Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad


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Watermelon, feta and arugula salad

The surprising combination of watermelon, feta, and arugula makes a salad that hits all the right notes of sweet, savory, and fresh. Serve this Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with your favorite salad dressing and it is sure to become a summer staple. 

The fruit my kids will dependably choose over all others is watermelon. My six-year-olds love it so much that they requested watermelon for their birthday dinner this year. In mid-April! It was decidedly not watermelon season, but Whole Foods had a pretty good one that we devoured in on meal. But now that the weather is heating up, I’m buying watermelon almost weekly and they keep getting better.

While my kids are happy just to eat watermelon wedges all on their own, by day 3, I need to mix things up. And this salad is a great way to do it. The flavors seem strange together until you bite into a cool, crisp, juicy bite of watermelon balanced with crumbled salty feta and peppery arugula. It just works. And if you’re looking for a dressing to tie it all together, I strongly recommend yesterday’s Sweet Basil Vinaigrette. The fresh sweetness of the basil and honey really make all of those summer flavors shine.

watermelon, fet, arugula, sweet basil dressing, lemon and basil on a grey table

Ingredients for Watermelon, Feta, Arugula Salad

The ingredients here are entirely in the name (this is a pretty straightforward recipe). But here are a few tips to make this simple salad great.

  • Baby Arugula – I like to buy the clamshells of baby arugula to use in these salads because they prevent the greens from compressing and getting bruised. Fresh arugula is tart and peppery and fits so well in this salad. If you don’t prefer the flavor of arugula, try this salad with baby spinach. 
  • Watermelon – Seedless watermelon makes this salad easiest to prepare and eat. (No one wants to bite into a seed while eating a salad.)
  • Mint – Fresh mint is subtle in the flavor of the salad but adds a fresh, bright herb flavor that plays well with the other flavors. 
  • Feta Cheese – It’s worth buying a block of feta cheese and crumbling it yourself for the best flavor. The pre-crumbled feta is convenient, but it doesn’t have the same fresh flavor as the block stuff. I just crumble the feta with my hands which results in the salad having some larger and some smaller pieces for variety.
  • Vinaigrette – See below for ideas.
  • Nuts – I don’t usually include nuts in this salad, but wanted to add the option here in case you’d like a bit of a crunch. This salad is great with smaller crunchy nuts  or seeds like sunflower seeds or pepitas / pumpkin seeds.
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper – Don’t skip this step to add some fresh cracked black pepper over the top of the salad. It really helps to make the other flavors shine.

tossing watermelon, feta and arugula in a white bowl with two spoons

What Vinaigrette to Serve over Watermelon Arugula Salad

A sweet and tangy vinaigrette helps to highlight but not take away from the natural flavors in this salad. A few vinaigrette recipes that work well with this salad are. 

pouring sweet basil vinaigrette over the salad in a white bowl

More Fresh Summer Salads

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Watermelon, Feta and Arugula Salad

The surprising combination of watermelon, feta, and arugula makes a salad that hits all the right notes of sweet, savory, and fresh.
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Mixing Bowl


  • 5 oz Baby Arugula
  • 2 cups Cubed Watermelon
  • 6 leaves Mint, chopped or finely sliced
  • 4 oz Feta Cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Vinaigrette, for serving (see note)
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper


  • Toss together arugula, watermelon, mint, feta, and vinaigrette.
  • Top with black pepper. Serve immediately.


Use your favorite dressing to top this salad. We particularly like it with a store-bought balsamic vinaigrette or Sweet Basil Vinaigrette.


Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 233mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1393IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 202mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $6.50
Calories: 177
Keyword: summer salad, watermelon recipes
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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