This Kale, Watermelon Feta Salad is refreshing, super simple and packed full of all the good stuff. With its sweet and salty combination, it's the perfect side dish for your next BBQ. We are firm believers that salads never have to be boring. If you think they are, then you aren't making them right.
This might seem like a strange combination, but trust us on this one - it really works. The saltiness of the feta and the dressing pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the watermelon. The kale makes the perfect super green base and finishing off with a sprinkle of pecans adds plenty of crunch.
Looking for more ways to get some kale in your diet? Why not try our Kale Smoothie, Air Fryer Kale, or Kale Crisps (such a delicious salty snack)?
Why you will love it
- A delicious new salad to try
- A great way to use up watermelon
- Easy to adapt
- A delicious BBQ side dish
- Kale - We used curly kale as it is the easiest to find in shops. You could use black kale (also known as lacinato kale or cavolo nero), or a mixture of both.
- Watermelon - Try to pick a watermelon that has a yellow to dark yellow patch in the skin (this is the part of the melon that was resting on the ground while growing). This indicates the ripeness of the melon - light or no yellow patch means it isn't ripe enough. A skin that is dull, rather than shiny is preferable too. And discard if the skin has large brown patches.
- Feta - A good quality feta is a must. Make sure it is labelled 'feta' rather than 'Greek salad cheese'.
- Nuts - We used chopped pecans as they compliment the flavours well, however cashews or even peanuts will work well.
- Dressing - We went with a simple dressing made up of oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. This dressing softens the kale but lets the flavour come through.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
Step by step
One: Roughly chop the kale, wash well and put in a large bowl.
Two: Add the olive oil, cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper to the kale and mix well.
Three: Add the watermelon and feta and gently mix.
Four: Serve in to a bowl and top with the crumbled pecans.
Health benefits of watermelon
Watermelon is a fruit with lots of health benefits. Firstly, it is a great way to stay hydrated in the summer as it is 92% water. Fruits that have a high water content will help you to stay fuller for longer too.
As well as being low in calories, watermelon is also high in vitamins C and A, which are great for skin and hair health. This watermelon feta salad is bursting with goodness.
You don't want anything too overpowering because the watermelon and feta are pretty strong flavours. We just used a drizzle of olive oil, some cider vinegar and lemon juice. You can add some extra sweetness with a drizzle of balsamic glaze when serving.
You might not have had kale in a salad before, but it's one of my favourite greens in a salad. It has so much more texture and bite to it than lettuce, not to mention more nutritional benefits. Plus, look at that vibrant green colour.
If you usually find raw kale chewy, then you might prefer this salad because the dressing really softens it up, especially if you leave it for 30 minutes before adding the rest of the ingredients.
If you really aren't a fan of kale, then you could use rocket (arugula) or spinach instead.
I think one of the reasons so many people think salads are boring is because they lack texture. We combat that by always adding something crunchy on top like the pecans in this watermelon and feta salad recipe.
Whilst croutons are a classic crunchy salad topping, why not change things up and go with nuts like pecans, almond flakes or cashews? You could even use seeds like sunflower, pumpkin or linseed.
What to serve it with
This is a delicious side salad and a great way to really add some freshness to a meal. Here are some of our favourite mains to serve this watermelon feta salad with:
- Honey and Mustard Salmon
- Spanish Bean Stew
- Perfect Roast Chicken
- Homemade Fish Fingers
- BBQ Chicken Pizza
- Baked Chicken Burger
- Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
- Easy Chicken Traybake
Yes, you can chop everything up and mix it in advance and make the dressing in advance. Then, just before you are ready to serve it, mix the dressing in to the salad. You don't want to add the dressing in advance, because the salad will go soggy.
If you have leftovers, you can store them in an air tight container in the fridge until the next day, however it is best to eat it right away because it is such a watery salad.
I think it's clear how much we love feta by now, but you know what we also love? Halloumi! It's a cheese that squeaks when you eat it and what's not to love about that?
Halloumi is best when grilled as it holds its flavour and has a real meaty texture to it. Add a few slices to this salad instead of feta for a filling meal.
• If you aren't a feta fan , then grilled halloumi makes a great substitution. It gives the dish much more of a meaty texture and feels more like a whole meal rather than a side dish.
• Speaking of grilling, grilled watermelon is amazing. It really brings out the flavour, changes the texture and makes a great addition to this salad. Just cut the watermelon in to bigger chunks/slices to that it doesn't fall through the grill.
• We haven't added any herbs to this recipe, but in the past we have used fresh mint in it and it pairs beautifully with the watermelon and feta.
• Another delicious addition to this salad is some olives. It gives a little bit of extra saltiness, along with the feta, that contrasts the sweetness of the watermelon.
• Not got enough greens in this? Add some chunks of cucumber or celery for some added texture and to make it even more refreshing.
• If you are all about the sweetness in a salad, then swap the apple cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar. Or, add a drizzle of pomegranate molasses at the end.
• Add some fresh mint when serving to make this a really light summer salad.
• Make this salad even chunkier by adding some diced cucumber.
More salad recipes
If you’ve tried this watermelon salad recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
Kale, Feta and Watermelon Salad
- 100 g (3.5 oz) Curly kale - chopped
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- 0.5 Lemon - (juice only)
- 2 Garlic clove - crushed
- 1 pinch Sea salt and black pepper
- 10 Pecans - crumbled
- 280 g (2 cups) watermelon - diced
- 60 g (0.5 cups) Feta
- Roughly chop the kale, wash well and put in a large bowl.
- Add the olive oil, cider vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and salt and pepper to the kale and mix well.
- Add the watermelon and feta and gently mix.
- Serve in to a bowl and top with the crumbled pecans.
- If you aren't a feta fan , then grilled halloumi makes a great substitution. It gives the dish much more of a meaty texture and feels more like a whole meal rather than a side dish.
- Speaking of grilling, grilled watermelon is amazing. It really brings out the flavour, changes the texture and makes a great addition to this salad. Just cut the watermelon in to bigger chunks/slices to that it doesn't fall through the grill.
- We haven't added any herbs to this recipe, but in the past we have used fresh mint in it and it pairs beautifully with the watermelon and feta.
- Another delicious addition to this salad is some olives. It gives a little bit of extra saltiness, along with the feta, that contrasts the sweetness of the watermelon.
- Not got enough greens in this? Add some chunks of cucumber or celery for some added texture and to make it even more refreshing.
- If you are all about the sweetness in a salad, then swap the apple cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar. Or, add a drizzle of pomegranate molasses at the end.
This is my kind of salad! Perfect for summertime, pinning this one to make!
Edyta at Eating European
Watermelon and feta goes hand in hand. I love this combo. I never added kale to mine and I think it's a great idea.
This salad looks so delicious! The watermelon and feta must be glorious together! Salty and Sweet! I'm definitely giving this one a try! Thanks!
This is such a lovely flavor combination for a salad!
I looooove putting feta on salads. This is such a great idea!
Love watermelon and this looks so good!! Will be making these for sure!
I love the idea of adding in some watermelon to a salad. This is such a great dish for summer.
As we are huge salad lovers in South-Africa, I can not wait to make your kale and watermelon salad, especially since there is feta in as well (which is a #1 fave in our house!)
looks very pretty and refreshing perfect summer time salad
Watermelon and feta...such a yummy summer staple. And kale too? You're a girl after my own heart! I'll have to try that...just pinned for later. Thanks!
this looks delicious! love the flavor combo of watermelon & feta! yum
Watermelon and feta is always a huge hit at our house! I need to try the halloumi variation you suggested.
Lauren Vavala @ DeliciousLittleBites
I've never had watermelon saald, but this looks delicious! I love the feta and pecans!
This is my kind of salad! Love the idea of adding watermelon to a salad in the summer!