A great healthy vegan and gluten-free summer snack with big flavor. This easy to make spicy homemade watermelon jerky features dehydrated fresh watermelon, lime juice, and Tajín seasoning for a fresh snack with some zip.
A Healthy Homemade Snack
We’ve been really into travel ready snacks lately. We just love having something ready to go to either bring on a road trip to upstate New York or even just throw in a purse to always have a healthy option at our fingertips when we start to get a little hangry (well, that’s usually me, not so much steve…;)!) waiting for a delayed subway train (looking at you, R Train!).
Our current snack obsession of the moment is watermelon jerky. Although this recipe sounds fancy it is remarkably easy to make, basically it’s a cross between a fruit roll-up and spicy jerky. But unlike snacks that you can purchase, this simple recipe only requires 3 ingredients and it can be made with your very own hands!
Sweet & Spicy
The key to this flavorful “jerky” is the combo of sweet watermelon and spicy chili pepper with a little zesty lime on the side. First you cut watermelon into small 3-4 inch chunks. Next, brush it with some lime juice and then sprinkle some spicy Mexican Tajín Clásico Seasoning on top.
Finally, the prepared watermelon can either be dehydrated (which is our preferred method) or it can be baked at a low temperature until all of the liquid evaporates and you are left with a fun snack that can be taken anywhere.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Watermelon – This unlikely fruit makes the perfect vegan jerky for the warm summer months.
- Lime – A little citrus zip gives depth of flavor and helps preserve color.
- Tajín Seasoning – A Mexican spice blend of mild chili peppers, lime, and sea salt that offsets the sweet watermelon flavor. If you can’t find Tajín Clásico Seasoning, chili powder or another spicy seasoning can also be used as a substitute.
FAQ & Watermelon Jerky Tips:
Should the watermelon be seedless?
- Yes. Although the seeds can be removed, opting for a seedless melon will save time.
How long will the jerky last?
- A long time! The great thing about this preparation method is that it allows you to enjoy all the flavor of watermelon long past the summer months. It should keep for 2-3 months but chances are, it won’t last that long.
Tip: Flip your “jerky” while it dehydrates or cooks.
- By flipping it once or twice, the liquid in the watermelon will evaporate much more quickly.
Mix It Up!
- Try experimenting with other spices or dried herbs in place of the Tajín. Dried basil would be great for a mild jerky or try chipotle chili pepper or smoked paprika for a different take. Additionally, it can also be prepared with just a brush of lime juice for a plain variety.
Time to Get Your Snack On
Do you love to snack but want a lighter option that won’t weigh you down? Watermelon jerky is the answer! Never be hangry again when you are on the go!
Finally, if you have made this watermelon jerky recipe, we would love to hear what you think! Please comment down below and be sure to rate the recipe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Thanks so much!
Spicy Homemade Watermelon Jerky
- Prep Time: 15 min.
- Cook Time: 12-16 hours
- Total Time: 12 hours and 15 min.
- Yield: 10 Servings 1x
- Category: Snack
- Method: Dehydrate
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
A healthy vegan and gluten-free summer snack perfect for on-the-go. This homemade watermelon jerky is the perfect combo of sweet & spicy!
- 1 Small Watermelon 7 lbs (Cut into Thick Strips) 1 inch x 4 inch
- 2 Limes (Juiced)
- 2 Tbsp Tajin Seasoning
- Using a knife, carefully remove the rind. Cut the watermelon into strips approx. 1/2 inch thick by 1.5 inches wide and 4 inches long. Although the strips can be different sizes and that will be fine but they should be roughly the same thickness.
- Place the watermelons strips onto lined dehydrator trays.
- Juice the limes into a small bowl and brush the juice over each strip.
- Sprinkle the Tajin seasoning over each strip. Using as much or as little as you want depending on your spice tolerance.
- Place the trays into the dehydrator on 165° for 12-16 hours. Rotating the strips halfway through.
- Alternatively, this recipe can also be made on wire racks in a 250° oven for 3-5 hours.
- Store leftover jerky in an airtight container or ziplock baggies for up to a month.
- The jerky may rehydrate slightly if it is not consumed right away. However, it is still edible it will be just more of a fruit roll-up consistency rather than a jerky.
- The equipment listed above contains affiliate links to products that we personally use, love, and recommend!
Keywords: Spicy Homemade Watermelon Jerky, Watermelon Jerky Recipe, Vegan Jerky Recipe
If you are interested in other light and healthy snacks, be sure to check out these recipes too!
Tofu Jerky: Another vegan jerky option that is loaded with protein!
Gluten-Free Seed Crackers: A quick and easy homemade cracker made with sunflower, pumpkin, and sesame seeds that are held together with nutritious chia seeds.
Air Fryer Dill Pickle Pasta Chips: This fun homemade chip is made out of gluten-free farfalle pasta with a tangy dill flavor.
Spicy Baked Lentil Crackers: A protein rich cracker that is reminiscent of Cheez-It crackers but with a little kick.
- Smoky Vegan Cucumber Bites: Fresh and healthy cucumber topped with dairy free cream cheese and a dash of smoky flavor that’s ready in minutes.