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What is watermelon paired with?

Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit that can be paired with a variety of foods and ingredients. In this article, we will explore some of the best pairings for watermelon that will enhance its naturally sweet and juicy flavors.

Savory Pairings

While we often think of eating watermelon raw or in sweet applications, it can also pair wonderfully with savory foods. The juicy sweetness of watermelon balances out the saltiness and richness of cheeses, meats, and vegetables.


Watermelon pairs surprisingly well with a variety of cheeses. The sweet fruit serves as a counterpoint to the saltiness and creaminess of cheese. Some delicious cheese pairings include:

  • Feta cheese – The salty brininess of feta is complemented by the sweet juiciness of watermelon.
  • Goat cheese – The tanginess of goat cheese contrasts nicely with sweet watermelon.
  • Mozzarella – Fresh mozzarella and watermelon is a light and refreshing pairing.
  • Blue cheese – The bold flavor of blue cheese is mellowed out when paired with watermelon.


Watermelon can also pair amazingly with cured and smoked meats like prosciutto, salami, and ham. The fat and saltiness of these meats brings out the sweetness of the watermelon. Some tasty pairings include:

  • Prosciutto – Wrapped around or served alongside watermelon for a classic combination.
  • Salami – Thinly sliced salami complemented by juicy watermelon.
  • Smoked ham – The smokiness pairs well with the sweet juiciness of watermelon.
  • Roasted pork – Sweet watermelon serves as a foil to savory roasted pork.


Watermelon can be paired with both raw and cooked vegetables. It brings out the natural sweetness of many veggies. Some delicious veggie pairings include:

  • Tomatoes – A watermelon and tomato salad is a tasty summer treat.
  • Cucumbers – Their mild flavor allows the watermelon to shine.
  • Onions – Red onions bring out the sweetness of watermelon.
  • Arugula – The peppery greens contrast the sweet juiciness of watermelon.

Sweet Pairings

In addition to savory foods, watermelon also pairs deliciously with sweet ingredients that complement its flavor profile.


Other juicy, sweet fruits can enhance the flavors of watermelon when paired together. Some fruity combinations include:

  • Strawberries – A watermelon and strawberry salad is a tangy-sweet treat.
  • Peaches – The juiciness of peaches matches perfectly with watermelon.
  • Mango – Blend watermelon and mango together for a tropical smoothie.
  • Pineapple – The sweet-tart flavor of pineapple complements watermelon.

Herbs & Spices

Fresh herbs and spices can also bring out delicious nuances in watermelon’s flavor. Some tasty combinations include:

  • Mint – The classic pairing for watermelon, mint adds a refreshing note.
  • Basil – Sweet basil complements watermelon’s juiciness.
  • Chili powder – A dash of chili powder enhances the sweetness.
  • Lime – Fresh lime juice balances out the sweetness of watermelon.

Other Sweet Ingredients

Watermelon pairs well with many other sweet components like:

  • Honey – Drizzle honey over watermelon for extra sweetness.
  • Whipped cream – Sweetened whipped cream enhances watermelon’s juiciness.
  • Ice cream – Watermelon sorbet or watermelon-flavored ice cream.
  • Marshmallows – Roast watermelon and marshmallows together.

Drink Pairings

Watermelon can also be used to make refreshing summer drinks or paired with beverages that complement its flavor:

Alcoholic Drinks

  • Tequila – The sweetness balances out tequila’s kick in margaritas.
  • Vodka – Infuse vodka with watermelon for cocktails.
  • Rosé – The fruitiness of rosé works well with watermelon.
  • Sangria – Watermelon sangria is a sweet and boozy treat.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks

  • Lemonade – Add watermelon juice to lemonade for added sweetness.
  • Iced tea – Watermelon flavored iced tea is refreshing.
  • Sparkling water – Infuse sparkling water with watermelon essence.
  • Fruit juice – Blend watermelon with citrus juices like orange juice.

Cooking Methods for Watermelon

Watermelon can be incorporated into recipes in various ways to best bring out its flavors and juiciness:

Raw Watermelon

  • Slices – Cut into wedges or cubes for easy snacking.
  • Fruit salad – Dice and mix with other fruits.
  • Salsa – Dice and mix with tomatoes, onion, cilantro.
  • Pickles – Pickle watermelon rind for a tangy garnish.

Cooked Watermelon

  • Grilled – Grilled watermelon develops a delicious caramelized flavor.
  • Soup – Blend into chilled summer soups like gazpacho.
  • Jam – Cook down with sugar into a syrupy jam.
  • Bake – Roast wedges lightly to concentrate flavors.

Juiced Watermelon

  • Smoothies – Blend with yogurt and other fruit.
  • Cocktails – Mix into drinks and punches.
  • Popsicles – Freeze into fruit juice popsicles.
  • Sorbet – Process into a sweet frozen dessert.


Watermelon is very versatile and can be paired with both sweet and savory ingredients, used in a variety of dishes, and incorporated into drinks. Its refreshing sweetness works well with cheeses, cured meats, fresh vegetables, herbs and spices, other fruits, and more. Watermelon can be enjoyed raw in slices and salads, grilled or roasted, blended into smoothies and juices, or used to flavor drinks and cocktails. With its juicy sweetness and range of possible applications, watermelon is a fantastic fruit to experiment with all summer long.