21 Watermelon Recipes to Make This Summer
Watermelon Slabs with Jicama
This incredibly refreshing dish supereasy and perfect on a hot day. The combo of watermelon and jicama is like juicy on juicy, and topping it with tangy lime juice and tart ancho chile powder brings all the flavors front and center.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
Although Jacques Pépin cuts a small, seedless watermelon into rounds with a melon baller (adding the trimmings to the salad, too, so as not to waste them), you can also chop the watermelon into cubes.
Watermelon Salad with Mint and Lime
Matt Neal calls this supremely simple fruit salad the ultimate refresher on a hot day. For a grown-up version, he adds splashes of rum. “It’s even more satisfying, then,” he jokes.
Watermelon-Strawberry Agua Fresca
When he has less-than-beautiful fruit, Matthew Accarrino makes this drink with it.
Andrew Zimmerman tweaks a classic Spanish sangria for the summer by using vodka instead of brandy.
Grilled Watermelon with Yogurt
This is Michael Psilakis’s modern take on the traditional Greek combination of watermelon and feta cheese.
Minted Watermelon Popsicles
These popsicles are a great fat-free snack, made with lots of naturally sweet watermelon and only a little sugar. They can be frozen in special popsicle molds or in standard ice cube trays (three cubes equals one serving). Joy Manning has them whenever she feels the temptation to visit the new gelato shop around the corner from her apartment.
Cold Watermelon Soup
“Watermelon juice has such a mild flavor that most thickeners would overpower its taste,” says chef Jamie Bissonnette. “But xanthan allows me to turn it into a soup.”
Watermelon Steaks with Warm Pickled Shrimp
Grilling watermelon gives it a pleasantly smoky flavor and a glistening surface that’s reminiscent of tuna steaks. Here, F&W’s Justin Chapple tops slabs of the sweet-smoky fruit with warm pickled shrimp, onion, and jalapeño. Fresh parsley finishes off this summery main dish.
Curried Crab and Watermelon Salad with Arugula
In this easy yet sophisticated recipe, chef Daniel Boulud pairs a curry-spiced crab salad with sweet watermelon and bright cilantro and mint.
Pickled Watermelon Rind with Ginger and Jalapeños
Pickling watermelon rind has long been a Southern tradition. In this version, low-acid rice vinegar becomes infused with jalapeño and ginger for a brightly flavored brine with a kick. The watermelon rind is sliced very thin for these pickles, making them perfect for piling on a sandwich.
Watermelon Salad with Grilled Shrimp
Chef Grant Achatz says of this salad: “I think shellfish benefits from a little sweetness.” He suggests draining the fruit in a colander after you cut it, for a cleaner presentation.
Watermelon and Squid Salad
This recipe pairs well with a tangy wheat ale or fruit-forward California Chardonnay.
Watermelon and Charred-Tomato Salad
Tim Byres uses a smart trick here: He sears the tomatoes on one side only, so they’re fresh and smoky at the same time.
Thai Chicken and Watermelon Salad
For this recipe, summer watermelon and chicken come together in a puckery salad dressing made with lime juice and fish sauce.
Watermelon Granita with Cardamom Syrup
Watermelon is a great source of vitamin C. Here, Marisa Churchill turns it into a fat-free granita, which she drizzles with a fragrant cardamom syrup.
Watermelon and Mascarpone Parfaits
It is important to assemble the watermelon and mascarpone parfaits right before serving, so plan accordingly.
Salted Watermelon Ice Cream
Nothing screams summer like slices of salted ripe watermelon, and this simple ice cream takes it to the next level. Coconut milk infuses the ice cream base with its velvety-smooth sweetness; lime provides a gentle flavor lift that subtly intensifies the juicy watermelon flavor. To salt or not to salt—that is the question, and it’s entirely up to you. If you’re skeptical, try it with crunchy flakes of Maldon sea salt; they’ll make you a believer.
Tomato and Watermelon Bites
At Vicia in St. Louis, Best New Chef Michael Gallina closes the loop in his cooking. This elegant amuse-bouche showcases Gallina’s zero-waste approach: Tomato skins are dried to become an umami-rich flavored salt; the tomato seeds and pulp, plus the brine of pickled green tomatoes, become the base of the Tomato Water Gazpacho.
Roasted Watermelon Pork Ribs
This recipe is unexpected but works so perfectly you’ll wonder why you weren’t making a watermelon sauce before.
Marinated Watermelon with Whipped Feta
Chef Joe Kindred of Kindred restaurant in Davidson, North Carolina, lets watermelon sit in a savory marinade for 30 minutes to draw out the juices from the fruit and intensify its flavor.