Pickled Watermelon Rinds with Homemade Pickling Spice

June is here! The sun is shining, and the warm weather has arrived. As most of you have probably guessed by reading my blog, I absolutely love summer produce.

This year, I am attempting to grow some of my own in my “container” garden on our apartment balcony. Cherry tomatoes, green bell peppers, and plenty of herbs are on “deck.” Stay tuned to see how they do!

But even before these plants are ready to harvest, I am already experimenting¬†with my favorite summer flavors. For last weekend’s Memorial Day BBQ, I prepared a watermelon, burrata, and cucumber salad with fresh red wine vinaigrette and sliced shallots. Can you say yum?!

Which brings me to today’s recipe. Having purchased my first watermelon of the season, I was left with tons of rinds that seemed silly to waste, especially after reading the feature on watermelon in my monthly copy of Food & Nutrition magazine. Inspired by one of their published recipes, “Pickled Watermelon Rinds,” I set out to create my own spin on this Southern favorite¬†(that dates all the way back to the Civil War!).

Pickled Watermelon Rinds 3

They’re incredibly crunchy, deliciously sweet, with a tang that will keep you coming back for more!

Pickled Watermelon Rinds

  • Servings: 32 to 40 oz in jars
  • Difficulty: easy
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These crunchy, sweet & tangy pickled rinds are the perfect summer treat! Add them to a cheese plate or eat them right out of the jar.


  • 5 cups watermelon rinds with pink flesh and green skin removed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon homemade pickling spice


  1. After removing pink flesh, and using a vegetable peeler to remove tough green skin, cube watermelon rinds.
  2. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, sea salt, and pickling spice in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  3. Boil watermelon rinds for 2 minutes before reducing heat to a simmer and cooking uncovered for 10 minutes.
  4. Set mixture aside for 1 hour to cool. Pour mixture and rinds (they should be translucent) into glass, airtight jars and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Pickled Watermelon Rinds 1

Homemade Pickling Spice

  • Servings: 6 tablespoons
  • Difficulty: easy
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A homemade pickling spice is perfect for preserving summer vegetables: beans, cucumbers, carrots, peppers, cabbage…and watermelon rinds!


  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 dried bay leaf, crushed
  • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds


  1. Mix ingredients in a small bowl until well combined.
  2. Store in an airtight container.

Pickled Watermelon Rinds 4

Enjoy the summer season!