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Watermelon Salsa

We could skip the chips and just eat this by the spoonful!

Well, it’s that time of year (finally) – time to pull out some of our favorite summer staples: watermelon and salsa. Pretty much every gathering includes one or both of these served on a picnic table or at a barbecue. I really enjoy making my own salsa; it’s pretty easy to do and I can control the ingredients. Besides, salsa is always better when made from scratch – you can’t beat how fresh it tastes. And a watermelon speaks for itself. That cool, juicy bite is what defines summer vacation. I got a crazy idea recently and decided to shake up my salsa routine and try something new – the end result is close to salsa nirvana.

Instead of using diced tomatoes, for this salsa recipe I went with diced watermelon – yes! – diced watermelon. Then I added my usual salsa ingredients, like red onion, bell pepper, cucumbers, and cilantro. And a pop of heat comes from diced jalapeño – but if kids are involved, you might want to skip the heat. I tossed them all together with a little salt and pepper and bada-bing-bada-boom! A cool and crisp salsa filled the bowl and was ready for dipping. Salted watermelon is actually quite good, so it really paired with the seasonings and peppery red onion. And since it’s not overly sweet, watermelon really does satisfy that tomato feeling but without all the acidity.

With the right combination of flavors, this salsa becomes just the taste of summer that we all needed. I could just grab a spoon and eat this straight from the bowl! But a side of tortilla or pita chips will also do the trick, adding even more crunch to the flavor experience. Serve this up at those big summer gatherings, pack along for a picnic, or just have some waiting for you in the refrigerator. Definitely plan on making a double batch, because this is one dip that is guaranteed to make a splash!

Serves 3 cups

15 minutes

  • 1 cup watermelon, diced
  • 1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
  • 5 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • ½ medium red onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients (except salt and pepper) in a separate bowl.
  2. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to combine flavors.
  3. Serve in a separate bowl OR use carved watermelon as serving dish.

Recipe adapted from The Gunny Sack

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