15 Juicy Cantaloupe, Honeydew, and Watermelon Recipes: Grilled, Chilled, and Beyond

By Lisa Esile, MS,

A big juicy slice of watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew is the ultimate summer snack, but you can do so much more with melons! From tongue-tingling fruit salads to succulent veggie and noodle dishes, refreshing icy treats, tasty tacos, sensational sides, refreshing soups, and so much more, these sweet beauties have much to contribute to the plant-based kitchen. Check out this delicious collection of vegan cantaloupe and watermelon recipes. All recipes are free from added oil, so they're healthy, too!

For more sensational warm-weather recipes, check out:

Note: Other names for cantaloupe include rock melon, muskmelon, mush melon, and Persian melon.

Grilled Melon and Black Bean Tostadas on a blue table

Grilled Melon and Black Bean Tostadas

For a knockout summer meal that doesn’t take all day to prepare, these crispy corn tostadas have “pick me” written all over them. Fire up the barbecue and grill juicy cantaloupe and choice summer veggies with a squeeze of lime juice and a sprinkle of taco seasoning. Serve on oven-baked corn tortillas with crunchy jicama and a creamy jalapeño-infused cashew sauce. Note: If you are spice averse, leave the jalapeño out.
watermelon kiwi ice pops

Watermelon-Kiwi Ice Pops

Sweet and oh-so-refreshing, these vibrant vegan popsicles are a stellar summer treat for all ages—no added sugar required. The bright green hue and tangy flavor of kiwi complement watermelon's unapologetically sweet flavor and rose color. If you don't have kiwi, straight watermelon pops are also a winner. Once you've discovered how simple and delicious these are, you'll want your freezer stocked, ready for a hot day.
Summer Fruit Salsa with Melons and Jicama in a gray bowl on a striped dishcloth

Summer Fruit Salsa with Melons and Jicama

Feel like a little pizzazz with your food? This summery salsa features a mouthwatering medley of juicy melons and the slightly nutty flavor of jicama. Fresh jalapeño peps things up, while finely chopped scallions, fresh garlic, and zesty lime juice effortlessly add complex flavor. Serve with grain bowls, veggies, tofu scramble, and burgers. Or whip up a batch of oven-baked tortilla chips, using homemade or store-bought corn tortillas, and enjoy as a dip.
Farro Pilaf with Veggies and Blackened Melon on pink plates against a blue tabletop

Farro Pilaf with Veggies and Blackened Melon

Level up your barbecue menu with this satisfying chewy farro pilaf topped with seasoned grilled melon, wilted greens, and roma tomatoes. A scrumptious Cajun vegan mayo adds extra heat and creaminess and perfectly ties it together. Note: The blackened seasoning used for the melon is a savory spice blend similar to Cajun seasoning but with a less spicy kick.
Vegan Watermelon Gazpacho

15-Minute Watermelon Gazpacho

It’s not an exaggeration to say there’s life before you find a good watermelon gazpacho and life after. This tasty, instantly refreshing 15-minute watermelon gazpacho gets a spicy lift from fresh jalapeño and chili powder. Lime juice and cilantro offer tang and fresh herb flavor while cooling cucumber and jicama add crunch. Writes a reviewer, “This is a great recipe, really good cold for hot summer days! Very easy to make; I used a melon baller, and after cutting the melon in half, just scoop away, done in no time!”

Watermelon-Basil Ice

This refreshing vegan fruit sorbet consists of just three ingredients: juicy sweet watermelon, peppery fresh basil, and a splash of tangy lemon. Blend until smooth and freeze for a few hours until the texture is frozen but scoopable. Enjoy as a snack or an after-dinner frosty treat.
summer celebration fruit bowls

Summer Celebration Fruit Bowls

You'll savor every mouthful of this succulent summer fruit salad. Juicy, sweet watermelon and cantaloupe combine with tangy strawberries, crisp jicama, and refreshing cucumber. Lime juice, Tajin seasoning (or chili powder), and fresh mint enhance the flavors without overpowering the fruit's natural sweetness. For knock-out presentation, use a melon-baller to get perfectly round melon bites and serve in hollowed-out melon shells.
Cantaloupe Cucumber Soup

Cantaloupe-Cucumber Soup

With only six ingredients (plus salt), this primo palate-cleansing soup is perfect for lunch or after dinner. Cantaloupe brings sweetness, while cucumber adds extra body and freshness. Fresh ginger and lime juice boost the flavor and plant milk adds a delicate creaminess. Garnish with cubed cucumber and snips of fresh basil.
Thai Peanut Noodles with Fresh Melon and Lime Vinaigrette on blue plates

Thai Peanut Noodles with Fresh Melon and Lime Vinaigrette

The mild, subtly sweet flavor of honeydew melon takes center stage in this otherworldly noodle dish. Sliced in thin half rounds and piled high with Thai-flavored peanut noodles, creamy cannellini beans, sharp red onion, and a creamy lime-cilantro vinaigrette, this delicious meal is perfect for entertaining. One exhilarated fan writes, “This is absolutely phenomenal! Every ingredient enhanced the recipe. So refreshing and flavorful. My husband doesn’t even like peanut sauce or melon but in this context, he loved it.”
Chipotle-Watermelon Gazpacho recipe

Chipotle-Watermelon Gazpacho

Ground cumin and smoky chipotle chile powder give this chilled watermelon gazpacho an earthy depth that’s instantly appealing. Tangy tomatoes cut the sweetness of the watermelon while the mild flavor of cucumber adds a layer of cool. Serve as an appetizer or light meal, or keep a large pot in the fridge to dip into when you get the munchies.
Roasted Eggplant Gyros with Watermelon Rind Pickles on a yellow plate with a bowl of tzatziki sauce

Roasted Eggplant Gyros with Watermelon Rind Pickles

These baked eggplant- and sweet potato-stuffed pita pockets are fabulous topped with a homemade creamy vegan tzatziki sauce. A homemade watermelon rind pickle really takes this colorful meal over the top and is surprisingly easy to prepare. Skin the watermelon, trim off excess pink flesh, and simmer for 10 minutes with a simple sweet-sour syrup seasoned with allspice, cloves, and pink peppercorns.
Rainbow Fruit Salad Platter with Citrus Drizzle

Rainbow Fruit Salad Platter with Citrus Drizzle

This festive platter of fresh fruit will steal the show at any occasion. Serve your favorite melons, berries, and other summer fruits over assorted salad greens, and drizzle with a maple-syrup sweetened lemon-lime-orange dressing. A dash of cinnamon and ginger enlivens the flavors all around. Notes a fan, “This is awesome—easy but has the best of everything.”
grilled melon salad

Grilled Watermelon and Honeydew Salad

This spectacular side dish combines a trio of grilled melons with a tasty garnish of nutty pistachios and the subtle peppery flavor of basil. A splash of white balsamic vinegar before grilling allows the sweetness of the melons to pop. Writes a happy fan, “Wow!! So good and different! I just happened to have all the ingredients, so I whipped this up to eat with dinner. We are a family of seven, and six out of seven gobbled it up, especially my picky eater!”
Melon and White Bean Salad

Melon and White Bean Salad

You’ll remember this hearty plant-based melon salad long after the pool toys have been cleared away for the season. Cannellini beans add an earthy creaminess and extra oomph, while fresh mint keeps things light. Notes a reviewer, “I really like this salad because it was light and with just enough taste of the vinegar which complimented the sweetness of the cantaloupe and mint leaves.”
ginger-lime watermelon salad

Ginger-Lime Watermelon Salad

This decadent-tasting salad is straightforward to prepare and relies on the natural sweetness of watermelon. Throw in a little jalapeño, crunchy jicama, fresh mint, and a lime- and ginger-infused dressing, and you’re done. Note: Feel free to skip the sugar in the dressing and add the remaining dressing ingredients directly to the salad. One reviewer shares, “This is a great combination. Jicama and watermelon are so refreshing. I received lots of compliments and did not use the added sugar. The fruits made it sweet enough.”

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About the Author

Headshot of Lisa Esile, MS

About the Author

Lisa Esile, MS

Lisa Esile is an author, illustrator, blogger, vegetable gardener, and whole-food enthusiast with a special fondness for potatoes. She has a master’s degree in human nutrition and is passionate about showing people how to live happier, healthier lives. She is the author of Reach Your Big Calm and the co-author of Whose Mind Is It Anyway? Find her on Facebook.
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