Watermelon Nachos with Avocado Sauce


(Note: this post was originally published on August 30, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

The Freshest Nachos

Prepare to have your nacho world changed forever. These are the freshest, juiciest, most summery nachos around. I've already made them twice this week and I'm totally in love!

If you've been following this blog for a while, you're probably familiar with my Brussel Sprout Nachos. You'll know, then, that I love taking the concept of nachos and re-inventing them in fresh (and more nourishing) new ways.

These watermelon nachos are just that- all your favorite nacho toppings in a very unexpected, very summery, hot weather appropriate package. The concept here is simple; just replace triangular tortilla chips with triangular watermelon slices. Smother them with all your favorite toppings and serve! They come together very quickly and involve little to no cooking, depending on what toppings you choose.

Creamy Dreamy Avocado Sauce

One important ingredient note. Maybe you feel differently, but the combination of watermelon and melty cheese makes me uncomfortable. Yuck. So instead of cheese or a nut-based cheese sauce, I've used a luscious, creamy, decadent avocado sauce. It provides all the same fatty appeal as cheese does in traditional nachos, but in a way that works better with the summery watermelon theme. Bonus: no cooking needed.

The avocado sauce is really easy to make; just blend together an avocado, some lime juice, cilantro, and salt. It's the perfect complement to the fresh, juicy watermelon.

My tip? Make a double batch of this sauce and set half aside for the next day or two. It makes for a great dressing for salads, or a great sauce for nourish bowls. The lime juice will keep it from getting brown.

Topping Time!

Next up- the toppings! You can really use whatever you like, as long as you think it will go well with watermelon. As you can see, I like to use lots of fresh, summery toppings. But you can take this in whatever direction you want; there are lots of ideas below. The only rule is that you must salt the "nachos" generously before serving!!

To get you started, I've shown two different examples in the photos here (both using the same avocado sauce). One has blistered shishito peppers, grilled corn, fresh cilantro, and fresh mint; sort of a verde approach to nachos. The other has black beans, pickled red onions, baby red bell pepper, and pepitas.

You'll see in the recipe card that I just provided a list of ideas rather than specific ingredients. I'm sorry! I hope that isn't daunting to anyone! I just feel like everyone has their own nacho preferences. Think of this post as more of a concept, introducing you to the watermelon nachos and the sauce, rather than a specific recipe.

Infinitely Customizable

These nachos are, of course, totally customizable. Make them as simple or complex as you want. Make them light and nourishing, or super decadent. They're easily vegan or vegetarian, but certainly don't have to be. Adding some protein, like black beans or your grilled protein of choice, can easily make this into a meal.

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here are some ideas to get you started. Although of course these nachos are more of a concept than an actual recipe, so top them however you like! First up, here are the things you definitely need:

  • Avocado. Absolutely must be ripe; the sauce won't blend into a thick, creamy texture if you try to use an unripe one.
  • Lime juice. Fresh-squeezed!!
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Salt
  • Watermelon

And now, choose your own topping adventure!

  • Grilled protein of choice. Adding some protein on top is a great way to make this fun, summery dish into a meal!
  • Black beans
  • Corn. Grill it and then cut it off the cob. Or, use raw corn for a fresh, crunchy pop.
  • Red onions. Grill them or pickle them to tame their assertive flavor.
  • Fire-roasted peppers. You can grill them, char them over a flame, or pickle them. I think shishitos are so fun! Poblanos will add delicate heat and lots of flavor, whereas jalapenos will add more heat. Feel free to take the seeds out or leave them in as your preferences dictate. Or, use bell peppers to add great color and flavor with no heat.
  • Tomatoes. Choose something small and less juicy, like cherry tomatoes, since the watermelon already has a lot of moisture.
  • Salty, fresh cheese. Something like feta, queso fresco, or cotija is a good bet for pairing with watermelon.
  • Crema. Or cashew crema for a vegan version.
  • Roasted salted pepitas
  • Fresh cilantro and/or mint
  • Lime zest
  • Sprinkle of chili powder or chili salt
  • Few dashes of hot sauce

Closing Thoughts

Well... what do you think? Absurd or genius? Maybe I'm biased, but I was pretty darn proud of myself when I thought up this dish. I love that this concept is infinitely customizable, can easily fit any diet, and can be as elaborate or as quick as you want. Think of them as a blank canvas for all your nacho dreams.

Regardless of how you top them, these watermelon nachos are the most fun, fresh, surprising dish around. Pair them with a margarita or maybe this Watermelon Mint Gimlet and you have yourself the best summer evening!

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Watermelon Mint Gimlet

Blackberry Coconut Margarita

Orange Jalapeno Brussel Sprouts

Mexican Street Corn Stuffed Peppers

No-Cook Rainbow Black Bean Salad

Watermelon Nachos with Avocado Sauce

A delightfully surprising twist on nachos! In this summery version, watermelon slices get loaded up with all your favorite toppings, fresh herbs, and a creamy avocado sauce instead of cheese.



For the Sauce

  • Ripe avocado
  • Juice of a lime
  • Small handful of cilantro
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • Little splash of water as needed

For the Nachos (choose a few of your favorite toppings from this list of ideas!)

  • Watermelon
  • Grilled protein of choice
  • Black beans
  • Grilled corn (cut off the cob)
  • Pickled or grilled red onions
  • Blistered poblano, shishito, or jalapeno peppers
  • Raw or fire-roasted bell peppers
  • Quartered cherry tomatoes
  • Salty cheese like feta, queso fresco, or cotija
  • Crema or cashew crema
  • Roasted salted pepitas
  • Fresh cilantro and/or mint
  • Lime zest
  • Sprinkle of chili powder or chili salt
  • Few dashes of hot sauce
  • Generous sprinkle of sea salt


  1. To make the sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth, creamy consistency. Thin it out with a splash of water as necessary, until you achieve a sauce that you can drizzle onto the nachos.
  2. Cut a watermelon into small triangles. Lay the triangles out on a serving platter and chill them while you work on the other ingredients.
  3. Prepare your toppings as necessary. This could include any grilling, fire-roasting, pickling, etc, you want to do.
  4. Assemble! Drizzle the sauce over the watermelon slices, then add your toppings afterward (the sauce will help them stick to the watermelon). Layer your toppings so that the heavy things (e.g. black beans) are on the bottom while the most fragile things (e.g. fresh cilantro) are on the top.
  5. Finish it off with a generous sprinkle of sea salt, since watermelon loves salt!

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Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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