While some watermelon salad recipes go full feta, we prefer a fruitier approach. Strawberry Watermelon Salad with cucumber and mint is a sophisticated nod to traditional fruit salad, that’s just slightly sideways of sweet.
Everybody loves a fruit medley, right? Take fruit cocktail. (Remember that?) Indecipherable mushy fruit chunks in cloying heavy syrup with sad, pruny little maraschino cherry halves… Yeah. Right. What’s not to love?
After fruit cups went the way of my childhood lunchbox, I graduated to slightly more fresh (but still sad) melon-based fruit salads found in grocery stores and continental breakfast buffets. Someone apparently had the genius idea to replace the shriveled cherries with shriveled grapes, and traded mushy pineapple for rock hard. So appetizing…
But perhaps it’s the fact that I’m more of a savory gal that keeps me from enjoying the simple pleasures afforded by traditional fruit salads. Even when my sweet tooth is activated, I need salt or acid to balance it. Now instead of keeping fresh summer fruit salad off the menu, I just enhance it.
Now, not everyone needs to push the sweet-savory limits as hard as I do, so this minty cucumber watermelon salad will definitely hit a bit closer to home for fruit salad traditionalists. It embraces everything about fresh, sweet, juicy, ripe summer fruit while upping the ante just a wee bit.
But not so much that your picky eaters won’t still totally consider watermelon cucumber salad as a “bonus dessert” while you consider it “sneaky veggies.” It goes well beyond fruit salad basics, but has a friendly enough flavor profile that it won’t scare anyone off their recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables. And thank god for that. Cause the only fruit cocktails allowed in this house have booze in them.
Quality Matters! Choose Fruit as its Peak
First and foremost, make sure to choose ripe (not overripe) produce for the best tasting watermelon salad with mint.
- The “belly” of your watermelon is your best way to gauge freshness. It should range in color from yellow to almost white, with no visible striping. If the rind is striped, light green to yellow striations will indicate that it’s ripe. Avoid melons with any visible damage or notable lumpa and bumps. The rind should appear matte, not glossy or shiny.
- Strawberries should be bright red with firm looking greens. Avoid any visible bruising. If presentation matters, choose berries that are roughly the same size so you can cut them similarly.
- Mint shouldn’t be wilted or sad looking. Avoid leaves with brown spots. You should be able to smell it up close.
How to Make this Watermelon Salad
Fresh is the name of the game, and watermelon salad with strawberries and cucumber came to play! Choose ripe produce for this sweet summer side dish, then dress it up with bright mint and a sweet-tart honey lime dressing. Feel free to play around with traditional watermelon salad garnishes, like feta cheese – it definitely fits right into this friendly crowd!
- Combine watermelon, strawberries, english cucumber, and mint leaves in a large bowl.
- Whisk the lime juice, olive oil, and honey until well combined.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, then toss gently until coated. Serve right away.
- To cut melon, always use a very sharp knife and a stable, slip-free cutting board.
- Choose the ripe fruit and the best quality that you can afford. Fruit should be firm, not soft.
- Use fresh mint leaves, not dried. Make sure they’re not wilted or brown for best flavor.
- This salad doesn’t keep well – one day in the fridge at best. Make only as much as you’ll consume within a 24-hour period.
Make It Your Way
IMHO the best watermelon salad doesn’t need any cheese, but that doesn’t change the fact that feta is pretty darn magical when paired with melon, cucumber, and/or mint. You can use crumbles or buy a block and cut chunks roughly half the size of your watermelon cubes.
Feel free to play around with the herbs as well. Basil is great in place of mint, or in tandem.
How to Cut a Watermelon for Salad
You’ll need about a quarter of a large watermelon to make this recipe, which serves 6-8 people.
Make sure you have a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board. A lot of people have their own preferred method for cutting this juicy summer melon, but we’re definitely on Team Remove-the-Rind when it comes to cubing watermelon for salad. Well Plated has a great tutorial if you need one.
While the images and instructions call for a one-inch dice, you can also use a small melon baller or scoop for a more sophisticated presentation.
How to Store Leftover Watermelon Salad
You can store strawberry watermelon salad in the fridge for 1 day, but not beyond that – the watermelon will get watery and mealy. It’s best to make only as will be consumed in one sitting.
More Fruity Salad Recipes
- Grilled Peach Salad
- Tomato Melon Salad with Prosciutto
- Refreshing Citrus Salad
- Peach Caprese Salad
- Mango Salad with Avocado and Lime
Did you make this watermelon salad? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
Strawberry Watermelon Cucumber SaladPrint Recipe Rate this Recipe Pin Recipe
- 6 cups diced watermelon, about ¼ of a large watermelon
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1 english cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced
- ¼ c packed roughly chopped mint leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey, or agave nectar
- Combine the watermelon, strawberries, english cucumber, and mint leaves in a large bowl.
- Whisk the lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, and honey until well combined.
- Pour the honey lime dressing over the watermelon salad. Toss gently until well combined. Serve right away.