Watermelon Rind Pickles

Total Time

Prep: 45 min. + chilling Process: 10 min.


4 pints

Updated: Aug. 07, 2022
"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


  • 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


  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.
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, on the other hand, will give them 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! Set the jar on the table by your other BBQ side dishes at your next cookout.

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 they're opened, be sure to keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
Canning Altitude
The processing time listed is for altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. For altitudes up to 3,000 feet, add 5 minutes; 6,000 feet, add 10 minutes; 8,000 feet, add 15 minutes; 10,000 feet, add 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

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