This vegan watermelon salad is such a fantastic summer dish. Made with cucumber, vegan feta cheese, mint and lemon, it makes for a zesty refreshing salad that's perfect to rehydrate on a hot day. Bring it to potlucks or make it at BBQs for an eye-catching side salad that everyone will love.
You might be perplex about adding watermelon into a savory dish. But bear with me because it is SO darn good.
This fresh salad recipe is actually a great reminder that salads don't have to be boring! This one is filled with tons of texture and so much flavors you won't be able to stop eating it. Crunchy cucumbers with juicy watermelon and fresh mint makes for such a perfect combo! And the sweet juice from the fruit blending with the salty brine from the vegan feta cheese is just what you will be craving this summer.
And it's a perfect side dish for burgers or to bring to potlucks. I promise it will steal the show. The bright appetizing colors are hard to ignore and who doesn't want a fresh healthy salad on their plate?
Ingredients to make this vegan watermelon salad
This savory fruit salad is at its best when you choose super fresh, seasonal and perfectly ripe fruits and veggies. There are only a few simple ingredients needed, so how good the recipe will turn out depends on how great your produce is.
- Fresh mint
- Vegan feta (or store-bought)
- Red onion
How to make this vegan watermelon salad
Other than having the feta ready, you only need to chop a few ingredients and everything will be ready in a flash! And there is no need for mixing a dressing in this recipe. The flavorful crumbled feta mixed in with lemon juice and the delicious natural sweet juice oozing out of the fruit will act as the vinaigrette that brings everything together.
- If you choose to make your own vegan feta (totally worth it, I promise), then try to prepare it the day before so it has enough time to cool down and set before cutting in cubes.
- Then, simply chop the fruits and vegetables and combine in a bowl.
- Add lemon juice and salt, stir and taste to adjust the flavor. Be gentle when you stir to keep the vegan feta from breaking up too much.
- Et voilà!
How to cut a watermelon into cubes
If cutting a large watermelon feels overwhelming to you, then follow these simple instructions and you will feel like a pro. This cutting technique works great to dice the melon in bite size, which is what you are looking for when making this recipe. I do not usually cut a watermelon in cubes when I want to store it in the fridge for a few days for snacking. It stores way better when cut in wedges (while still keeping a piece of the peel on each pieces), so the water from the fruit does not ooze out as much while storing.
To dice your watermelon:
- Remove both edge of the fruit. (picture 1)
- Then, flip the watermelon on one of the edge to stabilize the fruit on a wooden board. Then, going from the top to bottom, remove the peel using a knife. Turn the fruit around to remove every pieces of the peel. (picture 2-3)
- Cut the peel-less fruit in half and flip each halves on the cutting board round side up. (picture 4)
- Hold on the round top of the half fruit with one hand, then make a cut all the way through the fruit from side to side parallele to the cutting board. I like to make 2 cuts a few inches apart from each other for smaller cubes. (picture 5)
- Cut the fruit perpendicular to the cutting board to create pieces of watermelon in the shape of sticks. (picture 6)
- Finally, create cubes by cutting the sticks of fruits. (picture 7-8)
Watch how to make it
Variations to the recipe
My mind is going overboard here because there are many ways to adjust the recipe to your preference! But here are a few ideas:
- Fresh basil in place of the mint would work great in this recipe.
- I love red onion for its lighter flavor, but you can also use green onions or chives.
- Lime juice/zest would also work great instead of lemon to add that nice tangy flavor.
- If you want to skip on the vegan feta (at your own risk!), then try to replace it by something salty and/or tangy (like black or kalamata olives). Or try swapping it for a cashew ricotta for the same wow effect.
- To make it more filling and transform this salad into a full meal: add cooked black or wild rice, quinoa, beans or eat with a side of bread.
- Other delicious additions to try: avocado, oranges, tomatoes, drizzle of balsamic vinegar, blueberries and green lettuce.
Serving suggestions for this summer salad
This salad is super juicy and light, which pairs perfectly with hearty filling dishes to freshen up the meal. It also goes well with grilled BBQ food on a hot summer day and makes for the perfect side salad for burgers, smoky tofu, veggie dogs, etc. Bring it to picnic along with these beet pickle sandwiches or these nori rolls for the perfect summer lunch.
Watermelon mint salad storage tips
This watermelon mint salad is definitively best the same day it is prepared. I actually enjoy the leftovers very much, but it's just me and a little soggy watermelon does not scare me away. But, if you make this salad for guests or to bring to potluck, then be sure to have the vegan feta ready to go and stir everything at the last minute.
Other fresh salads you might like
I hope you enjoy this watermelon salad as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Vegan Watermelon Salad with Mint and Cucumber
- 4 cups watermelon - cubed in bite size
- 3 cups cucumber - cubed in bite size
- ½ cup fresh mint - minced
- ⅓ cup sliced red onion
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ lemon, zested
- ¼ tsp salt - or to taste
- 1 batch of vegan feta cheese - homemade or store-bought, cubed
- Start by making the tofu feta cheese (make the day before if possible). You can also use store bought cheese.
- Cube the watermelon and cucumber. Mince the mint and red onion.
- In a large bowl, combine the watermelon, cucumber, mint and red onion. Add the tofu-feta, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt to taste. Mix gently. Enjoy!
- This salad is best when eaten on the same day, but leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a day or two (the watermelon can get soggy while storing).