Watermelon is a summer staple! If you grow your own, pick some up from the local produce stand or farmer’s market, or just can’t resist a weekly purchase, then these watermelon recipe ideas will enhance the flavor of summer’s favorite melon.
30 Watermelon Recipes for Summer
When you want the mouth-watering flavor of watermelon, but need a little change from eating it right off the rind, there are no shortage of summery watermelon recipes out there.
Some watermelon recipes are quite savory, some are sweet treats and some are frozen treats perfect for summertime!
Tips for Picking a Sweet Watermelon
Everyone has their favorite tips for picking a sweet watermelon that’s juicy and flavorful. Here are our go-to tips that are more successful than knocking on a watermelon!
- Choose a watermelon that is darker green, a sign it’s ripe. The watermelon rind color may vary depending on the variety, so this is just one factor.
- Pick a watermelon that is heavy compared to the others — this will give you a juicy watermelon! (This same trick works for picking juicy oranges, too.)
- Check the bottom for a yellowish spot (not white). This means that the watermelon ripened before being picked, so it will be sweeter.
Bonus: If you got a meh melon, these recipes can take a bland flavorless watermelon and make it taste amazing!
Here are 30 delicious ways to eat a watermelon on a summer day: frozen, desserts, drinks, salads, appetizers and side dishes, and preserved watermelon jam, jelly, and candy.
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Frozen Watermelon Recipes
When you’re in the mood for a sweet cold treat, these frozen watermelon recipes for popsicles and more are a must try!
Watermelon Lime Hibiscus Ice Pops – these naturally sweet treats are a great way to cool off on a summer afternoon.
Watermelon Sorbet – This cold, refreshing treat is easy to make and will cool you off this summer!
Watermelon Granita – Or try this frozen watermelon dessert that’s almost like gelato or italian ice.
Watermelon Yogurt Pops – Mixing watermelon with yogurt can give you some delicious popsicles the kids will love. And they’re healthy to boot!
Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles – Summertime fruit rolled into a frozen treat on a stick. It’s perfect for a hot day!
Watermelon Dessert Recipes
Get creative and infuse watermelon into delicious desserts, or add whipped cream frosting to make a healthy watermelon dessert!
Watermelon Bars – These whipped and chilled gelatin watermelon bars look light and airy, yet delectable, like a no bake watermelon cheesecake almost.
Watermelon Jello Cake – With watermelon puree and jello you can create a cake that looks AND tastes just like a watermelon!
Watermelon Cupcakes – An alternative to the super sugary cupcakes normally served at birthday parties, these cupcakes are just as cute! And no bake, too!
Watermelon Cake – So, technically it’s not a “cake”. It’s a watermelon cut into a circle cake shape, then frosted with coconut whipped cream and garnished with toasted almonds and topped with fruit. So it looks like a cake. And will taste like heaven.
Watermelon Pizza – Again, not really a pizza. But it is a decidedly healthier version of a fruit pizza. Top watermelon slices with fresh fruit of your choice. Yum!
Watermelon Drink Recipes
A nice cold drink while swinging in a hammock is what summer is all about. Try these easy watermelon drink recipes for your next party or lemonade stand.
Watermelon Agua Fresca — This 4 ingredient fruity drink is easy to make and delicious!
Watermelon Orange Fruity Cream Float – This drink can double as a dessert since it’s topped with delicious ice cream! Just toss the ingredients in the blender. A watermelon slice garnish on the glass is *chef kiss* perfection.
Watermelon Juice – Combine a juicy watermelon with lime and ginger for a refreshing summer drink.
Watermelon Lemonade – It’s as easy as it sounds. Just blend watermelon with some lemon juice and sweeten to your liking to make this refreshing drink for summer.
Mint & Lime Watermelon Mocktail – Keep the flavors fresh with this non-alcoholic watermelon cocktail drink featuring lime juice and fresh mint leaves.
Watermelon Salad Recipes
For a light lunch or dinner side dish, try a savory fresh watermelon salad recipe!
Avocado, Watermelon, Cucumber Salad – You may not think to add this fruit to a vegetable-based salad, but the flavors mix for a delicious side or main dish.
Summer Watermelon Salad – Dijon mustard and vinegar add some tang to this sweet fruity salad.
Watermelon Strawberry Basil Quinoa Salad – Here’s a fruit-filled salad with a twist! Adding quinoa makes it more filling and hardy while the basil gives it a little kick.
Watermelon, Avocado and Mint Salad – Add some mint to your summer salad of watermelon and avocado and you’ll get a zesty zip that’s refreshing and light!
Balsamic Watermelon Feta Salad – Feta and balsamic may seem like they belong on a mediterranean salad, but when mixed with this summer fruit they make a flavorful combination.
Grilled Watermelon Salad – Use your watermelon rind as the bowl, toss your melon with some arugula and feta, add some balsamic for tang and some walnuts for crunch and you’ve got an amazing new salad to try.
Watermelon Cucumber Salad – Cucs and watermelon together create a delicious and hydrating salad that’s great for your body!
Watermelon Appetizer Recipes and Side Dishes
When you need an appetizer for a summer party or a side dish for a barbecue, these fresh watermelon recipes for salsa, soup, and bite skewers are fast and delicious.
Mojito Watermelon Side Dish – Torn mint and lime zest spice up otherwise normal watermelon. It’s an easy way to make watermelon more jazzy for a cookout.
Watermelon Salsa – Love fresh salsa in the summertime? Try this fruit-ified version that combines sweet and spicy with tortilla or pita chips! Or you can make your own cinnamon tortilla chips for a sweet, more dessert-like side.
Watermelon Feta Skewers – Here’s an easy way to combine the sweetness of a juicy melon with the robust flavor of feta cheese.
Watermelon Steak – Looks like a seafood main dish, doesn’t? It’s a vegan alternative – grilled watermelon steaks!
Watermelon Bruschetta – You can’t go wrong when adding watermelon instead of tomatoes to mozzarella and basil! This will give you a sweet alternative to your normal bruschetta.
Watermelon Gazpacho Soup – A cold soup in the summertime can be just the refreshment you need. It’s easy to turn watermelon into a delicious soup side dish.
Chilled Watermelon Soup with Tomato and Basil – A savory watermelon soup makes a great side dish for a summer BBQ. Whip up a batch for a healthy meal or side dish.
Grilled Watermelon Pineapple Skewers – Watermelon on a skewer certainly isn’t a new idea, but I couldn’t resist adding these watermelon and pineapple skewers which are grilled to perfection to enhance the juice and flavors.
Watermelon Grill Fruit Centerpiece – While it isn’t necessarily a recipe, this cute centerpiece will steal the show at your next barbecue! Watermelon always pairs well with cantaloupe, pineapple, blueberries and kiwi for a burst of vitamin C and vitamin A on hot summer days!
Preserved Watermelon Recipes: Jam, Jelly, Dried and Candied
If you’ve got a ripe watermelon that needs used right away, try preserving it! You can make watermelon jelly or jam, freeze dried or dehydrated watermelon, or watermelon candy using fresh watermelon.
Watermelon Jam – Here’s a delicious way to enjoy your watermelon for breakfast!
Watermelon Jelly – And yet another alternative for breakfast; or for your kids’ favorite PB sandwiches!
Watermelon Jerky – Jerky tends to lean in the meat direction, but if you’ve got a dehydrator, you might want to try this melon version.
Freeze Dried Watermelon Sticks – freeze drying makes other sweet treats (like Skittles!) an explosion of flavor, so why not try watermelon?
Pickled Watermelon Rinds – I know it sounds rather sketchy, but this is a southern tradition that’s been around for ages. And since you usually just throw them away, why not try turning them into a fun, tangy treat? If you like pickles, this treat could be a fun summer alternative!
Watermelon Fruit Leather – Another dehydrated alternative, this leather is more like a tasty, gummy snack than dried fruit.
Sour Watermelon Gummies – Speaking of a gummy snack, you can whip up some sour watermelon gummy candies with your left over melon, instead of letting it go bad!
Watermelon Flavored Hard Candy – Here’s another version of watermelon candy, for those of you who don’t like the gummy texture.
More great summer recipe ideas
- 10 Delicious Potato Wedge Recipes
- 25 Fresh Strawberry Recipes
- 27 No-Bake Desserts (plus 20 More Easy No Bake Desserts Kids Can Make)
- 30 Easy and Delicious Dutch Oven Recipes
- Better than Burgers: 28 Unique Grilling Recipes to Add to the BBQ Menu
Kimberly Mueller is the “me” over at bugaboo, mini, mr & me, a blog that highlights her creative endeavors. She especially likes to share kid crafts, sewing attempts, recipes, upcycled projects, photography and free printable gift tags/cards. When she’s not enjoying being married to her best friend, chasing after the natives (AKA her three kids) and attempting to keep the house in one piece, you can find her with a glue gun in one hand and spray paint in the other. Aside from DIY pursuits, she also enjoys writing, reading, music, singing (mostly in the shower) and the color yellow. Kimberly recently published a craft book entitled Modern Mod Podge. You can also find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Bloglovin’ and Instagram.