Summer and fresh fruit go hand in hand. And if there’s one fruit that’s most associated with summer, it has to be watermelon. Whether you cut it into sticks, cubes, or wedges, there’s nothing like the sweet taste of ripe watermelon to let you know it’s summer.
Watermelon is great all on it’s own, but you can also use it as an ingredient in all sorts of salads, drinks, and so much more. These 12 recipes will help you use watermelon to its full potential.
Sweet and Salty Grilled Watermelon
Grilling thick slices of watermelon on high heat creates a sweet and smoky unexpected dish. After you grill the watermelon, sprinkle the slices with a rub of sugar, salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne. Squeeze on some lime to complete the treat.
Pickled Watermelon Rinds
Don’t worry if you’ve never pickled anything before, pickling watermelon rinds is a great recipe for beginners. The pickling spices are simple: allspice and cinnamon. Add them to apple cider vinegar, boil, and pour over watermelon spears for a classic sweet and sour pickled taste. Refrigerate for 24 hours and you’re done.
The perfect balance of sweet and tart, this watermelon lemonade recipe uses whole seeded lemons (yes, including the skins) plus cubed watermelon, sugar, and water blended together, strained, and poured over ice.
This refreshing cold soup, a riff on traditional Spanish gazpacho, is full of watermelon, tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, and seasonings. Serve as a light fresh course topped with a dollop of sour cream and cubed avocado.
Watermelon Salad with Cotija, Jicama, and Lime
This crisp watermelon salad has a southwestern flair. Crunchy jicama, red onion, a couple of juiced limes, minced serrano chile, and a pinch of cumin join cubed watermelon. Sprinkle cotija cheese on top and enjoy.
Watermelon Feta Salad with Mint
This version of watermelon salad is similar to the one above but it’s seasoned differently. Fresh parsley and mint stand out subtly among the watermelon, red onion, and lime juice. If you want, add some chopped Kalamata olives for the unexpected.
Watermelon Rosé Mimosa
Making watermelon juice is easy. Simply place cubed watermelon in a blender, blend it up, then strain to get the juice. Use the juice to switch up the classic mimosa cocktail for one that includes watermelon juice, sparkling rosé wine, and lemon juice.
Blend watermelon, honey, and lemon juice together and place the mixture in a freezer-safe container. Every hour for four hours, run a fork through the mixture. At the end of four hours, you’ll have a lovely textured frozen dessert.
Watermelon Pitcher Margaritas
Make watermelon margaritas for a crowd with this recipe that changes up the classic margarita by adding a bit more tequila and fresh watermelon. It’s scaled to make 5 or 6 servings, but you’ll want to keep some extra watermelon juice in the fridge because there’s a good chance you’ll need to make a second pitcher.
Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca
Agua fresca is a classic Mexican fruit drink, and this version is a combination of ripe strawberries, watermelon, citrus, sugar, and water. Purée in a blender, then strain. Drink as is, or pour in popsicle molds and freeze for a treat.
Frutero-Inspired Watermelon Salad
This fresh, tart, spicy, sweet salad is the watermelon recipe you didn’t know you needed. Inspired by street fruit vendors, known as fruteros, it includes lime, chamoy (a pickled Mexican fruit sauce_, and Tajín (the chili pepper, lime, and salt spice that often rims a Michelada glass).
1-Ingredient Watermelon Granita
The granita recipe above is very easy, but if you want an easier and quicker version, try this. Freeze watermelon cubes and when you need a refreshing frozen treat, add a few cubes to a food processor. Presto! You have granita. Eat it plain, add a squeeze of lemon or lime while you’re processing the frozen cubes, or drizzle with condensed milk or honey when it’s in the glass.