Savory watermelon recipes showcase watermelon’s versatility

(Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Marco Secchi/Getty Images) /

Watermelon’s versatility is on display with these savory watermelon recipes.

While slices of watermelon are always refreshing, savory watermelon recipes are a wonderful way to bring more versatility to the table. Since the entire watermelon is usable, there is no reason not to use each and every part. With a little flavor creativity, that cost-effective watermelon will always be in your refrigerator.

Although watermelon sees a surge in popularity during the summer, it is available year round. Plus, with so many different varieties on store shelves, there is always a reason to grab one during the next grocery store shop.

While many people enjoy watermelon on its own, in a fruit salad or even blended into a smoothie, those traditional recipes aren’t the only way to enjoy the tasty treat. Savory watermelon recipes bring a different flavor option to the table.

Recently, the National Watermelon Promotion Board share recipes from best-selling authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. These  recipes focus on savory elements and using the whole watermelon. From rind to fruit, it is time to bring some exciting flavors to the table.

One of the recipes that Bruce and Mark shared was Thai-inspired Watermelon Rind Salad. While some people do not think about the rind as usable, that portion of the watermelon offers a lot to a recipe. From a different texture to its flavor, it is time to discover the use of the watermelon rind.

Here’s how to make Bruce and Mark’s Thai-inspired Watermelon Rind Salad.


  • 8 cups thin watermelon rind ribbons
  • 3 tablespoons loosely packed light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons hot red chile sauce
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts


  • Fill a medium saucepan about two-thirds full of water and bring it to a boil over high heat
  • Add the watermelon rind ribbons and blanche for 20 seconds. Drain in a colander set in the sink and rinse the ribbons with cold tap water until cool to the touch, tossing them occasionally with kitchen tongs. After they’re cook, shake the colander several times to get rid of the excess water.
  • Whisk the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and hot chile sauce in a large serving bowl. Add the tomatoes and peanuts, toss gently to combine.
  • Pick up the rind ribbons by the handful and gently squeeze them dry over the sink, adding each batch to the bowl with the tomatoes. When all the ribbons are in the bowl, toss gently until well combined.
  • Serve immediately or cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and store on the counter for up to 1 hour.

Having made this recipe, a few key takeaways can really boost the flavor experience. First, a good fish sauce makes a difference in the flavor. While you don’t have to splurge on a super expensive fish sauce, a higher quality option does make a flavor difference. Since this recipe is relatively simple, the ingredients do matter.

Also, the chile sauce can be adjusted for taste. While some people prefer bold, spicy flavors, it can be tamed down a little (or boosted, too).

This Thai-inspired watermelon rind salad makes a great side, but it can even be a topping for a burger or sandwich. Consider using thinner ribbons if using this recipe as a topping versus a salad.

If you have leftover salad, you can keep it refrigerated. Just a reminder that the spicy notes will become tamer as the salad sits. So, if you eat it the next day, it won’t be as spicy.

While this Thai-inspired watermelon rind salad might be a new option for some foodies, another simple swap could have people excited about eating more watermelon. Instead of tomatoes and mozzarella, consider watermelon, prosciutto and mozzarella skewers.

These skewers are simple to create. It is basically combining all the ingredients on a skewer. The recipe uses watermelon balls, but you could use chunks. Plus, some basil leaves are added.

Also, don’t forget the salt. A sprinkling of a good sea salt will really make a difference in this simple recipe.

From these savory watermelon recipes to salsas to grilled watermelon to numerous other options, watermelon is always a great choice. The National Watermelon Promotional Board has all types of watermelon recipes that foodies will want to discover.

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