Watermelon Salsa

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“WOW!” everyone at your next outing with this sweet & spicy twist on classic salsa using the season’s favorite ingredient, watermelon! The only effort required is some dicing and chopping, making it an easy, healthy, “RELAXED” summer starter.

Watermelon – the ultimate summer fruit! Sweet, juicy, refreshing, and (a huge plus) low calorie and low carb. At around 90% water, watermelon helps us stay hydrated and keeps the calorie count down. Its natural sugars will satisfy a sweet tooth, while it’s low enough in carbs to be included in keto-eating plans. Watermelon also packs solid nutrition, filled with vitamins and lycopene – an antioxidant that reduces some cancer risks. It’s also fun to eat! You can’t eat watermelon without smiling. However, just like strawberries, finding ways to serve this delicious seasonal treat can be challenging. No worries! Use finely diced watermelon in place of tomatoes to make a delightful, light, and flavor-packed salsa.

diced watermelon in a bowl
Finely dice fresh watermelon replaces the tomatoes in this summer salsa

Depending on what you have in your refrigerator, you can make this salsa as simple or complex as you want. It requires just a little dicing and chopping (no cooking) and can be ready to serve in about 10 minutes. It is a perfect appetizer or side dish for the beginner cook, young cook, or non-cook. It truly will impress, with no stress!

image of ingredients
Fresh ingredients

The primary ingredients for this summer salsa include watermelon, a jalapeno pepper, fresh cilantro, red onion, lime, and salt for seasoning. The watermelon is the foundation to which the other ingredients provide flavor and flare. A Jalapeno pepper is perfect for this mild salsa. When seeded and minced (finely chopped), jalapenos have just the right amount of heat without being overpowering. Feel free, however, to use a spicier pepper. If you’re looking for a little more heat, I would recommend using a serrano pepper. Serrano peppers have a clean, bright flavor and pack a surprising kick without being scorching hot. Fresh cilantro gives the salsa bright color and taste that dried cilantro can’t duplicate. But, if fresh isn’t an option, use 1.5 tablespoons of dried cilantro. While it won’t be the same, it will still be good. Red onion is both colorful and has a slightly milder flavor. In a pinch, substitute yellow, white or green onion. Like cilantro, when it comes to limes, fresh is way better. Using a fresh lime means fresh-tasting juice, and the zest wakes up the other flavors. If bottled lime juice is your only option, so be it. There is no substitute for the zest; if you don’t have a lime, there won’t be any zest. No worries, it’s salsa, it will be fine.

cucumber, mint and basil
Optional ingredients include cucumber, fresh mint and fresh basil

Optional add-in ingredients include cucumber, fresh mint, and fresh basil. I used them all. The cucumber, like the watermelon, gets finely diced and the mint and basil chopped.

image of prepped ingredients
No cooking required! Just dice, chop, mince, squeeze and zest!

Mix together the prepped ingredients, and you’re ready to rock & roll. That’s it; you did it – you’ve made a delicious, fresh summer salsa! Please take my advice and make a lot!!! This salsa is so good it will get gobbled up in no time at all. Tortilla chips or pita crackers are traditional scoopers for salsa.

combined ingredients in a bowl
Combine the prepped ingredients and you’re done!

If you’re eating healthy, I recommend serving the salsa with jicama slices. Jicama is keto-friendly and a vegan option. If you’re not familiar with jicama, its flesh is juicy and crunchy, with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. Some think it tastes like a cross between a potato and a pear. Others compare it to a water chestnut. Watermelon Salsa is also great served over grilled chicken, fish, or tacos. Enjoy!

Watermelon Salsa

Recipe by Jane BruceCourse: Appetizers, SidesCuisine: Mexican Influence, Keto-FriendlyDifficulty: Easy


Prep time



Enjoy a sweet & spicy twist on traditional salsa using the summer’s favorite ingredient, watermelon! Make in 10 minutes. Perfect for beginner cooks, young cooks and, non-cooks!


  • 3 cups finely diced seedless watermelon

  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/4 cup finely minced red onion

  • 1 lime zest and juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Optional: ¼ cup chopped mint leaves, cucumber diced, minced basil


  • Prep: Finely dice the watermelon. Seed and mince the pepper. Chop the cilantro. Mince the onion. Zest and juice the lime. Chop, mince or dice additional optional ingredients.
  • In a medium bowl, toss watermelon, jalapeno, cilantro, and onion with lime juice. Season with salt. Serve at room temperature (or chilled) with tortilla chips, pita crackers, slices of jicama, or on top of grilled chicken, salmon, or tacos.


  • Jalapeno: For less heat, substitute bell peppers or mini sweet pepper. Add a red chili pepper or a few drops of hot sauce. for more heat
  • Red Onion: substitute white, yellow, or green onion
  • Zhoosh it: Serve in a hollowed-out watermelon bowl for a spectacular presentation.

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