Spicy Watermelon & Pineapple Salad

spicy watermelon and pineapple salad

We love no-cook recipes, especially in the summer!

NYT Cooking is the source for this salad that blends 2 fabulously refreshing fruits with mint or cilantro (or both!) and lime…lots of tropical flavors. Plus, an unexpected, but deliciously spicy and smoky Tajin seasoning.

You can make a smaller salad quite easily if it is just for you or two. The proportions of ingredients are very forgiving.

In fact, we recommend experimenting such as adding cut fresh strawberries (like we did!) or cut kernels from a couple ears of fresh corn. Plus, if you don’t like mint or cilantro or another ingredient, just leave it out as you won’t miss it.

So refreshing!


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 jalapeño, serrano, or other favorite hot pepper (or a little of several!), thinly sliced
  • kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 ¼ pounds fresh watermelon, (a cup to cup-and-a-half per person served) chilled
  • 1 ¼ pounds fresh pineapple (equal amount to watermelon), chilled
  • 4 ounces (approx 2/3 cup) feta, crumbled
  • 1 packed cup cilantro sprigs, or 1/3 packed cup torn or cut fresh mint (we recommend using both!)
  • Tajín seasoning, for sprinkling (optional)


  • In a large bowl, stir together oil, vinegar, lime zest and juice, honey, red onion, and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Then toss everything to coat. Let marinate, 10 minutes…or longer if you are prepping ahead as you don’t want to add the fruit until right before serving.
  • Chop the pineapple and watermelon (and any other fruit you are experimenting with) into bitesize cubes, removing any seeds. Store in the fridge until ready to serve the salad. Note that it is a good idea to cut the fruit ahead of time as it drains a bit making your salad less drippy. (Plus you can drink the juice, alone or in a cocktail!)
  • Just before serving, add the cut fruit, feta, and herbs to the marinating onions and peppers, then toss to coat and season to taste. Sprinkle with Tajin (optional, but recommended) and serve immediately.


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