the ginger cookies.

As is typical for summer gatherings at the lake, the grill was going full time each night when dinner time rolled around. The side dishes varied, but this watermelon feta basil salad was delicious and especially memorable; I knew it would become a summer tradition.

Watermelon Feta Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette in a white bowl with a garnish of basil.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Is Watermelon in Season?

In the US, their peak season is mid-June to late-August.

How Do You Pick Out a Good Watermelon?

Look for a symmetrical melon without a flat side. Rap on the melon with your fist. If it’s ripe, the melon will sound hollow. Check the rind for soft and shiny spots and don’t purchase if you find either. If it’s cut, you should see bright, not pale flesh.

How Long Can You Keep a Watermelon?

If not cut, you can store it for up to a week in the refrigerator. After it’s cut, wrap the cut side and use it within 2-3 days.

More Summer Recipes You’ll Love:

Watermelon Feta Basil Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette for the Greenwood reunion!

With my sisters and Greenwood relatives (my mom’s family!) in Northern Minnesota.

Stay in touch through social media @ InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. Don’t forget to tag me when you try one of my recipes! And if you love the results, please give it a 5-star rating in the recipe card.

Watermelon Feta Basil Salad Recipe with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Watermelon Feta Basil Salad Recipe with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 6 servings

A summer salad featuring watermelon, feta, kalamata olives and basil


  • 3 pounds of watermelon, rind removed and cut into bite sized chunks (seedless watermelon is recommended)
  • 4 ounces feta, cubed
  • 3 green onions, sliced (I forgot to add these!)
  • ½ cup kalamata olives, pits removed and cut in half
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil (chiffonade* or chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Gently toss watermelon, feta, onions, olives, and basil in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and pour over the salad. Gently toss.
  3. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if desired.


*To chiffonade basil, roll 2 or 3 basil leaves together like a cigar. Cut into thin slices.
The feta and olives can be quite salty. I did not feel this salad needed salt, so taste before adding any.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 296mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 4g


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