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Sweet + Savory Watermelon Salad with BBQ Chicken

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Gluten Free
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Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

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Why we love it:

We almost just wrote the recipe for only the watermelon salad. If you’re someone who likes things like kettle corn, sea salt on chocolate, or teriyaki sauce, you’ll love this sweet and savory watermelon salad. Also file this under fantastic summer potluck recipes.


  • 114 pounds Whole Chicken Leg
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 cup BBQ Sauce
  • 12 pound Zucchini
  • 12 Watermelon (small “personal” watermelon - you want about 4 - 5 cups diced)
  • 1 English Cucumber
  • 1 cup Green Olives, Pitted
  • 1 Tablespoon Capers
  • 6 ounces Feta Cheese
  • 12 cup Mint Leaves (or parsley, basil, or a combination)
  • 14 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

Cooking Instructions

  • 2. CHICKEN

    Season the chicken with salt on all sides and place on a baking sheet. Roast (or BBQ) for about 6 minutes, then slide out and add the BBQ sauce. Slice the zucchini into large 3” chunks and add to the pan with sauce too. Return to the oven and roast for another 8 - 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Stir occasionally so the sauce doesn't burn.


    Dice watermelon into cubes and add to a large bowl.

  • 4. SALAD

    Dice the cucumber. Slice the olives. Drain the capers. Add all to the watermelon. Add the feta, crumbling it as you go. Tear or chop the herbs and add that in too.

    In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and red wine vinegar. Pour over the watermelon mix, and gently toss to combine.

  • 5. SERVING

    Serve the chicken and zucchini with a big hearty side of watermelon salad.

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    omit the feta
    any type of chicken is ok, cook accordingly
  • BBQ:
    omit the sauce if you dislike it and use lemon and herbs
    cantaloupe is also good and a combination of the two is gorgeous
    add sweet cherry tomatoes
    omit or only select one of them
  • FETA:
    anything salty and crumbly could work
    add diced avocado

Kid Friendly Version

Big Kids Plate
Toddler Plate

How to Tweak This Recipe for Kids:

  • Deconstruction is probably the way to go for most kids. Watermelon, olives, cucumbers, cheese are all usually accepted but stirring them together might be too much
  • Add cauliflower or corn, etc., instead of zucchini so there’s something they already like
  • Add some pasta if you have it leftover, or rice or another grain

For Toddlers

  • Slice up the pieces smaller, or give a large chunk of watermelon that isn’t a choking hazard
  • Add some mild cheese or yogurt instead of feta

For Choosy Eaters

  • Roast some chicken without BBQ sauce or use a chicken breast if that’s preferred
  • Serve with watermelon, cucumbers, and perhaps roast another vegetable they will try
  • Add pasta, rice, or bread if needed to full out the plate

Prep Ahead & Use It Up

  1. The chicken can be cooked and reheated
  2. Whisk together the dressing for the salad
  3. You can dice the watermelon up to 3 days ahead
  4. Use the rest of the watermelon for snacking, or freeze it for smoothies later
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