Watermelon Cubes with Southwest Corn Salsa & Cotija Cheese

Watermelon Cubes with Southwest Corn Salsa & Cotija Cheese

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Today, we have a delightful appetizer or dessert featuring one of our summer favorites: watermelon. Chef Greg Ziegenfuss, the executive chef at Butler’s Pantry in St. Louis is sharing another of his recipes with our audience and it’s sure to delight the guests at your next gathering or event. These Watermelon Cubes are topped with a spicy Southwest Corn Salsa and Cotija Cheese – for the perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

If you’re looking to make a great impression at your next party or want to wow your friends with something other than your usual side dish or dessert – this is the dish for you. For even more flair, you can plate and finish the dish for all to see. Show those culinary skills! It’s not as hard as you think.

Watermelon isn’t only fun and flavorful, it has a litany of health benefits. According to Kayla James, of NaturalFoodSeries.com, some of those include:

Antioxidants in the form of Vitamin C and Lycopene

The restorative amino acid L-citrulline

Because of its sweetness and texture, it can help reduce cravings for less-healthy sweets, and because of its high water composition, can be more filling

It’s rich in potassium which helps protect nerve function

Be sure and check out Chef Ziegenfuss’ other contributions: Spicy Shrimp with Plantains and Mango Salsa and Thai-Marinated Grilled Flank Steak.


Materials Needed: Large mixing bowl for tossing.


  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1/3 cup red and green bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/8 cup red onion, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, thinly sliced (reserve half for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeño (seeds removed), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 1 small watermelon (with or without seeds), sliced 1-inch thick, then cut into 1.5-inch squares
  • 1/2 cup Cotija cheese, grated


  • 1 Cook the corn by placing the whole ear in a microwave and cook on high for three minutes. Once removed from the microwave, remove husk and silk.
  • 2 Chef's Tip: To remove the corn from the silk, cut off silk end and squeeze from the other end - the corn will come out of the husk without the silk.
  • 3 Cut corn off cob. In a large bowl, toss with red and green bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, olive oil, garlic, lime juice, jalapeño and Tabasco sauce.
  • 4 Top each watermelon cube with salsa, a pinch of lime zest and a pinch of Cotija cheese.


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