Cubed Melon Salad is a juicy checkerboard style melon salad that’s gorgeous and so refreshing ~ it’s always a huge hit!
When you mix the sweet melon with the sharp bite of onion, feta, and lime, it becomes an incredibly refreshing and interesting salad. This sweet and savory combination has roots in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, and sometimes you’ll see it with black olives, tomatoes, or avocado. Occasionally I add some finely minced jalapeno pepper for a little kick. This cubed melon salad is a healthy and super low calorie dish that has lots of flavor and great visual appeal, you can’t afford NOT to make it!
2 ways to serve cubed melon salad
- Serve it composed, as above. Arrange the cubed melon like a checkerboard or go up a few levels for a Rubik’s Cube style melon salad!
- Or serve it tossed, as below.
Summer is melon season ~ they’re cheap and plentiful and so juicy! There are so many varieties available today, too, even in your regular grocery store. I chose several different types of melon in a variety of colors for this pretty cubed melon salad.
I used watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe, but there are lots of varieties of melons out there, especially at farmers markets, so experiment and find your favorites.
how to cube a watermelon
To cut watermelon into cubes most efficiently, the best way is to lop off a little from the top and bottom, and then cut the rind off by slicing straight down each side, like the photos below. Then slice the entire melon into whatever width you want your cubes to be. Then you can easily slice up your cubes.
Note: this method obviously works best for watermelon, because it has no hollow seed cavity like other melons.
how to choose a ripe melon for salad
For a refreshing salad like this you’ll want a melon that is ripe, but not too ripe.
- Choose melons that have a uniform, symmetrical shape. Avoid those with irregular bumps or deformities, as they may indicate uneven ripening or damage.
- The skin of ripe melons should have a vibrant and consistent color. For example, watermelons should have a deep green rind, while cantaloupes should have a golden or orange hue. The skin should also be firm but not overly hard or soft.
- Inspect the surface of the melon for any cracks, bruises, or blemishes. A smooth and unblemished skin usually indicates a fresher and better quality fruit.
- Apply light pressure on the melon’s surface. Ripe melons should yield slightly to pressure, but not be too soft or mushy. If it feels too hard or too soft, it may not be ripe or could be overripe.
- Lift the melon and sniff the stem end. A ripe melon should have a sweet, fragrant aroma. If it lacks any scent or has an off-putting smell, it may not be fully ripe.
- Pick up the melon and assess its weight. Ripe melons tend to feel heavier than they look, as they are filled with water content. Heaviness can be a good indication of juiciness.
- Tap the melon lightly with your knuckles. A ripe melon will produce a deep, hollow sound, whereas an unripe melon may sound dull or solid.
more summer melon recipes
- Watermelon Salsa
- Watermelon and Couscous Salad
- Sweet Corn and Watermelon Salad
- Cantaloupe and Mango Salad
- Four Simple Melon Salads
Summer Melon Salad
- 5 cups assorted melon, cut in small cubes, I used seedless watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe.
- juice and zest of lime
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- finely minced jalapeno pepper, optional
- fresh mint leaves
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Shortly before you want to serve the salad, toss your melon cubes in a bowl, or arrange them on individual plates in a checkerboard fashion. Top them with thin slices of red onion, lime zest, and feta crumbles. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then squeeze lime juice over all.