When you think of summer, what foods come to mind?
Hotdogs on the grill. Tall ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles. Warm tomatoes, picked from the vine.
If we keep going, no doubt, watermelon will be on that list somewhere. Can you imagine a summer without watermelon? Picture a barbecue where no one shows up with a cold watermelon. Or how about a family reunion without the kids spitting watermelon seeds? Crazy, right?
With their emerald rinds and bright red flesh, it’s hard to come up with an image that’s more evocative of summer than this classic fruit.
Watermelon is the perfect treat on a hot summer day. And if you know all the tricks to growing them and knowing when to pick them, ripe watermelon is just a walk to the garden away.
Of course, most of us can’t finish an entire watermelon in one sitting, so what do you do with all of that extra melon? Unless you plan on eating slice after slice in a few days, it will spoil sooner rather than later.
We’ve put together a list of scrumptious watermelon recipes to help you free up fridge space and use that delicious melon.
Let’s start with some sweet treats.
Sweet Watermelon Recipes
Sorbet is one of those desserts that always looks incredibly impressive when you serve it, especially when garnished with a sprig of mint. And it’s a great way to capture the distinct flavor of summertime fruits. This watermelon sorbet takes mere moments to make and only two ingredients, so who says there’s no time for dessert?
5-Minute Easy Watermelon Sorbet @ Oh the Things We’ll Make
The Sicilians really know how to celebrate and enjoy life. La dolce vita! Do as the Italians do and enjoy the sweet life with this traditional Sicilian dessert.
Sicilian Watermelon Pudding @ Food Nouveau
If you’ve got a summer birthday coming up, this is the perfect ‘cake’ to celebrate. It’s lighter and lower in calories than a traditional cake. And the best part is you don’t have to turn the oven on.
Watermelon Cake @ My Food and Family
Mix up this sugar-free no-churn ice cream for a cool and creamy treat. For those on a low-carb diet, it’s just the ticket. Even if you aren’t watching your caloric intake, this delicious ice cream can’t be beat when the mercury soars.
Sugar-free Watermelon Ice Cream @ Clean and Delicious
Watermelon and popsicles are synonymous with summer. Why not combine the two into a portable snack? This recipe can be made family-friendly or turned into a frozen adult treat with the addition of vodka or rum.
Watermelon Popsicles @ Bellyfull
Dessert doesn’t get easier than this. For a fun family activity, you can provide frosting bags and berries so everyone can “make” their own pizza. No brick oven required.
Watermelon Pizza @ Wholesum Yum
Savory Watermelon Recipes
While watermelon is naturally sweet, this summertime fruit also lends itself to savory dishes.
This is by far my favorite way to eat watermelon. This fresh, cool, crisp salad is great for those days when it’s too hot to eat. It’s an easy and quick salad to mix up for your next barbecue or picnic.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint @ Food and Wine
Speaking of salads, watermelon makes for an excellent salad dressing with its high water content. For a sweet and summery take on the classic balsamic vinaigrette, just add watermelon. Now you’ve got the perfect dressing for all of those salads your picking from your garden.
Balsamic Watermelon Vinaigrette @ HEB
Something magical happens when you put sweet fruits on the grill. Those natural sugars start caramelizing and take on a darker, syrupy flavor. Add in that touch of smokiness, and you’ve got yourself one delicious backyard grilling experience.
Grilled Watermelon @ The Pioneer Woman
When you look at a watermelon, I’ll bet you wouldn’t think to add it to your sandwich. However, the combination of extra sharp cheddar, sweet melon and spicy rocket marry perfectly on chewy whole wheat bread. Kick those boring grilled cheese sandwiches to the side; you’re a big kid now.
Watermelon Grilled Cheese @ Watermelon.org
In an offbeat take on the sandwich, this recipe uses watermelon as the “bread.” Sweet and juicy watermelon accentuates the rich creaminess of fresh mozzarella. The bread and butter pickles add in a tang that just works. Trust me; you’ve got to try this one.
Watermelon Mozzarella Sandwich @ Farm Flavor
Melon and cured meats were meant to go together. The fresh, juicy sweetness of the watermelon helps to cut the saltiness of this thinly-sliced cured meat. These skewers need to be on your next summer charcuterie board.
Watermelon Prosciutto Skewers @ Wholesomelicious
When baked and then grilled, watermelon takes on a whole new texture. Gone is the grainy, sweet juicy fruit you are used to, and its place is something entirely different. The watermelon takes on an almost fish-like texture. Faux tuna steaks from watermelon? You’ll have to try it to believe it.
Watermelon “Tuna” Steaks @ Tasty Thrifty Timely
When you’re tired of the usual tomato salsa, grab the other half of that watermelon in the fridge and a bag of tortilla chips. This is another recipe that’s just perfect for summertime get-togethers. Light and refreshing, this salsa is infinitely snackable.
Watermelon Salsa @ The Girl Who Ate Everything
Ugh, who wants to heat up the kitchen making French fries? Watermelon fries are so much quicker, not to mention healthier. And they’re perfect for dipping in both savory and sweet sauces.
Watermelon Fries @ Hip2Save
If you’ve never tried gazpacho, you don’t know what you’re missing. The classic cold soup gets an update with the addition of fresh watermelon. Tasty, refreshing and classy, it’s a great choice for your next Sunday brunch.
Watermelon Gazpacho @ Food Network
While eating all of these great watermelon recipes, don’t forget to save the rind. What? Do you mean you’ve never had pickled watermelon rind before? Cheryl will catch you up on what you’re missing.
Pickled Watermelon Rind @ Rural Sprout
Skip the highly-processed fruit snacks sold at the store. Grab the dehydrator and make up a batch of watermelon fruit leather. It’s okay; you don’t have to tell your kids it’s good for them.
Watermelon Fruit Leather @ Domestically Blissful
Drink Your Watermelon
When you want something truly refreshing, try drinking your watermelon instead of eating it. The color and flavor lend themselves well to delightful summer sippers.
Why not have watermelon for breakfast with this delicious smoothie? Watermelon is perfect for staying hydrated as it’s loaded with electrolytes. And you can freeze the watermelon before blending it into your smoothie for an extra icy drink. Mmm!
Watermelon Smoothie @ Downshiftology
Speaking of freezing watermelon, mix up some of these easy watermelon ice cubes. With a hint of lime, they add a touch of summer to any drink you need to keep cold. If you’re planning on serving iced tea or lemonade at a picnic or brunch, these pretty pink ice cubes will elevate your sipping experience.
Watermelon Ice Cubes @ Food Network
You can bet watermelon is the perfect fruit for summer cocktails because it’s juicy and sweet. Naturally, it’s a great addition to many of the classics, like a mojito, for instance. Mix up an entire pitcher to serve at your next barbecue.
Watermelon Mojitos @ Creative-Culinary
Nothing beats a gin and tonic on a real scorcher of a day, except maybe a watermelon gin and tonic. When it’s G&T weather, mix up this frozen concoction for sipping on the porch in the shade.
Watermelon G&T @ Simply Delicious Food
It’s a beautiful pink color. It’s sweet and tangy. And it’s way better than plain lemonade. What more do you need to know?
Watermelon lemonade @ All Recipes
Do you want an icy, cold margarita? No need to grab the blender. Just follow this recipe and enjoy frozen margarita watermelon slices.
Margarita Watermelon @ Delish
This non-alcoholic drink is easy to make and oh-so refreshing. The lime adds a delightfully tart kick, eliminating your thirst completely. Watermelon agua fresca was made for sipping by the pool.
Watermelon Aqua Fresca @ Downshiftology