Watermelon Rind Pickles Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time
Prep: 45 min. + chilling Process: 10 min.
Looking for a unique summer treat? Look no further than homemade pickled watermelon rinds!

Updated: Jan. 24, 2024

Watermelon is the fruit of the summer. It’s hard not to love the crisp, pink flesh of a watermelon. But have you ever had pickled watermelon rinds? If not, then you’re in for a real treat! This easy recipe results in tangy, bite-sized pieces that pair perfectly with salads, grilled meats and fresh fish. You can eat pickled watermelon rind on its own as a snack, too. Honestly, just think of them like any other pickle!

Pickled Watermelon Rind Ingredients

  • Watermelon rind
  • Water
  • Canning salt
  • Sugar
  • White vinegar
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole cloves
  • Whole peppercorns

Directions

Step 1: Prepare the rind

Carefully remove the dark green peel from the watermelon rind. This can be done with a sharp knife or peeler. Place the rind pieces in a large bowl. Pour in the water and stir in the canning salt. (Don’t use table salt—that’s a rookie pickling mistake!) Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

The next morning, rinse and drain well.

Step 2: Make the pickling solution

In a Dutch oven, mix together the sugar, vinegar, two cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorns. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add the rinds; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes or until the rinds are tender. Discard the cinnamon sticks.

Step 3: Put the rinds in jars

Carefully ladle the hot mixture into four hot one-pint jars, leaving a half-inch of headspace. Add one cinnamon stick to each jar. Remove the air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding more hot mixture. Wipe off the rims to make sure they’re clean and dry. Center the lids on the jars, then screw on the bands until tight.

Editor’s Tip: For just a few dollars, snag a canning funnel so you can be sure to get all your brine and pickles in the jar with no waste.

Step 4: Process the pickles

Place the jars into a hot water canner with simmering water, ensuring that they’re completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and let process for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and let cool completely.

Once cooled, keep your jarred watermelon pickles in a cool dry place and store in the fridge once you pop the jar open.

Editor’s Tip: If you’re serious about canning, check out all the canning supplies you need to start preserving.

Pickled Watermelon Rind Tips

What’s the best way to peel watermelon rinds?

Start by slicing off the two ends of the watermelon using a sharp chef’s knife, making sure you see bright red flesh. If you see white, you’re not cutting deep enough. Stand the watermelon on one of the cut ends. Carefully cut from the top down, following the curve of the watermelon. You may want to flip the melon upside down and re-cut to make sure all the peel is removed.

How can you make pickled watermelon rinds your own?

There are lots of ways to give pickled watermelon rind, or any type of pickle, your own unique flavor. Try switching up the spices by adding cumin seeds and coriander seeds for a Southwest flair. Star anise gives an Asian flavor.

How can you serve pickled watermelon rinds?

Pickled watermelon rind is both acidic and slightly sweet, so it’s great with rich, fatty foods like cheese or steak. It’s also fantastic alongside roasted or grilled meats. Don’t forget to try these pickles on their own!

How long will pickled watermelon rinds last for?

When it comes to pickling safely, you have to follow all the rules. But once they’re safely tucked away in a cool, dark place, they’ll be good for 12 to 18 months. Once the jar is opened, be sure to keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Watch how to Make Watermelon Rind Pickles

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Prep Time 45 min
Cook Time 10 min
Yield 4 pints

Ingredients

  • 8 cups sliced peeled watermelon rind (2x1-in. pieces)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup canning salt
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 6 cinnamon sticks (3 inches), divided
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns

Directions

  1. Place rind in a large nonreactive bowl; stir in water and salt. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Rinse and drain well.
  2. In a Dutch oven, mix sugar, vinegar, 2 cinnamon sticks, cloves and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Add rinds; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until tender. Discard cinnamon sticks.
  3. Carefully ladle hot mixture into 4 hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Add a remaining cinnamon stick to each jar. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.
  4. Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Nutrition Facts

1/4 cup: 16 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 96mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

"Waste not, want not" has always been smart advice—especially when it produces picked watermelon rind that's so refreshing. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Recipe Creator