watermelon rind pickles in a glass bowl

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Watermelon is very nutritious, but what do you do with the rind? Summer is a great time to make an old Southern treat: Watermelon rind pickles.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Chilling Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 45 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Fermented, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 201kcal



  • Trim the pink flesh and the green outer skin from the rind.
  • Cut rind into small strips, about 1" x 2".
  • Cover with brine made by combining 3 quarts filtered water and 3/4 cup sea salt.
  • Refrigerate overnight. Drain and rinse in the morning.
  • Cover the watermelon with water and bring to a boil; continue cooking until just fork-tender, about another 15 minutes. (Pay attention - Overcooking will cause the rinds to become rubbery.) Drain.
  • Combine sugar, vinegar, 3 cups water and spices in a separate pan. Boil 5 minutes and then pour over watermelon. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat watermelon in syrup to boiling; reduce heat to medium and simmer for one hour to reduce a bit.
  • Pack the hot watermelon pickles loosely into clean, hot pint jars.
  • Cover with boiling syrup, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.
  • Wipe rims of jars with a dampened clean paper towel; apply two-piece metal lids. Without sealing, these pickles will last 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  • To can and seal, submerge the full jars in boiling water (enough water so the jars are 1-2" below the surface); boil for 15 minutes (or slightly longer at higher altitudes).


Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5324mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!