Our refreshing and hearty Chicken, Watermelon and Feta Salad with Basil is the ultimate kitchen sink salad perfect for summer lunches. The epitome combo of sweet and salty, using the little bits of leftovers found in your fridge and garden and tossed in a fresh balsamic, vinegar, dijon and honey dressing, it's the summer salad you'll be enjoying until the end of the season.
Both Philip and my favourite summer treats is the juicy, sweet and irresistible, watermelon. Nature's OG candy, watermelon is hydrating and refreshing. And during the summer months our refrigerator is packed with bowls and bowls of this delicious fruit.
Inspired by the bounty of our balcony garden and the little bits of leftovers in our fridge, we combined roasted chicken, crumbled feta, and luscious watermelon to make the ultimate kitchen sink summer salad.
Of course, you know we're all about the perfectly crafted salad, and in our article The Art of Building a Simple Salad, we share our favourite 6 ways to achieve this in our Chicken, Watermelon and Feta Salad. Here's a little recap:
Tips for Creating a Beautiful Salad
1. Start off Strong
Choosing a strong leafy base that'll hold up to your toppings is essential. In our Chicken, Watermelon and Feta Salad we opted for fresh arugula. A favourite of Philip's, our balcony salad bar has started to bolt and grown over, making this spicy leaf a perfect addition to our kitchen sink salad.
2. Insert the Crunch Factor:
We believe the key to an interesting salad is the crunch factor, and here we've opted for a subtle sound of whispy lettuce, crisp red onions, crunchy pistachios and the subtle sharp tones of biting into fresh watermelon. The crunch is the little bit of oomph that can turn a motionless salad into a soundtrack of bass and melody.
3. Taste the Rainbow:
What we love most about any salad is the array of colours and the natural artistic pairings of certain ingredients. Opting for red onions to compliment the feminine and fresh watermelon, the feta added pops of contrast and the greens adding a deeper balance to truly ground the salad. To add even more green to our palate, we added in basil to for additional punch.
4. Fuel your Fat:
Pistachios, olive oil and feta and the fats needed to keep you full longer when opting for a summer salad.
5. Protein, Protein, Protein:
We mentioned about that this salad was inspired by the leftovers in our refrigerator, and leftover chicken was the star of this choice. While we would never think to combine chicken and watermelon, the watermelon and dressing added lightness with the chicken adding a heartier base, balanced with the salty and creaminess of the feta
6. Dress for Success:
Sweet, tangy and thick enough to coat all the ingredients, our simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, dijon mustard and honey was a classic and safe choice to play off the juices of the watermelon, adding an even deeper level of flavour.
With all the right pieces in place, creating this Chicken, Watermelon and Feta Salad involves easy prep time and is a well balanced summer salad perfect for the backyard or on it's own as a summer lunch. Aside from amazing flavours, it's a successful nod to the leftover kitchen gods and a very thoughtful and mindful eating practice to reduce food waste and meal plan like a champ.
How to Make Chicken, Watermelon and Feta Salad
Make the Dressing
Get a small bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk the ingredients together until combined into a slightly thickened dressing.
Dress the Arugula
Place the arugula in a medium sized bowl. Make sure it is in bite sized pieces and tear into smaller bits if necessary. Drizzle half the dressing on top and toss with tongs or your hands.
Assemble the Salad
To assemble the salad in individual portions, place a handful of the dressed arugula on a plate. Top with shredded chicken, then place the cubed watermelon and a few onion rings on top. Drizzle with additional dressing then to finish the salad, sprinkle on some feta cheese, pistachios and a few leaves of basil. Season with a few twists of fresh ground black pepper.
Helpful Tools and Ingredients to Make Our Chicken and Watermelon Salad
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Chicken, Watermelon and Feta Salad
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 4 cups cubed watermelon
- 4 cups arugula
- 2 cups shredded roast chicken
- ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
- ½ small red onion thinly sliced rounds
- 1 sprig basil torn or chopped
- 2 tbsp pistachios chopped
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.
- Toss the arugula with half the dressing in a large bowl.
- For serving, place a cup of the dressed arugula on a plate. Top with ½ cup roast chicken, then place 1 cup cubed watermelon and a few rings of red onion. Drizzle with additional dressing, then sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of feta cheese, pistachios, and a few leaves of basil. Finish with a few twists of fresh ground black pepper.