Sweet corn and watermelon salad pairs two of summer’s most iconic foods in one irresistible dish that brightens up any meal. It’s simple, healthy, and make ahead friendly. Sort of a superhero summer salad.
a corn and watermelon salad goes with everything
This is a simple salad with few ingredients, but the combination is really exciting and very healthy. It’s low calorie, no fat, and hydrating. Serve it with just about any summer meal, but it goes especially well with grilled chicken, tacos, steak, or salmon. It’s a no brainer with burgers and hot dogs. Kids just love this salad, which is a bonus.
what you’ll need
Peak season produce makes a simple salad memorable.
- seedless watermelon, cut into bite sized dice (scroll down for directions.)
- fresh corn, lightly steamed to tenderize it and bring out the sweetness.
- fresh basil ~ you could also use cilantro.
- feta cheese ~ remember I always recommend imported sheep’s milk feta for amazing flavor.
- fresh lime juice
- the barest hint of sugar takes the edge off the lime juice.
watermelon salad tips and faqs
Watermelons have come a long way since the seed studded behemoths of generations past. I like to use small, seedless melons for salad. These melons have dense sweet flesh that isn’t super watery. Look for one that feels heavy for its size.
Can I make this salad ahead?
Yes, this is one salad that will keep fairly well without deteriorating in the fridge. You can feel comfortable making it in the morning to serve that night. I would reserve the lime, feta, and basil for the last minute. If the watermelon has released any juice while chilling, drain it before dressing.
No! Frozen or canned corn won’t have nearly the same snappy texture or fresh flavor, it’s just not worth it.
If your corn is super sweet and fresh you can use it raw, but I find most corn gets better when lightly steamed or microwaved.
how to cut a watermelon into cubes
Time needed: 5 minutes.
Step by step instructions for cutting watermelon into bite sized cubes
- Begin by slicing off a few inches from each end.
Use a large sharp knife to cut a few inches off each end of the melon, to remove the rind.
- Remove the rest of the rind
Stand the melon on one flat end and slice down each of the four sides to remove the rest of the rind. You’ll be left with a large cube. Trim the cube to remove any excess rind.
- Slice the cube into slabs
Slice the large cube into 3/4 inch slices. Adjust larger or smaller as you like.
- Slice the slabs into cubes
Stack the slabs and slice into 3/4 inch strips, then cut the strips crosswise into cubes.
Make this summer salad often!
Treat your friends and family to this refreshing salad often this summer, it’s a winner. The corn and the melon will only get better as the summer goes on, and it’s the ultimate way to lean into this wonderful season.
more fruity summer salads
- Strawberry Salad with Arugula and Salted Caramel Walnuts
- Apple, Fennel, and Salami Salad
- Broccoli Honeycrisp Slaw
- Peach and Cashew Biryani Salad
- Grilled Plumcot Salad with Toasted Walnut Vinaigrette
Sweet Corn and Watermelon Salad
- 6 cups cubed watermelon, more or less. (See post for step by step directions.)
- 2 ears sweet corn
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (you may not need it all)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 4 leaves fresh basil
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Husk the corn and wrap in wet paper towels. Microwave for about 3 minutes. Plunge the hot corn into an ice bath to cool down and stop the cooking. Note: you can also boil or steam the corn if you prefer. Cook it just until barely tender, don't over cook.
- Slice the kernels off the cooled ears of corn.
- Combine the watermelon and corn in a serving bowl.
- Combine the lime juice and sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Drizzle the lime juice over the salad, just enough to moisten everything. Top with shredded basil and feta cheese and serve immediately or chill until needed. Note: to slice the basil, stack the leaves and roll them together tightly, then slice into thin ribbons, crosswise.