Lunch/ Summer Lovin'

The Ultimate Grilled Watermelon Salad

May 19, 2018 (Last Updated: April 25, 2020) by Chris Collins

This Grilled Watermelon Salad is absolutely bursting with flavour. Topped with Arugula, Pistachios, Blue Cheese and a Balsamic Glaze, after trying this recipe you won’t grill watermelon any other way!

watermelon salad plated up on white plate with fork resting on it with more watermelon blurred in background.

Grilled Watermelon Salad

Is there anything that screams ‘summer’ more than a grilled watermelon? Those gorgeous grill marks on a mouthwatering slice of watermelon is almost too much to bare sometimes. Add a dollop of the most incredible arugula salad and you’re on to something quite special. First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room:

Why do you grill watermelon?

I mean watermelon is incredible as it is, but when you grill it, it just takes things to new heights. Here’s two reasons why grilling your watermelon is the way to go:

  1. Watermelon is packed with natural sugar, which when subject to direct heat draws to the surface and caramelizes.
  2. The grill marks add a nice smoky and charred flavour.

How to Grill Watermelon (quick summary)

  1. Slice a disk of watermelon around 3/4 – 1″ thick.
  2. Use a cookie cutter/glass and push out 2 small disks.
  3. Soak up some of the moisture with a paper towel, then lightly coat with olive oil.
  4. Grill on high for a few minutes each side until dark grill marks appear.
  5. Lightly salt before serving.

How to grill watermelon - guidance photos

How to tell if a watermelon is ripe 🧐- There’s a bit of debate over this but I find these methods work: 1. Tapping the underbelly of watermelon, if it sounds hollow it should be ripe 2. Look for a pale yellow spot on the rind. This indicates it was left in the sun to ripen.

Can this be done on the BBQ?

Sure! Just pop it over direct heat until nicely charred on each side (just beware a lot of juices will hit the bbq flames).

Do I have to soak up the juices with paper towels?

The key is to make sure the watermelon isn’t swamped in moisture throughout the process. It doesn’t matter as much with a BBQ, but with a pan, if the watermelon is too juicy it’ll prevent the watermelon from charring. Also, because it’s over high heat the moisture in the pan is just likely to burn. So, if using a griddle pan, I highly recommend soaking up some of the moisture before grilling.

watermelon on griddle pan with grill marks

Watermelon Arugula Salad

Alrighty, watermelon grilled, let’s talk salad.

Arugula/rocket has a gorgeous peppery taste which goes beautifully with watermelon. Alongside this we’ve got some crumbled blue cheese for a punch of flavour and a balance of saltiness, and some pistachios to add a nice crunch to the salad.

What kind of cheese goes with watermelon?

Blue cheese is of course my favourite, but if you’re not keen on that something like feta or goats cheese works great in this salad. Something nice and crumbly with a salty flavour, just to balance out the sweetness of the watermelon.

Arugula blue cheese and pistachio salad for grilled pineapple ingredients photo

Okay, so you’ve got the sweetness of the watermelon, the saltiness of the cheese, let’s complete the triad with a touch of acidity to completely balance the flavours. For this I like to drizzle over some balsamic glaze. Homemade (couldn’t be easier to make) or store bought, I highly recommend adding it!

What to do with leftover watermelon?

As this only uses 1 disk of watermelon, you’ll have a fair bit left (unless you up the serving size). So here’s a few more recipes to help you get the most out of your watermelon:

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this grilled watermelon salad shall we?!

tsp drizzling balsamic glaze over salad

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How to make a Grilled Watermelon Salad (Full Recipe & Video)

Grilled Watermelon Salad with arugula, blue cheese and pistachios

The Ultimate Grilled Watermelon Salad

This Grilled Watermelon Salad is absolutely bursting with flavour! Topped with Arugula, Pistachios, Blue Cheese and a Balsamic Glaze, after trying this recipe you won't grill watermelon any other way!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer / Lunch
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 2
Calories: 265kcal
Cost per serving: £3.50 / $4

Equipment:

  • Medium Mixing Bowl (for salad)
  • Brush & Small Pot (for oil)
  • Griddle Pan or BBQ
  • Paper Towels
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Circular Disk (see notes)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 1 disk Watermelon, approx 3/4 - 1" thick
  • 1 handful Arugula/Rocket
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Pistachios, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup Blue Cheese, crumbled (see notes)
  • 2 tsp Balsamic Glaze
  • drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for frying
  • squeeze of Lemon Juice
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • In a bowl, combine your arugula/rocket, blue cheese, pistachios, lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. Place to one side.
  • Using a disk/cookie cutter and shape out 2 circles in the flesh of the watermelon. Pat with a with a paper towel to soak up excess moisture, then lightly brush both sides with oil.
  • Heat up a griddle pan until smoking hot. Grill over high heat for a few minutes each side, or until black grill marks appear.
  • Sprinkle a little salt on top, then add your arugula salad and finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Balsamic Glaze - Check out my foolproof Homemade Balsamic Glaze Recipe!
b) Seasoning - Go easy on the seasoning in the salad. Arugula/rocket is already quite peppery and you're also adding salt to the watermelon after it's grilled. Always better to add in more after than overpower it in the beginning!
c) Circular Disk - You can really use anything, but cookie cutters work best. In the video I use the rim of a glass (just go easy with applying pressure). Worst comes to it you can just cut the circle, or, any shape you like. 
d) BBQ - You can definitely cook watermelon on the BBQ, just place over direct heat until nicely charred both sides.
e) Cheese - If you don't like blue cheese then feta and goats cheese make great subs in this recipe!
f) Calories - Based on using 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
The Ultimate Grilled Watermelon Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 265 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 201mg8%
Potassium 592mg17%
Carbohydrates 18.8g6%
Fiber 4.1g16%
Sugar 10.9g12%
Protein 8.5g17%
Vitamin A 3400IU68%
Vitamin C 73.4mg89%
Calcium 140mg14%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Caroline
    May 27, 2018 at 2:08 am

    5 stars
    We are big watermelon fans, but I don’t think I have grilled it, actually. This looks so pretty, simple and elegant. I can imagine delicious too.

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 27, 2018 at 11:24 am

      You gotta grill it! So good 🙂

  • Reply
    EA The Spicy RD
    May 27, 2018 at 12:18 am

    5 stars
    This looks amazing, and I love how simple it is too! That feta watermelon salad looks pretty fabulous as well!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 27, 2018 at 11:22 am

      Thanks so much! The feta watermelon salad is pretty delish too!!

  • Reply
    Roxana
    May 27, 2018 at 12:08 am

    5 stars
    That looks fantastic. Great presentation. And love the combination of flavors and textures.

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 27, 2018 at 10:53 am

      Thanks, Roxana!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Emily
    May 26, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    5 stars
    Totally pinned this watermelon salad. It looks divine!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 26, 2018 at 11:28 pm

      Thanks, Emily! It’s pretty delish 🙂

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