Watermelon + cucumber make for the most refreshing possible summer salad. Paired with sweet, juicy strawberries, tangy, salty feta and herbaceous mint, nothing beats this watermelon cucumber salad on a hot day. Plus, it's super quick and easy to make and perfect for any dietary restrictions!
🥗 Why We Love This Recipe
- Savory and sweet: this salad has a little bit of everything. It's perfectly balanced, making it the ideal summer side dish or appetizer. (Or honestly even dessert!)
- Super refreshing: this is my favorite post-run snack on a super hot summer day!
- Quick and easy: this watermelon cucumber salad is ready in 20 minutes (or less, depending on your knife skills) and it only requires a few simple ingredients.
- A serious crowd-pleaser! This watermelon cucumber salad is always the first salad to be devoured at any summer gathering. Almost everyone goes back for seconds – it's that good! Plus, our version is vegan, so it's suitable for just about any dietary restrictions.
Here are the key ingredients you'll need to make this watermelon cucumber salad:
📋 Ingredient Notes
- Cucumber: we don't typically peel our cucumbers for this salad, but feel free to if you prefer.
- Vegan feta: we used a vegan feta-style cheese in this salad from VioLife Foods. It's honestly really good. The texture is quite a bit softer than regular feta, and it's not quite as satisfyingly salty, but it's a great alternative. If you're not dairy free or vegan, feel free to substitute with regular feta.
- Mint: fresh mint really takes this watermelon cucumber salad to the next level, so don't skip it! It's also fantastic with basil.
- Lime juice: be sure to use freshly squeezed lime juice in the dressing, NOT the stuff from a bottle (which definitely doesn't taste nearly as fresh!). This recipe also calls for lime zest for extra flavor, so grab a few limes to be safe. (Use leftovers to pair this salad with homemade margaritas!)
🔪 Step-by-step instructions
This watermelon cucumber salad comes together in just a few simple steps, but first let's cover how to quickly and easily dice watermelon into perfect cubes!
How to dice watermelon into cubes
(1) Wash and dry the watermelon, then slice in half widthwise.
(2 & 3) Set on a cutting board flat side down. Slice the entire watermelon into strips about 1" wide.
(4) Rotate and slice the other way so you end up with 1" cubes.
(5 & 6) Remove each piece of watermelon and slice into cubes. Discard the rind.
Make the salad
(1 & 2) In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients for dressing, including 1 ½ tablespoon agave, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon lime zest, ½ tablespoon mint and a pinch of salt.
(3) Add diced cucumber, sliced strawberries and cubed watermelon to a large mixing bowl.
(4) Pour dressing over fruit and toss gently to coat. Top with feta and more fresh mint just before serving.
💭 Expert Tips and FAQs
- For best results, we suggest chilling this watermelon cucumber salad for an hour before serving. This lets the dressing really soak in for maximum flavor, plus it chills the fruit so it's extra refreshing!
- That being said, don't let this salad sit for too long before serving. After a few hours, the watermelon starts to release a lot of moisture, so it gets pretty watery and soggy. We suggest serving within 3 hours of making.
- Wait to add the feta and fresh mint until just before serving to keep it extra fresh.
- Substitutions/additions: feel free to add in another summer fruit of your choice, like fresh peaches or nectarines, raspberries, blackberries, etc. This salad would also be great with another type of melon, like cantaloupe.
Here are a few of our best tips for picking a juicy, ripe watermelon every time:
-It may seem counterintuitive, but look for a watermelon with a large yellow patch. This means it has been resting on the ground and is more ripe. The darker yellow the patch, the longer it was on the vine. Avoid fully green watermelons - though they look pretty, they're typically not ripe enough.
-Tap/knock on the bottom of the watermelon. A ripe watermelon will have a satisfyingly deep, hollow sound.
-Pick a heavy watermelon for its size. A heavier watermelon means there's more water, which means a juicier, more flavorful watermelon.
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Watermelon + cucumber make for the most refreshing possible summer salad. Paired with sweet, juicy strawberries, tangy, salty feta and herbaceous mint, nothing beats this watermelon cucumber salad on a hot day.
- 2 cups diced cucumber
- 1 ½ cup strawberries, sliced into rounds
- 2 cups cubed watermelon
- ½ cup crumbled feta (vegan or regular)
- Fresh mint
- 1 ½ tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped mint
- Pinch of salt
- Prepare cucumbers, strawberries and watermelon. Add to a large mixing bowl.
- In a smaller bowl, whisk together all ingredients for dressing.
- Pour dressing over salad ingredients and toss gently to coat.
- Optional: chill for one hour before serving. Top with feta and more fresh mint before serving.
For best results, we suggest chilling this watermelon cucumber salad for an hour before serving. This lets the dressing really soak in for maximum flavor, plus it chills the fruit so it's extra refreshing!
That being said, don't let this salad sit for too long before serving. After a few hours, the watermelon starts to release a lot of moisture, so it gets pretty watery and soggy. We suggest serving within 3 hours of making.
Wait to add the feta and fresh mint until just before serving to keep it extra fresh.
This salad is also great with basil instead of mint.
- Category: Salad
- Method: No cook
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: watermelon cucumber salad