This delicious Watermelon Feta and Arugula Grain Salad is a flavorful and healthy side dish or packable lunch that’s perfect for the summer season! (gluten-free, vegetarian)
This post is sponsored by the Watermelon Board. As always, all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Lively Table running!
July is Watermelon month! What better way to celebrate seasonal summer produce than with fresh, juicy watermelon?!
Plain, fresh watermelon is one of my go-to snacks and side dishes during the summer months. It’s so easy and refreshing. But did you know that watermelon is also super nutritious? Juicy watermelon is 92% water, so it’s great for staying hydrated in the hot summer months. It’s also full of nutrients like vitamin B6 (great for breaking food down into energy), potassium (great for your blood pressure and avoiding cramps after a workout), lycopene (an antioxidant that could help protect against sun damage and some cancers), and vitamin C (great for skin and immune health).
With so many benefits, why wouldn’t you want to enjoy delicious watermelon all the time?
Watermelon also makes a flavorful addition to recipes. One of my favorite ways to use it is in this nutritious, super tasty watermelon, feta and arugula grain salad with an easy champagne dijon vinaigrette!
This salad is inspired by a watermelon grain salad I had at Panera a couple of years ago. The combination of fresh watermelon and mint with whole grains and feta was to die for, so I knew I had to make my own version of the salad at home. Since then, it’s become one of my favorite lunches to prep and take to go or eat at home!
Not only is this salad a great healthy lunch to take to work or school, it’s also got the perfect balance of complex carbs, plant protein, and healthy fats to keep you full and satisfied. I love all of the contrasting textures and flavors, from sweet, juicy watermelon, peppery arugula, fresh mint and savory feta cheese with a tangy vinaigrette, to soft quinoa, grainy quinoa and crunchy toasted almonds, this watermelon, feta and arugula grain salad has everything you want in a salad!
To make this salad easy to take on the go, I like to prep all of the ingredients to keep on hand – cook the quinoa, toast the almonds, make the dressing, and cube the watermelon – that way I can throw everything together at a moment’s notice. It also makes things super easy when I need a quick and delicious side dish to go with dinner (this salad pairs beautifully with grilled steak, seared fish, or BBQ chicken) or take to a cookout.
This delicious Watermelon Feta and Arugula Grain Salad is a flavorful and healthy side dish or packable lunch that's perfect for the summer season! (gluten-free, vegetarian)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 5 cups packed baby arugula
- 1/2 cup packed mint leaves, roughly torn
- 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
- 2 cups watermelon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
- 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Toast almonds: Heat oven to 350°F. Place almonds on a small baking sheet and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Watch carefully as they will burn quickly. Remove from oven and cool.
- Meanwhile, make champagne dijon vinaigrette buy whisking together all vinaigrette ingredients. Cut watermelon into cubes.
- In a large bowl, toss arugula and mint leaves with desired amount of dressing. I start with a couple of tablespoons and add more as needed.
- Add quinoa, watermelon, feta and almonds. Gently toss and serve or refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve, up to 4 hours.
For more inspiration on how you can take your watermelon on the go, head to watermelon.org!
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