Watermelon Rind Pickles

Reviews (12)
Have Made It

Created by Chef Dave Woolley, we love these watermelon rind pickles that leave the slightest bit of red flesh for a beautiful color and taste experience!

  • Yields

    About 2 cups



  1. In large pot, bring water and salt to boil over medium high heat. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain, reserving liquid, and transfer rinds to a large glass or plastic bowl.
  2. In saucepan, combine reserved liquid with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 15 minutes, until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid. Cover and refrigerate for one day. Transfer to a glass jar and keep sealed in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  3. Serving suggestion: enjoy with your favorite deli meats and cheeses, perhaps with other pickled veggies for a tasting party.

Recipe Video

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Do these need to be placed in major jars with he hot liquid to create the seal? Or is there no need for this?

Watermelon Board

If you are traditionally canning your pickles to preserve for later, mason jars and a hot seal are employed. This recipe we suggest just keeping in any sealed container in your refrigerator for up to two weeks to guarantee freshness, taste and texture. We have not tested our recipe for longer term preserving, but if you do try, please let us know your results!


These were quite good, even though I substituted ground spices for the whole (basically a pinch of each). I ate the whole jar in two days.

Barbara A. Brown

Looks like a great recipe … can’t wait to try it. Thanks


Does the boiling water need to be added to the “remaining ingredients” reducing in a saucepan? The recipe doesn’t make this clear but it seems like the 4 cups of water is needed for the pickling.

Watermelon Board

Thank you for catching that. We’ve updated the recipe to reflect that yes, the strained water does need to be included with the remaining ingredients.

Lorraine Kimball

Why the metal bowl when you are going to add a hot vinegar solution to it? Seems like a recipe for metallic tasting pickles.

Watermelon Board

We have updated the recipe to suggest a non-reactive bowl. Some metal bowls are fine, but if you want to play it safe, please use a glass or plastic bowl.


Back to the canning question. Is there a reason to soak overnight or can I just pour the hot mixture right over the softened rinds so the lid can seal?

Watermelon Board

We found this great answer from Our Everyday Life: You help ensure the crispness and flavor of your finished pickles by soaking them before pickling to improve their texture and taste. Whether you soak them in ice water, salted water or a lime-water solution, an overnight soak is an important step in many recipes to create quality pickles that you will love.


Hi! I am also developing a recipe for watermelon rind pickles for a state agriculture agency, and I would really like to know if anyone at the Watermelon Board believes it is a food safety issue to skip the soaking step. I find the texture to be just fine without soaking when making a refrigerator pickle such as this one, but maybe if they are stored for a long time they would become limp instead of staying crsip. If someone at your organization knows anything about the science behind the soaking beyond textural concerns, please let me know! I hope a canning recipe on your end is on the way as well!

Watermelon Board

We do not believe it is a food safety issue, to skip the soaking step. It’s simply a quality/texture issue.