Jalapeño and Watermelon Salad with Chili Lime Sugar

Juicy and sweet watermelon paired with spicy jalapeños and chili lime sugar is such an unexpected but delicious combination. I love playing around with sweet and savory flavor combinations to see what I can come up with and this time was no disappointment.

Something about the cool freshness of the watermelon compliments the spicyness of the jalapeño so well. This seriously becomes one of those snacks that gets addicting because it’s hitting all the right flavor notes on your tongue.

The next best thing about this recipe (second only to flavor) is how ridiculously simple it is. Can you chop? Can you stir? Okay good, that’s all you need to know.

Let me show you how easy it is!

First, I combined the sugar, chili powder, and lime zest in a small mixing bowl and stirred it together until it looked like it was fully combined. If you’re going for a more savory flavor, you can definitely replace the sugar with sea salt. I would go a little lighter when sprinkling it on top of you’re using salt though, because it can quickly become too overpowering.

Next, I added some cubed watermelon to a large mixing bowl. To that, I added 1 finely chopped jalapeño, 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro, and 2 tsps of the chili lime sugar I made earlier, and the juice of 1 lime. You really want to be sure to take the ribs and the seeds out of the jalapeño before you add it into the salad. Unless you’re big on spice, which in that case, go crazy!

Cubed watermelon is really easy to achieve. Basically you cut off the end of the watermelon on both sides, stand it on end and slice down the edges separating the rind from the good stuff. You’ll have a naked watermelon after that, and it’s yours to do with what you will. I almost always cube mine, but you can always cut it into rectangles, triangles, or if you have a melon baller you can certainly use that. For a little something extra , you could use cookie cutters to cut the watermelon into fun shapes. Stars would be great if you served this for a 4th of July party!

Once you get all your ingredients into the bowl, gently stir so as not to bruise the watermelon. I used a silicone spoon just so that it would be extra gentle on the melon. Although, once these watermelon macerate with the sugar in the bowl for a while, the juice that the two create is heavenly.

So after everything is all mixed together, the salad is done! Couldn’t be more simple!

Serve with the chili lime sugar sprinkled on top. Sometimes I like to take the sugar mixture and serve it in its own bowl with a small spoon so that you can add more as you go. Yes, it’s really that good.

If you’re not into spice, you could definitely leave off the jalapeño all together, and it would still be just as yummy!

I hope you enjoy this delicious summer treat!

Jalapeño and Watermelon Salad with Chili Lime Sugar 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


3 cups cubed watermelon

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp chili powder

The zest of 1 lime

The juice of 1 lime


In a small mixing bowl combine sugar, chili powder, and lime zest. Set aside. Ins a large mixing bowl gently stir together the watermelon, jalapeño, and 2 tsps. Of the chili lime sugar. Serve with more chili lime sugar sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

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