Vegan Watermelon Nachos with Avocado Sauce


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(Note: this post was originally published on August 30, 2020. It has since been updated with a few tweaks.)

Super-Fresh Watermelon Nachos

Prepare to have your nacho world changed forever. These are the freshest, juiciest, most summery vegan nachos around. We make them at least a couple times each summer and are totally smitten.

If you've been following this blog for a while, you're probably familiar with my Brussels Sprout Nachos and also my Nacho Cabbage. You'll know, then, that I love re-inventing nachos in fresher and healthier ways.

These watermelon nachos are my new favorite nacho remake because they have all the best toppings in a very unexpected and very summery package. The concept here is simple: just replace triangular tortilla chips with triangular watermelon slices. Smother them with a creamy avocado sauce instead of cheese, then add all your favorite toppings and serve. Best of all, these healthy nachos come together very quickly and involve little to no cooking, depending on what toppings you choose.

Healthy vegan nachos made with watermelon triangles instead of chips

How to Make Healthy Nachos

Although nachos are of course fabulous, the combination of ingredients (typically a bunch of chips and a bunch of cheese) isn't very good for the body. This recipe makes two key swaps to reinvent nachos in a much healthier way.

First, instead of tortilla chips, you'll use watermelon that's sliced into thin triangles. It's a juicy, hydrating, and fresh way to do nachos that leaves you feeling good afterward rather than weighed down.

Second, instead of cheese, these vegan nachos use a creamy avocado sauce for richness. It provides all the same decadent appeal that cheese does in traditional nachos, but in a way that works better with the summery watermelon theme. And unlike cheese, this creamy avocado sauce is loaded with healthy fats and even a bit of protein. The avocado sauce is easy to make too; just blend together an avocado, some lime juice, cilantro, and salt.

Healthy vegan Watermelon Nachos topped with an avocado sauce and nacho toppings

Watermelon Nachos Topping Ideas

You can top these healthy nachos with whatever you like, as long as you think it will go well with watermelon. As you can see from the photos in this post, I like to use lots of fresh, summery toppings. You can make this recipe as elaborate or as simple as you want depending on how many toppings you choose and how much preparation they require. You can even turn these vegan nachos into a meal if you add some hearty ingredients like black beans.

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. The other has black beans, pickled red onions, baby red bell pepper, and pepitas.

You'll see in the recipe card below that I provide a whole list of topping ideas rather than specific ingredients. Because these watermelon nachos are infinitely customizable, I encourage you to think of this post as more of a concept rather than a specific recipe.

Vegan nachos made with watermelon and avocado sauce

Ingredients and Substitutions

Here are some ideas to get you started. First up, here are the things you definitely need for these healthy nachos:

  • Avocado. It absolutely must be ripe; the sauce won't blend into a thick, creamy texture if you use an unripe one. This luscious sauce adds some much-needed fat to these vegan nachos and it also helps the toppings to stick, so don't skip it.
  • Lime juice. Fresh-squeezed is a must.
  • Fresh cilantro. Or sub mint if you're not a cilantro lover.
  • Salt
  • Watermelon

And now, choose your own topping adventure!

  • Grilled protein of choice. Adding some protein on top is a great way to make these watermelon nachos 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 or pickle them to tame their assertive flavor.
  • Fire-roasted peppers. You can grill, char, or pickle them for additional flavor. Shishitos or poblanos have delicate heat, jalapenos have more heat, and bell peppers have no heat. Remember that you can always remove the seeds and ribs of a pepper to tame its heat.
  • Tomatoes. Choose something small and less juicy, like cherry tomatoes, since the watermelon already has a high water content.
  • Roasted salted pepitas
  • Fresh cilantro and/or mint
  • Lime zest
  • Sprinkle of chili powder or chili salt
  • Few dashes of hot sauce

Healthy nachos with watermelon triangles instead of cheese, with colorful nacho toppings

Closing Thoughts

Well... what do you think? Absurd or genius? Maybe I'm biased, but I think these watermelon nachos are the greatest addition to a summer weekend evening. I love that this concept is infinitely customizable, can fit almost 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 healthy nachos are the most fun, fresh, surprising dish around. Pair them with a summery tequila cocktail like my Blueberry Ginger Paloma, put a couple things on the grill, and have a chill evening on the deck or on the patio. Cheers to the best season of the year!

Vegan Watermelon Nachos topped with an avocado sauce, blistered peppers, and corn

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

Blackberry Coconut Margarita

Grilled Corn Guacamole

Tropical Macadamia Mango Slaw

Rainbow Mexican Black Bean Salad

Tropical Vegan Macadamia Tacos

Vegan Watermelon Nachos with Avocado Sauce

In this fresh twist on vegan nachos, watermelon slices get loaded up with all your favorite toppings, fresh herbs, and a creamy avocado sauce. It's an easy, summery, unique appetizer you can feel good about enjoying.



For the Sauce

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

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

  • Small watermelon (or half a large 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
  • 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 thick sauce that you can dollop onto the nachos.
  2. Cut a watermelon into small triangles. Lay the triangles out on a serving platter and chill them while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Prepare your chosen toppings as necessary. This could include grilling, fire-roasting, pickling, etc, plus cutting of raw veggies and herbs.
  4. Assemble! Dollop the sauce over the watermelon slices, then add the toppings afterward (the sauce will help the toppings stick to the watermelon). Layer the toppings so that the heavier ingredients (e.g., black beans) are on the bottom while the most fragile ingredients (e.g., fresh cilantro) are on the top.
  5. Finish it off with a generous sprinkle of sea salt.

Leave a Comment

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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July 6, 2023
Wow this is so creative. I’ve been seeing watermelon fries on TT lately, this looks even better. Bookmarked for our next summer party.