If you're looking for a delicious summer salad that you can serve as a side dish – this is it! This tomato watermelon salad without feta is sweet and juicy and topped with a very olive oil simple dressing. It's perfect for a vegan BBQ or if you're dairy-free.
Whether you're out of feta, don't like cheese or are on a dairy-free diet, this vegan watermelon salad is for you. It's such a flavorful and super refreshing salad for hot summer days.
Why you'll love this recipe
- This watermelon salad recipe comes together in 15 minutes. It's perfect if you're short on time but need an extra side dish.
- It's very versatile as can easily add or swap ingredients.
- It's tossed in a very simple vinaigrette. No fancy ingredients needed.
- This salad is made without leafy greens.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Seedless watermelon is key to saving time when making this salad. Make sure to buy a ripe, and juicy watermelon. Look for dark and dull ones with orange field spots.
- Tomatoes add flavor. I like to use different colors to make it fun.
- Fresh mint leaves bring this salad to the next level. You can replace them with fresh basil leaves if you want.
- Extra-virgin olive oil makes the base of the dressing. High-quality oil is the secret to any good dressing.
- Red wine vinegar balances out the sweetness of the watermelon. You can replace it with apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Balsamic glaze is totally optional but beautifully finishes this salad.
See recipe card for exact quantities and detailed instructions.
- Look for extra fresh ingredients for a flavorful salad. I love buying mine at the farmer's market.
- Add the dressing and balsamic glaze right before serving for best results. If making the salad ahead of time, store the ingredients separately.
- Keep the salad in the refrigerator until ready to serve. It tastes best when all the ingredients are crisp and cold.
- This salad tastes best when fresh. You can store it in the fridge for up to 1 day (preferably without dressing) but try to eat it right away.
How to cut a watermelon
Cut off the top and the bottom of the watermelon and stand it on one side. Then, run a sharp knife along the rind (like you would do for a pineapple).
Cut the watermelon vertically into thick slices.
Place it cut side down on the cutting board. Now cut them horizontally to obtain small cubes.
If you like it fancy, cut the watermelon in half and make balls using a melon baller.
Step-by-step (with pictures)
STEP 1: Chop the fruits and vegetables. Cut the watermelon into cubes as described above and the tomatoes into wedges.
STEP 2: Make the salad dressing. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar and maple syrup with a whisk. Stir in the dried oregano and season with salt and pepper.
STEP 3: Toss. Add the watermelon cubes and tomato wedges to a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and give it a good toss.
STEP 4: Garnish with extra mint leaves and seeds. I like to add hemp seeds or sesame seeds to this salad. Right before serving, you can also add some balsamic glaze.
- English cucumber adds some crunch to this tomato watermelon salad.
- Fresh herbs such as fresh basil and oregano are great substitutes for mint.
- Kalamata olives make a great addition to this Mediterranean salad.
- Red onion slices can add sharpness, while pickled red onions add some tanginess.
Frequently asked questions
You can replace feta with vegan feta cheese or any other type of vegan block cheese. If you're not on a vegan or dairy-free diet, you can substitute it with fresh goat cheese, mozzarella or ricotta.
First, look for a heavy and round watermelon (the elongated ones tend to be watery). Then, search for a yellow-orange spot, which indicates that the watermelon is full of flavor. Avoid watermelons with white field spots. Finally, look for dark and dull watermelons, shiny ones are not ripe.
Whether they are raw or roasted, watermelon seeds can be eaten. They are high in "healthy" fats and minerals and are actually really good for you.
Can I make this salad without the dressing?
You can absolutely make this salad without dressing as the ingredients are very juicy on their own. I would however recommend adding a squeeze of lemon juice for flavor.
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Tomato Watermelon Salad Without Feta
- ½ small seedless watermelon
- 5 ripe tomatoes
- 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds for topping, optional
- Cut off the top and bottom of the watermelon. Place it on one side and run a sharp knife along the rind (like you would peel a pineapple). Cut it vertically into 6-8 slices. Then, cut in horizontally to form small cubes.
- Wash the tomatoes and cut them into wedges.
- In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the red wine vinegar, maple syrup, oregano, salt and pepper. Chop the mint leaves and stir them into the dressing.
- Add everything to a large salad bowl and toss well. Garnish with hemp seeds, more mint leaves and balsamic glaze (if desired).
- Optional add-ins: sliced cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion slices.
- How to pick a ripe watermelon: first, look for a heavy and round watermelon (the elongated ones tend to be watery). Then, search for a yellow-orange spot, which indicates that the watermelon is full of flavor. Avoid watermelons with white field spots. Finally, look for dark and dull watermelons, shiny ones are not ripe.
More summer salads
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