You know what food I’m jazzed about these days?  Quinoa.  You know what food I’ve never, ever been jazzed about?  Watermelon.  I’m surely in the minority as someone who generally finds watermelon to be eh at best and eats approximately one slice per year.  So why then, you might wonder, is this dish appearing here now?  Well, let me explain.  Last month when I traveled to Charleston, SC for a fun-filled trip/inspiring photography workshop, we were served a dish just like this for lunch.  Except I didn’t realize it had watermelon in it.  All I could tell was that it was a quinoa salad with feta and what most of us presumed to be tomato mixed in.  It wasn’t until I took a bite that I realized exactly what I was eating.  And then it took me a couple more bites before I realized, hey, this is pretty darn good.

I know watermelon and feta is a commonly served combination, but since I only like watermelon in small doses, a salad consisting of primarily those two ingredients is a no-go for me.  However, when they are mixed into quinoa with a light, tangy vinaigrette, that’s something I can get on board with.  This makes for a nice light lunch, and since my man and my little man both love watermelon, I’m sure we’ll be enjoying this again throughout the summer.


1½ cups quinoa

For the dressing:
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion, such as vidalia
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the salad:
¾ cup crumbled feta
1½ cups watermelon, diced
3-4 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
Lemon zest, to taste


  • 01

    Rinse the quinoa well and strain off excess water.  Cook according to the package directions.  Let cool to room temperature.  Store and refrigerate if not using right away.

  • 02

    To make the dressing, combine the vinegar, lemon juice, and onion in a small bowl or jar.  Mix well.  Add in the olive oil and whisk well to emulsify the dressing.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 03

    In a medium bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the feta, watermelon, and parsley.  Add lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

  • Looks incredibly refreshing!

  • Lynn BB

    I’m with you, I’ve never been a watermelon fan, no flavor!

  • Cambria washington

    now this is exciting! and I just might have every one of these ingredients in my pantry right now.

  • Kelly

    Hi Annie! With the watermelon, is this a good salad to keep in the fridge all week for lunches?

  • Looks great!

  • UrbanWife

    Thanks for sharing! I’m always looking for new ways to eat quinoa.

  • Karen | The Food Charlatan

    I am so with you Annie! People always look at me like I’ve grown a third arm when I tell them that watermelon is eh. But this stuff looks really good. I will need to try this out!

  • Jennie

    Trying to eat more healthy non-processed foods lately-thanks so much for the recipe and the DIY recipes…(epecially the Iced Coffee-I mix some cocoa with maple syrup to flavor it) I have been making so many things that I never thought I would make-but they are SO much healthier and better for the environment…I might make it with the tomatoes though-don’t have any watermelon in the house!

  • hahaha annie, can you believe I have the same recipe ready for posting next week? I was also amazed by the combination and the flavours!

  • Samantha E.

    I know how you feel about watermelon! One piece a summer is plenty. And I’ve been ambivalent about quinoa, but this sounds tasty.

  • annieseats

    It does okay for a couple days but if you want to make it last longer, I’d probably just mix the watermelon into individual servings each day rather than all at the beginning. Enjoy!

  • annieseats

    Haha! So funny :)

  • Erin

    Glad someone else shares my ambivalence about watermelon. It’s a texture thing with me, but this salad sounds pretty good.

  • Kelly

    Thank you!

  • This salad looks so delicious and refreshing! We love quinoa in our house, so versatile and a great gluten free grain. Looking forward to trying this recipe!

  • I’m right there with you on the quinoa train. There are so many great recipes you can make with it. I never thought to do a watermellon and feta salad with it…sounds awesome!

  • Joey feels the same way as you about watermelon. Smith, however, can eat like 3 pieces in one sitting! i can’t wait to make this salad. It was so so good. Miss you (and Charleston!).

  • Vicki Bensinger

    I really like this combination. It’s light, tasty, and packed with protein.. Great creation!

  • annieseats

    Yeah, definitely a texture issue for me as well.

  • Sweetsugarbelle

    My mom doesn’t lOve watermelon either! I thought She was the only one! This looks delicious!!!

  • Really? I usually can’t get enough watermelon! Or quinoa! This salad, therefore, is perfect for me. :) Thanks for sharing, Annie!

  • Lynda

    This sounds delicious. I just purchased some quinoa and have been looking for recipes for it, and TaDa! here’s a great looking one. Thanks!

  • Thefeastforall

    This is a great idea especially for a hot summer day. Will the water melon make the Quinoa salad soggy since it releases a lot of juice/water? May be it cannot be refregirated for long…

  • pat1645

    This sure sounds refreshing.

  • Erika

    Just made this for dinner – delicious!!

  • Pero107

    What are the green flecks in the photo? Basil?

  • annieseats


  • Oh wow – I love this! What a great idea with the quinoa. Watermelon and feta was our first blog post, and it has a special place in my heart :) I look forward to trying this sometime!

  • Linda

    Just made this. It’s so delicious and beatiful as well. I did use lime juice instead. Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe!

  • Perfect summertime recipe! I have never even had quinao, but it seems to be all the rage so there must be a reason. And the rest of the ingredients — score!

  • Susan

    I made this over the weekend and it was gone in no time!

  • Julie

    Made this yesterday for lunch and it is so addictive! Loved it and so did my family. We finished it off at dinner. All the flavors work really well together; I really like that it is not a ton of watermelon, just the right amount. And the dressing and the lemon zest really add the perfect amount of seasoning.

  • Mary

    I made this for dinner and thought it would be so nice to have some for lunch tomorrow. No such luck! It is all gone. This was delicious and I am going to make it again with the other half of the watermelon I have left. Thank you for another winner Annie!

  • Nicole M Brady

    Made this yesterday and it was delicious! Very light and refreshing. My 11 month old couldn’t get enough!

  • Queen Lucia

    Made this for the 4th of July and LOVED it! My husband raved, too – then he made another batch.

  • Annie

    Is it 1.5 cups of cooked quinoa or dry?

  • annieseats

    Uncooked, and then the instructions say to cook according to package directions.

  • I just made this for a bridal shower and it was a HUGE hit! It was my first time cooking with quinoa and such a success. Thanks for a great recipe and expanding my kitchen experiences beyond baking and sweet treats!