Grilled Watermelon Salad with Mint and Feta

If you’re looking for a delicious and unique salad to enjoy this summer, I highly recommend giving this Grilled Watermelon Salad with Mint and Feta a try. As someone who loves cooking with seasonal ingredients, I was excited to come up with a new way to prepare watermelon that highlighted its natural sweetness. The idea of grilling slices and mixing it with feta cheese and fresh mint sounded like an irresistible combination that I had to test out.

Once I grilled the watermelon and tossed it all together in a bowl, I was amazed by the taste sensation. The salty feta perfectly balanced the sweet watermelon in a way that had my taste buds singing. The addition of fresh mint added a touch of freshness that took this salad to a whole new level. Its refreshing mix of flavors made it truly must-try. Now I enjoy making it often for warm-weather get togethers since it’s such a tastye sensation that is sung the praises of by friends and family. I promise that one bite will have you convinced this salad is worth resisting all summer long!

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a huge fan of the classic combination of grilled watermelon, feta cheese and fresh mint. However, I’ve started experimenting with other flavorful cheese options to mix it up. One variety that makes this salad truly sing is goat cheese. Its tangy flavor pairs so beautifully with the sweet smoked grilled watermelon. I like to crumble it over the top so it mingles with the other ingredients. The saltiness of the goat cheese balancées the sweetness in a delicious way. It adds another layer of flavor that takes this dish to the next level.

Another cheese I enjoy sprinkling on occasionally is blue cheese. At first glance, its strong flavor may seem like an unusual choice for this bright and fresh salad. But the creamy blue cheese packs a savory punch that serves as the perfect counterpoint to the sweet grillled watermelon. A little bit goes a long way, so I recommend starting with a small sprinkle. The blue cheese elevates the flavors in an unexpected yet totally irresistible way. Whether you stick with traditional feta or get adventurous with new additions like goat or blue cheese, this grilled watermelon salad is sure to be a big hit at any summer gathering. I hope you’ll be inspired to whip up a batch to enjoy!

Grilled Watermelon Salad with Mint and Feta

Now, when we have discussed about it a little, let’s understand what to use and how to make it in easiest and quickiest way.

What Does Grilled Watermelon Taste Like?

One of the best things about grilled watermelon is that it brings out an even sweeter and smokier flavor than its raw counterpart. When you grill slices of the juicy fruit, the high heat caramelizes the natural sugars and enzymes, enhancing its natural sweetness. The lightly charred exterior develops a subtle yet complex smoky nuance that takes this refreshing fruit to the next level.

The grilling process also helps concentrate the watermelon’s flavor while keeping the inside incredibly tender and juicy. You’re left with slices that have a nicely charred exterior and soft interior with an almostbuttery texture. The end result is watermelon that tastes deliciously sweet yet deeply smoky – the perfect balance of flavor.

Grilled watermelon is incredibly versatile and can be used in so many dishes beyond salads. You can easily take it on as a side dish or flavor it up with various seasonings and marinades to be the star of the meal. Its naturally sweet taste makes grilled watermelon a perfectly light yet flavorful option for any summer barbecue or potluck.

How to Choose the Most Flavorful Watermelon

One summer while visiting friends in Harlem, my wife Ozge stumbled upon one of the best watermelons I’ve ever tasted. As we walked down the street, she spotted an older gentleman with his pickup truck parked on the corner. The cargo bed was overflowing with watermelons he had shipped up from his family farm in Georgia. Intrigued, we approached the man who was sitting in a folding chair under a small tent rigged over his truck.

He explained how back on the farm, he would boil peanuts and occasionally smoke turkey necks and collard greens to sell. But today he was unloading the watermelons, peanuts and smoked goods that were too plentiful to keep on the farm. Adri picked out a few varieties and when we cut into them, the melons were so remarkably sweet and dense with a rich red coloring and deeply aromatic flavor. We used one to make the best watermelon salad and have been trying to recreate it ever since.

The Best Ways to Locate Flavorful Watermelons

Here are a few tips for finding high quality watermelons without the neighborhood “watermelon guy.” The best method is to hit up the local farmers market in the peak of summer. Look for vendors who have opened up samples of their watermelons and let your taste buds guide you to the sweetest, most flavorful specimens to purchase. Another option when the market isn’t available is to seek out roadside stands run by local growers. Their melons were carefully cultivated for maximum sweetness.

Tips for Selecting Flavorful Watermelons at the Supermarket

While the farmers market is ideal, supermarket watermelons can still be a viable option. Here are some tips for selecting the most flavorful specimens:

  1. Opt for melons that feel heavy for their size, as those grew at a slower pace and developed more natural sugars.
  2. Avoid any with soft or hollow cracks and crevices – these tend to have a more watered-down flavor.

In general, denser melons without give when pressure is applied will taste sweeter and have a richer aroma.

Signs a Watermelon is Ripe and Ready to Enjoy its Peak Flavor

The stem of a ripe watermelon should have a clean break from the parent fruit, leaving a dry “button” where it was attached. Also check the field spot or crater on the opposite end – this natural indentation where watermelons rest on the ground while ripening should have a clean separation without any of the fruit attached. Ripe watermelons will automatically detach from the vine once picked if allowed to fully develop, leaving a cleanly detached stem and crater area. Picking watermelons when less than perfectly ripe means they may refuse to properly separate from the parent plant. Overall a ripe, flavorful melon is one that sounds hollow when rapped.

What’s the Best Feta for Salad?

The type of feta can be a very variable factor in this salad. The feta found at a local Safeway or Whole Foods can sometimes have quite a variation in quality depending on the brand. Authentic feta is made from fresh cheese curds that have been pressed and stored in a salty brine solution. Many bottom-shelf brands use cow’s milk, which results in a drier, more crumbly texture lacking in saltiness and tang.

For this salad, I recommend either a domestic or imported sheep’s-milk feta. These have a creamier texture that balances perfectly with the characteristic funk imparted by the sheep’s milk. Its subtle creaminess forms an important textual contrasts alongside the crisp watermelon and mint. A traditional Greek or Bulgarian sheep’s-milk feta pairs especially well, highlighting that refreshing flavor profile this salad celebrates. But any high-quality sheep’s-milk variety should do the trick of adding just the right salty pop.


Watermelon1 small (about 6 pounds), cut into 1-inch-thick rounds
Mint Leaves1⁄2 cup small, torn
Feta Cheese2 ounces, crumbled into large chunks
Olive Oil1 tablespoon
Balsamic Vinegar1 tablespoon
Sea Salt1⁄4 teaspoon
Black Pepper1⁄4 teaspoon

This salad comes together with just a few basic and vibrant ingredients. The star is the juicy grilled watermelon, but it’s elevated to new flavors with additions of fresh mint, salty feta cheese, and acidity from the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A pinch each of sea salt and black pepper rounds out the blend of sweet, savory and bright tastes in every bite.


Grill the Watermelon

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Add the watermelon rounds and grill for 2-3 minutes per side, until nicely charred with grill marks.

Prepare the Wedges

Transfer to a cutting board and remove the rind, then cut into bite-sized wedges.

Assemble the Salad

Arrange the grilled watermelon wedges attractively on a large serving platter.

Top with Herbs and Cheese

Sprinkle the torn mint leaves and crumbled feta cheese evenly over top.

Drizzle with Flavored Oils

Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Olive Oil and Fresh Lime (additional)

Finish with a light drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

This assembles the fresh and colorful grilled watermelon salad with feta, mint, and lime for a light summer meal. The charring from the grill adds a subtle smoky note to complement the sweet watermelon.

Serve and Enjoy

Serve immediately while flavors meld.

What Does Grilling Watermelon Do?

Grilling is a unique cooking technique that allows the natural sweet flavors of watermelon to truly shine. The high heat helps concentrate the fruit’s sugars, bringing out a much deeper sweetness. Unlike other methods where watermelon may squash or get too soggy, grilling keeps it pleasantly firm while still softening the flesh for an interesting texture not found in its raw state.

This results in awesome grilled “watermelon steaks” that hold their shape beautifully on the plate. You get a beautifully charred exterior adding a savory smoky nuance, paired with the still-refreshing chilled interior bursting with flavor. All in all, grilling transforms watermelon into a totally new sensation worth experiencing firsthand to truly appreciate and fully enjoy grilled watermelon!

Should I Wash a Watermelon Before Cutting it?

It is generally recommended to wash a watermelon before cutting and consuming to help remove any surface dirt or residue that may have accumulated on the exterior of the fruit. Washing can help reduce the risk of transferring potential harmful bacteria from the outside of the melon to the inside when cutting into raw pieces.

To properly clean a watermelon before cutting into it, gently run it under warm water and use your hands to gently scrub the surface while rotating it. For thicker residue, you can also use a clean cloth or brush to wipe away any debris. This quick wash helps freshen up the watermelon before cutting into wedges or cubes without compromising its freshness. Just be sure to dry the melon thoroughly before cutting to avoid spreading water droplets that could dilute flavor.

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Storing this Salad for Later

Any leftovers from this recipe can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The watermelon will continue to release liquid as it’s stored, so be sure to drain off any accumulated juices before serving leftovers again to extend the time the salad stays fresh.

The watermelon mint feta salad balsamic brightens up any summer meal with its Mediterranean flair. The sweetness of the grilled watermelon is tempered nicely by the tartness in the balsamic dressing. A light drizzle adds balance while tying the ingredients together into a colorful summer side.

The grilled watermelon and balsamic dressing may make the greens look pretty wet, but I promise it’s still delicious! Just toss again before serving more to coat everything in flavor once more. Properly stored, this salad holds up well to provide more meals of vibrant summer flavor.

What to Serve with Watermelon Salad

This salad is a perfect light and fresh side dish for cookouts and grilling. It pairs especially well with portobello mushroom burgers, hot dogs, black bean burgers or veggie burgers. Corn on the cob is also a classic that complements the sweet watermelon flavors.

The salad also translates great for picnics. It works nicely alongside varied sandwich options like chickpea shawarma wraps, BBQ jackfruit sandwiches, or caprese, mushroom and po’ boy sandwiches using seasonal veggies. The watermelon adds a cooling crunch to balance richer sandwiches.

Other Grilled Watermelon Salad Ideas (4 Ideas)

Grilled Peaches

In late summer, try grilling peaches instead of watermelon. Their sweet flesh pairs nicely with the same mix of feta and mint.

Ripe Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes right from the garden would provide a colorful, bright layer. Add a little salt to complement the watermelon.

Red Onion

Raw sliced red onion adds a nice bite that balances the sweet fruit. Thin slices prevent overwhelming the flavors.

Sunflower Seeds

A sprinkle of crunchy sunflower seeds livens up the texture. Their nutty taste is a great contrast.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:

Saturated Fat1.8g
Mono Fat2.2g
Poly Fat0.4g
Cholesterol8 mg
Iron2 mg
Sodium208 mg
Calcium79 mg

This light and fresh salad is low in calories yet packed with nutrients from the watermelon, mint, and feta cheese. It provides vitamins A and C from the fruit along with calcium, iron, and protein from the cheese. Combined, it offers a balanced and satisfying meal or side to pair with grilled main dishes.

This refreshing watermelon salad with red onion and feta provides essential vitamins and minerals. The red onion adds antioxidants like quercetin while imparting a mild bite to complement the sweet fruit. Combined with protein-rich feta cheese, it forms a nourishing side light enough for hot summer days yet satisfying when paired with main dishes off the grill.


In conclusion, this Grilled Watermelon Salad with Mint and Feta is a quick and colorful dish that makes the most of summer’s freshest ingredients. With balanced flavors from the sweet fruit, savory cheese and aromatic herbs, it comes together for a light yet satisfying meal on a warm day spent outdoors. The grilling adds a pleasing smoky note to this salad that is perfect for picnic fare or as a specialty side.


Why does watermelon and feta taste good together?

The taste sensation comes from the contrast of the sweet watermelon against the salty, sour taste of feta cheese. Humans tend to enjoy when flavors change and provide an escape from the normal.

Is it OK to eat watermelon with cheese?

Yes, the combination of sweet and savory flavors from the watermelon and light, rich cheese is very complementary. The juicy watermelon cuts through the fattiness of the cheese for a mouthwatering summer snack.

Why do Japanese love watermelon?

In Japan, cube-shaped melons are popular. Eating watermelon cubes is regarded as a gift-giving culture related to status. Square watermelons are a fantastic event, especially for anniversaries.

Do people eat watermelon and feta?

Yes, the popular combination includes pairing watermelon, feta cheese, and mint. Adding a dose of lemon zest heightens the aromatics. Tossing to crumble the feta allows the interesting finished texture and layers of flavor.

How long does feta cheese last?

In the refrigerator, unopened feta cheese will last about one week. Be sure to check for signs of spoilage like an unusual smell or texture, mold growth, etc. and discard if these develop to avoid potential health risks.

Whisk and Nibble

Whisk & Nibble is a blog devoted to all things related to food - from sharing recipes for meals and drinks to highlighting the latest dessert trends and culinary lifestyle content. Visitors can find ideas and inspiration for all eating occasions while enjoying engaging writing about food culture. Whisk & Nibble aims to bring readers together over the shared joy of cooking and dining.

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