The Perfect Watermelon Salad Recipe

Summer is in full swing (FINALLY). Gone are the super drastic temperature drops and the slip n slide is in permanent residence in my front yard (sorry neighbors).

I don’t feel guilty about telling the kids that they can go outside to play because we are NOT turning on the television when it’s gorgeous outside.

These summer temps also mean that I am looking for meals that don’t require a lot of time in front of the stove but are delicious and kid-friendly.

Which I didn’t think was a tall order..but apparently, it is.

My children have informed me that they will not partake in the consumption of lettuce, coleslaw, or my favorite cucumber salad.

Instead, they’d like watermelon.

I like a challenge. And I am pretty sure that I win this one. The kids get their watermelon, and I get a salad that doesn’t feel like I just up and gave them watermelon because I caved.

I mean…I kind of caved. We decided to give in and work up a watermelon salad recipe so that I could have the last word…so….

I’m not surprised by how much everyone (and I mean everyone) loved it. It is so, so good. Sweet, savory, and unexpected.

This is definitely going to be a go-to side dish for us this summer. It’s easy (I mean, the kids could make this practically without me), has simple and healthy ingredients, and goes with just about anything from grilled pork chops to lamb to hamburgers.

And it’s not a green salad, which somehow makes it that much better (at least according to the boys). This watermelon salad recipe is so refreshing and different, the whole family devoured it.

The Perfect Watermelon Salad Recipe

Watermelon Salad Recipe

The Perfect Watermelon Salad Recipe

    • 4 cups watermelon (This watermelon knife is amazing)
    • 4 ounces of feta
    • 1/8 cup of fresh basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (the juice of about half a lime)

Watermelon Salad Recipe Balsamic Reduction

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

First off, you’ll want to cut your watermelon into bite-sized chunks. If your kids are old enough, you can have them help with this part (but only if you have a kid-safe knife). Add the watermelon to a large serving bowl.

Crumble the feta cheese gently over the top of the watermelon (this is the perfect toddler activity, by the way).

Gently chop your basil leaves. Sprinkle or spread them evenly over your salad.

Sprinkle your salad with salt and pepper, then drizzle the lime juice (or squeeze the lime) over the salad.

For your dressing (the balsamic reduction)…

Add the balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan over low heat, and add the sugar.

Stir constantly until the mixture begins to thicken up.

Remove your reduction from the heat and add the salt and pepper.

Stir gently and allow to cool to room temperature.

Gently drizzle the balsamic reduction over your salad.

Chill your salad about 2-4 hours to allow the flavors to marry.

If you’re starving, it’s perfectly okay to just dig in, but you will notice separate flavors instead of a cohesive salad. 

This salad is best eaten the same day you make it-but we honestly have not had any leftovers to try, so I’m assuming that is because it’s best eaten fresh.

To make sure that your salad rocks your socks, make sure that you pick a female melon (one that is round versus oblong) with an orange tint to the “light” spot and an attached stem that is shriveled.

Melons with light spots mean that they ripened in the field, and spots that border on orange or are “dirty” looking usually signify a sweeter melon.

Seriously. I grew up in the country, y’all, and knocking just doesn’t cut it.

The more you know, you know?

The Perfect Watermelon Salad Recipe

Do you have a great go-to watermelon salad recipe?

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