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Pickled Watermelon Rind

When you think of pickles, you might think of cucumbers. Dill. Salt. You don't always think of watermelon rind. And yes, I know it sounds kind of crazy, but these sweet and sour pickles are a refreshing flavor bomb! Cinnamon, lemon, and cloves make them taste like a holiday in your mouth! The best part is that nothing goes to waste, so you can enjoy fresh watermelon and its rind.


  • Half a large watermelon

  • 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons kosher salt OR 1/4 cup pickling salt

  • 4 1/2 cups water, divided

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into several pieces

  • 1/2 or 1 teaspoon whole cloves 

  • 1/2 lemon, sliced into rounds (optional)


  1. On a clean cutting surface, use a vegetable peeler to remove the dark green skin of the watermelon. This is the only part of the fruit we cannot eat, so we just have to discard it. Once that's done, use a large, sharp knife to cut off the white rind of the watermelon. If you get a little bit of the pink flesh, that's okay, but we don't wan't to much of it. 

  2. Cut the rind into 1-inch segments, and place them into a large airtight container. Add the kosher salt and 3 cups of water. Cover with the container lid, and shake well to combine. Let it brine overnight in the fridge. This salt brine will help flavor and soften the watermelon rind. **Tip: Since you have a watermelon free of any rind, cube it up and enjoy!**

  3. Remove the briny watermelon rind from the fridge, and drain in the sink. Rinse any remaining salt brine from them. Now, prepare the pickling solution: in a large saucepan, combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups water, the vinegar, sugar, cloves, and cinnamon stick(s). Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, lower the heat and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes.

  4. Add in the lemon disks and the drained and rinsed watermelon rinds, then allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally, making sure it doesn't boil over.

  5. Remove from heat, pour the pickles into jars, along with the spices, lemon, and the pickling solution. Since we aren't going to sterilize these jars for long-time storage, just seal them tightly and they should last up to six weeks in the fridge. Enjoy! 


Why (and How) Did I Make This?

When I was 8 or 9, I read the entire "Little House on the Prairie" series. In one of the books, "Farmer Boy", a particular phrase caught my eye: pickled watermelon rind! It seemed so strange, but also, they wouldn't have eaten it if it wasn't good, right? Ever since, I've wanted to try pickled watermelon rinds. Finally, I combined several recipes, and made some for myself! I was delighted by how good they taste. Contact me with any book or movie foods I should make in the future! 

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