This study investigated the associations between land cover changes and evapotranspiration (ET) in the Yellow River Delta during the last 30 years using Landsat imagery. The result showed that the Delta region experienced a distinct increase in area due to sea–land interaction and sediment deposition, accompanied by substantial change in land cover fractions. From 1986 to 2015, 35.48% of land cover changed, mainly due to a transformation into salterns and culture ponds from other land cover types. In general, land cover was converted from less developed into highly developed types. The monowindow algorithm for retrieval of land surface temperature (LST) and the SEBAL model were used to explore the effects of land cover changes on regional ET. The results indicated that the average relative error of daily ET was 9.46%, and there was a significant linear correlation (, ) between ET and LST. Relationships existed between LST, ET, fractional vegetation cover, and other relevant vegetation indices, and there were positive and negative correlations between different threshold ranges. During the study period, the transformation of large areas of different land cover types into salterns and culture ponds led to an average increase of 1.43 mm in daily ET.