5 ratings

Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Barbecue Sauce


Summer makes me think of many things from my childhood… climbing trees, picking berries on Mt. Hood in Oregon, swimming for hours, mosquito bites, making freshly churned vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches, barbecues… and watermelon. Watermelon was served almost every day and we just couldn’t get enough of the juicy and sweet treat. Here’s an unusual way of serving a classic summer staple.

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Click here to see 9 Cool and Creative Ways to Cook with Watermelon.


For the salad

  • 1/2 small seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch wheels
  • 1 Cup peeled, sliced, and quartered cucumbers
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño, diced
  • 2 -3 tablespoons roasted, salted pepitas
  • 1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup queso fresco, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 small bunch microgreens

For the chicken

  • 1 Cup diced watermelon
  • 1/4 Cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil, plus more for grilling
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


For the salad

Preheat the grill over medium to medium-high heat.

Put the watermelon wheels on the grill for 2-3 minutes, then turn 90 degrees to make a crisscross pattern with the char marks and grill for 2-3 minutes longer. Flip and repeat. Remove from the grill, and once cool, cut the wheels into quarters so it’s easier to cut the rind. Cut the watermelon into cubes.

In a bowl, combine the watermelon with the cucumbers, red onion, jalapeño, pepitas, cilantro, and queso fresco. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, then serve the delicious salad over a bed of microgreens.

For the chicken

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the watermelon for about 5 minutes, then add the red onion. Let the onion and watermelon cook uncovered for about 20 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, canola oil, Dijon mustard, and garlic salt. Cook for 30 more minutes.

Meanwhile, lay the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound/tenderize the chicken using a meat mallet or a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Preheat the grill over medium-high heat.

Brush the chicken on both sides with just enough canola oil to coat. Grill until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Serve with the sauce on top and the salad.