Watermelon Strawberry Salad is a delicious light, refreshing summer salad loaded with fresh sweet strawberries, juicy watermelon, and feta cheese and topped with Lime Honey Dressing.
Juicy fruit salad tossed in lime honey dressing is very easy to make and prep ahead, and it’s gluten-free! This dressing is very universal and goes with almost any summer fruit salad!
And the salty crumbled feta cheese here is like a cherry on top of the cake. If you haven’t yet tried this unusual combination, it is incredibly delicious.
There are so many of you, different readers, here at the Yummy Bowl - some of you like to get straight to the recipe ingredients and instructions, and some of you love reading the full information with tips and tricks that I provide for the recipe.
There is a skip to recipe button in the top left corner along with a clickable table of contents list (just below) that will quickly take you to the part you are more interested in. Enjoy!
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
Watermelon Strawberry Salad - Fresh watermelon, fresh strawberries from your local farmer’s market, a couple of spoonfuls of crumbled feta cheese, and 10 minutes is all you need for an extra refreshing summer salad.
We are going to make a really simple salad dressing - made with ingredients such as lime, honey, a little salt, black pepper, and olive oil.
- Honey - I like liquid honey or maple syrup for this recipe. You only need a little to be honest, especially if the fruit is ripe and sweet already. Substitutions could include brown sugar and granulated white sugar. These will give sweetness but are rather unhealthy and unnecessary if you already have honey. The salad flavor will change a lot too.
- Feta - there is definitely something special about combining salty and sweet fruity flavors. Feta adds creaminess and saltiness that just can't be beaten with anything. I suggest getting a block of feta and crumbling it yourself rather than buying store-bought or any similar cheese cubes. The flavor and freshness of a fresh block of cheese is very different from already packaged crumbled feta.
- Watermelon - If you can find a seedless watermelon, would be my preferred choice for a salad but not essential. Please read below in the next paragraph on how to choose ripe watermelon. I like to cut the watermelon into thicker chunks (about 2-3 inch cubes) or use a watermelon baller (longer prep).
- There is plenty of ways you can cut the watermelon (sticks, cubes, triangles), grab this great tutorial! And this one for using a melon baller.
- Mint - fresh leaves cut thin, chiffonade or chopped fine. Thinly sliced work better for the salad as they hold their shape better and look fresh longer. Although mint will brown if it sits for too long and gets in contact with moisture. The best way to cut it is with scissors! Other substitutions for mint: fresh basil or cilantro.
- Strawberries - Slice the strawberries in quarters or into thinner slices. Keep the tops, you can do so much more with these later! (I provide some info about this at the bottom of the post). If you are a beginner on this, this tutorial will help: How to cut strawberries. Strawberries are not only a strong carrier of iron but they act as an active iron absorber. Most of the berries are a naturally good source of vitamin C which helps to absorb non-heme iron. Other berries are also packed with vitamins and can be used in place of strawberries: raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries. All of these pair well with the honey dressing and chicken.
- Limes - fresh lime juice is preferred, bottled juice will not be the same and may ruin the freshness of the salad. Other acids such as apple cider vinegar, and sherry vinegar could work here too. Also for the dressing, a little drizzle of homemade Balsamic Glaze works wonders.
How To Pick A Watermelon
How do you pick a good watermelon? Ripe and sweet watermelon?
To make it easy write down or remember these simple guidelines:
- The best-tasting watermelon is soaked on the vine, absorbing all the nutrients and sweet flavor. Watermelons will not ripen after they are cut. And if they are cut too early, they will be not sweet enough and start to soften on the inside quickly.
- The stem should be yellow-brown. If the stem is green, it means the watermelon didn’t have a chance to become ripe.
- A large spot on the bottom of the watermelon should be creamy yellow. If it’s too bright, pale-like with a very little yellow to it, it means watermelon didn’t have enough time to ripen in the sun.
- Just like with avocados, press on the watermelons and see if they give back it means the melon is ripe. If the skin is too hard and it’s barely possible to press on it, it’s unripe.
- I recommend knocking on the watermelon to hear a deep hollow sound, it means it’s filled with water. If the sound isn’t hollow it means the brine is too thick and the watermelon is unripe on the inside.
- Also if watermelon on the outside has deep, rough weathered spots, it means it's super sweet.
- Rounded watermelons tend to be sweeter than oval-shaped ones. Lift up the watermelon, it should feel heavier than it looks.
- Time to test this knowledge! Once you open the watermelon, it should be bright red and you’ll see that it’s filled with water, and the taste should be sugary sweet.
In a mason jar (or a small bowl) mix the salad dressing ingredients, shake well and set aside.
Trim the strawberries and cut them into 3 or 4 slices.
Cut the watermelon into 1 to 1 ½ inch cubes and arrange on a serving platter together with strawberries.
Gently stir in the chopped mint, crumbled feta cheese, and chia seeds. To finish, drizzle with the salad dressing, more fresh limes, and add sea salt flakes (delicious!) and pepper as needed.
You only need a little. Enjoy right away!
It is a perfect salad because it's so easy to make, serve on a hot summer day with summer bbq or take with you to a potluck!
- Chill the ingredients - Before assembling the salad, keep all the ingredients except the chicken in the fridge. Chilled fruit works better for this recipe.
- Add the feta cheese and salad dressing only when ready for serving, this way it will taste best and most refreshing without excess liquid from the fruits.
- Healthy lunch recipe - To make this salad more nutritious I recommend adding a variety of seeds (I added a sprinkle of chia seeds) or chopped toasted nuts (pecans, walnut, almonds). Or candied nuts, yum!
- Other ingredients that pair well with this watermelon salad: are red onion, avocado, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries. Herbs: cilantro and basil.
- Fresh strawberries are great fruit but can lose their fresh look fast. Add the strawberries to the salad last and any remaining fruit store refrigerated in a box lined with paper towels in between the strawberry layers. For the salad, prep wash the berries only as much as you need and the rest keep out of moisture stored as mentioned above.
- Honey Dressing should be added at the last minute, right before serving. I recommend consuming the salad right away as the longer this dressed salad sits the soggier it will turn.
- Fresh is the best! I'd also recommend getting your fresh ingredients from a local farmer's market (where you get far the BEST strawberries by the way!). This way you get fresh produce and more healthy stuff.
Supporting our local artisans and shop owners is a great way to boost our local economies and also take better care of our environment.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
Store the leftover dressed salad in the fridge and consume it within 1 day (same day). Undressed salad will taste fine if stored in the fridge for 1 day but for best results (and fresh flavor) I highly recommend combining everything right before serving.
Make ahead. Salad dressing can be mixed in advance for up to 4-5 days and tightly stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Unfortunately, you can't freeze this salad. I mean, you still can, but just don't do it.
Yes and no. If you are going to consume the salad on the same day as slicing the fruit then I'd say yes go for it. But pack the berries properly in an airtight container and store in the fridge.
If you bought a watermelon that doesn’t taste that good but still want to use it, the salad option is great for this. Drizzle some lime or lemon juice over the watermelon or toss in the lime honey dressing as instructed in this recipe. You may also find that adding more honey or sugar will help with not-so-good the watermelon flavor.
If your watermelon looks off and is rubbery you may have stored your watermelon incorrectly. It should be stored in a dry place, with no high humidity or freezing temperatures. The ideal temperature for storing watermelons is 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
The best-tasting watermelon is soaked on the vine, absorbing all the nutrients and sweet flavor. The stem should be yellow-brown, and at the bottom of the watermelon large bright spot should be creamy yellow. I recommend knocking on the watermelon to hear a deep hollow sound, if the sound isn’t hollow it means the brine is too thick. Also if watermelon on the outside has deep, rough weathered spots, it means it's super sweet. Rounded watermelons tend to be sweeter than oval-shaped ones. Lift up the watermelon, it should feel heavier than it looks.
Store the uncut watermelon in the fridge, it should last you for up to 1-2 weeks. At room temperature for about a week or so.
If you cut it, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or an airtight container in the fridge, for 3-4 days.
Unfortunately, watermelons stop ripening once they are cut. If they are cut too early, they will be not sweet enough and start to soften on the inside quickly.
Easy Strawberry Recipes
Craving more Watermelon Recipes this season? Serve these cocktails for an appetizer before the salad! Or maybe dessert?
Skinny Watermelon Margarita recipe - Loaded with fresh watermelon, tequila, orange liquor and plenty of lime may be about to become your new best homemade margarita recipe.
Easy Salad Recipes
I hope you'll enjoy this Watermelon Strawberry Salad recipe, please leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo of your food and tag me on Instagram @theyummy_bowl. I love seeing your creations!
Thank you for reading,
Watermelon Strawberry Salad With Honey Dressing
For The Salad
- 3 cups strawberries chilled, tops cut off
- 2 tablespoon fresh mint chiffonade or chopped fine
- 3 cups watermelon chilled, seedless if possible, cubed
- ½ teaspoon chia seeds
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
For The Dressing
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil
- 1 whole fresh lime juiced
- 1 ½ teaspoon honey or sub with maple liquid type
- Crushed sea salt flakes to taste
- black pepper to taste
- In a mason jar (or a small bowl) mix the salad dressing ingredients, shake well and set aside.
- Trim the strawberries and cut them into 3 or 4 slices.
- Cut the watermelon into 1 to 1 ½ inch cubes and arrange it on a serving platter together with strawberries. Gently stir in the chopped mint, crumbled feta cheese, and chia seeds. To finish, drizzle with the salad dressing, more fresh limes, and add sea salt flakes (delicious!) and pepper as needed. You only need a little. Enjoy right away!