Fire & Ice Watermelon Salsa in a Southwest Bowl


The 4th of July sparks thoughts of dazzling fireworks on a warm summer night. So why not fire up that theme while cooling off from the heat with this spicy but chilly watermelon salsa. The tomato-free recipe comes complete with directions to carve your own blazing watermelon bowl, if you’re feeling adventurous!

Fire & Ice Watermelon Salsa in a Southwest Bowl - Easy, fun, spicy and cooling all at once! A naturally vegan, paleo and allergy-friendly recipe for ALL your 4th of July and barbecue guests.

This watermelon salsa recipe and photo was shared with us by

Often overlooked for anything beyond a picnic treat, watermelon has a flavor profile that pairs perfectly with many of the ingredients in traditional Mexican dishes. Sweet and juicy, it can cut the heat of spicier foods, and its texture lends an unexpected, satisfying crunch in dips, like this watermelon salsa. And since watermelon is 92% water, this watermelon salsa is a tasty way to hydrate on hot summer days!

Special Diet Notes: Fire & Ice Watermelon Salsa

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, vegetarian, paleo, and generally top food allergy-friendly.

Fire and Ice Salsa in a Southwest Salsa Bowl
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 3 cups
  • 1 round, seedless watermelon
  • ½ cup diced green bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onion
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers
  • Lime wedges, cilantro leaves, sliced jalapenos and tortilla chips, for serving
To Make the Bowl
  1. Wash the watermelon and pat dry.
  2. Use a dry erase marker to trace a design around middle of watermelon (like the one in the photo). Use a utility knife to carve the design.
  3. Split the watermelon and scoop out the flesh to use in the salsa below.
  4. Choose a flat area of the rind on the other watermelon half to trace and carve out a lizard design (copy from image in photo).
For the Salsa
  1. Chop 3 cups of the watermelon flesh and place in a large bowl. Add the bell peppers, lime juice, cilantro, green onion, and chopped jalapeno. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or more.
  2. Fill the watermelon bowl with the salsa. Garnish with additional cilantro and sliced jalapenos. Serve with lime wedges, tortilla chips and the decorative lizard!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


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  4. how fun is this bowl, and that LIZARD?!? this salsa sounds SO good – my friend makes a spicy watermelon gazpacho, I bet the flavors are similar!

    • Yes, I bet they are similar to watermelon gazpacho – I hadn’t thought of that! I think this recipe intimidates people a bit because it’s a tomato-free salsa, but sweet and spicy can be an amazing dip combination.

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