Looking to make a refreshing snack to help cool down in this summer heat? Go nowhere! This watermelon basil salad is cold and crisp, sweet and juicy and exactly what you need on your plate this summer!
This watermelon salad with goat cheese is tossed with sweet and sour ingredients like fresh basil and strawberries, freshly squeezed lime, honey, and some sugar. Your taste buds will thank you later!
Reasons you’ll love this recipe
- EASY: This watermelon basil salad is easy to whip up with just a few basic ingredients and in just a couple of steps.
- HEALTHY: This delicious summer salad is super light and made with healthy ingredients that are full of nutrients.
- REFRESHING: A bite of this watermelon salad will help you quench your thirst on a hot summer day and completely cool you down!
- SALAD SEASON: It’s summer, and that means salad season! Just like our zesty Italian pasta salad, caprese pasta salad, red skin potato salad, and the best Greek salad recipe, this watermelon salad with goat cheese is the best dish to serve at summer cookouts and bring to picnics!
Ingredients you’ll need
- WATERMELON: The watermelon is chopped into cubed chunks for the base of this salad, and you want them to be sweet and juicy! To tell if a watermelon is ripe, you should look for a yellow spot on the outside, and give it a little knock and listen for a hollow sound.
- STRAWBERRIES: The strawberries make this dish so pretty and pair super well with the basil and watermelon while adding extra sweetness to the dish.
- LIMES: Freshly squeezed lime juice adds sourness to the salad and helps balance the sweetness of the other fruits.
- SUGAR: The sugar helps tie all the ingredients together and enhances the flavor of the watermelon salad.
- BASIL: Freshly chopped basil creates an amazing aroma and unique and complementary taste with the combination of this watermelon strawberry salad.
- GOAT CHEESE: The goat cheese is the star ingredient in this recipe. It adds a delicate, creamy texture and tangy flavor that pairs deliciously well with the other ingredients.
- HONEY: Drizzled honey is like the cherry on top, completing this dish. It's sweet and sticky and absolutely delicious.
See the recipe card below for the ingredient measurements.
Kitchen tools to help you
- KNIFE: For cutting the watermelon, strawberries, basil, and lime.
- CUTTING BOARD: For safely chopping the ingredients.
- JUICER: For squeezing the juice from the lime. Another option is to cut it in half and release the juice by squeezing it with your hands.
- SERVING BOWL: For serving the watermelon basil salad.
- MEASURING SPOONS AND CUPS: For measuring the ingredients.
How to make this recipe
- Mix: In a small bowl, mix the lime juice and sugar together and set it aside.
- Combine: In a serving bowl, add the watermelon and strawberries. Pour the lime mixture over and give the salad a toss.
- Serve: Garnish the salad with basil, crumbles of goat cheese, and a drizzle of honey.
Recipe Expert Tips
- Plan to make this recipe the day you plan to eat it because if it’s made ahead of time (24 hours +), the juices will start releasing from the watermelon, making the salad runny and creating a soup-like consistency.
- Avoid mixing the salad once you’ve added the goat cheese because the cheese will start to disintegrate and lose its crumbly texture.
Make the salad the day you plan on serving it. This will ensure the structure of the watermelon stays firm and won’t release any liquid. Another tip is to place a small plate upside down at the bottom of the serving bowl, which will let any potential liquid pool underneath the plate and away from the salad.
Steak, chicken, or salmon all pair well with watermelon salad, especially when grilled! It also tastes great on the side of a deli sandwich.
A crisp white wine or rose wine pair perfectly with watermelon salad. A dryer wine will balance out the sweetness of the salad!
Keep it refrigerated, and wait to add the goat cheese, basil, and honey until you serve it.
Store it covered in plastic wrap or an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. After this, the watermelon juices will start to release, and the salad will become runny.
Substitutes and Additions
- Feta Cheese: If you’re more of a feta cheese fan, this will be a great alternative to goat cheese. It’s just as tangy, has a crumbly texture, and is a bit saltier, but it also helps balance the sweetness from the watermelon and strawberries.
- Mint Leaves: Instead of basil leaves try mint! The mint’s cool flavor compliments the sweetness of the strawberries and watermelon and makes the salad even more refreshing.
- Lemon Juice: Try lemon juice instead of lime! You’ll get the same delicious citrus effect that pairs well with the other fruit salad ingredients but with a lemony flavor instead!