Make this arugula watermelon salad to cool you down on a hot summer day! Peppery arugula is tossed with fresh watermelon, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds. Topped with a homemade orange vinaigrette.
Looking for a new summer salad? Give this one a try - it's bright, fresh and the perfect combination of salty and sweet.
Peppery arugula is the base for this simple summer side dish. It's topped with fresh watermelon, feta cheese, and salty sunflower seeds. The homemade orange dressing is perfectly citrusy and sweet!
Ingredients and substitutions
Arugula can be substituted with your favorite greens. Romaine or spinach are great choices.
Look for seedless watermelon - sometimes you can find it already cubed at the store. Strawberries could also be used instead.
Feta cheese can be substituted with goat cheese. Or, use mozzarella pearls for a milder flavor.
Honey can be substituted with maple syrup.
Salted or unsalted roasted sunflower kernels (seeds without the shell) can be used. I made my salad with Planters Dry Roasted Sunflower Kernels (Amazon)
Making your orange vinaigrette
This orange vinaigrette is the perfect complement to this salty-sweet salad. Fresh orange juice and zest makes the flavor unbelievably bright and summery.
First, zest your orange. Then, slice in half and juice into your dressing. After that, you'll simply whisk the ingredients together until incorporated.
Fresh dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Want to make your salad ahead of an event? Store the cubed watermelon separately. Otherwise, it can wilt your greens.
Prepare your dressing and store it in a separate container. Then, combine and dress your salad just before serving. Or, serve the dressing to the side.
Leftover salad (undressed) will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, but is best served the same day.
What to serve with salad
Here are a few of my favorite ways to make this salad a complete meal:
- Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken Tenders
- Summer Corn Chowder
- Rotisserie Chicken Salad
- Italian Sloppy Joes
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Spring Vegetable Soup
Arugula Watermelon Salad
- 5 ounces arugula
- 2 cups cubed seedless watermelon
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup roasted sunflower seed kernels
- 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, add arugula. Top with cubed watermelon, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds. Set aside.
- In a bowl (or mason jar), zest orange, then slice in half and juice orange into the bowl. Add olive oil, honey, and salt. Whisk (or cover with lid and shake) to combine.
- Just before ready to serve, toss salad in dressing until evenly coated. Serve immediately. Or, toss salad ingredients and serve dressing on the side.
- This recipe makes about 4 side salads, or two large lunch sized salads.
- If preparing ahead of an event, store watermelon in a separate container until ready to toss and serve.
- Dressed salad does not keep well - if you plan to have leftovers, serve dressing to the side.
- Vinaigrette dressing will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.