Watermelon salsa is a fun way to use this juicy melon! Combine it with lime, jalapeño, and cilantro for a zingy dip or sauce.

Watermelon Salsa

Got melon? Here’s a fun way to use it: in watermelon salsa! Throw cubes of this juicy summer fruit together with lime, jalapeño, and cilantro, and it’s an unexpected spin on the classic Mexican dip. Spoon in mouthfuls with tortilla chips, or it’s great for serving with grilled fish, chicken or tacos. It’s perfect for parties, and this bowl always disappears very quickly at our house!

Ingredients in watermelon salsa

Salsa simply means “sauce” in Spanish, and refers to a wide variety of sauces in Mexican cuisine that can be made with or without tomatoes. The most popular salsa is with red tomatoes, but there dozens of popular variations like corn salsa, peach salsa, mango salsa, and more.

This watermelon salsa uses the same concept as a fresh tomato salsa but uses cubed watermelon instead! We like cutting the cubes pretty small to make it an integrated texture, but you can also leave them in bigger cubes for a larger, chunky look. The ingredients for watermelon salsa are:

  • Ripe watermelon
  • Tomato
  • Red onion
  • Jalapeño pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Lime juice
  • Granulated sugar
  • Salt
How to Cut a Watermelon

Best way to cut a watermelon into cubes

Often we used to feel daunted when making watermelon recipes because this melon is notoriously tricky to cut. But here’s a method for how to cut a watermelon that makes it quick, simple and painless:

  1. Cut in half through the middle. Use a large Chef’s knife to slice the watermelon in half through the middle (not lengthwise).
  2. Cut into slices. Flip the half over onto the flat base, then cut it into slices.
  3. Slice of the rinds with a paring knife. Switch to using a small paring knife (using a smaller knife gives you more control). Slice off the rind of each slice.
  4. Cut a grid pattern to make cubes. Switch back to the Chef’s knife. Make a grid pattern to cut the watermelon into cubes.
Watermelon salsa

Tips for making watermelon salsa

Watermelon salsa is like any fresh salsa: the only time consuming part is chopping all the fruits and vegetables! But there are a few things to note about adjusting the flavors. Here are a few notes on the method:

  • Adjust the heat level to taste. This watermelon salsa recipe comes out mild since we’ve called for removing the jalapeño seeds. But if you like spicy salsas, use some of the seeds: or you can even use the entire pepper.
  • Add sugar or salt to taste. Depending on the ripeness of your melon, you may want to add additional sugar to the salsa. It also may need a pinch or two more salt: make sure to taste and adjust as necessary!

Storage info

This watermelon salsa tastes best the day it is made. However, it stores up to 2 days refrigerated. It will gather liquid during refrigeration so you may need to drain or use a slotted spoon for serving. We prefer eating it day of, though: with lots of extra tortilla chips!

Watermelon salsa recipe

How to serve it

The best way to serve watermelon salsa? Add a big bag of tortilla chips and you’re in business! It also works great with plantain chips or your favorite dipper of choice. But don’t stop there: it’s a zingy sauce to serve with grilled fish and more. Here are some ideas for serving:

More watermelon recipes

When it’s watermelon season, you’ve got to take advantage! Here are a few watermelon recipes to try:

This watermelon salsa recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Watermelon Salsa

Watermelon Salsa

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


Watermelon salsa is a fun way to use this juicy melon! Combine it with lime, jalapeno, and cilantro for a zingy dip or sauce.


  • 2 cups finely diced fresh ripe watermelon
  • ½ cup diced tomato (optional)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced and seeds remove
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar (optional or more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. Prepare the watermelon, tomato, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro as listed above.
  2. In a bowl, mix all ingredients gently together with the lime juice, sugar and salt. Serve immediately or wait 5 minutes to let the flavors meld. Taste and add more sugar or salt to adjust the flavor as desired. Serve with chips or with grilled fish, shrimp or chicken, using a slotted spoon to drain juices before serving. Tastes best the day it is made, but it stores up to 2 days refrigerated (it will gather liquid during refrigeration so you may need to drain or use a slotted spoon for serving). 
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Watermelon salsa

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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1 Comment

  1. nice use of watermelon, I’m getting tired of slices of watermelon, as a salsa, much better and especially with jalapeno, good thinking! and thank you