Watermelon Chili Lime Spice

The BEST Watermelon Recipe for Summer

Watermelon is just what a body needs to stay hydrated and cool in our nonstop summer heat. Lucky for us, watermelon season in Central Texas is just about to start, and lasts until October or November, right around the time the first cool front arrives. In fact, we just got word that Johnson’s Backyard Garden will have watermelons at the SFC Farmers’ Markets starting this weekend! If you’re cooking for a big crowd or need something to take to a cookout, this is the perfect recipe to spice up your watermelon slices. Additionally, you can use the spice mixture to rub onto fish, vegetables, or chicken before they hit the grill.

Chili-Lime Watermelon Slices

Adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light Magazine


  • 3 tablespoons grated organic lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon dark chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 8 slices seedless watermelon, chilled
  • 8 lime wedges
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro


Preheat oven to 200°.

Arrange lime zest in a thin layer on a lined baking sheet; bake for 10 minutes or until slightly dried. Let cool. Combine dried rind with spices and salt.

Arrange watermelon wedges on a platter and sprinkle evenly with spice mixture. Squeeze lime juice over slices and garnish with chopped herbs. Serve immediately.


Dehydrated citrus zest has many uses, including baking, sauces, infusions and spice blends. You can dehydrate it in the oven, as noted above, or let the zest air dry. Spread the zest in a single layer parchment or wax paper, cover with a tea towel or cheesecloth, and allow to air dry until it is dry and crumbly - about 2 days. Store in a small, airtight jar or in a sealed bag in the freezer.

If using the spice mixture as a rub for grilling, rub spice mixture on chicken/fish/vegetables, grill, and then squeeze lime juice and chopped herbs just before serving.