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Beef and Watermelon Sandwich with Sesame Mayo

Disclaimer: Thank you to the Watermelon Board for sponsoring this blog post! All recipes, wording and opinions are entirely my own.


My new favourite sandwich: roast beef and watermelon with sesame mayo.

Watermelon in winter?! I know it sounds crazy, but it is entirely possible and realistic. I was skeptical at first when the Watermelon Board asked me to make a winter dish using their fruit. Isn’t a watermelon both hard to find and expensive in the winter? It came as a surprise to me that in fact neither is true- while it is slightly more expensive than during the summer, a nice watermelon still offers great value per serving. And yes, you can find this pink fruit even in winter!


A thin slice of watermelon offers a wonderful freshness to balance out the richness of a dish, like the sesame mayo and roast beef in this sandwich. It isn’t nearly as overpowering as one might think, and its flavour and juiciness is comparable to a tomato. The burst of colour will be a welcome addition, especially during the dark and grey months.

This sandwich recipe is the result of a breakaway from a major sandwich rut I was in- the mix of flavours and textures are a wonderful way to add variety to your diet. Long live the creative sandwiches! 🙂

Recipe inspired by Food and Wine, a recipe that uses pickled watermelon rind!

Beef and Watermelon Sandwich with Sesame Mayo
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  • a small roast beef (about 500 g)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 heaping tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh watermelon, sliced into about 1/2-inch round then cut again into small triangles, rind removed
  • 1 medium baguette, sliced almost all the way through lengthwise (leave the top and bottom pieces attached)
  • a handful of fresh lettuce for garnish
  • sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


    for the roast beef
  1. preheat oven to 350F and massage the roast with the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20 minutes or until medium-rare. Allow to rest untouched for 10 minutes, then slice into very thin slices against the grain. Keep warm while you move onto the next step.
  2. for the sesame mayonnaise
  3. combine the mayonnaise, sesame seeds and sesame oil together. Set aside.
  4. to assemble the sandwich.
  5. Remove some of the white fluffy inside of the baguette. This gives more room in the sandwich for the filling so it will be easier to close and eat. Spread the prepared mayonnaise onto the inside of the baguette, and top with the thin slices the roast.
  6. Add a few leaves of lettuce and top with the watermelon (about the same quantity as you would with tomato slices). Sprinkle with a few sesame seeds if desired.
  7. Slice the baguette into three (to share!).
  8. Best enjoyed with a pickle or two, and a nice cold beer.


Looking for other great watermelon recipes? Check out my Watermelon Sangria Slushie or for inspiration!

  • That is an intriguing mix of flavors, I'll have to try it out for sure! Thanks for sharing
  • Earth, Food,and Fire
    I wouldn't have thought to use the watermelon right on the sandwich raw..maybe in a relish form of some kind as a condiment for the beef, but I like how you make the point that it's just as a good as a tomato. It adds freshness and flavour to the sandwich.. I'll have to give it a shot!
  • Colleen Milne
    Hilary, this looks so delicious! I love the idea of using watermelon to add fresh sweetness to a rich beef dish. Beautiful!
  • sugarlovespices
    My husband likes to buy baby watermelons also in the winter, and he loves a good roast beef sandwich! This will be prefect to try. Love the combination of flavors!
    Very intriguing! A taste of Summer during these cold months is always welcome. Can't wait to try it.
  • urbnspice
    I am so going to try this! How very creative 👍
  • Sean Bromilow
    I spend a lot of time reading and researching food, and it's always such a delight to me when I see something that makes me say "Huh?!" I think these flavours sound absolutely wonderful. I make watermelon rind pickles myself, and I've been wanting to try Russian-style pickled watermelon, plus I've done my own recipe with watermelon in tuna crudo, so I'm no stranger to savoury watermelon, but this still broke the mould for me! I think it's amazing, and the sesame mayo sounds like an amazing way to bring all of the flavours together. I can't say that I've bought winter watermelon before, but you can certainly consider my curiosity (and my appetite) piqued!
    • I'm so pleased to hear that, thank you Sean! :) And I bet the watermelon and tuna went together beautifully in your tuna crudo!
  • Isabelle Boucher
    What a clever twist on the usual roast beef sandwich.I love using watermelon for a pop of sweetness in savoury dishes... it's lovely in salads, and I can see it being equally good as a sandwich topping. It just so happens that I have a bunch of leftover roast beef sitting in my fridge right now, so this sandwich and I were clearly destined to be... I just need to drag my butt to the grocery store for watermelon! :)
    • Thanks Isabelle! That roast you made looked and sounded amazing- I'm sure it'd go beautifully with a bit of watermelon :)
  • What a unique and interesting combination of flavours, Hilary! I would have never, never thought to pair watermelon and beef together. I'm going to Pin this one for inspiration -- thanks for sharing!