Sesame Shrimp and Watermelon Salad

Things I really love in summer: 

  1. Super crisp, crunchy salads
  2. Juicy watermelon

So clearly it make sense to combine these two faves into one, right?

Introducing: Sesame Shrimp and Watermelon Salad, for when you can’t decide between sweet and savory. :)

Thank you to my friends at The Watermelon Board for sponsoring this post!

watermelon shrimp sesame salad

I’ve been really into the sweet + savory combo lately – adding fruit to salads in particular adds a fun pop of flavor and juiciness that’s unexpected and delicious. 

This salad has a lot of bold Asian flavors, so adding the watermelon is an even more unique pop of flavor. It’s also a nice change from the crunch of the rest of the dish to have something more soft/juicy in the mix!

sesame shrimp watermelon salad3

Asian salads are one of my summery faves because it’s nice to have a lighter option that still has great Asian flavor. Feel free to use chicken instead of the shrimp if you want to mix this up – or leave out the protein entirely and enjoy this as a crunchy side. 

Another idea: serve it atop brown rice or quinoa or stuff it into a tortilla for some extra oomph! 

Besides the fun crunch, one of my favorite things about salads like this are how colorful they are. Love all those pretty veggies!

sesame shrimp watermelon salad

And speaking of the veggies, here is a hot tip: if you want, add the watermelon rind to the salad, too – it has a texture similar to cucumber and if you grate it it will mix really well with the rest of the crisp veggies. Plus, then you aren’t wasting the rind – a watermelon is 100% edible!

You can also save any extra rind to make my Chicken Gyros with Watermelon Rind Tzatziki. ;)

Anyway! Here are the ingredients for this simple and summery Sesame Shrimp and Watermelon Salad:

shrimp sesame watermelon salad ingredients

In addition to adding a juicy pop of sweetness to this salad, the watermelon also brings some great nutrition to the table – watermelon has an excellent level of vitamin C and is a source of vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin B6, so eat up!

I highly recommend serving this up with some extra watermelon on the side. :)

sesame shrimp watermelon salad1

To make this dish, you basically just chop all the veggies, make the salad dressing, and then saute the shrimp for a few minutes until it’s fully cooked. Easy!

If you want to make this meal come together even more quickly, you can chop your veggies and make the dressing ahead of time – just keep them separate so the veggies don’t get soggy if you aren’t serving it for quite awhile – and then all you’ll have left to do in the moment is cook your shrimp. 

sesame shrimp watermelon salad8

Here is the full recipe. 

If you try this recipe, please tag me @fANNEtasticfood on social media so I can see how you enjoyed it!

Yield: 4 servings

Sesame Shrimp and Watermelon Salad

Sesame Shrimp and Watermelon Salad

This crunchy, fresh, and light dish is perfect for summer.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


For the shrimp:

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pound peeled shrimp
  • Salt & red pepper flakes, to taste

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • Salt & red pepper flakes, to taste

For the salad:

  • 4 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 cups diced watermelon
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped


  1.  Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the ginger and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook until pink throughout, about 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine all dressing ingredients together in a bowl or jar and stir or shake to combine.
  4. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine.
  5. Add the cooked shrimp and toss to distribute, or divide salad onto plates and top with shrimp. 


Want to prep ahead? Make the dressing and chop your veggies ahead of time (just keep them separate so the veggies don't get soggy). When you're ready to eat, simply cook the shrimp, combine the dressing with the salad, and enjoy!

Want more watermelon deliciousness? 

Here are some other recipes on my blog made using watermelon:


  1. 1

    Sounds like a perfect prep-ahead meal for a hot summer day when you want to spend as little time as possible standing over the stove!

  2. 3
    Roadrunner says

    This looks super for the summer, thanks! Look forward to trying it.

  3. 5

    Anne, this was one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten, and I’ve eaten many salads over the years. The flavors all work together, and I love using coleslaw for the crunch as well as color (bagged with carrots and purple and green cabbage. I even licked the bowl to get every drop of dressing🤗 Thanks for sharing. You have a lot of creativity and put so much thought into your recipes. I’ve tried many of them and they are all delicious!


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