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Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad

Watermelon and Feta Salad is an exquisite blend of fresh, sweet, salty, and zesty flavors that elicit warm memories of lazy afternoons spent on a veranda in Iran. This deliciously refreshing salad perfectly embodies the essence of summer and the magic of my grandmother’s kitchen.

Inspired a childhood tradition, this recipe celebrates summer and all the sweet memories that come with it.  The heart of this delightful recipe is the fresh, juicy watermelon, cut into satisfying cubes. Its natural sweetness and refreshing crunch provide a vibrant base for this enchanting salad, an homage to simple pleasures and beautiful memories.

Balancing the watermelon’s sweetness is the rich, tangy feta cheese. Softly crumbled into the salad, its salty complexity creates a delightful contrast that elevates the watermelon’s fruity essence. The result is a beautiful dance of flavors, reminiscent of traditional Iranian pairings.

The thinly sliced marinated red onions in a lemon juice and olive oil vinaigrette.  The zesty dressing adds a light and fresh tang to the overall dish.  A handful of roughly chopped mint leaves impart a cool, refreshing note, creating a wonderful aromatic layer to the salad. Their green vibrancy also provides a visually appealing contrast to the pink watermelon and white feta cheese.

Finally, a generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper adds a subtle warmth to the salad, rounding off the dish with a slight heat that complements the sweetness of the watermelon and the tang of the feta.

The preparation of this salad is as effortless as the lazy afternoons it embodies. After allowing the onions to marinate, the watermelon, feta, and mint are gently tossed together in a large bowl. The salad is then seasoned and served immediately, ready to be savored and enjoyed as a testament to those cherished memories on my grandmother’s veranda.

In essence, this Watermelon and Feta Salad isn’t just a dish, but a celebration of simple, humble flavors that manage to create something truly extraordinary, much like those unforgettable afternoons in Iran.

watermelon with feta cheese

Basic Ingredients for Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad

Watermelon and Feta Cheese:

Watermelon: This is the star ingredient, providing natural sweetness, a vibrant colour, and a hydrating crunch. Its fresh, fruity flavour forms the foundation of the salad.

Feta Cheese: Feta adds a salty counterpoint to the sweetness of the watermelon. Its creamy yet crumbly texture also adds a pleasing contrast.

Red Onion: The onion introduces a bit of sharpness and crunch, adding another layer of flavour to the salad.

Mint: This herb offers a refreshing note, enhancing the overall freshness of the dish.

Olive Oil and Lemon Juice: These form the base of the dressing, with olive oil adding richness and lemon juice providing a tangy brightness.

Pink Salt: Enhances the flavours of all other ingredients and adds a subtle, unique mineral note.

Black Pepper: Offers a hint of heat to balance the sweetness of the watermelon.

alternative ingredients

Watermelon: Can’t find a good watermelon? Try using fresh, ripe peaches or nectarines for a similar sweet, juicy element.

Feta Cheese: If feta is unavailable, a salty cheese like cotija or ricotta salata can also work.

Red Onion: If you find red onion too sharp, try using thinly sliced shallots or green onions for a milder flavour.

Mint: Fresh basil or parsley can also add a refreshing touch if mint isn’t available.

Preparation Tips for Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad

  • Use a sharp knife to easily cut through the watermelon.
  • Soak the red onion slices in lemon juice and olive oil before adding them to the salad. This helps mellow their sharpness.
  • Gently toss the salad to avoid breaking up the feta cheese too much.

Serving Tips for Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad

  • This salad is best served chilled, making it a refreshing dish for warm weather.
  • It works well as a side dish for a barbecue or picnic. Try serving it alongside grilled chicken or fish.

storage tips

  • This salad is best eaten fresh, as the watermelon can release a lot of liquid over time. However, if you need to store it, keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day.
  • To prepare it in advance, keep the dressing and the salad ingredients separate and combine just before serving.

Watermelon and Feta Cheese Salad

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • pink salt
  • 1-1½ kg seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup soft feta cheese, crumbled


  • In a small bowl, mix the onions with the olive oil, lemon juice and pink salt, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • In a large salad bowl, toss the watermelon pieces with the mint and onion dressing, and season with pepper. Add the crumbled feta cheese and gently stir to mix everything together.
  • Serve and enjoy.

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