Chili Lime Cantaloupe

$1.35 recipe / $0.34 serving
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 5 votes
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Shopping for produce can be a bit tricky in the United States. Some items are priced by the pound while others are priced per item, and if you happen to confuse the two, you can wind up paying an arm and a leg. So when I saw cantaloupe at the store with a big “$2” sign, I had to do a double take. $2 per pound would have been a pricy melon, but to my delight they were $2 a piece. Nice!

I had intended on making a sweet and spicy cucumber salad to serve along side my Thai Peanut Chicken this week, but the cucumbers weren’t looking so hot and this cantaloupe was just begging to be taken home. So I made a last minute switch and put together this Chili Lime Cantaloupe instead. This salad couldn’t be more fresh or simple, which makes it perfect for these hot summer (or pre-summer) nights. The dressing is a little bit sweet, a little bit salty, has the bright freshness of lime, and a hint of spicy chili for fun. The sweetness of the cantaloupe is only magnified with the juxtaposing flavors.

Top view of a dish of Chili Lime Cantaloupe

You could just as easily make this salad with cucumber if melon isn’t your thing, or if you happen to have both, make the salad a beautiful mix of orange and green. If you want to dress up the Chili Lime Cantaloupe even further, toss in a handful of chopped fresh cilantro.

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Chili Lime Cantaloupe

4.80 from 5 votes
This quick and refreshing Chili Lime Cantaloupe is a unique way to dress up summer fruit. Pairs well with any southwest or Asian inspired meal.
Servings 4
Prep 20 minutes
Total 20 minutes


  • 1/2 medium cantaloupe ($1.00)
  • 1.5-2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime) ($0.25)
  • 1/2 Tbsp honey ($0.06)
  • 1/8 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper ($0.02)


  • Cut the cantaloupe in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Reserve half of the cantaloupe for breakfast or other meals. Take the remaining half and cut it into quarters. Using a sharp knife, carefully run the knife between the flesh and the rind. Once the rind is removed, slice the melon into thin pieces.
  • In a small bowl, combine the juice of half a lime (about 1.5-2 Tbsp), honey, salt, and crushed red pepper. Stir until the honey is dissolved.
  • Pour the dressing over the sliced cantaloupe and toss to coat the melon in the dressing. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to eat. Give the melon a brief stir before serving.

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Serving: 1ServingCalories: 33.45kcalCarbohydrates: 8.48gProtein: 0.6gFat: 0.13gSodium: 85.03mgFiber: 0.68g
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Three small bowls of. Chili Lime Cantaloupe

If you love spicy fruit, you might also like my Spicy Pineapple Cucumber Salad!

Top view of a. dish o.f Chili Lime Cantaloupe sitting on a green napkin

How to Make Chili Lime Cantaloupe – Step by Step Photos

Cantaloupe cut in half and seeds scooped out

To prepare the melon, first cut it in half. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Only half of the melon will be used for this recipe. The other half can be served at breakfast, used in smoothies, or served as a snack.

Cantaloupe half cut into quarters with knife

Cut the remaining half into quarters.

Filet and Sliced Cantaloupe into thin slices

Carefully slide the knife between the rind and the flesh to remove the rind. Cut the melon into thin slices.

Cantaloupe in caserole dish with a small bowl of dressing on the side

In a small bowl, stir together the juice from half a lime (about 1.5-2 Tbsp), 1/2 Tbsp of honey, 1/8 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (I actually added a little extra red pepper, cuz that’s just how I am). Stir them until the honey is dissolved. I used half of the lime for my Thai Peanut Chicken and the other half for this salad.

Dressing poured over cantaloupe in dish

Pour the dressing over the cantaloupe and toss to coat. Serve the Chili Lime Cantaloupe immediately or refrigerate until you’re ready to eat. Remember to give it a quick stir to redistribute the juices before serving!

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  1. Quick and easy side dish! We ate this as a side with burgers, and I used the rest of the cantaloupe in some overnight oats.

  2. I used mixed fruit, grapes & cantalope, and used chili powder instead and it was life changing. You are such an inspiration Beth.

  3. This is delicious! I made it early this morning and am having it with dinner. I do need to remind myself for next time that a little red pepper flake goes a long way. :)

  4. Used this dressing with strawberries and mixed in some avocado chunks for a mellow touch. Very yummy breakfast!

  5. I wonder how this would be on honeydew or if that flavor profile just won’t work together?

  6. what a great idea! i love cantaloupe (and have one on my counter to cut up actually) but my husband doesn’t care for the flavor. maybe with this twist he would :)

    1. I’ve made this a few times now. I double it up and use the full cantaloupe. It can be hard to find good fresh fruit here sometimes but there’s always cantaloupe handy, and cheap too. A regular fruit dish to add to the rotation! Very pleased.

  7. This pregnant lady thanks you. I’ve been craving something exactly like this!

  8. This looks delicious! Honey and lime are one of my favorite flavor combinations. It will be about a month before there are decent cantaloupe in my area and I’ll be trying it then.

  9. O~h, my~. I’ve just recently started getting into the concept of “seasoned” fruit, so I’ll have to try this. -:D

    How long do you expect this will stay good in the fridge? I wonder if the acidity would break the fruit down faster … or something? Not super familiar with making such things yet, so I was curious if you have some experience with longevity.

    1. The acidity and more importantly the small amount of salt will cause the fruit to seep water faster than they normally would in the fridge, but I think it would be good for about 3-4 days. Just remember to stir before serving so that the juices from the bottom get redistributed. :)

      1. O~h, yeah! I didn’t even notice the salt. Thanks! I’m going to nab a melon on my next grocery run and give this a try! -:)

  10. Do you have Aldi grocery stores in your area? I just picked up a cantaloupe there for 79 cents. Their produce is insanely cheap and good if you know how to pick it. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe out.