Grilled Shrimp & Watermelon Salad

Grilled Shrimp & Watermelon Salad

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law. She found it in an old magazine years ago and has been making it every summer since. 

This is a GREAT salad to make during the dog days of summer because it's so light and refreshing. But even more than being the perfect summer salad, I'm sharing this recipe to help show how versatile cilantro can be. Outside of the light dressing used here, cilantro is one of the main flavoring ingredients. If you read about cilantro in my last post, you know that cilantro pairs really well with spice and fat.. and this salad has both! But don't worry, the jalapeños are seeded to provide a subtle hint of spice without being any where near spicy. 

I've adapted this recipe a little bit to introduce grilled shrimp. It adds more depth to the flavor of the shrimp and really helps round this salad out. If it's way too hot to cook, you can do what my mother-in-law does and poach the shrimp and chop them in half before adding to the salad. 

This one is super easy and I would highly recommend adding this to your meal planning list ASAP. 

There aren't a ton of substitutions here, but if you are part of the group that hates cilantro, I would use parsley instead! 


Grilled Shrimp & Watermelon Salad

Adapted by Jennifer Bravo

Published 08/02/2018

Grilled Shrimp & Watermelon Salad

This shrimp and watermelon salad is a wonderful meal on it's own, but could be a great side dish at a party, too! Serve with bread to sop up all the yummy juices!


  • 1 lb raw wild caught shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined
  • 1/2 large watermelon, cut into bite size pieces, apprx 4 cups
  • 1 red onion, sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
  • 2 ripe avocados, chopped into bite size chunks
  • 1 large handful cilantro, washed and chopped
  • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus a pinch for the shrimp
  • Heavy pinch of ground black pepper
  • Flaked salt for garnish
  • 1 loaf boule or focaccia, served warm for dipping


  1. Using a grill pan or a grill, heat to medium heat. If you're using a grill pan, feel free to spray with a high heat cooking spray such as Ghee.
  2. One at a time place each shrimp down in a single layer row, working in sequential order until all are on the grill. If you are using a grill pan you may need to cook it all in two phases. Lightly sprinkle a pinch of salt over top of the shrimp.
  3. Once the first shrimp that was placed down is over half-way opaque, maybe 3-4 min, begin flipping the shrimp in the same order you placed them down. If the shrimp does not come off the grate easily, it's not ready to be flipped, and feel free to move on. It will release once it's ready, don't force it or you'll lose those beautiful grill lines.
  4. After another minute or two begin taking the shrimp off the grill and onto a plate to cool.
  5. While the shrimp cools, add the chopped watermelon, red onion, jalapenos, and cilantro to a large bowl. Hold off on adding the avocado until the very end to avoid mushing.
  6. In a small bowl mix together the honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over watermelon mixture and lightly mix to combine.
  7. Once the shrimp has cooled, add the shrimp and the avocado to the salad and very gently toss to mix.
  8. Serve in bowls and garnish with a pinch of flaked salt.

Yield: 6 Servings

Prep Time: 00 hrs. 20 mins.

Cook time: 00 hrs. 10 mins.

Total time: 30 mins.