Grilled Watermelon: the ultra-refreshing side dish to make for your next BBQ

Total time: 15 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Grilled watermelon is the taste of summer that you didn't know you were missing. Refreshing, with the perfect amount of smoky, caramelized flavor, each bite is sensational.

Grilling watermelon gives it a wonderful firm yet slightly chewy texture. A hint of lime helps lift the sweet-salty seasoning and makes grilled watermelon a versatile side dish or appetizer to serve at all of your summer get-togethers.

Made by lightly coating thick slices of watermelon with sugar, salt, and lime zest and grilling them to perfection, this is one dish everyone will fall in love with. The best part is grilled watermelon is so easy to make! Enjoy grilled watermelon on its own or chop into bite-sized pieces and toss it into salads or skewers.

Grilled Watermelon Ingredients

All you need to make this phenomenal grilled watermelon at home is fresh watermelon, a lime for zesting, some sugar, and salt.

You'll also need some fresh herbs for garnishing the grilled watermelon.

Here, we use cilantro, but mint or basil would be just as tasty.

Make sure not to forget some vegetable oil for greasing your grill – this will prevent the watermelon from sticking to the grates!

How to Cut a Watermelon for Grilling

The simplest way to cut a watermelon for grilling it is to cut it into wedges. Start by cutting the watermelon in half. Cut the half to form two halves, then split them down the middle, which should give you a total of four triangular sections. Slice each section into 1-inch thick pieces. Thick is key here. Now you're ready to season and get grilling!


Tips for the Best Grilled Watermelon

Try garnishing your grilled watermelon with other aromatic fresh herbs like mint or basil.

You can spice up your grilled watermelon for a delicious combo of sweet, salty, and spicy. Sprinkle it with chili powder or some Tajin, a chili-lime salt.

Instead of sugar, combine honey, lime juice, and lime zest, then garnish the watermelon with salt.

How to Serve Grilled Watermelon

While grilled watermelon tastes great by itself, you can take it to the next level by serving it with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or your favorite vinaigrette.

It's also fantastic in salads and tastes especially good with feta and mint.

Adding a little grilled watermelon to a cheese or charcuterie plate is a great way to bring a seasonal taste of summer to sharing platters.

How to Store Grilled Watermelon

Grilled watermelon will keep up to 3 days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

More Recipes You'll Like

vegetable oil, for grilling
3 tbsp
salt to taste
lime, zested
large watermelon, cut into 1-inch wedges
fresh cilantro, for garnishing
lime wedges, for garnishing

How to Make Grilled Watermelon

Preheat your grill to high heat. Oil the grill grates.

Combine sugar, salt, and lime zest in a bowl. Keep 1 teaspoon of the mixture aside for garnishing.

Arrange the watermelon on a wire rack set over a baking tray. Season both sides of each watermelon wedge with the sugar mixture.

Leave for 15 minutes, then blot excess moisture away with paper towels.

Grill the watermelon over direct heat for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Plate the watermelon on a serving platter. Garnish with the remaining sugar mixture, and chopped cilantro.

Serve with a side of lime wedges.


Letting the watermelon rest before grilling helps remove excess moisture, allowing them to cook better.

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