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Grilled Watermelon Salad

Grilled Watermelon Salad5

Grilled watermelon salad is the perfect summer side dish. Slice up some watermelon rings, throw them on the grill (literally if you’re brave enough), wait for some gorgeous smokey grill marks to spear and you’re half way there.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

If you don’t have a grill, a grill pan will work fine. You can also skip the egregious use of fire all together and just cut the watermelon into bite sized chunks. The saltiness of the Cotija and the briny quick-pickled red onions set of that great sweetness of in-season watermelons.

Grilled Watermelon Salad2

It’s also a great salad to serve at room temperature, making it the perfect low maintenance side dish to serve on your summer party table. It also has a lovely sweetness that pairs well with a spicy food, I served it with these wings. It does not, however, keep very well. If you plan to make it ahead of time, keep all of the components separate and toss just prior to serving.

If you need a patriotic plan for the rest of the watermelon, check this out.

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Grilled Watermelon Salad


  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or rice wine)
  • 1 tbs raw honey
  • ½ red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices (2 inch thick each) watermelon
  • ½ cup crumbed Cotija cheese (can substitute feta)
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro


  1. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar and honey. Add the red onions, toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. Place the watermelon slices on a hot grill until grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side.
  3. Remove the watermelon rind and chop the grilled watermelon into bite sized chunks, place in a large serving bowl.
  4. Pour the red onion and the vinegar over the watermelon. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese and cilantro.

Grilled Watermelon Salad6

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Averie @ Averie Cooks June 27, 2013 um 2:09 am

I grilled or roasted plenty of fruit in my day but never watermelon. What a fun idea – and I love watermelon. Perfect way to use it and mix it up a little !


Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig June 27, 2013 um 6:42 am

Watermelon salad is one of my absolute fave things to eat but I’ve never grilled it and I need to change that!!


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet June 27, 2013 um 7:22 am

Watermelon is one of those fruits I can’t wait to grill. This salad sounds fabulous, Jackie!


ashley – baker by nature June 27, 2013 um 9:23 am

This is just gorgeous, Jackie! I eat watermelon like it’s candy! Now if only I had me a grill… cue the crying!!!


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious June 27, 2013 um 5:00 pm

Wow your grill is soooo much cleaner than mine 🙂 I’ve never grilled watermelon but it sounds and looks fantastic, and I know with Cotija this salads a winner!


Jessica@AKitchenAddiction June 28, 2013 um 5:48 am

I’ve never tried grilling watermelon, but it sounds wonderful!


steph@stephsbitebybite June 28, 2013 um 6:04 am

I’ve made a salad similar to this but didn’t grill the watermelon, I’ve gotta try that!


Crista June 29, 2013 um 6:26 am

this sounds fabulous, i’ve never thought to grill watermelon! xo


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious June 29, 2013 um 5:01 pm

What a fun salad! I never would’ve thought to grill watermelon. I actually just grilled some cinnamon-sugar crusted banans today and they were epic. Can’t wait to grill up some watermelon now!


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. June 30, 2013 um 4:27 pm

This is such a gorgeous salad! I have never had grilled watermelon!


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[…] Watermelon & Cotija Salad […]


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Des @ Life’s Ambrosia July 1, 2013 um 10:40 pm

Girl….you are killing me with all this grilled goodness. I must try this one asap.


The 4th | Dash of Fab July 3, 2013 um 7:00 am

[…] Grilled Watermelon Salad is a summer favorite of mine.  Try it. […]


Tieghan July 3, 2013 um 6:57 pm

This is gorgeous!! I could go for this right now!! YUM!


Heidi @foodiecrush July 11, 2013 um 10:46 pm

Now you’re talking! I have a similar watermelon salad that is an all time fave, but you have just upped the ante. Pinned!


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