Watermelon Salad with Tequila-Lime Vinaigrette

by Shawnda on July 20, 2014

in Fruit,Goat cheese,Lime,Salads,Vegetarian,Watermelon

Watermelon Salad with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

Last week, a picture of a pumpkin cheesecake popped up in my Facebook feed and I was like no.

And then I went all Tracy-Morgan-from-Cop-Out.



It’s July. And I want no part of pumpkin creamy salted apple Thanksgiving caramel candy corn baked casserole pumpkin anything.

What I do want? Sweet, figure-friendly summer fruit. Doused in figure-unfriendly tequila.

And we all know that fruit and tequila go together perfectly.

Watermelon Salad with Tequila Lime Vinaigrette

One of my favorite throw-together summer side salads is watermelon, red onion, feta, jalapeno, and a big handful of cilantro, sprinkled with just a little salt and a squeeze of lime. It has everything you could want in a summer side, except tequila.

Cut in larger chunks, it makes a fabulous salad. Cut in smaller dice, it’s makes a fabulous salsa for a no-cook chips-and-salsa dinner on the patio.

So it’s no surprise that one of my favorite recipes from Pastry Queen Parties is a similar blend of flavors taken to the next level with a tequila-lime vinaigrette. It has everything you could want in a summer side, including tequila.

The Pastry Queen serves her spiked watermelon salad in scooped out personal-sized watermelon bowls. So fancy. I opt for the no-fuss approach: a 12-year-old tupperware bowl that’s missing its lid.

Watermelon Salad with Tequila-Lime Vinaigrette

Watermelon and feta salad get a summery kick from a tequila and lime vinaigrette.


  • For the salad:
  • 5 generous cups 1.5-inch dice watermelon (about 1 small watermelon)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 oz crumbled feta
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (optional - but go for it)
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp tequila
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. Lightly toss the watermelon, onion, cilantro, feta, and jalapeno in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, tequila, 1 Tbsp honey, salt and red wine vinegar together.
  3. Taste for sweetness and whisk in the extra honey, if desired.
  4. Pour over immediately before serving.
  5. If you anticipate having leftovers, only dress half the salad with half the dressing - the watermelon will water down the dressing the longer it sits. Dress additional salad as needed.


Yields: ~8 servings

Adapted from The Pastry Queen Parties

Estimated time: 20 minutes


Spicy Jalapeño and Watermelon Margarita Recipe

“All good drinks burn on their way down, right?” –Me. Between coughs and gasps for air.

I still remember the very first time I made a spicy margarita. I dropped some sliced, fresh jalapeños in tequila. And then I walked away. For like a week.

The peppers were insanely spicy. The tequila was… What’s a good word for “insanely &^%$#@! hot?” That.

But you only make an undrinkable margarita once. (Twice, if you count my failed Hatch Chile Margarita experiment.) ([shudder]) ([gag])

Spicy Jalapeño and Watermelon Margarita Recipe

For these spicy watermelon margaritas, ice cold watermelon cubes are blended and strained for the juice, mixed with homemade margarita mix, spiked with some homemade jalapeño tequila, and served over crushed ice in a salt-rimmed glass. Because everyone knows that salt and watermelon go together like… chocolate and peanut butter. Rachel and Ross. Peyton and Omaha.

Tequila and lime.

Spicy Jalapeño and Watermelon Margarita Recipe

It’s hot, cold, refreshing, and spicy. But don’t forget. When it comes to making Jalapeño Tequila, less is more. (Less soaking time, that is. More tequila is always better. And the answer to most of life’s problems.)

Jalapeño and Watermelon Margaritas

Fresh watermelon is blended with a homemade jalapeño tequila for a spicy and refreshing margarita.


  • For the jalapeño tequila:
  • 6 oz silver tequila
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, sliced
  • For the margarita:
  • 1 cup homemade margarita mix
  • 2 generous cups chilled watermelon cubes (seeds removed if not seedless)
  • 4 oz orange liqueur (or orange juice)
  • 6 oz jalapeño tequila
  • Salt, for rimming


  1. Place the tequila and jalapeño slices in a jar and let sit in the fridge for at least one hour but no longer than overnight (you have been warned!)
  2. Place the watermelon cubes in a blender and process for ~1 minute until smooth.
  3. Pour through a strainer and discard the solids - you should have 1 cup of juice.
  4. In a small pitcher, mix the watermelon juice with the homemade margarita mix and orange liqueur.
  5. Add the tequila and reserve the jalapeño slices, stirring to mix well.
  6. Fill salt-rimmed glasses with ice and serve, garnishing each margarita with a tequila-soaked slice of jalapeño.


Yields: 4 servings

Adapted from Tide & Thyme

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes


Watermelon Salad with Grapefruit-Mint Vinaigrette

Next to blackberries and peaches, the fruit I look forward to most during the summer is watermelon. It brings back such fun memories, back when life was simpler. And there were fewer diapers to change.

My parents always kept a huge watermelon chilling in our fridge. After dinner, we’d go out to the front porch and carve it up. My dad would pass out large wedges before retiring to his chair next to my mom. Other times, he’d place the split melon on the porch and just pass out spoons. Friendly turf wars immediately ensued over which side of the watermelon was salted and which was left plain. Like my mom, I am a proud watermelon salter! A dash of salt on a bite of ice cold watermelon is truly one of life’s simple, yet ultimate treats.

The kids would dig in, juices running down our forearms and chin. We were very careful to reserve the seeds for the post-snack seed spitting contest. We’d stand at the top step of the porch and give it everything we had. Seriously, what a sight that must have been. I wonder if my mom silently prayed that we’d find a little class and refinement before we were unleashed on the world as adults :)

She’d interject only when the arguments over whose seed went farther got out of hand. Those little black seeds are quite hard to see in the failing light! My dad would sit there quietly, with only the orange tip of his cigarette to remind you he was still there. Pretty soon, the only things we could see as we ran across the front yard, shrieking and playing tag, were the glow from his cigarette and the twinkles from the lightnin’ bugs.

Watermelon isn’t just for dessert anymore, though. One of my very favorite ways to serve it is in salad form with grapefruit vinaigrette and mint – it’s the perfect cold side to a pair of beef skewers, fresh from the grill. The sweet watermelon, tart grapefruit, and minty vinaigrette make one of life’s simple treats really something special!

Watermelon Salad with Grapefruit-Mint Vinaigrette


  • 1/2 small watermelon, sliced and cut into wedges/chunks
  • 1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large grapefruit
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Small handful of mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup canola or olive oil


  1. Place watermelon and red onion on a serving plate.
  2. Peel and segment the grapefruits over a bowl to catch the juice.
  3. Place the grapefruit wedges on the serving platter and squeeze the remaining grapefruit (the leftovers from segmenting the grapefruit) into the bowl. Discard the remaining pulp after extracting all the juice you can from it.
  4. Place 1/4 of the grapefruit juice into the blender with juice from 1/2 a lime, salt, pepper, and mint leaves.
  5. Blend on high while slowly streaming in the olive oil.
  6. Serve the dressing on the side or drizzled over the salad.


Yields: 6 servings

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 15 minutes

We’ve submitted this recipe to the side dish week of Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France Cheese, Rösle, Emile Henry, Rouxbe and ManPans.


Ashley of Delish chose this week’s Project Pastry Queen recipe: Watermelon Lemonade.

This recipe is the perfect example of why baking projects like Project Pastry Queen are so fun – I wouldn’t have ever made this recipe on my own. When it gets hot, my beverage of choice is usually an ice cold beer or a margarita. Alcohol aside, lemonade is next on that list. I don’t have to tell you how refreshing a frosty glass of Watermelon Lemonade was on an evening that saw the thermometer hit 101 with a “feels like” of 109.

It’s completely refreshing and my favorite non-margarita to drink on a hot day. I’ve made several pitchers. Some with tequila. Some with vodka. Some with just watermelon – it’s great and can be adjusted to suit your taste.

Thanks to Ashley for picking such a Southeast Texas-appropriate recipe! Check out the Watermelon Lemonade from rest of the Project Pastry Queen members and stay tuned next week for a summery twist on one of my all-time favorite Pastry Queen recipes: Rather Rich Corn Muffins.

Watermelon Lemonade

A perfectly refreshing summer drink with watermelon, citrus, and the optional shot of vodka or tequila.


  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (10-12 limes)
  • 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 cups ice cubes
  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • Mixed fruit of your choice, or use more watermelon
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lemon sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup (or more) vodka or tequila (optional)


  1. Combine 2 cups water and sugar in a medium saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat until sugar is dissolved and clear.
  2. Let simple syrup cool or put in an ice bath/fridge/freezer to expedite cooling to use right away.
  3. Add watermelon, lemon juice, lime juice, and 2 cups water in a large pitcher
  4. Add the ice cubes, diced watermelon, remaining fruit, and alcohol, if using.
  5. Add simple syrup to taste (and additional water if too tart). Stir well and chill until icy cold.
  6. Store any leftover simple syrup in a jar in the fridge.


Yields: 12 servings

Adapted from The Pastry Queen

Estimated time: 20 minutes