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This pickled watermelon rind recipe is perfect for summer! The pickles come out deliciously zingy, a great way to use up this seasonal fruit.

Pickled Watermelon Rind
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Nothing says summer more than watermelon pickles! These delicious zingy orbs are bright and beautiful, a rainbow of red flesh fading into the yellowed rind. Take one bite and the tangy flavor with a hint of clove and coriander will have you immediately reaching for another. This pickled watermelon rind recipe is the ideal summer preserving project: a great way to reduce food waste after making smoothies, juice, or watermelon salad!

What you need for pickled watermelon rind

This pickled watermelon rind recipe is for quick pickles, also known as refrigerator pickles. This type of pickle is fast to make and stored in the refrigerator, versus preserved with canning equipment and shelf stable. Because you don’t need canning equipment, quick pickles are our top style for at-home pickling. Here’s what you’ll need for this easy recipe:

  • 1 wide-mouth pint canning jar
  • Watermelon rinds
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Peppercorns, clove, and coriander seeds
Pickled Watermelon Rind 005

Peel the rind, then slice it

It’s easiest to make pickled watermelon rind by peeling the skin before it’s off the melon. Here are a few tips about cutting it:

  • Use a vegetable peeler. The skin is a little tricky to remove, but we found a peeler makes quick work. Do this before the watermelon is cut into slices, if you can.
  • Leave a little flesh on the rind for color. This is just for aesthetics! But it makes a nice looking rainbow to the slices.

What to do with the watermelon flesh? A few of our favorite watermelon recipes are salad, salsa, skewers, sorbet, smoothies, water, juice, margaritas, and more.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

How to make watermelon pickles

Grabbing all the ingredients and chopping the rind are the hardest parts! Once you’ve got past these hurdles, making pickled watermelon rind is a breeze. Here are the basic steps:

  • Heat the brine and simmer the rind pieces until tender. For this pickles recipe, you’ll boil the rind in the brine for about 5 to 10 minutes. Test if it’s fork tender.
  • Pour in the brine & cap the lid. Then pour in the brine, tap them on the counter to release any air bubbles, and cap the lid.
  • Wait until it cools (about 1 hour). You can eat immediately, or store in the fridge! Speaking of…

Storage info

How long does homemade pickled watermelon rind last? You can store watermelon pickles refrigerated for up to 1 month. In our house, they never last that long: we eat them much too fast for that!

More pickle recipes

You can quick pickle just about anything in the summer! Here are our top pickle recipes to choose from:

This pickled watermelon rind recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Pickled Watermelon Rind

Pickled Watermelon Rind

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
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This pickled watermelon rind recipe is perfect for summer! The pickles come out deliciously zingy, a great way to use up this seasonal fruit.


  • 2 cups watermelon rind (from about 1/2 small watermelon)
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds


  1. Wash a wide-mouth pint mason jar and and its lid in hot soapy water. Then rinse and allow it to air dry.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the green skin from the watermelon. Cut it into slices, then cut out the watermelon flesh, leaving just a bit attached to the rind for color. Save the flesh for another watermelon recipe (like juice, salad, skewers, smoothies, watermelon water, and more!). Cut the rind into bite size pieces until you have 2 cups.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, kosher salt, peppercorns, clove and coriander seeds. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt (this will take only a few minutes).
  4. Add the watermelon rind to the brine and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until it is tender when pierced with a fork. Use a slotted spoon to pack the mason jar with the rinds, then cover them with the hot brine.
  5. Screw on the lid tightly and allow to cool to room temperature (about 1 hour). Refrigerate until serving. Stores for up to 1 month refrigerated.
  • Category: Pickles
  • Method: Preserving
  • Cuisine: Pickles
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Charles Gordon says:

    Made a double batch exactly as written and threw both jars out. So salty that was all I could taste.

  2. Charis Fishter says:

    Hi! Just wondering if you can sub apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      You could, but the flavor would be a lot different.

    2. Liz says:

      Too vinegary for me also. I made a second batch with half the vinegar and it was still too much. I am now re-boiling both batches in just water to see if that will cut any of it. I love how easy the recipe is though, and hoping I can tweak the vinegar/water/sugar ratio for my liking.

  3. Maura says:

    I made two batches of the pickled watermelon rind. The first was as written. After an initial taste we decided to add a little more sugar. They’re in the fridge now, will evaluate after they marinate there for a while. I picked this recipe because it didn’t involve canning. Will see how it goes. So far so good.

  4. Veronica Ingram says:

    I made several pints of these. I and my family love them.
    I plan on making more,and I do a Hot Water bath, to keep them for the Holidays.
    Thank you for the Recipe.🤗

  5. Marilyn says:

    too vinegary for me :(

  6. Naynoma Manao says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. Very tasty. Didn’t have cloves or coriander so I used cinnamon and cumin instead. Will definitely be making this recipe again.

  7. Stalis Edwards says:

    I’m 13 and I can tell you that this is super easy to make! This was a delicious recipe. I made some changes like adding some peppers and anise for more bold flavors. I will most certainly be making this all summer long.

  8. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!

    1. Jordan says:

      Trying the recipe in a couple qt jar batches right now. Didn’t spring for coriander seed, but put a twist on both batches. Cinnamon in one and garlic in batch 2. My 8yr old is jazzed to help. 1st time pickling anything here.

      1. mary morrill says:

        Good job! How did they turn out?!

        1. Lew says:

          Can you use honey instead of sugar?

    2. dots says:

      these pickles are the bomb. absolutely delicious, my husband loved them too. i will definitely make a lot more!