Grilled Watermelon

Grilled watermelon is sweet, slightly smoky, and will be your new favorite side dish, dessert, or salad addition. Easy, delicious, and healthy.

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If you aren't grilling watermelon, it's time to start! In less than 10 minutes you can transform watermelon into a dish everyone will remember with just a few minutes on the grill. Add your favorite seasonings to take it in a sweet or savory direction.

As we continue grilling all the things, watermelon is quickly becoming a favorite. When watermelon is grilled, it takes on this amazing flavor that's sweet and slightly smoky from the char of the grill. Trust me, this will be the show stopper at any summer meal. 

The other thing I love about grilled watermelon is all the different ways you can use it. It tastes amazing on its own, especially with some freshly squeezed lime juice and salt. We add chili powder as well for spice. It also makes an incredible salad with some salty feta cheese and fresh herbs. Then there is dessert. Pair it with some lime sorbet for the most refreshing summer dessert.

Before we get into the recipe, if there is one thing you must do when making grilled watermelon, is add some salt. The salt is key to bringing out the flavor and enhancing it. Flaky sea salt is my favorite, but kosher salt works as well. Just make sure to add a touch of salt before serving. You won't regret it. 

Grilled watermelon slices with fresh mint and salt on a wire rack and plate.

How do you grill a watermelon? 

Even though it may seem tricky to grill a watermelon since it may be something you haven't done before, it's actually easy. Follow these simple steps for the best results:

  1. Cut into wedges: The best option for grilling is cutting the watermelon into wedges. Start with a whole watermelon, the smaller seedless ones are a great option. Cut the watermelon in half and then in half again. Then cut each quarter into slices, about 3/4-1 inch thick. Leave the rind on the watermelon. This helps it stay together when grilling.
  2. Prep and season: Start by tasting a small piece of the watermelon to test the sweetness. Brush the watermelon slices with oil. The season with salt and any other seasonings you like. If the watermelon isn't very sweet, consider sprinkling with a touch of sugar or brushing with a bit of honey. 
  3. Grill: Once the grill is hot, place the watermelon slices right on the grill grates. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until there are grill marks and a bit of char. Flip and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. Be careful not to overcook since the watermelon can get mushy. The goal is to add some smoky flavor and caramelize the melon, not fully cook it. 
  4. Add flavor: When it comes off the grill, you'll want to add some extra flavor. This should always include a sprinkle of flaky sea salt or kosher salt. Salt really brings out the flavor. Other options include chili powder, lime juice, cilantro, mint, honey, or balsamic vinegar. 

What does grilled watermelon taste like?

Grilling watermelon adds some slight smokiness to the watermelon and brings out some of the savory and sweet notes in the watermelon. It still has that great watermelon flavor, but it becomes more robust and interesting. It's really delicious. 

Then depending on what spices, seasoning, and flavors you add - you can switch up the flavor. For example, you could add fresh cilantro, lime juice, and chili powder to take it in a Mexican direction. Add fresh mint, basil, honey, and balsamic vinegar to bring out some of the savory sweetness of the melon. Serve it with a sprinkle of sea salt and honey for a sweet and salty dessert. 

Serving and Recipe Ideas

This grilled watermelon can be served and used in so many different ways. From an easy side dish to a delicious salad to a crave-worthy dessert. Here are some ideas: 

  • Turn this into the most amazing grilled salad with feta cheese, cilantro, lime juice, and thinly sliced red onion. Think about a watermelon feta salad taken up a notch. 
  • Turn this into a fun summer dessert by serving it with Greek yogurt dip on the side. Use plain or flavored yogurt and jazz it up with some fresh lime juice, lime zest, mint, and honey if it needs some sweetness.
  • When I serve this as a side dish, usually I just sprinkle it with flaky sea salt. I love serving this instead of simple sliced watermelon along with traditional sides like corn on the cob and potato salad. 
  • For a sweeter dessert, serve this with your favorite sorbet. Favorites include coconut, lemon, and lime. It's also delicious with vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Watermelon on a charcaol grill with grill marks and smoke.

Can I make watermelon skewers?

These also can work as grilled watermelon skewers or kabobs. Just cut the watermelon into 1-inch cubes and thread onto a skewer. Brush with oil and add seasonings. Then cook for 1-2 minutes per side. 

If your mind works like mine, you may be wondering if you can add other fruits. Absolutely! Consider adding cubed mango, pineapple, cantaloupe, or strawberries. 

More grilled fruits and vegetables

The Recipe
Grilled watermelon with grill marks served with fresh mint, lime juice, sea salt, and chili powder.

Grilled Watermelon

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  • 1 seedless watermelon, sliced into 1-1.5 inch thick triangles
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
  • 2 limes, juice (add zest for more lime flavor)
  • 1 Salt to taste (ideally flaky salt or kosher)

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Preheat the grill to medium high heat. Brush the watermelon on both sides with olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil.


Cook for about 3 minutes per side until grill marks form and there is some light char. Be careful not to overcook it, or it may get mushy.


Remove from grill and squeeze fresh lime juice over top. Sprinkle with salt.


Optional ideas for more flavor: Drizzle with honey or balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, or mint. Add Mexican chili lime seasoning.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2-3 slices
Amount Per Serving
Calories 115
Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 5mg
Total Carbohydrate 23g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 15g
Protein 3g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
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