This Grilled Watermelon Steak is the perfect recipe for a no-fuss easy BBQ appetizer. The tangy cheese, paired with the balsamic reduction and aromatic basil provides a distinctive taste you will love!
Yes, that’s right, grilled watermelon!
Have you ever tried it?
I assure you that once you do, there is no going back.
You probably know that grilling is a great flavor enhancer. This is also true when the fruit is grilled.
Just like this recipe for Grilled Peaches, the heat intensifies the sweetness of the fruit, by caramelizing the natural sugars.
Please note that we are not cooking the watermelon. We are simply searing it a few minutes on each side on a very hot grill.
Another flavor enhancer is the cheese. For this recipe, you can use either ricotta salata, feta or even goat cheese.
This is not the first time I have paired watermelon with cheese. If you recall, this Watermelon Feta Mint Salad also highlights the wonderful combination of sweet and savory.
The cheese contributes a salty, almost tangy flavor to the dish. As strange as it sounds, the saltiness of the cheese brings out the sweetness of the grilled watermelon and provides the perfect balance in this dish.
As an added bonus, this is such an easy watermelon starter to make! Let me demonstrate…
A printable recipe card, found at the bottom of the page, has the specific amounts for each ingredient.
- Watermelon. The main ingredient!
- Olive oil. Any type of oil can be used.
- Ricotta Salata or Feta cheese. A tangy contribution.
- Basil. An aromatic herb that enriches the overall taste of this appetizer.
- Sea salt. Optional.
- Balsamic Reduction. Ties everything together.
This recipe provides a watermelon appetizer for four. The total amounts of ingredients can easily be adjusted.
The first thing we are going to do is slice the room temperature watermelon into four 1-inch wedges. Do not remove the rind.
Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the cut sides of the watermelon with olive oil, You need about 1 tablespoon for the 4 wedges of watermelon.
Preheat the grill (indoor or outdoor) to medium-high heat.
Place the watermelon slices directly on the grill and sear each side for 1-2 minutes. This is a quick process as we are not cooking the watermelon.
Remove the watermelon from the grill and allow to cool down slightly before garnishing each slice with Ricotta Salata or feta cheese (6-8 ounces, separated).
The addition of fresh basil (2 tablespoons, separated), a few pinches of sea salt and a drizzle of a balsamic reduction is all that is needed to round out the flavors of this delicious fruit appetizer.
Just like that, you can create the perfect, no fuss appetizer for your next get together with family and friends.
Recipes with fresh basil we love
Nutrition Trivia Time: Whether eating it fresh or grilled, there is no denying that watermelon is a thirst quencher. Did you know that approximately 92% of each melon is water?
No wonder it’s called a watermelon! The high water content of watermelon also makes it the perfect food to use in soups and beverages.
As an avid collector of recipes, and much to my husband’s dismay, I have boxes and boxes of food magazines stored in my garage. This recipe is inspired from one that I originally clipped from a Bon Appétit magazine, dating back to 2005. Thanks to the power of the internet, the original recipe can be found here.
I decided to use the combination of watermelon with ricotta salata and basil. The original dressing consisted of lime juice and olive oil. Over the years, I have made a simple recipe even simpler. Just before serving, I drizzle the balsamic reduction over the grilled watermelon. That’s it. I have also excluded the pine nuts included in the original recipe.
I encourage you to adapt this recipe to your own personnel preferences. My family and I love ricotta salata, but if you prefer, either feta or goat cheese will work well in this recipe.
Each bite of this easy, refreshing and delicious bbq watermelon recipe will provide you with a burst of flavor.
Do you have other grilled watermelon recipes that you enjoy?
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Grilled Watermelon appetizer recipe, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Grilled Watermelon Steak
- 4 slices watermelon rind on, about 1 inch thick (room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 6-8 ounces Ricotta Salata or feta cheese 175 - 225 grams
- 2-3 tablespoons basil fresh, torn
- a few pinches of sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
- extra basil leaves for garnishing if desired
- Heat grill pan on high heat.
- Brush the sides of the watermelon lightly with the olive oil.
- Once the grill pan is hot, sear each side of the watermelon for 1-2 minutes.
- Place watermelon on serving dish and allow to cool slightly.
- Crumble cheese over top of grilled watermelon.
- Sprinkle with basil leaves and pinch of sea salt.
- Drizzle each slice with balsamic reduction just before serving.
This post was originally published on July 1, 2017 and republished on July 27, 2019 with updated content and photos. Thanks for sharing.