Melon salad is a side dish that's show-stoppingly pretty (the colors!) and every bite is full of heavenly ripe melon, fresh mint and bright lime. This combination is one that you'll try and then think about for days afterward.
About This Recipe
This melon salad is made with fresh watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew tossed in a simple dressing of honey, lime and mint. It's easy to make and the flavors are impressively refreshing!
This recipe is also popular as a side dish for barbecues, potlucks and holidays because it's easy to make ahead of time and transports well.
And with about 6 servings, this recipe makes a large batch of salad that can serve a small crowd or can give you tasty leftovers for days!
The full recipe is at the bottom of this page, but here's a quick overview of what you'll need and how to make it:
- 1 small watermelon, cubed
- 1 cantaloupe, cubed
- 1 honeydew, cubed
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- Pinch of sea salt
Here's a few popular ingredient substitutions and additions for this recipe:
Melons: this recipe uses 1 watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew. You'll end up with about 6 - 8 cups of each melon (ideally about the same amount from each). For tips on how to choose ripe melons, see the next section.
Honey: you can swap this out for your preferred sweeter like agave or maple syrup.
Mint: fresh mint adds extra brightness to this recipe and highlights the flavors of the melons. It's also popular to add fresh basil. If you have trouble finding fresh herbs you can leave them out and the salad will still be tasty.
How to Make Melon Salad
Melon salad is easy to make in about 20 minutes. You'll chop your melons, make your dressing, and them mix everything together!
Here's the step-by-step instructions:
Step 1: Make the dressing
Stir together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.
Step 2: Mix the salad
Add all of the cubed melon to a large bowl, drizzle the dressing on top and toss gently to mix.
Taste and season with additional salt, honey (for sweetness) or lime (for tartness) as preferred.
PRO TIP: you could also use a melon baller for this recipe as an alternative to cubing your melons. This usually takes a little longer but is very pretty!
Step 3: Serve
For best flavor, chill your salad in the fridge for 15 - 30 minutes before serving. You can also make this salad ahead of time and store it in the fridge until it's ready to eat.
How to Store Melon Salad
Store your leftover melon salad in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 - 5 days. Stir before serving.
How to Choose Ripe Melons
The trickiest part of this recipe is choosing 3 melons that will be ripe at the same time! Here's a few tips for timing the ripeness of your melons:
How to Tell if Your Watermelon is Ripe
Ripe watermelon is duller and darker green (instead of shiny and lighter green) and will make a hollow sound when you knock on it.
PRO TIP: look for a watermelon with an orange-ish spot near the bottom for a more flavorful, sweet melon.
How to Tell if Your Cantaloupe is Ripe
Ripe cantaloupe should be tan with faint green lines and should 'give' slightly when pressed on, being not too firm and not too soft/mushy (over-ripe). It will also have a nice smell, which you can check for at the end where it would have been picked from the stem.
How to Tell if Your Honeydew is Ripe
The rind of the honeydew should be beige/yellow (not green) when it's ripe. It will also have slight softness when pressed instead of being rock hard. You should be able to smell the honeydew at the end where it was picked (a sweet, fragrant smell).
For more fresh fruit salads, check out these popular favorites:Print