This watermelon salad with basil is the perfect summertime treat! It’s light, refreshing, and so easy to make. Plus, it looks beautiful on a plate – your friends will be impressed when they see this at your next barbecue!
Benefits of watermelon salad
This recipe is kid and adult-friendly! Everyone at the party will love it! It’s a great dish for kids or picky eaters because it’s so versatile. The watermelon and basil are the basis of the dish, but you can add in other ingredients to make it unique and give it a twist!
Watermelon is a great summer dish for patios and potlucks. This salad also makes it easy to take along for any gatherings where you need to bring a dish as it can be conveniently made ahead of time.
Health Benefits: Watermelons are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, bones, and eyesight. They also contain vitamin C, which supports immunity in our body by strengthening our cells against free radicals that may cause cancerous changes in our cells. Furthermore, watermelons are packed with potassium which is necessary because it helps regulate blood pressure levels while preventing heart-related problems.
Watermelon – I recommend a mini seedless watermelon. They are easier to handle, often have a thinner rind, and the little white seeds are more edible. If you need help picking the perfectly ripe watermelon, give this a try.
Cucumber – I recommend either an English (seedless) cucumber or the mini cocktail cucumbers. They have fewer seeds and pulp and will not make your salad all watery if it sits for any period of time.
Goat Cheese – many people use feta in their watermelon salad, but I prefer goat cheese. I like the creaminess and milder flavor, but feel free to use whichever you prefer.
Basil – you’ll want to use fresh and not dried basil
Olive Oil – not only is olive oil healthy for you, it helps blend the flavors of this salad perfectly
Balsamic Vinegar – for just a bit of tang and flavor, use a high-quality balsamic vinegar
How to make watermelon salad with basil
Start by cutting the rind off of a small seedless watermelon and then cut it into cubes. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Cut 1/2 of a cucumber (I like to use English cucumbers because they don’t have seeds, and their flesh is firmer than other cucumbers, which keeps it from becoming watery) into halves or quarters and add to watermelon.
Add 1/4 cup (crumbled goat cheese), 1/4 cup basil (chopped), 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss well with a large spoon or spatula.
Tips for Serving
Serve watermelon salad cold with optional garnishes of extra basil leaves and whole cucumber slices that have been cut into quarters or halves, depending on the size. This watermelon salad recipe with basil is best if eaten within a few hours of making it to ensure that the flavors are fresh, but it can be stored in an airtight container or plastic bag for up to 3 days.
Variations: This watermelon salad recipe with basil is easy to make different variations on by changing up the cheese (feta), other herbs (basil, dill, mint), or even the fruit (pineapple, cantaloupe).
Ways to change it up: Add any other flavors you like, such as oranges, kiwi fruit, apples, strawberries or grapes. You can also add sweetness by adding something like dried cranberries or raisins.
Watermelon is a refreshing and healthy dish for any time of the year. Depending on what you add to it, it can be served as a side, appetizer, or even dessert! This recipe has variations that will help keep things fresh and exciting all summer long. If you want more recipes like this one, check out my other posts including Grilled Pineapple Salsa, Fresh Mango Salsa, Blueberry Salad recipes.
Watermelon Salad with Basil
- 1 mini seedless watermelon about 4 cups
- 1/2 cucumber
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cup basil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove watermelon from rind and cut into small bite sized chunks
- Cut cucumber into quarters lengthwise and then remove any excess seeds
- Slice quartered cucumber into 1/4 inch slices
- Toss watermelon and cucumber in bowl with remaining ingredients
- Let rest covered in fridge for at least 30 minutes and toss again before serving
- use a mini watermelon and seedless cucumber for best results
- leftovers can be stored in fridge for 2-3 days
- other fruits/cheeses can be added for variety