pickled watermelon rind

pickled watermelon rind-- with spice seasonal food blog

Sweet, spiced pickled watermelon rinds make a delicious and thrifty summer snack. The sweet, tender rinds are bursting with tart apple cider vinegar and the warmth of cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns.


  • one 4-pound watermelon, quartered
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger


  1. Remove rind from watermelon flesh, leaving a small amount of pink on rind if desired (to make the pickled rinds look pretty). Cut rind into 1″ x 1/2″ pieces for a final volume of about 4 cups. Using a sharp butcher’s knife, carefully slice off green skin from each rind piece and discard skin.
  2. In a large pot, bring 8 cups water and 2 tbsp kosher salt to a boil. Add rind pieces and boil 5 minutes, or until tender. Strain and transfer to a large metal bowl.
  3. In a large saucepan, bring remaining 2 tsp salt, sugar, vinegar and spices to a boil, stirring until the sugar fully dissolves. Pour pickling syrup over rinds and set aside for 10- 15 minutes to cool. Find a plate with a diameter slightly smaller than the metal bowl and place it into the bowl to weigh down the rinds and submerge them in the pickling syrup. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Strain liquid from rinds into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour hot pickling liquid over rinds, let cool 10- 15 minutes, and again place a small plate inside the bowl to submerge rinds. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Repeat entire process one more time, straining and boiling syrup. This time, distribute the rinds into glass jars, pour the hot syrup over them, and set aside to cool 10- 15 minutes. Cover with lids and store in the refrigerator.


  • makes about 3 1/2 cups | recipe from Bon Appetit, August 1998
  • watermelon rind pickles are best consumed within 2 weeks but can last up to a month in the refrigerator.

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