Sweet and Spicy Melon Salsa

If you’ve never tried watermelon fresh-melon-salsa in a salsa before you’re missing out! I had my doubts before I tried it the first time, but now I’m converted! It’s my new favorite ingredient in salsa.

One of the great things about a fresh salsa is that it really dresses up a simple grilled meat. You can marinade meat and then grill it, but I have a hard time thinking in advance for marinades. A yummy salsa is perfect for my last minute cooking style because I can get away with just salting and peppering the meat and throwing it on the grill, and the salsa adds all the bright flavors I want.

I created this recipe to showcase two juicy summer melons, cantaloupe and watermelon, along with some kickin’ jalapeño flavor from the garden. Green onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes round it out for a robust salsa flavor, and for me, cilantro is a must. The chili powder gives the salsa a unique warmth. I served this with grilled pork chops last week, and it would also be delicious over chicken, fish or steak, or served with tortilla chips.

Incidentally, it was a warm, sunny summer day here in East Idaho when I went out to grill the said pork chops, but in the course of 15 minutes became windy, cold, and threatening. In spite of this, my toddler insisted we should eat outside (and we acquiesced because of course the toddler should be in charge of such decisions). We brought out his high chair, and a basket for the baby to sit and play in, and our dinner. Then it started raining. Thankfully we were under the carport. But you know what, at least the fresh melon salsa tasted like summer even if we didn’t feel very warm!

Does the idea of watermelon in salsa sound crazy to you? Try it and tell me what you think!


Sweet and Spicy Melon Salsa

Yield: about 5 cups


  • 2 cups watermelon, diced
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 TBS chopped cilantro


Whisk together the lime zest and juice, chili powder, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine. Refrigerate for at least one hour and stir before serving.


For a milder salsa, reduce or omit the jalapeno.


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