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Watermelon Feta Salad with Grilled Lemon and Onion

On a recent trip to Columbus, OH, a local chef prepared a side salad to go along with my team’s BBQ spread. Her watermelon salad included slices of grilled lemon; their burst of char and acidity made the salad standout on a table full of great food. Inspired by his dish, I now make my watermelon feta salad with the addition of grilled lemons and grilled red onion. This dish, with its combination of sweet, savory, salty, and citrusy flavors makes for a standout side for any summer meal.

  • Servings 4-6
  • Dish Side
  • Time 20 min
  • Skill Home Cooks


Watermelon feta salad with grilled lemon and onion ingredients

1 3-4 lb watermelon
1 large lemon
1 medium red onion
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
3 Tbsps lemon juice
2 tsps honey or maple syrup
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste.
ground pepper, to taste
4 oz crumbled feta, about 1 cup
3-4 sprigs fresh mint, chopped or chiffonade


Watermelon feta salad with grilled lemon and onion


Prepare your ingredients: remove the rind off of the watermelon, and cut it into it ½”-1” cubes. Slice the lemon into ⅛”-thin rounds. Slice the red onion into ¼”- thick rounds.


On a grill, or on a hot grill pan, grill your lemon slices until softened and charred, about 2-3 minutes per side. Once cooled, cut the lemon slices into halves or quarters.


Brush the onions with oil, then grill the onion rounds until nicely charred, about 3 minutes per side. Once cooled, cut the rounds into halves or quarters.


In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Add the cubed watermelon, grilled onion, and grilled lemon to the bowl and gently toss everything together. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired. Chill until you’re ready to serve. This salad is best served the same day, but will keep up to 3 days in the fridge.


Right before serving, top the salad with crumbled feta and fresh mint.