Watermelon Salad

My husband made this savory watermelon salad while I was out of town, so I’m sharing his feedback on the recipe. This salad has a lot of nice flavor; it’s a mix of savory and sweet. He added sesame seeds which provide a nutty character as well. To keep the recipe Whole Life Challenge compliant he couldn’t use hoisin sauce, so he combined gluten-free soy sauce with a mashed-up fresh plum instead.

Watermelon Salad

This is a great summer side dish, especially on hot nights when you don't want to turn on the oven to roast vegetables. The salad is a nice mix of savory and sweet; adding toasted sesame seeds provides a nutty character as well. This recipe is Whole Life Challenge compliant for Kickstart and Lifestyle; while the original recipe calls for hoisin sauce, we combined gluten-free soy sauce with a mashed-up a fresh plum instead.
Prep Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: sesame, sugar-free, watermelon, wheat-free, Whole Life Challenge
Servings: 4
Calories: 223kcal
Author: planfulcook


  • 1/2 small watermelon 3/4 inch cubes
  • 1 cucumber peeled and sliced into half moons
  • 1 small very ripe plum mashed or minced
  • 1/2 fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup salted pistachios coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce gluten-free
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds toasted
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Combine the watermelon and cucumber in a medium bowl. Add the mashed plum, lime juice, soy sauce, and black pepper, and toss to combine.
  • Sprinkle the pistachios and sesame seeds over the top, and enjoy!


The original recipe came from Kim Severson of The New York Times; we altered it pretty significantly.
We replaced hoisin from the original recipe with the mashed plum and gluten-free soy sauce, because hoisin includes sugar and during the Whole Life Challenge, we aim to avoid sugar. 
Adding toasted sesame seeds to this recipe was a pro move on my husband’s part, and made a huge difference. We always have both white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds in our pantry; my younger son loves them so much he sprinkles them on nearly every Asian-inspired rice dish we serve, similar to how many kids sprinkle Parmesan cheese onto pasta. 

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