Watermelon Salad With Arugula

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A little different than your typical watermelon and feta salad. Fresh greens, juicy ripe watermelon, fresh tomatoes, avocado, and salty pecorino cheese come together for a savory-sweet watermelon tomato salad that’s irresistibly delicious.

savory watermelon salad recipe with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and pecorino romano
When tomatoes are ripe, there’s nothing tastier than a fresh tomato salad!

I grow fresh tomatoes in my garden during the summer months, so I’m always looking for ways to use them the best I can.

This watermelon and arugula salad recipe is taken to the next level with pecorino romano cheese. Yum!

Pecorino romano is a salty, nutty hard cheese that pairs so well with the sweet watermelon and the bite of spicy arugula.

When I told my mom about this salad, she said, “That just doesn’t look right.” It might not look right, but it’s absolutely beautiful, and it tastes as good as it looks. I hope my mom, and you, will give it a try!

Surprise! A yellow watermelon!

I had planned on using yellow pear tomatoes and a traditional red watermelon for this salad. Thankfully, I still had some red heirloom cherry tomatoes that my neighbor had given me. The colors turned out great!

What you’ll love about this watermelon salad recipe

  • Beautiful: First of all, this salad is gorgeous. Whether you’re looking for a special side dish for Independence Day or an easy addition to your weekly rotation, this recipe fits the bill. 
  • Healthy: This salad is brimming with healthy phytonutrients. Plus, avocado adds a hint of healthy Omega-3s!
  • Simple: This salad is dressed with a white balsamic vinaigrette— just enough to bring out the beauty of the fresh flavors that this dish has to offer. I chose to kick things up a notch by using a honey white balsamic and a lemon flake finishing salt. The lemon salt is next level, so definitely pick it up if you can get your hands on some online or in your grocery store.

Recipe Notes

If I haven’t sold you on this recipe already, just wait until you see how easy it is to assemble!

Ingredients you need to make a savory watermelon salad

  • Watermelon: See advice below in the FAQs for more tips to use when picking out a watermelon!
  • Tomatoes: As you’ve seen, any kind of tomatoes will do. I like using small cherry or pear tomatoes because they are usually sweet, and all you have to do is slice them in half.
  • Cheese: The pecorino cheese finishes everything with a salty, savory flavor that brings everything together beautifully.
  • Red onion: Onions make the perfect addition in this salad, adding a little bit of sweet spiciness.
  • Fresh mint leaves: Fresh mint gives this salad a herbacious summery spin.

How to Make a Watermelon Salad

You will want to make this salad close to the time that you will serve it. However, if you do need to make it ahead, store the watermelon, tomatoes, and red onions in a separate container. Add these to the greens right before serving.

Pro-tip: I like to serve this salad in a flat bowl or on a platter. The presentation is gorgeous!

  1. Slice the fruit and veggies. Slice the tomatoes, red onion, and watermelon. Add these to a large salad bowl. You can use a melon baller if you want to be extra fancy.
  2. Add the greens. Add the arugula and baby kale to the bowl.
  3. Add the oil and vinegar. This salad is simply dressed with a splash of oil and vinegar.
  4. Top the salad with shaved cheese. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the pecorino onto the top of the salad.
  5. Finish: Finish with diced avocado and a sprinkle of lemon craft salt and some fresh ground pepper.
fresh and savory watermelon salad recipe

FAQs and Pro Tips

How do you pick the perfect watermelon?

Making the best salad possible requires the best ingredients that you can get your hands on! When picking a watermelon, knock on it with your fist and listen for its hollow sound. If you hear a low thud, the melon is likely to be dry and mealy. You can also check for a yellow patch on your melon. That’s always a good sign as well.

How do you cut a watermelon?

Cut the ends off of your watermelon, then set your melon on one of the newly flat sides and carve the rind off with a large knife. Then, easily slice your melon into cubes! This video is similar to how I cut a watermelon; check it out here.

Mark Bitterman Salt and Honey White Balsamic Vinegar

What to serve with watermelon salad

More summer recipes that you might like:

savory watermelon salad recipe with fresh tomatoes, herbs, and pecorino romano

Savory Watermelon Salad With Pecorino Cheese

This watermelon salad recipe is a beautiful tomato and watermelon salad with spicy arugula and salty pecorino cheese. A little bit different than the all-too-common watermelon and feta salad.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 135 kcal


Salad Ingredients

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cups watermelon, largely diced
  • 1 cup mixed baby greens, kale and arugula
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, julienned
  • ¼ red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced


Top With


  • Make the salad. Add the halved tomatoes, cubed watermelon, mixed greens, sliced red onion, and avocado to a large glass or plastic (non reactive) bowl.
  • Add the vinaigrette. Dress the salad by adding the vinegar and olive oil direclty to the salad. Gently toss.
  • To Serve: Top the salad with freshly ground pepper, lemon flake salt, and shaved pecorino romano cheese. 

Laura’s Tips + Notes

You can substitute white balsamic, champagne vinegar, or another sweet, light-colored vinegar for the O brand vinegar. You may also use any good quality salt in place of the Mark Bitterman salt.


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Calories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 43mgFiber: 3gSugar: 9gCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg
Keyword arugula, pecorino, salad, tomato, watermelon
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  1. 5 stars
    Hi Laura!
    So many awesome recipes and my favourite part is the prep time. I love watermelon salad, I eat them about 5 times a week but it’s very basic, I only add watermelon and avocados. I will definitely try your recipe, it will be much tastier.
    Picking a sweet watermelon one is the challenge. I recently picked out a white one by accident. 😊

5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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