Watermelon Basil Salad with Mozzarella + Balsamic Glaze

This mouthwatering gluten-free watermelon salad is the ultimate summer side dish. It’s light, refreshing, sweet, flavorful, and a total winner among kids and adults. Easy substitutions like honey instead of maple syrup and mint instead of basil offers a simple, customizable recipe that turns out just as delicious either way it’s prepared. Another bonus: this dish is free of soy, grains, refined sugars, & refined oils!

Watermelon Basil Salad with Mozzarella + Balsamic Glaze

Not a fan of mozzarella? A great substitute is full-fat feta cheese. I actually prefer feta cheese because it’s a bit saltier than mozzarella which pairs nicely with the sweet watermelon. I’m a sweet + salty combo kinda chick. I live for it. One of my kiddos doesn’t love feta so, being the mom who will likely stick to things I know my kids like, decided to use mozzarella instead. It actually is quite tasty with the watermelon and balsamic glaze! I have seen blue cheese served with watermelon as well. Blue cheese packs on tons of flavor so if you use it, add sparingly and cut back a bit on the glaze.

Watermelon Basil Salad with Mozzarella + Balsamic Glaze
Watermelon Basil Salad with Mozzarella + Balsamic Glaze

Watermelon Salad with Mozzarella + Balsamic Glaze

 

Serves 4-6

 

Ingredients

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 medium-sized seedless watermelon (about 5-6 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (see notes)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (see notes)
  • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, cubed (see notes)(or pre-made mozzarella balls) [see notes]

 

Method

  1. Add the balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar to a medium saucepan set on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to medium, letting the mixture simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until it thickens to syrup consistency. Stir often to prevent burning. Let glaze cool while to prepare the remainder of recipe (it will thicken more while cooling).
  3. Cut the watermelon in half and, preferably using a melon baller scoop, add about 4 cups of small watermelon balls in a large bowl (If you don’t have a melon baller simply cut into bit-sized pieces).
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, and maple syrup. Pour over watermelon.
  5. To the large bowl of watermelon, toss in the basil and mozzarella until mixed well.
  6. Drizzle salad with as much balsamic glaze as desired (I used about 2 tablespoons) and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

 

Notes

  • Honey can also be used in place of maple syrup.
  • I LOVE basil. Therefor, I used quite a bit. Adjust the amount to desired taste – it’s just as refreshing without basil as well. I have heard mint leaves are also a yummy addition to this recipe instead of using basil.
  • I found a 6oz. package of pre-made organic mozzarella balls that was super convenient to use and saved a bit of time during prep.
Watermelon Basil Salad with Mozzarella + Balsamic Glaze
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