3 Surprising ways to cook with watermelon rinds

Jul 23, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. ET

What happens after you've eaten a slice of your favorite, juicy watermelon? You smile and toss the rind into the trash, right? Well, instead of throwing it away, why not keep that rind and use it in your dinner? I know it sounds crazy, but those rinds are actually delicious when prepared right!

These recipes use your favorite summer fruit in an entirely new way, and it'll have you rethinking what you do with those rinds moving forward. Plus, less trash for you, right?

1. Pickled watermelon rinds recipe

 Pickled watermelon rinds

Serves 2-4


  • 2 cups watermelon rinds (the white part, not the green), sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons distilled vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. In a bowl, whisk together the vinegars and honey. Into another bowl, place the watermelon rinds, and pour the vinegar mixture over them. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.
  2. Chill the rinds for about 1-1/2 hours, and enjoy.

2. Swordfish pasta salad with watermelon stir-fry recipe

Swordfish pasta salad with watermelon stir-fy

Serves 4


  • 8 ounces cooked rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup watermelon rinds, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 10-ounce swordfish steak
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 ounces sharp cheddar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper, leeks and watermelon rinds. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a grill over medium-high heat, and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Add the swordfish steak, and grill for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.
  3. Slice the swordfish against the grain into thick slices.
  4. Toss the pasta in with the stir-fry, and then add the lemon juice, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Chop the basil, and mix it in with the pasta salad.
  5. Lay the fish on top of the pasta salad. Garnish with the cheddar cheese and additional basil. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.

3. Indian curry watermelon wedge salad recipe

Indian curry wedge salads

Serves 4


  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup watermelon rinds, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 21 ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil plus extra for garnish
  • 8 watermelon wedges
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups arugula
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large wok over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add the onion, garlic, watermelon rinds, bell pepper and the 2 tablespoons of basil. Heat for about 4 to 6 minutes or until soft. Mix in the garam masala, turmeric, curry powder, crushed red pepper, flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in the cream.
  3. Arrange the watermelon wedges on a tray. Top with arugula (about 2 to 3 tablespoons per wedge) and about 1 hefty tablespoon of curry mixture. Garnish with additional fresh basil.

More watermelon recipes

Tonight's Dinner: Watermelon gazpacho
Watermelon sorbet in edible bowls
Watermelon and jalapeño margarita