grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa

this dish right here.

this dish RIGHT HERE.

this dish NEEDS to be made in your kitchen before this season’s watermelons roll away into fall.

{grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa} this is the only chicken marinade you need to know! it's the best!

the other day, i posted literally the best ever chicken tortilla soup from a blogger i admire. today, i am raising a glass to another favorite blogger, iowa girl eats, by sharing my slightly adapted version of her grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa.

one winning aspect of this dish is that it’s a cinch to throw together!

another great part? it’s a total twofer! 

the watermelon-cucumber salsa is stand-alone great + the chicken -oh gosh the chicken!- has flavor for miles.

{grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa} this is the only chicken marinade you need to know! it's the best!-2

the first thing that needs to be known is that, no exaggerations included, the chicken marinade in this recipe is the only marinade you may ever need.

it’s salty from a dash of soy, sweet from a drizzle of honey, packs some heat from raw garlic and red pepper flakes + has a hint of ginger to round everything out.

i will pinky promise that once you try this marinade you will jot it’s contents on a flash card, spend some quality time memorizing it + use it as a go-to marinade for like ever.

{grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa} a summer fruit salsa + the perfect grilled chicken make for the perfect combination!_

as for the salsa, it is such a fun summer spin on salsa!

watermelon is truly the MVP of summer fruits + some serious summertime magic happens when you meld it’s refreshing flavor with cool cukes, spicy jalapenos + zesty fresh-squeezed lime juice.

it doesn’t matter how you eat it -by the chip load or fork load- you will love how cool it is! {PUNS}

{grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa} a summer fruit salsa + the perfect grilled chicken make for the perfect combination! _

i know temps are dropping, but i am confident a market near you still has some watermelons hangin around! so grab five a few + do yourself a solid by cooking up this cool combo!

happy friday friends!


grilled chicken with watermelon-cucumber salsa
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
grilled chicken with marinade:
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled + crushed {please note! you do not want chopped/minced garlic - it will burn on the grill!}
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
watermelon-cucumber salsa:
  • 2 cups watermelon, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded + diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced {i suggest to leave the seeds in but remove + de-rib if heat sensitive}
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, zested + juiced
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • kosher salt + pepper, to taste
grilled chicken:
  1. whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl then transfer to a plastic bag for marinating.
  2. pound the chicken to an even thickness, score diagonally across the top + place inside the bag with the marinade.
  3. marinate, in the refrigerator, for at least 30 minutes. {up to 12 hours}
  4. when ready to grill, heat your grill or grill pan over medium-high heat + spray with non-stick spray.
  5. cook the chicken for 5 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center.
  6. remove to a plate + let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
watermelon-cucumber salsa:
  1. combine all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. serve the salsa over each piece of grilled chicken.


 no grill? while the char of the grill can’t be beat, this marinade + salsa combo is too good to miss! simply sautee your chicken in a skillet, using whatever tickles your fancy for a non-stick option! {a pad of butter wouldn’t hurt the browning process ;)}


here is a great video on how to pound your chicken breast to even thickness! taking this extra step with chicken when grilled will ensure that your chicken cooks evenly – no dried out ends here!

tiny leftovers

 add this dish to the ‘no leftovers fly’ list. the watermelon-cucumber salsa will simply get all.. watery. and as for the chicken, cooked chicken will hold great when eaten cool or at room temp! but trying to nuke it just yields a sad rubbery chicken experience.


 fresh summer corn or sliced scallions would be great additions to the salsa!

tiny lightbulb

 it would be a super fun party idea to dice your grilled chicken + add it right into the salsa! serve the protein-kissed salsa with tortilla chip scoops + you’ve got yourself an awesome appetizer! {or even toss it over some arugula or baby greens for a lunch salad!}


thank you to inspiring kristin from iowa girl eats! this dish has been saved on my pinterest for months + it totally surpassed my expectations!