Spicy Watermelon Salad (True Food-Inspired!)

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Platter of watermelon, cucumber, and tomatoes drizzled with spicy mango vinaigrette

True Food, you’ve stolen our hearts with your Watermelon Salad. We’re talking one of the best salads we’ve ever eaten. A homemade rendition had to happen! 

Friends, it’s now your turn to be swept off your feet. Just 20 minutes stand between you and this show-stopping, sweet + spicy watermelon salad that’s so hydrating, fresh, and perfect for summer. Let us show you how it’s done!

Watermelon, mango vinaigrette, seaweed, Calabrian chilis, marcona almonds, avocado, cucumber, and tomatoes

The base of this AMAZING salad is crunchy cucumber and sweet watermelon with bites of avocado and cherry tomatoes. Fruit salad? Veggie salad? It’s a whatever-you-want-it-to-be salad!

Stirring together cubed watermelon, mango, avocado, and tomato in a mixing bowl

It all gets tossed together with the spicy element: Calabrian peppers! They’re fruity and spicy and SO good, but if you don’t want to have one more ingredient added to your refrigerator, red pepper flakes or another spicy chili would also work.

Then it’s coated or drizzled with a creamy, sweet, bright, subtly smoky turmeric mango dressing. While she’s kind of dreamy just like that, a few toppings take her to the next level!

Platter of spicy watermelon salad drizzled with mango vinaigrette

Marcona almonds, sesame seeds, crumbled seaweed, and a pinch of flaky salt deserve a standing ovation for their roles in this salad. You might not think these flavors go together, but woah, just wait until the first bite!

Platter of spicy watermelon salad inspired by True Food Kitchen

We can’t wait for you to try this watermelon salad! It’s got it alllll going on:

Easy to make
& SO delicious!

It makes the perfect light meal for two paired with your favorite protein, but we aren’t strangers to a solo party involving devouring the whole bowl. Yes, it’s that good! Don’t judge.

Pairing ideas? It’s delicious with grilled fish or tofu, or paired with our Marinated Peanut Tempeh (7 Ingredients), Smashed Chickpea Taco Meat, or Lime-Crusted Salmon.

More Refreshing Summer Salads

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Fork with a bite of spicy watermelon salad over a platter of salad

Spicy Watermelon Salad (True Food-Inspired!)

Sweet + spicy watermelon salad with cucumber, avocado, and a creamy mango vinaigrette. A show-stopping side inspired by True Food Kitchen. Just 20 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Platter of spicy watermelon cucumber salad drizzled with mango vinaigrette
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2
Course Salad
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? Best when fresh



  • 3 cups watermelon, cut into 1-1 ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup cucumber, cut into 1-inch chunks (preferably Persian or English cucumber // if using regular cucumber, peel in strips to make alternating stripes of green and white)
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (or heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1/2 large ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-1 inch pieces (optional)
  • 1-2 Tbsp finely chopped Calabrian peppers (they’re fruity + spicy! // or sub red pepper flakes to taste, though not as impressive)
  • 3-4 Tbsp Creamy Turmeric Mango Vinaigrette


  • 2-4 Tbsp chopped Marcona almonds (or sub toasted slivered almonds*)
  • 2 pinches flaky sea salt* (such as Maldon)
  • 1-2 sheets roasted seaweed snacks*, crumbled (plain/sea salt // optional)
  • Sesame seeds* (optional)


  • If you haven’t already made our Creamy Mango Turmeric Dressing, prepare it at this time. Set aside.
  • To a medium-large mixing bowl, add watermelon, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and chopped peppers. Toss gently to combine.
  • There are two options for adding the dressing to the salad, depending on whether you want it to be pretty or just taste good! Option 1: For a prettier result, transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with dressing. Option 2: If you just want it to taste good, add the dressing directly to the mixing bowl and toss gently until just combined. Taste and adjust as needed, adding more Calabrian chili peppers for heat or mango dressing for sweetness/brightness. We used the full amounts of both.
  • Divide between serving plates and garnish each serving with 1-2 Tbsp chopped Marcona almonds, a pinch of flaky sea salt, and a pinch each of crumbled seaweed (crumble between your fingers) and sesame seeds (both optional). Enjoy!
  • Best eaten fresh — leftovers become soggy. Not freezer friendly.


*If using Marcona almonds, there’s no need to toast them. If subbing slivered almonds, toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Watch closely and be careful not to burn.
*If you have furikake, it would be a great replacement for the flaky salt + seaweed snacks + sesame seeds.
*Inspired by True Food Kitchen and adapted from our Minty Watermelon Cucumber Salad.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with the lesser amounts where ranges are provided and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 237 Carbohydrates: 20.8 g Protein: 6.2 g Fat: 16.2 g Saturated Fat: 2.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 412 mg Potassium: 528 mg Fiber: 4.3 g Sugar: 13.6 g Vitamin A: 244 IU Vitamin C: 26 mg Calcium: 59 mg Iron: 1.4 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Ivana says

    I loved this salad so much that it will be my staple summer meal going forward. I regret that I didn’t try it at the beginning of the summer. I think it’s genius that the recipe is perfect and at the same time allows for additions according to one’s own taste and current mood. The second time I made it, I added basil and arugula and they went well together. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad you’re enjoying it, Ivana. Those additions sound delicious! Thank you for sharing! xo

  2. Martha Buttenheim says

    Two of us shared this salad for lunch today, mostly as written, and it was terrific!!! I couldn’t find the correct peppers, so I used a TB of a hot pepper I had on hand and will use a little more next time. I forgot the sesame seedsbut will remember them for next time and I didn’t have the seaweed on hand, but didn’t miss it. The COLOR is so pretty! The red of the watermelon and the mango dressing combine so that you get a sunset in your bowl! This recipe is a wonderful summer keeper for me.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed the salad, Martha. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  3. Karen says

    I am looking forward to making this as I love watermelon salads and all their variations. I wonder if you’ve made this dressing using frozen mango chunks? More convenient in case a ripe mango can’t be found.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen, we haven’t tested the dressing with frozen mango, but we think it might work. Let us know if you try it!

  4. Lana says

    Love thus salad, thank you for sharing!!! I wasn’t able to fins the peppers at my local grocery store, but it tasted fantastic, added a little chopped sweet onion I had left in the fridge.

    The dressing is SO GOOD!!! Will be using the left over on a tossed salad this week.

  5. sherry says

    I’m very fond of watermelon salad in summer (gotta wait a few months) esp. with savoury flavours like black olives a la Nigella Lawson. THis sounds great!

  6. JS says

    We loved this salad. Easy to prepare ahead and dress before eating. Made the salad exactly as written except that I added the Calabrian peppers to the dressing before adding that to the salad. I also used crushed Calabrian as that’s what I had. Everyone loved it and the dressing is a must!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo