Yellow Watermelon Salad with Pickled Cucumber Relish

By Amanda Paa – Updated March 6, 2024
5 from 1 vote
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I can remember the sheer excitement of the days when my childhood best friend would ring the doorbell. I’d drop everything and sprint to the front door, flinging it open so hard I could barely hang on.

Liesl’s brown eyes, my blue eyes would meet, both as big as saucers, and the screech of, “Let’s play!” coming simultaneously from our mouths. Some days it was barbies, some days hotel, library, or restaurant. Or we’d race to the park on our bikes and swing as high as the sky. We never really had a plan, just a spur of the moment kind of decision.

30 years later, things have changed, yet they’re still the same. My best friend is now named Sherrie, and we have to board a plane to ring each other’s doorbell. But the same excitement exudes when one of us picks the other up from the airport, something I honestly never thought I’d experience through an adult friendship.

Once we get settled in, “Let’s cook and shoot something!” is the same as the “Let’s play!” of my younger years. This time, to the tune of this Yellow Watermelon Salad with Pickled Cucumber Ginger Relish.

Pickled Cucumber Ginger Relish

After an exchange of hugs and a pho lunch in St. Louis last week, Sherrie mentioned she had just gotten a tripod and overhead arm. Perfect reason to make something and experiment, right? We didn’t have a lot of time (as I had an appointment that afternoon) nor many ingredients on hand, but that didn’t stop us.

She had picked up a gorgeous melon at the market, and when we sliced through it to reveal the canary yellow flesh, there was no question it would be the star. Tasting the juicy wedges, we loved its honey sweet yet earthy flavor…. even a hint of summer squash, different from the sugar sweet taste of red watermelons, in the best way.

Then the brainstorming started…. and ended in about 2 minutes. She had one lonely cucumber from her garden, a few green onions and parsley in the refrigerator, and a knob of ginger on her counter. The lightbulbs flickered, and a cucumber relish came to us as the answer.

Pickled Cucumber Ginger Relish

Dice, dice, chop, chop, stir, stir. An all green, savory relish that was a match made in heaven to the yellow watermelon triangles. With contrasting textures and flavors, we couldn’t photograph it fast enough, knowing that a juicy and refreshing snack was on the other side of a little work.

The beauty of this salad is that the longer the relish sits, the better is. So make that piece a day ahead, then slice and go. And since watermelons are so big, my suggestion is to make it this way with the first half, then with Sherrie’s Herby Olive Oil Relish the second. Two slightly different variations, both totally delicious.

And seek out that yellow watermelon. It’s well worth it. Just like seeking out a good friend.

Yellow Watermelon Salad with Pickled Cucumber Ginger Relish {paleo}

If you make this yellow watermelon salad, be sure to tag me on instagram with hashtag #heartbeetkitchen or @heartbeetkitchen!

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yellow watermelon salad on a vintage plate

Juicy Yellow Watermelon Salad

A yellow watermelon salad that's fresh and bright, with pickled cucumber relish! So easy to make, full of sweet and savory flavor. I love the fresh ginger in the relish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :20 minutes
Total Time :30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Amanda Paa



  • Yellow Watermelon, sliced into 1/2 inch thick triangles
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion


  • Whisk ginger, salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil, and parsley together to completely blend. Add cucumber and green onion. Stir to completely coat. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  • To plate, arrange watermelon slices and spread relish in the middle. Dress with extra olive oil drizzles, salt, and pepper (this is important).


For another amazing rendition of this salad, try Sherrie's Herby Olive Oil Relish. You'll love it!
Yellow Watermelon Salad with Pickled Cucumber Ginger Relish {vegan}

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tag @heartbeetkitchen on instagram and hashtag it #heartbeetkitchen

September 5, 2016


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  1. Gena

    Loved hearing about your weekend with Sherrie :) Sounds fun!

    • amandapaa

      Weekends with friends are the best. Especially when you get to cook together! Thanks for stopping by Gena. xo

  2. Megan

    seriously GORGEOUS!

  3. Tessa | Salted Plains

    Everything about this post makes me happy. :) Having that kind of friendship is so special. A perfect, beautiful late-summer collaboration! xoxo

  4. Lane & Holly @ With Two Spoons

    So gorgeous! And what a fabulous story…

  5. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious

    You have me intrigued….I just try a yellow watermelon and compare to a red. I don’t think I ever noticed a flavor diff, but I probably wasn’t paying attention!

    • amandapaa

      There are quite a few different heirloom varieties of yellow watermelon, so flavor can be dependent on that. We loved the sweet, yet subtle savory flavors of this one! xo

  6. Michele

    I love this relish idea! the spice will be great with the watermelon!

  7. rebecca | DisplacedHousewife

    So vibrant and gorgeous!! I’m headed to TJs to get some of this yellow watermelon!! xoxo

    • amandapaa

      ya, girl! that yellow babe is waiting for you…

  8. Ruby

    I have never heard of yellow watermelon! This looks so deliciously beautiful. There is nothing like brainstorming & play with best friends :)

  9. Kelsey @ Appeasing a Food Geek

    This looks absolutely delicious and soooo refreshing. I love the crisp combo of cucumber and ginger. I think I need to find this magical yellow watermelon as soon as possible. xoxo

  10. Karen @ Seasonal Cravings

    What a gorgeous sweet and simple salad to celebrate the end of summer!

  11. Sherrie

    I want to relive this weekend with you forever, and ever. I miss you in STL. Chris and I have already started talking about a St. Paul winter trip. LOVE YOUUUU! xx

    • amandapaa

      I miss it ALL. but I’m so glad it worked out to come visit. And our guys seemed to have just as much fun, which is always a bonus. Yes to a winter trip! Oh my gosh, already thinking of the things we can do.

      Watermelon sisters forever. xo

  12. Becky Winkler (A Calculated Whisk)

    This looks so good! I was super excited to find a yellow watermelon at the farmers market a couple weeks ago. I had to ask what it was because it was yellow on the outside and looked just like a spaghetti squash. I was sorely disappointed when I cut it open, though, because it was pink inside just like a regular watermelon! My search for yellow-on-the-inside watermelon continues…

    • amandapaa

      Oh man, that is disappointing! This yellow one looked just like a typical red from the outside, green with barely there whitish stripes. I hope you can find one. They really taste a bit different in the best way. Xo!