Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad


Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad screams summer! Loaded with fresh cherry tomatoes, shallots, radishes, basil, mint and feta, then coated in a tangy white balsamic vinaigrette.

If you haven’t considered grilling watermelon or citrus before, now you should. The grill adds char and smokiness that concentrates the fruits’ sugars and results in unparalleled depth of flavor. You could skip this step but it literally takes minutes and raises this seasonal salad to a whole new level.

Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad | Give it Some Thyme

While the grill heats up simply brush some olive oil on the watermelon and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Dip the cut side of the lemons or limes (you could use either in the dressing) in a little granulated sugar, and you’re ready to go.

Watermelon Slices and Citrus Ready to Grill

It takes just 2-3 minutes for each side to get those charred grill marks with slightly caramelized edges. If you’re like me, you may need to throw a couple extra slices on the grill so there’s enough left for the salad. 🙂

Watermelon, Lemon and Limes Grilled

Once the watermelon is cool enough to handle, cut into chunks and add it to the rest of the line-up. The sweet, smoky flavor of the watermelon and citrus pairs perfectly with the peppery bite of the arugula, tang of the radishes and bright flavors of the tomatoes, basil, and mint. The simple white balsamic dressing adds some acidity while letting summer’s bounty shine. You can serve as a side dish or as an app. Pour your favorite rosé and enjoy! Cheers to summer, friends!!

Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad -

If you’re looking for more healthy and delicious side dish recipes, check out our:

Sweet Potato Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Sweet Potato Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Asian Red Cabbage Slaw

Asian Red Cabbage Slaw - Give it Some Thyme

Grilled Cantaloupe Black Bean Salad

Grilled Cantaloupe Black Bean Salad

and Baby Potato & Green Bean Salad

Baby Potato & Green Bean Salad - Give it Some Thyme

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Grilled Watermelon and Arugula Salad

Grilling the watermelon isn’t required but it sure enhances the sweetness and adds a hint of smoky flavor that combines perfectly with the rest of the line-up and the refreshing white balsamic dressing.
Course Appetizer, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword arugula, summer salad, watermelon
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Kim Peterson


  • 6-7 wedges seedless watermelon, cut 1-inch thick, about 3 lbs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to sprinkle on watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, may substitute white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 grilled lemon or lime
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved, about 6 ounces
  • 1 cup baby arugula, packed
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced shallots
  • ½ cup thinly sliced radishes
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, thinly sliced


  • Preheat grill over medium-high heat.
    Watermelon Slices and Citrus on the Grill
  • Brush watermelon wedges on both sides with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle both sides with sea salt and ground pepper.
  • Grill watermelon and lemon or lime halves 2-3 minutes per side until slightly softened and caramelized. When cool enough to handle, cut watermelon into 1-inch pieces. You’ll have about 4 cups.
  • In a large bowl, combine vinegar, grilled lemon or lime juice, honey, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
    Grilled Watermelon Salad -
  • Add remaining ingredients and watermelon. Gently toss to coat. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and chill.) Serve chilled or at room temperature.

*Recipe generously adapted from Cooking Light, August 2017

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