How to Make Watermelon Refrigerator Pickles

Don't toss those watermelon rinds! Turn them into a tasty summer snack with a little help from your fridge.

Watermelon Rind Pickles

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Yep, you read that right: watermelon rinds make for some pretty tasty pickles. The texture of a watermelon rind is similar to a cucumber and absorbs flavors well, making it a perfect candidate for pickling. So instead of tossing those rinds, turn them into a tasty treat for your next summer shindig.

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe


  • rinds from a 3-5 lb watermelon, green skin and fruit removed
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar*
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pickling spice
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • one quart canning jar, cleaned and sterilized
  • saucepan

*you can increase the sugar amount up to a cup, depending on how sweet you prefer your pickles.


Cut the rinds any size or shape that will fit in your jar. Add water and vinegar to a saucepan, then stir in the salt and sugar (Image 1). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until salt and sugar are completely dissolved (Image 2). Remove from heat. Add red pepper and pickling spice to a sterilized canning jar, then pack in the watermelon rinds (Images 3 & 4). Ladle the hot vinegar mixture into the jar until the rinds are completely covered (Image 5). Add a lid and let the rinds cure in the fridge for one to two hours before eating. Store pickles in the refrigerator and use within two weeks. Note: these pickles are not shelf stable and will require refrigeration as soon as they're canned.


Watermelon Rind Pickles

Photo by: Debbie Wolfe

Debbie Wolfe

Watermelon rind pickles taste great with grilled meats, hard cheeses, lunchmeats or sprinkled over a salad.

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