This Watermelon Salad is a cool and refreshing summer salad recipe passed down to us from one of our family members, Tania, who live in Italy.
This Mediterranean salad is easy to make and delicious to eat and combines sweet fruit and veggies and the salty flavor from the feta cheese. Mix it all together and you have a wonderful Summer meal!
I love watermelon and if you like it too then you will love this salad. It is easy to make, quick to prepare and your family will love it. They will be asking you to make it over and over again.
What is Watermelon Salad?
Watermelon salad is just like it sounds…watermelon with lettuce and other salad toppings. It’s very fresh and also refreshing on a hot summer day. It can be a main dish or served as a side.
It’s especially great to eat when the watermelon is really ripe and sweet. There’s nothing more refreshing than watermelon on a hot day. It’s a healthy salad, full of fresh ingredients and lots of vitamins.
What Ingredients are in Watermelon Feta Salad?
Watermelon – What can be more refreshing in the Summer than watermelon! Any time of the day or night, if you’re hot or thirsty, watermelon hits the spot. It’s so juicy it’s such a hit in this salad.
Lettuce – Like any salad, lettuce is usually the base and then it takes on the flavors of the other ingredients in the salad. Like the watermelon, lettuce is one of the main staples in food for the Summertime. It’s crisp and juicy and you can eat a lot of it without adding too many carbs to your day.
Feta – This is a Greek cheese from sheep’s milk or a combo of sheep and goat’s milk and like most cheeses, Feta is a low carb option for a Low Carb or Keto diet. It’s also a good source of protein and low in fat, with a ton of vitamins. Use chunks or crumbles, whichever is your favorite.
Tomatoes – You can use cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes or any other ones that are small in size. Either leave them whole or cut them in half.
Kalamata Olives – These are a European based olive that goes so well with most salads. Get the pitted ones so you don’t have to fight with the pits.
Basil – An Italian leafy herb with a wonderful smell and taste. You could always replace it with parsley, cilantro, or mint.
Capers – A salty and briny addition to your fruity salad. A good combo…sweet and salty.
Salt and Pepper – Common spices in most recipes.
Seedless Watermelon or with Seeds?
The best type of watermelon to use in watermelon salad is a seedless one.
If you use one with seeds you have to go through the process of taking out the seeds before it goes in the salad which can be very time consuming, or else you will be trying to pick the seeds out of every bite while you are eating the salad which will take the joy out of the experience.
Different Variations of This Recipe
One thing that I think goes well with this watermelon salad is walnuts, pecans or cashews. Throw a handful or two on top of the salad. It will give you an added crunch and some added protein.
Or you could take out the watermelon and replace it with strawberries for a little different salad. It’s just as good with the same dressing.
Another replacement could be to take out the lettuce and try fresh baby spinach instead, or even some arugula mixed in with the lettuce or a combo of all 3 types of greens.
Cucumbers are also a good addition to the salad, they are low in calories, low in carbs and very crunchy and juicy and refreshing.
Mint also goes very well with watermelon so if you like mint just add a couple of sprigs of it chopped up. It makes me think of a watermelon mojito!
Avocado is also a welcome treat to all kinds of salads. It can also be a replacement for the feta if you want to make the salad dairy-free.
How to Pick Out a Good Watermelon?
When you are trying to decide which watermelon to buy to make your watermelon feta salad follow a few quick tips to pick out a good one.
Pick up the watermelon – It should be heavy and also feel firm. If the outside is soft then put it back down.
How to tell it is ripe? – If the watermelon has a creamy yellow spot, where the melon was resting on the ground, that means it’s ripe.
How to know if it’s overripe? – If it has a hollow sound when you tap it that’s good. If it’s overripe or under-ripe the sound will be dull.
When you make the watermelon salad you can choose whichever size and shape that you want to. You can cut it into cubes, or wedges, or use a melonballer to make round balls.
I think the best thing to do is to cut the ends off and then cut the watermelon into slices. Then I cut the rinds off. Once that is done, proceed by cutting it into bite-size pieces, about 1-inch each.
It’s best if you can cut the watermelon into similar size pieces. If you have trouble cutting it you can always use a melon baller which will make the pieces uniform in size and shape, plus it looks attractive.
Let’s share with you how we make our watermelon salad. It’s super easy to make and is very refreshing especially for the summertime on those hot nights or at a BBQ.
Making Watermelon Salad
The first thing to do is to get a bowl to make the salad in.
Spread the lettuce out in the bottom of the bowl.
Chop your other ingredients, the tomatoes, and the olives and of course the watermelon.
Next place those ingredients on top of the lettuce, not in any special order, just get them all in the bowl.
Now add the capers, chopped basil salt and pepper.
Don’t forget the feta cheese
Now we can’t have the best salad without dressing. There are many types of low carb salad dressings you can use on a watermelon feta salad, but this is our favorite.
You just need something very light with this salad. I use just 3 ingredients which are
Lime Juice – ½ cup
Olive Oil – ½ cup
Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 Tbsp
Mix ½ cup Olive Oil, ½ cup Lime Juice, and 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar in a small bowl or in a small jar with a lid.
Stir well or shake.
Now you can gently toss all of the ingredients together and pour the dressing over the salad either in the big bowl or on individual servings.
Since watermelon is very watery, and can quickly turn your salad bad, the best thing to do if you want to make it ahead of time, is to cut everything and store them in separate containers in the refrigerator. Then when you get ready to serve the salad then put all of the ingredients together and toss with the lime dressing.
Don’t make too much extra because it won’t last more than 2 days in the refrigerator, depending on how ripe the watermelon is when you cut it. So this is a recipe that is always served and eaten the same day or within a day or two of making it.
Watermelon has a strong smell if it goes bad so smell it before eating the leftovers.
When you add the feta to the watermelon salad it can either be in chunks or crumbled, whichever you prefer.
It’s best to use pitted olives so you don’t have to be taking out the pits with every bit. The same is true with watermelon, it helps to buy the seedless type.
What Dressings Can I Use for This Salad?
When eating this salad it just needs a light dressing with a touch of acidity to complement the other flavors in the salad. I think just a splash of dressing is sufficient because the watermelon is so sweet and juicy, that anything more would be too much and overpower everything else in the salad.
Another homemade dressing that’s good for this salad is our Cilantro Lime dressing.
⅔ cup Lime Juice
¼ cup chopped Cilantro
1 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Powdered Swerve
Blend all 5 ingredients together, by hand in a bowl with a whisk, or put all of the ingredients in a jar and shake well.
Other dressings that are low carb from the grocery store can also be used if you prefer.
If you aren’t eating low carb then a balsamic vinegar dressing is amazing with watermelon salad!
Is Watermelon Salad Good Without Dressing?
Yes for sure this Watermelon Salad is good tasting without any dressing. The sweetness and juiciness of the watermelon are all you need to be delicious.
Add the rest of the ingredients and it’s wonderful, the saltiness from the olives and capers along with the feta cheese is such a good combo.
What Else Can I Do with Watermelon?
There are so many things that you can make with watermelon, it’s amazing.
And the list goes on…
Diets This Recipe is Good For
Gluten-Free – Most salads are gluten-free and this is a winner
Vegetarian – There is no meat in this salad
Is Watermelon Low Carb?
Watermelon is not low in carbs, but not the highest either. There are 11 NET Carbs in 1 cup of watermelon. That means you can eat it but only a little bit at a time.
The best fruits are still blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries which are low in carbs and high in fiber, but you can still have watermelon in small amounts. It has a lot of vitamin C and a lot of water. Plus the salad has other beneficial ingredients like olives and feta and of course lettuce and tomatoes.
The best thing to do to keep the carbs lower is to add some nuts and cheese to the salad or eat it with a piece of chicken or a burger. Adding protein to the meal will help balance off the number of carbs. Plus when eating this watermelon salad just have a small portion at one time if you need to watch the carbs.
You can also add some more low carb veggies to the salad to stretch it out so that you only get maybe ½ cup instead of a whole cup.
What to Serve with Watermelon Feta Salad?
Since the watermelon goes so well on a hot summer day, I think this Watermelon Salad is good served with anything that you feel like eating in the Summer. Anything that goes on the grill like, burgers, hotdogs, grilledshrimp, chicken, ribs.. etc.
Any other summer side dishes will work fine. Beef kabobs and chicken kabobs are great with it too. And watermelon feta salad with swordfish on the grill is a great combo too!
If you are looking for a good salty/sweet contrast, try eating the watermelon salad with some tortilla chips and crackers or any other salty foods that go well with this watermelon salad.
How to Store This Recipe
Because this watermelon salad is very juicy it’s best if it can all be eaten in one sitting. But if there is a little leftover, just put it in an airtight container and finish it the next day. You may have to drain off any excess water before eating and for sure do not put the dressing on any uneaten portion so that your salad will hold better.
If you let it stay any longer in the refrigerator you run the risk of it going bad. Watermelon does not last long, once it’s cut, before turning bad.
More Keto Recipes
If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Recipes then try our:
This Watermelon Salad is a family recipe from Italy. It’s just perfect for the Summer because with the watermelon it’s so cool and refreshing and the feta cheese is a great salty mix with the sweet! It’s easy to make and even low carb!
2 cups cubed Watermelon
¾ cup Feta
4 cups chopped Lettuce
¾ cup pitted Kalamata Olives
2 tbsp Capers
Lime Juice – ½ cup
Olive Oil – ½ cup
Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 Tbsp
Get a large bowl because you are going to have to have enough room in the bowl to toss the salad.
Spread the lettuce out in the bottom of the bowl. I use romaine.
Chop the tomatoes, olives, and watermelon.
Place them into the bowl on top of the lettuce.
Now add the capers, chopped basil, salt, and pepper.
Now add the feta cheese, crumbles, or chunks.
Gently toss the salad so as not to squish the watermelon. The more you toss it the more it will become too watery.
Pour on the dressing over the big bowl of salad or individual portions.
Mix the Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Lime Juice together.
Pour it in a small glass jar if you have one and shake well.
Pour over the salad.
5.5 NET Carbs per serving
Once you cut watermelon it goes bad quickly, so enjoy it the first day and maybe the second but that’s about it.
Do not store it with the dressing on, because it will make an already watery salad more watery and soggy. Pour the dressing on the watermelon salad just before serving.
You can use Feta chunks or crumbles.
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