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Watermelon recipes perfect for summer

Chelsea is the author of the food blog Chelsea's Messy Apron where she shares a wide variety of recipes including family-friendly and easy meals, lots of baked goods and desserts, and plenty of healthy eats. She received her BA in Exerci...

And not all of these are made with fruit

These dishes center on one of the most loved summer fruits — watermelon. Whether they're watermelon flavored or watermelon shaped, you'll love them all.

Watermelon is my all-time favorite fruit. To me, it screams summer, BBQs, picnics and longer days. As a little girl, I would love to help my mom cut open a huge watermelon and then seed it. We had watermelon a lot while growing up, and it was usually paired with something fresh off the grill and corn on the cob.

These five dishes are packed with either real watermelon or watermelon flavoring. They are perfect for summer picnics. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as my family did.

1. Watermelon, mango and strawberry salad recipe

Watermelon, mango, and strawberry salad

This salad is both healthy and refreshing. The watermelon mixed with the other fruits packs in some great nutrients, and the light dressing will leave you wanting more and more.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-size watermelon (about 8 cups), cut into small chunks
  • 2 large mangoes, pitted and skins removed
  • 1-1/4 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. In another large bowl, gently mix together the watermelon, mango and strawberries. Stir in the dressing.
  3. Garnish with the mint leaves and feta cheese.
  4. Serve immediately.

2. Watermelon cupcakes recipe

Watermelon cupcakes

These cupcakes are bursting with watermelon flavor. Bonus: They are decorated and dressed up to look like miniature watermelons.

Yields 24

Ingredients:

  • 1 white cake mix plus the ingredients called for on the box
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package watermelon Jell-O mix, dry (for flavoring)
  • 3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 (16 ounce) container vanilla frosting
  • Green and pink or red food dye, enough to reach desired shades

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners, and set it aside.
  2. Follow the package directions to mix together the cake batter. Stir in some pink or red food coloring, the watermelon Jell-O powder and the miniature chocolate chips.
  3. Divide the batter equally among the muffin liners, and follow the package directions for baking time.
  4. When done, remove the cupcakes from the oven, and allow them to cool completely.
  5. While the cupcakes cool, separate the frosting into 2 bowls. Dye 1 bowl of frosting a very dark green and the other bowl a lighter shade of green.
  6. Place both frostings side by side (not touching) into a frosting bag fitted with a star tip.
  7. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

3. Watermelon lemonade slush recipe

Watermelon lemonade slush

This watermelon slush requires only three ingredients and takes just minutes to whip together. It is delicious, refreshing and the perfect summer beverage.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup seeded watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry lemonade drink mix
  • 1 cup ice

Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients. Process until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Transfer into 2 glasses, and enjoy immediately.

4. Watermelon caprese salad kebabs recipe

Watermelon caprese salad kabobs

These watermelon kebabs are so easy to make.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup seeded watermelon, cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, cut into large chunks
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 wooden skewers

Directions:

  1. Thread the watermelon chunks, cheese chunks, tomatoes and basil leaves onto the skewers until all the ingredients are used up and evenly distributed among the 4 skewers.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  3. Pour the dressing over the kebabs.
  4. Serve immediately, or store (without dressing) in an airtight container in the fridge, and then pour the dressing onto the kebabs right before you are ready to serve them.

5. Watermelon cookie recipe

Watermelon cookies

Not only do these cookies look like watermelon slices, but they taste like them too.

Yields 18-20

Ingredients:

  • 1 (17.5 ounce) package sugar cookie mix plus the ingredients called for
  • 4 tablespoons watermelon Jell-O mix, dry (for flavoring)
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • Red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup vanilla frosting
  • Green food coloring

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the sugar cookies according to the package directions.
  2. Stir in the dry Jell-O mix and miniature chocolate chips. Add red food coloring until desired shade is reached.
  3. Roll out the dough, and cut it into large circles. Cut the circles in half, and place them on an ungreased baking pan.
  4. Bake according to the package directions.
  5. Remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool completely.
  6. While the cookies are cooling, microwave the vanilla frosting for 20 seconds. Stir in the green food coloring until the desired shade is reached.
  7. Dip the rounded edges of the cookies into the green frosting glaze.
  8. Place the cookies on a wire rack, and allow them to completely dry.

More fruit recipes

Raw chocolate, peanut butter and banana smoothie
Strawberry, chamomile and quinoa smoothie
Avocado and blueberry swirled smoothie

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