A recipe for Cantaloupe Arugula Salad! Balls of cantaloupe are lightly tossed with fresh mozzarella, herbs, arugula, prosciutto, and red onion for a light and refreshing summer salad.
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Here is a wonderful way to turn a ripe cantaloupe into a light and flavor-packed salad perfect for summer! Best of all, everything comes together with very little prep. The longest time is simply waiting for the red onions to soak before tossing with the rest of the ingredients.
A small/medium cantaloupe is balled or cubed, then tossed with red onion, fresh mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto, basil, and mint. To finish, lightly coat with an olive oil red wine vinegar dressing.
This Cantaloupe Arugula Salad is best immediately after preparing, but can be refrigerated for up to a day (keep the dressing separate). Serve as a side or for a light lunch.
A Few Tips
Adjust the ratio of ingredients as desired depending on personal taste.
Soaking the thinly sliced red onion in lemon juice is optional, but it helps take away some of the bite and adds a boost of citrus flavor throughout the salad:
- The thinly sliced red onions are combined in a non-reactive bowl with lemon juice, zest, and a pinch of salt. Allow to sit at room temperature, stirring every 5-10 minutes to make sure all the onions come in contact with the juice. I usually soak them for at least 15-30 minutes. If not using after 30 minutes, refrigerate until needed.
I used a melon baller (Amazon Link) to form balls of cantaloupe for the salad. If you do not have one, cut the cantaloupe into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
To make the fresh mozzarella similar in size to the cantaloupe, I used Ciliegine (cherry-shaped) mozzarella balls. If unavailable, swap for a larger-sized fresh mozzarella and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
Avoiding meat or pork? Simply omit the prosciutto.
If the honey is too thick to drizzle, microwave briefly until barely runny. This will help blend it into the dressing.
Looking for more recipes with melon?
- Karpouzi me Feta (Greek Watermelon with Feta)
- Melon sa Malamig (Filipino Cantaloupe Drink)
- Iced Watermelon Matcha
This recipe was originally posted July 2013 and updated July 2021.
Cantaloupe Arugula Salad
Adapted from The Kitchn
Cantaloupe Arugula Salad
- 1/2 small red onion thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) fresh lemon juice
- Zest from 1 lemon
- Pinch salt
- 3 tablespoons (44 milliliters) olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 milliliters) red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 small/medium cantaloupe about 2.5 pounds, 1 kilogram
- 8 ounces (227 grams) fresh mozzarella balls Ciliegine if available
- 5 ounces (142 grams) arugula
- 3 ounces (85 grams) prosciutto
- 3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
To prepare the red onions:
- In a small non-reactive bowl, toss the thinly sliced red onion with the 1/3 cup (80 ml) lemon juice, lemon zest, and a pinch of salt. Allow to sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
To assemble the salad:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Cut the cantaloupe in half, then scoop out and discard the seeds. Use a melon baller to create bite-sized balls of cantaloupe or cut the melon into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
- If Ciliegine (cherry-size) mozzarella balls are unavailable, cut the fresh mozzarella into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
- In a large bowl, add the cantaloupe and mozzarella pieces with the arugula.
- Gently shred the prosciutto into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl.
- Remove the soaked red onions from the juice and add to the bowl along with the dressing, tossing lightly to combine.
- Serve the Cantaloupe Arugula Salad immediately topepd with the fresh mint and basil leaves.