Crave: Don’t waste your watermelon rinds; make pickles

photo by: Courtesy of Mother Earth News

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Don’t throw away the rinds of your summer watermelons — they’re actually edible.

Pickling is one way to use every part of your melon. Adding a small bottle of maraschino cherries gives the pickles a pretty rosy color.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Yields 5 pints.


4 to 5 quarts watermelon rind

4 quarts plus 2 cups cold water, divided

3 tablespoons salt

3 cups vinegar

10 cups sugar

1 tablespoon whole cloves

3 sticks cinnamon

2 teaspoons peppercorns

1 piece dried ginger root

1⁄2 cup maraschino cherries


Trim outer green skin and pink flesh from melon, leaving thin line of pink. Cut into 1 1⁄2-by-3⁄4-inch pieces.

In large pot or bowl, soak melon in mixture of 4 quarts cold water and salt for 24 hours. Drain.

In large stockpot, cover melon pieces with boiling water and boil gently for 1 1⁄2 hours. Drain, and put melon into ice water until thoroughly chilled. Drain.

Combine vinegar, remaining cold water, sugar, and spices tied in clean, thin white cloth, and bring to a boil. Add rind and boil gently for about 30 minutes; remove spices. Let stand for 24 hours.

Add cherries and bring pickle mixture to a boil. Pack in hot jars. Adjust lids at once. Process in boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and complete seals, unless closures are the self-sealing type.

Note: You can also substitute 1⁄2 teaspoon oil of cloves for whole cloves and 1⁄2 teaspoon oil of cinnamon for the sticks of cinnamon. If cherries fade in the jar, substitute a few from a new jar before serving.


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