Spicy Watermelon Salad

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What’s more refreshing than fresh watermelon? Very little in our book. Add in the bright, grassy bite of jalapeño and you have a summer-time salad that’s sure to turn heads. This is one of those fruit salads that goes beyond the “light summer salad” category. It’s perfect as an appetizer, as a light lunch, or even as a dessert. It crosses all mealtime boundaries.

Spicy Watermelon Salad
Spicy watermelon salad, chock full of flavor and color

Jalapeños have a low-medium spiciness (2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units), so it’s more than a simmer, but not so hot as many chilies. It’s a hot pepper most can enjoy. Though, you do have a few options for controlling the heat in your spicy watermelon salad.

First, simply cut back on the amount (or add more of) of the chili pepper used. While this will obviously work, you lose some of that “green” that works so well with the red watermelon aesthetically. You could also prep and serve the salad immediately, instead of refrigerating it for hours first. The longer you let the salad sit, the more the jalapeño’s spiciness will permeate the entire salad. Toss it well before serving. It’ll taste spicier, especially because watermelon is so porous.

Lastly, opting for a different hot pepper altogether is an option. Green serrano peppers have a similar grassy flavor, but they are often twice as hot as jalapeños. If you want to go milder, either poblanos (1,000 to 1,500 SHU) or Anaheim chilies (500 to 2,500 SHU) can work here, though there are some flavor differences. Poblanos are much earthier in flavor and Anaheims have a bit of sweetness to go along with earthiness in taste.

See it being made:

Like this salad? You’ll like these too:

  • Spicy Mango Avocado Salad: Here’s another fruit salad that eats like a meal. Mango and avocado pair up with habaneros and ginger (in the dressing.)
  • Smoky Chipotle Potato Salad: One of our favorite sides for BBQ or frilled steaks. The smokiness is delicious.
  • Spicy Beef Taco Salad: It’s a beloved staple fiery salad. We use jalapeño and hot sauce (of your choice) to bring the heat.
Spicy Watermelon Salad

Spicy Watermelon Salad

A tasty fruit salad that can eat like a light meal
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 4 servings
Calories 140 kcal


  • 6 cups watermelon cubed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeds removed, cut lengthwise, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red onion diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes optional
  • Salt to taste


  • Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and refrigerate.


Adapted from Shoot What You Eat


Calories: 140kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 5mgPotassium: 320mgFiber: 2gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 1403IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Jalapeno Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on July 19, 2023 to include new content.
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