Delicious Ways To Season Watermelon

When it comes to getting creative with watermelon, it's hard to think outside the gourd. Watermelon by itself is, after all, so perfectly sweet and juicy that there's no obvious, immediate reason to mix that summertime goodness with any other flavor, let alone a bold one. While there are a lot of watermelon tricks up our sleeves, for the sake of hydration, we've decided to round up some of the most intriguing, obscure, and mouth-watering seasoning ideas to take your watermelon experience to the next level.

Watermelon by itself has a laundry list of incredible health benefits and is considered a powerhouse of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It's also low in calories and high in water content, which helps to fuel hydration and could make you feel full for longer. In other words, if you've got weight loss goals, watermelon is here to help.

Aside from all the good it brings to our bodies, watermelon is sheer joy to eat, and is in season all summer long in the U.S. Next time you decide to cube up this sweet, round, red-flesh fruit, consider exciting your taste buds by adding a seasoning from our list below that will have your mouth, and your guests, begging for more.


Made with sea salt, lime, and mild chili peppers, Tajín seasoning may not be the most obvious pairing with watermelon, but it's nothing short of a winning combination. The saltiness and mild spice from the chilis bring out the sweetness in the watermelon, and the lime perfectly complements the natural sugars of the fruit.

Tajín was created in Mexico in the 1980s and made its way to the U.S. in the '90s, where it rose to seasoning stardom. The company takes pride in sourcing the highest quality chilis from regional farmers in Mexico, and it offers hundreds of unique recipes on their website for ideas to spice up your palate.

Try a straightforward Tajín and watermelon pairing by sprinkling the spice liberally on your cubed chunks of fruit or turn your watermelon and Tajín recipe up a notch by adding other complementary fruit ingredients like cantaloupe and honeydew. If you're looking for more Mexican-inspired flavors in your watermelon salad, add cotija cheese, fresh squeezed lime, and mint.

Lawry's Seasoned Salt

When it comes to mixing Lawry's Seasoned Salt with watermelon, you don't have to take our word for it, you just have to listen to Chrissy Teigen. The television host, mom, and cookbook author told PopSugar that she loves to add Lawry's Seasoning Salt to her favorite game-day side dishes like deviled eggs, coleslaw, and potato salad, and she's also a fan of a Lawry's salted rim on her bloody mary. Her husband, the one and only John Legend, is also a fan of the seasoning, and the couple uses it as their go-to seasoning for tailgating dishes and pretty much everything they whip up in the kitchen in exchange for regular table salt.

Lawry's Seasoned Salt includes a mixture of paprika, celery, turmeric, garlic, salt, and a few other dashes of spices to give it a unique and distinct flavor profile that pairs well with everything from tomatoes to fried chicken to watermelon. Produced and distributed by McCormick, the seasoning is pretty easy to get your hands on and can be found in just about every market, grocery store, and supermarket in the United States.

Give your watermelon a subtle kick of salty flavor by sprinkling it on top of your melon salad for a unique dish that will have your guests begging to know your seasoning secrets.

Table salt

While some people shake a little table salt or Himalayan pink salt on pretty much everything they eat, even for that wondrously salty bunch, adding salt to fruit might not feel as intuitive. But that doesn't mean it isn't a game changer. Salted watermelon is almost as holy of a union as peanut butter and chocolate, and once you try it, our guess is you won't remember what watermelon was like without a sprinkle of salt.

Salt is a great way to not only bring out the sweetness in the watermelon, but also cut any bitterness caused by an unripe fruit cut a little prematurely. Similar to the way we cut the bitterness of radishes, Brussels sprouts, or broccoli with a little salt to bring out the flavor, salt can also be added to fruit to achieve the same result.

If you prefer to let your guests salt their own food or you want to get creative at your next barbecue or dinner party, create a watermelon bar with other fresh fruits and salts to accompany them. This could include regular white table salt to fancier options like pink sea salt, black salt, and truffle salt.


In the name of your love for watermelon, you may want to try pouring some sugar on it. One option is to sprinkle conventional white sugar to bring out the sweetness and turn your watermelon side dish into a delectable dessert, but there's a plethora of other sweeteners out there you can use to dress up your melons. For instance, there's agave nectar.

Agave syrup or nectar is a naturally derived vegan sweetener that comes from the sap of the agave plant. Agave has been touted as a slightly healthier sugar substitute thanks to its low glucose levels, and the presence of phytonutrients and minerals. It also has a sweeter, more nuanced flavor than its healthier counterparts like honey and maple syrup, making it the perfect addition to a bowl of freshly chopped watermelon.

While you could drizzle it on your watermelon and call it a day, we recommend blending your watermelon with fresh lime juice and agave syrup to create your own homemade watermelon popsicles.


Not as sweet as agave syrup and with more health benefits to boot, raw honey is a unique and flavorful way to season your summer watermelon. When consumed alone, watermelon is packed full of nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. It's a great source of hydration as it's made up of more than 90% water, and it's also recommended for a low-calorie diet as it helps you stay fuller for longer. The vitamin and nutrient content of watermelon makes this colorful fruit an exceptional anti-cancer food and it may also boost your heart health.

Combining watermelon with another superfood like raw honey is one way to boost your nutrition while treating yourself to a guilt-free sweet. Pasteurized honey works too, but it may not contain as many antioxidants as honey that comes straight from the honeycomb. Together, watermelon and honey help boost electrolytes, plus the flavor combination is so addictive, you'll be hooked as soon as you give this treat a try.

Take your watermelon and honey duo to the next level by juicing the melon and natural sweetener together to create a refreshing, vitamin-rich beverage that is as hydrating as it is delicious.


Watermelon and mint are a winning match used in salads, gazpachos, and drinks, and for good reason. Mint has been used medicinally for centuries, but it's recently having a moment in the culinary arts world, making its way into cocktails, salads, and many Mediterranean-inspired dishes. The most common varieties of the herb are peppermint and spearmint; both have a similar cool and refreshing flavor and can therefore be used interchangeably. The aromatic essence of the mint is the perfect complement to sweet and juicy watermelon, whether in a popsicle, a blended drink, or a summer salad.

While mint and watermelon are an unbeatable combination together, other ingredients are often added to recipes to give dishes or drinks more flavor. Try adding feta cheese and fresh-squeezed lime to a watermelon and mint salad, or give your watermelon juice a kick with cayenne and mint. A cool and refreshing watermelon and mint mojito can reach the next level with a kick of jalapeños.


Most watermelon recipes include lime in the list of ingredients, but there's no rulebook that says you can't swap your lime for lemon as a refreshing way to give your watermelon a dash of citrus. Not only does the natural acidity of lemon juice help to preserve fruits and vegetables for longer, but it also compliments pretty much any food whether sweet or savory.

It's standard practice in parts of Italy to serve fresh watermelon with slices of lemon, and who are we to argue with anything or anyone Italian? The sweetness in the watermelon pairs perfectly with the bold citrus flavor of the lemon; the two complement each other perfectly. With watermelon being mostly water, lemon also helps to add some flavor depth to an otherwise mild fruit. Both fruits are high in vitamin C, so it's basically a double dose of vitamins when consumed together.

Do as the Italians do and squeeze fresh lemon directly onto your cubed watermelon or try giving your watermelon a zest of lemon peel. Swap lemon in for lime in juices, salads, or popsicles for a sweet and citrusy summer treat.


If you're looking for watermelon recipes, you'll notice most of them include fresh-squeezed lime, lime juice, or lime zest. If you've had watermelon with lime, you know exactly why. Squeeze some lime on your next bite of watermelon, and you'll experience the fruit in a whole new way that brings you back to the first time you ever had watermelon, but better. The explosive citrus flavor of lime perfectly complements the sweet and subtle bitterness of the watermelon.

Not only is it a winning flavor combination, but watermelon mixed with lime juice has some surprising health benefits when enjoyed together. For one, lime doesn't add any sugar to your watermelon, plus it helps with digestion and may also stave off hunger cravings. Also, much like lemon, it packs a powerful vitamin C punch, which helps to boost the immune system.

Try the duo on their own or squeeze some lime into your freshly pressed watermelon juice. Add lime juice to a watermelon salad with cucumber and mint, and other Mediterranean-inspired ingredients.

Curry powder

When you think of curry, your imagination probably conjures up images of spicy chicken smothered in an orange or yellow sauce with hints of coconut, herbs, and some sort of rice. Perhaps there's a pineapple involved if it's Thai-style curry, or maybe a mango chutney in an Indian dish, but it's hard to imagine curry powder working with any other fruit. That is, until you try sprinkling a little curry powder onto fresh watermelon — then you'll realize this fruit fusion is worth being adventurous for.

Much like Tajín or a spice like cayenne, the heat from the curry is balanced by the sweetness in the watermelon. Try mixing up a bowl of watermelon chunks with curry powder or take it a step further and mix the powder into a thick, rich curry with coconut milk, garlic, and turmeric. You can serve this over rice or as a standalone dish that will have your guests wondering where you got your culinary degree from.


There's nothing quite as satisfying as a sweet and spicy pairing, which is why watermelon and jalapeño make the perfect union of flavors. Whether juiced, chopped, or blended into a margarita, this fusion is an unlikely delight.

Jalapeños are a dark green pepper that comes from Mexico, and are sold fresh, pickled, or canned. We'd choose fresh jalapeños for your watermelon dish, although in a pinch you can always resort to the canned or jarred version. Not only is a jalapeño a perfect addition to your watermelon, but it also comes with a few health benefits, including potential longevity. Spicy foods like peppers contain a compound known as capsaicin, which can improve blood flow and help to relieve pain.

One of the best ways to enjoy this flavor combination is to blend them together with some tequila and ice to create your specialty margarita. Add a Tajín-salted rim and you may just discover your new favorite summer cocktail. Finely dice a jalapeño and mix it up with cubed watermelon and lime for a refreshing salad with a kick. Turn up the heat in your watermelon gazpacho with fresh jalapeños chopped or blended into your chilled soup, or place jalapeños on top for a garnish.


Upgrade your watermelon experience with the zest of ginger and prepare your palate to be surprised by this zesty flavor combination.

Ginger comes from the root of a perennial plant and has been used medicinally for over 2,500 years. It has some impressive health benefits and is highly regarded for its anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea compounds, as well as its antidiabetic compounds. As a natural diuretic, it may help flush out the body of unwanted toxins as well as boost the metabolism. Ginger is a common ingredient in many Asian-inspired dishes, particularly sushi, and it can be enjoyed pickled, fresh from the root, or as a powder or liquid.

If you don't have fresh ginger, you could sprinkle ginger powder on your watermelon to achieve a similar flavor outcome, but the best way to combine the two is to grate the ginger fresh from the root and toss it with your watermelon until combined. For another refreshing approach, you could juice watermelon and ginger together to create your own vitamin elixir or alcoholic beverage — we're not here to judge which direction you go.

Balsamic vinegar

A balsamic vinegar is a diverse flavor that can be used to dress up pretty much any type of course from appetizers to desserts. Aside from its obvious appeal in salads, it can be drizzled on top of pizza, added to gravy, seasoned with herbs for a simple dipping sauce, and used as a marinade with beef, fish, and poultry.

Balsamic vinegar comes from the Italian provinces of Reggio Emilia and Modena where it has been used in recipes and in gift giving for centuries before making its way to the U.S. sometime in the 1970s. Its deep-brown color comes from the skin of unfermented grapes that are used to create this zesty dressing.

With a sweet, acidic, and intensely bold flavor, balsamic vinegar is a distinctive way to dress up your watermelon, either drizzled on by itself to let the two ingredients shine, or by adding it in with other complementary ingredients. If you're drizzling balsamic on a watermelon salad, other favorable ingredients may include basil, feta, or mozzarella cheese, red onion, and cucumber. Another creative option is to make a watermelon and tomato bruschetta with a balsamic glaze.

Cayenne pepper

Perhaps one of the least obvious choices, as well as the most daring on our list of watermelon seasonings, is cayenne pepper. It's a unique flavor combination with some potential health benefits and, more importantly, perks for your palate.

Cayenne pepper is either your go-to seasoning or a seasoning that sits in the back of your spice rack and rarely sees the light of day. Either way, we suggest expanding your taste buds by adding this flavorful kick of spice to your next watermelon. As a close relative to jalapeño peppers, cayenne is typically found in the spice aisle and belongs to the capsaicin family, making it a potent antioxidant with some powerful health properties including inflammation reduction and pain relief, as well as aid to the immune system and digestion.

The best way to give this fruit and spice duo a try is to do as the Ayurvedic community does — sprinkle cayenne on your watermelon, then let your mouth water and await possible digestion improvement. A watermelon and cayenne mixture also helps beat the heat by lifting your energy levels on a sluggish, hot summer day. Take your culinary skills to the next level by grilling your cayenne-seasoned watermelon and adding a touch of lemon or lime at the end.