Watermelon Salad With Honey Spiced Pecans And Blue Cheese

If you would like to serve something different to your guests at either lunch or dinner, you might consider preparing a Watermelon Salad With Honey Spiced Pecans and Blue Cheese. Served with a lime mint vinaigrette, it is an unexpected and tasty salad that makes a perfect starter for a summer meal. I have to say that the watermelon salad is very different from the way I grew up eating watermelon in Texas.

When I was a little girl, I remember our family eating a wedge or slice of watermelon sitting at an outdoor picnic table covered with newspapers that would catch the juices as they trickled down our hands and dripped off our elbows while holding the watermelon. Spitting seeds out into the grass was frowned upon…that is what the newspaper was for.

Watermelon Salad With Honey Spiced Pecans And Blue Cheese
Watermelon Salad With Honey Spiced Pecans And Blue Cheese

By the time I was finishing high school, watermelon was often served at summer parties as little melon balls that were piled back into a scooped out watermelon shell. That was a definite step up from just a plain slice of watermelon that was usually eaten in Texas.

Once married and living in Florida, when my husband and I were invited to an adult summer pool party, a popular item found at the outdoor buffet table was a drunken watermelon salad. This salad was often served in a fancily carved watermelon shell that looked like a beautiful basket.  It was composed of watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, green and red grapes that had been marinated in vodka and different fruit juices.

The way watermelon is served may change over the years but it is still a summertime favorite no matter how it is eaten. My salad is served on a bed of arugula and mixed baby greens tossed with a lime mint vinaigrette. It has a mix of sweet, salty, bitter and spicy flavors that I believe you and your guests will enjoy. What is nice about this quick and easy salad is that it can all be prepped ahead of time and put together right before serving your guests.

 Watermelon Salad With Honey Spice Pecans And Blue Cheese

Serves 2, adjust the recipe accordingly

  • 2 c. cubed and deseeded watermelon
  • 3 c. baby arugula
  • 3 c. mixed baby greens
  • 1/4 c. crumbled blue cheese or to taste
  • 1/3 c. spiced pecan halves or to taste (use recipe found here made only with pecans)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey, more or less
  • Lime and mint vinaigrette – recipe below

Place the spiced pecans in a small bowl, drizzle with the honey and stir until well coated. Place the arugula and mixed greens in a large salad bowl and toss with a little of the vinaigrette. Divide the greens between two salad plates, top with the watermelon, sprinkle with the blue cheese and top with the honeyed pecans. Drizzle the salad with the remainder of the vinaigrette and serve.

Lime and Mint Vinaigrette

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey, more or less
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all the ingredients of the vinaigrette together to emulsify. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, and set aside.


There are many variables to the watermelon salad. You could substitute gorgonzola, feta or goat cheese for the blue cheese. The nuts give a nice contrast of textures in the salad but if you don’t care for pecans, you could substitute them with spiced walnuts, cashews or other nuts of your choice. Serve this watermelon salad on a pretty plate and surprise you guests with a summer dish that they may not have experienced before.  With the honey spiced pecans and the blue cheese crumbles, I’m sure they will love this unusual and different combination.

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187 thoughts on “Watermelon Salad With Honey Spiced Pecans And Blue Cheese

    1. Thank you Laila, for your nice compliment…I’m glad you enjoyed the story. The mint in the vinaigrette gives a nice flavor to the salad.

  1. I love the nuts in this salad. I’ve often had watermelon salad with basil and feta but yours sounds fantastic.

    1. Hi Maureen, I’m glad you like my version of watermelon salad…I believe the nuts are a nice addition to the salad. Not only do they give a sweet, spicy taste but I like the crunch factor as well. Thank you!

    1. Yes, Mad Dog…a plate is much more civilized. 😀 I’m glad that I’m not the only one that had juice running down their arms the first time eating watermelon.

  2. The Watermelon Salad sounds fabulous, Karen! We will try it this weekend for a new summertime treat. I loved your childhood memories of summer days spent eating watermelon outside. Thanks so much! ♡

    1. Hi Dawn, I appreciate your visit and nice compliment, thank you! I’m happy that you enjoyed my memories of eating watermelon. I hope you will enjoy the salad. 🙂

  3. Ah Karen, we made one of those baskets in high school home ec class! Love your salad, so fresh and summery!

    1. Hi Liz, I’m happy to know that you like the recipe. Yes, the baskets were popular…it must have been fun learning to make one in your home ec class.

  4. We ate watermelon in Virginia like you did in Texas. I remember how tasty it was and the sticky chins and arms that accompanied the treat. I’ve carved out a few “baskets” to fill with melon balls. This salad looks delicious and doesn’t require as much work to look lovely on a plate.


    1. Hi Bonnie, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one…sticky chins and arms were always a result when eating watermelon when young. The carved baskets are beautiful but the salad is certainly easier. I’m glad you like it and appreciate your nice compliment.

  5. Didi’s comment about ‘star-a-fied. recipe ‘ is so true.You have saved my day. It’s our 52nd wedding anniversary today, and due to unforeseen things which have happened today,, we are unable to keep our lunch reservation at our favorite restaurant ! So I searched the fridge to make lunch & we have half a watermelon,( which my daughter gave to us ) & I was wondering what I could do with this, so along with the Blue D’Auvrgne cheese & my usual store of walnuts & local honey given to me by a French neighbour I can make your delicious sounding salad. We will drink a Cote de Provence Rose wine with it and I’m sure it will be delicious., I would never have thought of eating it in that way. Now I’m searching in the garden as I know I have lemon mint somewhere which I can use in the dressing you suggest.
    Thank you so much Karen for helping me out of a dilemma and being able to make a lunch from such easy simple things from my fridge..

    1. Hi Barbara, First and foremost…Congratulations on your anniversary. I hope you and your husband have many more happy years together. I’m happy that my post was timely. I’m sure your salad will be extra special with you French Blue D’Auvrgne cheese. Enjoy your lunch celebration. 😀

  6. The salad looks very refreshing Karen. When I was a kid watermelon was always eaten by the slice in your hands and in a sitting position where it didn’t drip on you – the seeds were just spit out on the ground.

    1. Hi Larry, I’m glad you like the salad. My mama was a stickler for no spitting when I grew up…it was not considered ladylike. 😀

  7. This is definitely a bite of my Texas childhood. Well, the watermelon and pecans definitely. This makes just a little bit homesick. Do you remember black diamonds? Big, so dark green they were almost black, bright red on the inside with tons of juice and seeds. There was nothing better. Ah, those were the days.

    1. Hi Karen, Yes black diamonds are what we ate as well…so sweet and juicy but full of black seeds. We have so many of the same memories of our times growing up in Texas.

  8. Karen, what a wonderful summertime salad – great colors, wonderful components and a great recipe! Nothing, absolutely nothing beats great salad recipes like yours – love the addition of honey-spice pecans so much!
    Hope all is well – sending you “liebe Grüsse”,

    1. Thank you Andrea for your nice compliment and wish. We thought the honey spice pecans added so much flavor to this nice summer salad.

  9. I’ve mever learned the secret of picking a great watermelon and have been reduced to buying it by the slice in the grocery—expensive and often just as disappointing. But this salad looks so colorful and delicious. Perhaps the Farmer’s Market this week will have a good one.

    I thought of you this morning, and started to email you (about the little cupboard), but decided that might be too intrusive. Oh, it would be so much easier if you lived nearby. Hubby says to tell you Traverse City is one of the TOP 10 “foodie” destinations. Hint. Hint. Hint.

    Anyway, hope your summer is going well. We are STILL awaiting that first tomato!
    Have a wonderful day, Karen

    1. Hi Sue, Picking out a great watermelon can be tricky. I usually ask one of the produce guys for help but sometimes I wonder if they know anymore than I do. You are so cute…tell you husband that I was unaware about Traverse City being one of the top 10 foodie destinations. 😀 Wow, you really do have to have patience growing tomatoes in your area…especially since frosts could be in September some years.

  10. What a delightful salad – I am especially liking the lime-mint dressing! I also enjoyed how you did the survey of how watermelon was served over the years – what fun!

    1. Hi David, I’m glad to know that you like the salad and dressing. I think it is a nice combination of flavors. It was fun looking back at my memories of watermelon over the years…thank you!

    1. Hi B, You gave me a smile with your comment about a “mental to make file”. 😀 I’m happy to know that you like the watermelon salad…thank you!

  11. This salad is an intriguing–and yummy–combination of flavors! I am often surprised to see where watermelon pops up with delicious results! blue cheese is not the first thing that would come to mind, which makes me think of another interesting and delectable combo–not too long ago, when I was lamenting that I had little to put together for dinner, a friend saw my blue cheese and tomatoes which prompted her to tell me about one of her father’s favorite combos. Combine tomatoes, blue cheese, red onions, herbs, a little olive oil, maybe a dash of balsamic vinegar, and serve on top of pasta! it’s now one of my favorites! i have a feeling this salad will be a favorite!!

    1. Hi Susan, While the combination might not be what you would first think of, I believe you will love the flavor of this salad. 🙂 Thank you for your nice compliment.

  12. Watermelon and honey spiced pecans sound fabulous. I bet that’s a great flavor combo. We eat the wedges here too. 🙂 When I was a kid they were served in cubes though.

    1. Hi Kristy, I’m glad you like the recipe…it is a nice combination of flavors. I’m sure both Miss A and Mr N enjoy having watermelon each summer. 🙂

  13. I was just thinking about making a watermelon salad with mint and feta, since I have both on hand. Love the idea of the blue with the watermelon and never would have thought of it, but it sounds delicious…with the pecans, too, of course! I remember the days of the drunken vodka watermelon balls in the big carved watermelon “carcass”…which usually ended up on someone’s head! 🙂

    1. Hi Betsy, I believe you will enjoy this watermelon salad whether you use blue cheese or feta. Someone wearing the “watermelon carcass” on their head…that must have been some party. 😀

  14. I just finished cutting up a watermelon! I like to cut it into chunks of about an inch or so, and we store it in the refrigerator in a big plastic container. So it makes a nice breakfast or snack. Or with fun stuff added like in your recipe, a great salad. Great dish — I need to do this more. Particularly since, in season, we go through at least two watermelons a week! We love the stuff. 😉 Good post — thanks.

    1. Wow John, Two a week…you really do like watermelon! I do believe you would enjoy this salad. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m happy to know you enjoyed the post.

    1. Hi Jaleh, My goodness…it is surprising that you hadn’t had watermelon until recently. You are right about them being very refreshing. 🙂

  15. Absolutely beautiful and I bet all those flavours are fantastic together. When I was little we used to spend the summer in Italy at the beach with all the cousins and aunties. All the various families on the beach would bury their watermelons at the water’s edge and mark the spot with a little stick or flag so you knew which one was yours. After lunch the melon was dug up, by now all icy cold and sliced and enjoyed by all then we’d clean up the juices by jumping into the sea!

    1. Hi Tanya, I do think the flavors are a nice combination and very different from what I have had before. I like your memories and how you got rid of the sticky juices by jumping into the sea. 😀

    1. Hi Tamara, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I agree about salty flavors going well with watermelon. If I eat watermelon plain, I always sprinkle a little salt on it as I think it brings out the sweetness.

  16. This looks wonderful. I love honey lime vinaigrette with mint! I haven’t had watermelon with blue cheese yet, will have to try this sometime. We have a watermelon in the garden now…

    1. Thank you Gretchen, I’m glad you like the looks of the salad…we thought it was delicious. I’m sure your boys are excited to have a watermelon growing in your garden. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Sophie, I’m happy to know that you like the salad with the lime mint dressing. My husband and I really enjoyed it.

    1. Hi David, I hope you sunshine returns your way soon. I’m glad that you like the watermelon salad, we really enjoyed it. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  17. Karen, I love combination watermelon and mint – something came to me during my first visit to Chicago. This summer I have eat loads of it .. we had an extremely hot summer and out of nowhere the fall just hit today. Terrible storms and rains. Your salad brought back pleasant summer day. *smile

    1. Hi Viveka, I’m happy that my post about the watermelon salad brought back nice memories of your visit to Chicago. Hope good weather returns to your area soon.

      1. Karen, in a weeks time I hope the good weather will meet me in Chicago … we need rain, plenty of it.
        I hope you had a fantastic summer too – have a great weekend. *smile

      2. Karen, what happen with your lovely summer retreat ????
        I’m sure that in your lovely garden summer is fantastic too. *smile

      3. During your travels, you missed my post…we sold our cottage in Maine in June. That is also why we opened up our garden in New Hampshire this year…that is where all my seedling tomatoes were planted. The garden is doing very well…thank you!

      4. Karen, you have more than enough to do with your wonderful house and garden. I can understand you miss the cottage, but it’s also a constant worry to have a home on a distance, especially during stormy and rain falls and cold winters.
        I have to visit your world … this weekend.

      5. You are so right and with this past winter that had so much snow, we weren’t able to get to the cottage until the middle of May. As much as we miss going to Maine for the summer months, it was the right thing to do. We have many happy memories and that is what matters in life. 😀

      6. Karen, I can read that you are pleased with your decision and that I know you will find other things to do that will make up for the cottage, travel to different places instead and free from the responsibility and worries. And sometimes the summer isn’t long enough for really have the time to enjoy a retreat – so it’s the time and money worth it.
        Any new travelling plans????

      7. I know you’re going to Florida .. after Christmas.
        I have booked my trip to Hong Kong and Japan for April next year – and travel alone, a true adventure for 66 year old girl. *smile

  18. This is right at the top of my list to try as soon as my watermelons grow some more…we are so far behind it will be weeks if it doesn’t warm up soon. I may not be able to wait and put the watermelon on the shopping list.

    1. Hi Donna, I’m glad to know that you want to make the salad with a watermelon from your garden. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

    1. Hi Flippen, I’m sure you are looking forward to warm weather and summer salads. I’m glad you like the recipe for the watermelon salad.

  19. Oh Karen, does this sound wonderful! I love your description of watermelon throughout your life…and how it has evolved into this gorgeous salad. I am totally bookmarking this one…I know that it’s going to be a new favorite! ❤ Love.

    1. Thank you for your sweet compliment, Prudy. I’m happy that you enjoyed my memories of eating watermelon over the years. I hope you will like the salad as much as my husband and I did.

    1. Hi Uru, I know some people don’t like blue cheese but you can certainly use the one you enjoy best. The honey spiced pecans are really delicious.

  20. We didn’t have water melons when I grew up in Germany but oh how I loved them when I moved to the United States. I will make your beautiful salad this weekend. Thank you.

    1. Hi Gerlinde, Isn’t it fun to discover a new food. Thank you for your nice comment and I hope you will enjoy the watermelon salad when you make it this weekend. 🙂

  21. Karen, thanks for the watermelon memories. I remember those big long tables with newspapers. : Your salad looks so refreshing and summery.


    1. Hi Madonna, It is fun looking back at some of our food memories. I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one eating at newspaper lined tables. I appreciate you lovely compliment, I’m happy you like the salad.

  22. I remember carving a melon into a basket in the late 1980s and filling it with melon balls :). Fun watermelon post and one of the most tasty watermelon salads I’ve seen!

    1. Thank you Susan for your kind words, I’m happy that you like my watermelon salad and the memories of how watermelon has been served over the years. I can remember how beautifully carved some of the watermelon baskets were…true works of art. 🙂

  23. What a beautiful salad with such interesting twists!! The recipe will be on top of the pile of summer recipes for when watermelons of quality appear in the stores. It is somewhat different from any of the salads I have served: love the dressing and how the nuts are prepped. Unlike in the US, salads are not often served as appetizers here, but methinks this would make a very interesting first or last course 🙂 !

    1. Thank you Eha, I’m glad you like the salad. Since it is light and refreshing, I think it makes a nice first course or as you said…it could be a good last course as well.

  24. A great summer salad Karen, I love the variety of flavours in your version. We’ve been eating a lot of watermelon and sometimes by the end of it we run out of ideas so your recipe comes in good time.

  25. Perfect timing, Karen. I just bought a big watermelon that actually tastes like a watermelon. And your recipe looks delicious to make. I love using fruits in savory salads. As for no spiting… when I was little, one of the best part about eating watermelon is the seed spiting contest my brother, sisters and cousins would have. We would dig a hole in the dirt patch and see who can spit the most seeds into the hole. When game over, we covered the hole back up and sometimes the seeds would germinate. 😀

    1. Hi Emily, I’m happy to know that my timing was good with my post for watermelon salad. It sounds like you did have a lot of fun with you family when it came to eating watermelon and the contest of spitting the seeds. 😀

    1. Hi Charlie, I know what you mean about not having as big of an appetite when it is hot. This is a refreshing salad…I hope you will enjoy it and appreciate your nice compliment.

  26. THis is just scrumptious, Karen. My “history” with watermelon is very much like what you describe growing up and as we moved through parties and social events and the various ways to present watermelon in a unique style, over time they became a bit “tired.” This recipe has such a current presentation and is very appealing to me. The lime and mint vinaigrette is really special. I think I’ll be looking for other salads that I can dress with it. I happen to have a lot of watermelon at the moment…great timing to try something entirely new. 🙂

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment, Debra. I’m glad to know that you could relate to this post and how eating watermelon has changed over the years. I think the vinaigrette would be great on a lot of dishes…both savory and sweet. I’m happy that my timing was good with the recipe. 😀

      1. I’m glad you tried the frittata and really appreciate your taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed it. Thank you! 😀

    1. I appreciate you kind words, Conor. I’m happy to know that you like the salad. I thought the crunchy nuts was a nice contrast to the soft melon.

  27. What a pretty salad and I love your plate. I was only introduced to watermelon salad and it was with feta cheese not blue cheese. I love blue cheese and so you have challenged me to be more creative with my watermelon salads. We are in the depths of winter at the moment and I can’t wait for the seasons to change so we can be bar-be-cueing and enjoying salads again xx

    1. Thank you Charlie, for your nice compliment. I’m happy you like the salad…we thought the blue cheese paired perfectly with the melon. I know you are looking forward to warm weather. The plate is one from my collection of antique opalescent hobnail plates…I’m glad you like it.

    1. Hi Smidge, I’m happy that you like the recipe…I hope your family will enjoy the salad as much as my husband and I did. This has certainly been a strange summer…cooler than normal here in New Hampshire.

    1. Thank you Didi, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you like the combination of flavors in the salad. My husband and I loved this salad.

  28. you are so right! This is not how i grew up eating watermelon in Louisianan and now in texas. However, it looks just as appealing! I love how it brings a level of freshness and sweetness to a standard idea of a salad! Looks great

    1. Hi Jessica, This salad is definitely a departure on how I grew up eating watermelon and how you must have as well. Thank you for your lovely compliment, I’m glad you like the watermelon salad.

  29. I love your “Watermelon Evolution.” I’ve experienced the exact same thing – although there were some brief sojourns when the Italian relatives would come visit, and we’d enjoy Gelo di melone – a watermelon pudding made with cornstarch; theis dessert is a staple in SIcily in the summer. But I too remember “stepping up ” to watermelon balls and then on to drunken watermelon. Now I enjoy it with cheese too, and I have to say that your dressing sounds perfect. Well done!

    1. Hi Adri, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and I appreciate your sharing how you enjoyed watermelon growing up. Thank you for your lovely compliment. 🙂

    1. Hi Darryl, I don’t know about genteel…maybe strict about manners would be more like it. If you make my salad and there is a seed, you’ve got my permission to spit but only if you are outside. 😀

    1. Hi Raymund, When watermelon season arrives, I hope you give the salad a try. My husband and I thought it was a refreshing dish and ever so flavorful. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I’m happy to know that you like the salad. We thought it was a great dish…full of flavor and yet light and refreshing for summer. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  30. What a beautiful salad – I love the idea and think it would be great for a party I’ll be having. I remembered each of your variations of watermelon and wonder – do you think it was that the ideas for eating watermelon changed or as we got older, we just needed a less messy way of eating it? I can still feel all that sticky watermelon juice running down my arms and as I recall my mother used to take my shirt off – messy eater.

    1. Hi Diane, My husband and I really liked the flavor and texture combination in this salad. Hopefully you and your dinner guests will enjoy it as much as we did. Good question about the changes, I thing it was probably a little of both. 🙂

    1. Hi Cathy, This has been a strange year weather wise, we have been cooler than normal with only a couple of days over 90. I’m like you and love sweet watermelon when it is in season.

  31. Never tried this combination with watermelon Karen and for the first time for as long as I can remember – I have a watermelon in the (rather large) fruit bowl – it’s a sign! Great stuff.

    1. Hi Katerina, I believe you would enjoy the salad. Of course it would also be good prepared with some of your delicious Greek feta cheese. 🙂

    1. Thank you Denise, I’m glad you like the salad. You are right…growing up on a ranch in Texas with lots of pecan trees, it was the go to nut in all recipes. During the summer, there were pickup trucks along the side of the roads loaded with watermelons to sell to all that passed by. 😀

  32. Oh Karen, this is such a pretty and tasty salad…I love the idea of watermelon…and mint…perfect for summer.
    Thanks for the inspiration dear…hope you are having a great week 😀

    1. Thank you Juliana, for your nice compliment and wish. I’m happy to know that you like the flavor combination…I think it is a nice summer salad.

  33. What a delicious and refreshing salad, Karen. I would love this. 🙂 I’m excited that it’s starting to feel like Spring here at last. That means watermelon season is only a few months away!!!

  34. This is such a timely post. My coworker and I were just reminiscing about how salads have changed from the days our parents were serving them. In those days a salad contained strictly vegetables, and often more iceberg lettuce than anything else. They would never have thought to combine a fruit like watermelon with cheese and greens.

  35. This looks like an interesting variation of the classic recipe from Greece – watermelon, red onion,feta, and olives.I love the combination of sweet and salty.

    Our CSA shipment had a nice organic watermelon this week so I see a salad in my future. 🙂

  36. What a fabulous combination. I have paired watermelon with feta so I can just imagine how beautifully it would work with blue cheese!

    1. Hi Afra, It appears watermelon salad with feta is very popular. I believe that you will enjoy the flavor that the blue cheese and honey spiced pecans add to this flavorful salad. I appreciate you nice compliment…thank you!

  37. Quite an exceptional salad! With the end of summer fast approaching and melons at peak harvest time this scrumptious recipe could arrive at a better time1

  38. This looks beautiful and since we just had a watermelon fesitval last weekend – our stores and farm markets are full of the juicy ripe treat – I have pecans leftover from last year’s crop so I am going to pick up some bleu cheese and make this for dinner tonight………..it’s so hot that a nice salad will be welcome!

  39. What a terrific summer salad! Truthfully, I’d rather eat my watermelon like this…in a yummy salad with blue cheese and pecans, than straight up 🙂

    1. Hi Liz, I’m glad you like the salad, thank you! As much as I like plain watermelon, I definitely think this is a way better way of enjoying it. 😀

  40. Happy Labor Day weekend, Karen. We were just grocery shopping and saw a woman toting three large watermelon out of the store. Perhaps she read your blog and aimed to make this salad for her holiday crowd? It does sound delicious!

    1. Hi Kathy, Your comment gave me a real chuckle. Three watermelons would make a huge salad and definitely feed a crowd. 😀 I’m glad you like the recipe but you don’t even need whole watermelon to enjoy this salad.

    1. Hi Terra, I do think you would enjoy a watermelon salad. I’m happy to know that you like the flavor combination in my salad, my husband and I thought it was great. Thank you!

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