Melon Salad with Chili and Mint

Fruit SaladMintPicnic Salad

Summery Melon Salad with fresh cantaloupe and honeydew melon, diced, and tossed with lemon or lime, mint, and serrano chili.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

It may seem somewhat counterintuitive, but sweet melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon taste even more special with a little salt to balance their sweetness.

This is why watermelon with feta is such a classic summer salad. We’ve taken this idea a little further by adding a touch of zing from chiles to our melon salad.

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Don’t overdo it with the chiles! There should be just enough to make your tongue tingle.

That along with the sweetness from the melons, a little lime or lemon juice, some mint, and a dash of salt, and you have a summer melon symphony.


Melon Salad with Chili and Mint

Melon Salad with Chili and Mint Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4

Experiment with different shapes for the diced melon, including using a melon baller if you have one. This melon salad holds up well in the fridge, but the mint should be added at service.

This recipe easily scales up.

Feel free to toss some crumbled salty cotija or feta cheese into the salad!


  • 4 cups of diced melon, honeydew, cantaloupe, or ambrosia melon, or a mixture,  about 1 large or 2 small melons
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, more or less to taste
  • About 1/2 serrano chile, minced (taste the chile first to determine its heat, then add more or less to taste)
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp lime juice or lemon juice
  • 10 large fresh spearmint leaves


1 Toss melon with salt: Put the diced melon into a large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and toss to combine.

2 Add the lime or lemon juice and minced chili. Toss to combine. Chiles vary in their level of hotness, so start with a small amount (maybe 1 teaspoon minced), and add more to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3 When you are ready to serve, slice the mint leaves thin and gently combine with the diced melon. The easiest way to slice the mint is to chiffonade it: stack the mint leaves, roll them into a cigar shape and slice thin.

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Cucumber Melon Salad, from Not Eating Out in New York

Thai Melon Salad, from Viet World Kitchen

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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7 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Praveen Kumar

    This looks yummy.
    I substitued the serrano chile with red chilli powder and kosher salt with regular salt. I am not sure if it might have affected the taste much but to me, it was ok.

  2. Ashley

    I love putting salt on sweet melons. The addition of chile and mint here sounds wonderful!

  3. Jerry

    I live in an area that produces watermelon, cantaloupe and peaches. This recipe inspired me to combine those with a cucumber and mint from the garden. I sprinkled it all with Tajin Seasoning (chili and lime). Winner, winner…. Amazing flavor!

  4. Mai

    Would dry pepper flakes be a good substitute for the serrano chili? Thx!

  5. Audrey

    Black pepper is also great on bananas and strawberries.

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Melon Salad with Chili and MintMelon Salad with Chili and Mint