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Watermelon and tajin salad with feta and mint

The festive season in Australia (also known as: hot Christmas) is never complete without a watermelon salad. We have had them every Christmas for as long as I can remember. They are the perfect combination of sweet, salty and refreshing that couldn’t be more at home on a festive summer table. I wanted to put my own spin on the dish this year, so I came up with this watermelon and tajin salad with feta and mint.

Before we begin: this is not a low FODMAP salad. At all, really. It’s a fun, festive salad. I mostly post low FODMAP recipes, but I do like to post the occasional regular recipe too. If you’re looking for a low FODMAP summer salad, see my cucumber and tajin salad. It’s essentially the same thing, minus the watermelon.

An aerial sunlit image of the ingredients for a watermelon and tajin salad casually arranged on a white marble table. The sliced watermelon sits in the centre, surrounded by cucumber, feta, tajin, mint, jalapeno slices and lime zest.

Watermelon and tajin salad with feta and mint

This watermelon salad has it all. Freshness and sweetness from the watermelon, texture from the cucumber. Saltiness from the feta, vibrancy from the mint. And last but not least: flavour galore from the lime zest and the tajin.

The salad is a simple and refreshing summer salad that is ready in 10 minutes. No cooking and no complications. It is as at home on the Christmas table as it is at the beach.

An aerial macro image of a watermelon and tajin salad with feta, cucumber, jalapeno slices, mint and lime zest

What is tajin?

Tajin is a Mexican seasoning made up of smoky but mild chilli flakes, salt and dehydrated lime. It is a simple but incredible seasoning that works in so many different applications.

Tajin tastes smoky, sour and salty all in one. It is a flavour I have never had anywhere else. Tajin isn’t overly spicy – it is more about the complexity of flavour as opposed to adding lots of heat.

Beyond this watermelon and tajin salad, the seasoning has so many uses. I love using tajin to bake crispy chickpeas, because it adds tang without liquid (for a crispier end result). Of course, it is also excellent as a margarita rim.

Tajin can be used in guacamole, in marinades, on popcorn or on fresh fruit. Honestly, you can use it anywhere. It’s well worth sourcing!

A brightly lit aerial image of a watermelon salad with tajin, cucumber, feta and mint atop a white ceramic serving plate on a rustic rose coloured backdrop

Where can I buy tajin in Australia?

Tajin was everywhere when I visited the United States last year, but it’s not as common in Australia. Luckily, it seems that you can now buy tajin from Woolworths. If it’s not available in your local woolies, I would recommend trying IGA or smaller boutique grocers. It is becoming more common in Melbourne, but you can also easily buy it online if you don’t have easy access to a wide variety of shops.

A brightly lit aerial image of a watermelon salad with tajin, cucumber, mint, feta and jalapenos. The salad sits on a white ceramic plate atop a pale pink linen backdrop.

Recipe notes for your watermelon and tajin salad

The most important thing to remember when making watermelon salad is that it will ‘leak’ quickly and easily. Watermelon is high in liquid, as is cucumber. Salt draws out liquid from produce, so adding your tajin too early is a surefire way to create a soggy salad.

If you add the dressing, there is even more liquid in the equation.

With that in mind, I highly recommend you assemble the salad immediately prior to eating it. If you’re taking it somewhere, assemble the components once you arrive. If you really insist on taking it assembled, leave the tajin and dressing off until the absolute last minute.

On the note of dietaries, this salad is not low FODMAP as we have previously discussed. See my cucumber and tajin salad for a low FODMAP alternative. I have flavoured it so it tastes a little like watermelon, so you’re not missing out.

An aerial image of a plate of watermelon tajin salad on a light green linen tablecloth. The salad is surrounded by glasses of water, extra mint and limes.

More salad recipes

An aerial image of a plate of watermelon tajin salad on a light green linen tablecloth. The salad is surrounded by glasses of water, extra mint and limes.

Watermelon tajin salad

Serves 4-6 as a side
*Tablespoons are in Australian tablespoons. Use ml for international accuracy.
1 Australian tablespoon = 4 American, Canadian and New Zealand teaspoons.
1 Australian tablespoon = 3 1/2 British teaspoons
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Australian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

For the salad:

  • 750 g watermelon cubed (weighed after removing the skin)
  • 250-300 g cucumbers peeled or unpeeled
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2-3 teaspoons tajin seasoning
  • 1/2 – 1 bunch of mint chopped or whole
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeno finely sliced (optional)
  • 200 g Greek feta cubed or crumbled

For the dressing:

  • 20-40 ml (1-2 tablespoons)* lime juice
  • 20-40 ml (1-2 tablespoons)* maple syrup

Instructions
 

  • Add the cubed watermelon and chopped cucumber to your serving platter. Evenly sprinkle over the lime zest and tajin, then very gently toss to evenly combine.
  • Add the mint, optional jalapeno and toss, then finish with the feta.
  • If you’re using it, drizzle over the dressing immediately prior to serving. Best eaten immediately and on the same day.

Notes

  • Watermelon salad naturally emits a lot of liquid. The salt in the tajin will also draw out liquid from the watermelon and the cucumber. For best results, assemble the salad immediately prior to eating.
  • If you need to pre-prepare, I recommend assembling all the ingredients separately and combining them just prior to eating. Watermelon is best uncut until serving.
  • If you need to bring the salad assembled, I recommend leaving off the tajin, lime zest and optional dressing until the last minute.
  • If you combine the tajin with the dressing, use 2 teaspoons of tajin and add extra to taste. 
  • Tajin is a combination of smoky but mild chilli flakes, salt and dehydrated lime. It adds a delicious tangy and smoky flavour to the salad and I highly recommend sourcing some. These days it is readily available at specialty grocers or online. It is also a great replacement for a traditional margarita glass salt rim, just saying.
  • If you don’t want to use tajin, season the salad to taste.
Keyword tajin, Watermelon feta salad, Watermelon tajin salad
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