Pickled Watermelon Rind, the Quick Pickle Way

Watermelons are in season, which means it’s time to make use of all those pesky rinds! Composting is great and all, but wouldn’t you rather get your money’s worth and have a tasty, healthy snack? This easy recipe for pickled watermelon rind will give you yet another reason to love watermelon!

Pickled Watermelon Rind
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You Can Pickle That!

Before this summer, I never would have guessed that you could eat pickled watermelon rind. Even if you could – why would you want to? Well, I’ve recently been converted. Not only is it easy to pickle watermelon rind, but it tastes delicious too!

The best part about this recipe is how easy it is. At the end of the day, we’re just infusing vinegar and water with flavor and pouring that brine over peeled watermelon rind. The rest is really up to you.

Now, I’m personally too lazy to buy and peel a whole watermelon in the same day. I usually just cut it in half or thirds and wrap the uncut side in plastic wrap until I’m ready to deal with it. That being said, I was able to save up my rinds until I was done with the whole watermelon after a few days.

Oh, and if you’re in need of more awesome watermelon recipes, I love this refreshing gin fizz made with fresh watermelon juice. 

So, what exactly do you do with pickled watermelon rind? As good as they are straight out of the jar, I love adding them to salads or burgers. Basically, any situation where you’d add pickles can easily be swapped for this pickled watermelon rind.

Burger with Blue Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Pickled Watermelon Rind and Spring Greens
burger with blue cheese, caramelized onion, pickled watermelon rind, and spring greens


Today, I’ll be sticking with pink peppercorns, cinnamon, and sugar to flavor my pickled watermelon rind – but I’ve included a list of flavor combinations in case you’re looking for a different flavor profile.

Now, here is everything we will need to make this pickled watermelon rind recipe:

Watermelon Rind

Approximately 1 1/2 pounds of peeled and rinsed watermelon rind. One large watermelon should do the trick.

Water & Vinegar

In a 1:1 ratio. I’ll be using white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar will work as well. Rice wine vinegar is best used in addition to other vinegar, as it is quite sweet.


Can be added to taste.

Pink Peppercorns, Cinnamon Sticks

Our main flavors – can be swapped for anything listed down below.

Kosher Salt

Or canning salt. I’m using kosher salt because it’s what I have, and it works perfectly fine!

A Good Peeler

Trust me, the task of peeling a whole watermelon is going to suck if you don’t have a good peeler. Here is the one I use every day.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

Flavor Combinations

If peppercorns and cinnamon aren’t your thing, consider one of these options:

  • Fresh ginger, allspice and red pepper flakes
  • Allspice, peppercorns, cloves
  • Apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, maple syrup, cloves
Jar of watermelon rinds in liquid.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

As if you need another reason to love watermelon! This recipe explains how easy it is to make use of what you'd otherwise discard – and instead turn it into a delicious treat.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 Medium saucepan
  • 1 Knife and cutting board
  • 1 Clean quart jar with lid
  • 1 Wooden spoon
  • 1 Peeler


  • 1.5 lb Watermelon rind approximately 1 large watermelon, or 4 cups worth
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Vinegar I'm using white vinegar, but apple cider vinegar would work great as well
  • 3/4 cups Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Pink or black peppercorns
  • 1-2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt or canning salt


  • Peel watermelon rinds and chop in 1 inch chunks. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan set to medium high heat, combine water, vinegar, salt, sugar, and spices. Bring to a boil, then add watermelon rinds and simmer until the rinds are soft, about 10 minutes
  • Carefully add the rinds to your mason jar, then pour as much of the pickling liquid as you can. Loosely cover the jar and leave at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
  • Place your cooled jar in the refrigerator and consume within 1 month.
Keyword Fruit, Pickled, Watermelon
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