Made with juicy sweet watermelon, fresh crisp cucumber, bright lime juice, and salty feta, this recipe for Watermelon Salsa is the perfect summer appetizer.
Serve this Watermelon Salsa with a side of blue corn chips for is a refreshing spin on classic tomato salsa that is perfect for summer entertaining or a patriotic feast.
I have NO self-control when you put a big bowl of chips and salsa in front of me. Tell me I am not alone?!
It doesn't matter if it is classic tomato salsa, mango salsa, corn salsa, or this cucumber watermelon salsa, I can never resist the contrast between fresh produce and salty corn chips.
And while you may think watermelon, cucumber, and feta sounds like an odd combination of ingredients, after one bite, I think you will see why this sweet and salty watermelon salsa ranks as one of my all time favorite recipes!
why watermelon salsa works
- Divine Flavor. Watermelon Salsa has the perfect balance and contrast in flavor profiles. It is sweet from the watermelon, fresh from the cucumber, herbaceous from the cilantro, bright from the lime juice, and salty from the feta cheese.
- Exceptionally Easy Recipe. The hardest part of making this salsa is dicing the watermelon. It comes together really quickly and can be enjoyed immediately after preparation.
- Unexpected, Yet Welcomed Appetizer. Compared to French Onion Chip Dip and Taco Dip, Watermelon Salsa is a unique appetizer that stands out for all the right reasons!
Notes on Ingredients
- Watermelon: Be sure to use a ripe watermelon for this recipe. You want the flesh of the watermelon to be vibrant red and sweet to form the perfect base for the Watermelon Salsa. Using a seedless watermelon will make the prep-work easier, but you certainly can use a watermelon with seeds, just remove the seeds as you dice the watermelon.
- Onion: For the best flavor, use a Vidalia onion or another variety of sweet onion. Yellow and red onions can overwhelm the delicate flavors in this watermelon salsa.
- Cucumber: The cucumber adds a fresh, crisp contrast to the sweet watermelon. I recommend using a Hothouse cucumber, AKA seedless cucumber. There is no need to peel the cucumber before adding the the salsa.
- Lime Juice: Be sure to use FRESH lime juice for the best flavor. It is the perfect bright finish to the watermelon salsa.
- Cilantro: If you don't like cilantro, feel free to omit it or replace it use fresh mint in its place.
- Salt: Use kosher salt rather than table salt, as it will help to enhance the flavors rather than make the dish taste salty.
- Feta Cheese: Crumbled feta cheese adds a nice salty finish to the salsa and pairs really well with watermelon. While the cheese adds a lot of dimension to this dish, feel free to omit it to keep this salsa vegan-friendly and dairy-free.
- For Serving: Watermelon Salsa is delicious served with any tortilla chip or corn chip. I personally love pairing this salsa with blue corn chips for a festive red, white, and blue appetizer.
How To Make Watermelon Salsa
It couldn't be easier to throw together this fresh watermelon salsa. Dice, stir, and serve! Easy-peasy!
- Dice. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is preparing the produce, but even that is not hard!
- For the Watermelon: Remove the peel from the watermelon and cube the flesh into bite-sized pieces, removing any seeds as needed.
- For the Cucumber: Wash and dry the cucumber well and then dice into small chunks.
- For the Onion: Remove the peel from the onion and finely mince the onion. You want the onion to be diced into very small pieces, so it doesn't overwhelm the other flavors.
- For the Cilantro: Finely mince or chop the cilantro leaves, discarding the stems.
- Stir. Combine the watermelon, diced cucumber, minced cilantro, lime juice and salt together.
- Serve. Right before serving the watermelon salsa, gently stir in the in crumbled feta cheese and grab the chips and start eating!
∗tips to remember ∗
- Use Ripe Watermelon. For the best flavor, use a ripe, bright red watermelon. An underripe watermelon lacks flavor and will make a lackluster salsa.
- Salt Lightly to Start. The amount of salt needed will depend on how much feta you use and the ripeness of your watermelon. Start with a little and adjust as needed by taste.
- Serve Immediately. Watermelon salsa is best served immediately or within a few hours of assembly, as it will become watery as it sits from the juice of the watermelon and cucumber.
- Strain Leftovers. If you do happen to have leftover salsa that has become watered down, strain it using a fine-mesh strainer to drain off the excess water. Taste to adjust salt if needed and then serve.
- Prep the Ingredients in Advance. To get a jump start on assembly, I recommend dicing the watermelon, cucumber, cilantro, and onion up to 24 hours in advance and storing them each in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, drain n off any excess liquid from the watermelon and/or cucumber, and then combine the salsa as directed.
More Festive Summer Recipes
If you gave this fresh Watermelon Salsa a try, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
- 3 cups ripe, seedless watermelon diced into ¼" cubes
- ½ large seedless cucumber diced
- ½ small sweet onion finely diced
- 1 medium lime juiced
- ½ tsp kosher salt divided
- ¼ cup minced cilantro optional
- ¼-1/2 cup crumbled feta use at discretion
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cubed watermelon, diced cucumber, minced cilantro, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and lime juice together.
- Gently stir in feta cheese. Taste and add additional salt as needed.
- Serve immediately for best results.
So fresh and delicious! Our new summer go to salsa!
This was so refreshing and turned out amazing! Loved every bite.
Love hearing that, Casey!