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Pickled Watermelon Rind

Did you know you can eat watermelon rind and seeds? Most people throw away the rind, but try putting it in a blender with some lime for a healthy, refreshing treat. Or pickle it as they do in the south.

Not only does the rind contain plenty of health-promoting and blood-building chlorophyll, but the rind actually contains more of the amino acid citrulline than the pink flesh.

This Southern pickle is great alongside grilled pork chops, or snack on it right out of the jar.

Makes about 1 Quart


  • 4 pounds watermelon
  • 1 serrano chile, thinly sliced, seeds removed if desired
  • 1- 1" piece peeled ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar


Using a vegetable peeler, remove 
tough green rind from watermelon; discard.

  1. Slice watermelon 1" thick. Cut away all 
but ¼" flesh from each slice; reserve flesh 
for another use. Cut rind into 1" pieces. (You should have about 4 cups.)
  2. Bring chile, ginger, star anise, salt, peppercorns, sugar, vinegar, and ½ cup water to a boil in a large saucepan, stirring 
to dissolve sugar and salt. Add watermelon rind and return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, setting 
a small lid or plate directly on top of rind 
to keep submerged in brine, if needed.
  3. Transfer rind and liquid to an airtight container; cover and chill at least 12 hours.

Tip: Watermelon rind can 
be pickled 2 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.