17 Watermelon Recipes Sure to Sweeten Your Summer Menu
These are our very favorite ways to use watermelon—other than eating it by the slice, of course! Try these watermelon recipe ideas, including cocktails, granita, and savory salads, whenever you want a cooling bite.
There's nothing more satisfying than biting into a wedge of cold watermelon on a hot day. But why stop there? Thanks to its crispy texture and refreshing taste, the summer fruit can be enjoyed in a plethora of delicious ways. Watermelon works well in entrées (like salads) and beverages (like punch), along with treats like ice pops. It also boasts a light crunch that complements more filling ingredients, like pork cutlets or seafood. If you need inspiration on how to enjoy this fruit all summer long, you're in luck—our collection of tasty watermelon recipes will elevate your seasonal spread, whether you're planning a garden picnic or poolside barbecue.
Watermelon, after all, is in season between May and September. This means summer is the best time to experiment with watermelon dishes, as the fruit will be sweeter and fresher. If you're lucky, you might even be able to buy watermelon at your local farmers' market. This is an excellent way to connect with the people that grew your food—which, if we're being honest, makes eating the fruit that much sweeter. While you're at it, pick up a few cucumbers (another summer fruit) for Melon-Cucumber Salad and Watermelon Cucumber Coolers.
Besides, a summer soirée simply doesn't feel complete without watermelon. It's right up there with ice cream sandwiches, fresh squeezed lemonade, and savory grilled kebabs. Like these foods, watermelon has become a mascot of the summer season, sparking memories of sunshine and hot weather with every crispy bite.
If you typically enjoy watermelon on its own, you're in for a real treat. From Watermelon Mojitos to Oysters on the Half Shell with Watermelon Granita, these options are equal parts creative and enticing. Read on for our favorite ways to eat this iconic summer fruit.
Cool and Crunchy Melon-Cucumber Salad
Beat the heat—and stay hydrated—by pairing melons and cucumber in a light salad. Yuzu juice adds a bright and sunny flavor, but lemon or lime juice work just as well. Enjoy this cooling dish with toothpicks or serve it with protein, like grilled shrimp or chicken.
Peach Salad with Melon and Lillet
This vibrant salad might sound fancy, but it's so easy to make. Marinate peach wedges and melon chunks with the French aperitif wine Lillet Rosé and lime juice, then garnish with fresh basil from the garden. The result is a colorful, juicy salad that tastes as good as it looks.
Grilled Pork Cutlets with Watermelon-Cucumber Salad
Melon Milk Pops
Long gone are the days of chasing after the ice cream truck. Make homemade ice pops by blending condensed milk with cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon in separate batches. Once layered and frozen into popsicle molds, the ice pops will create a natural tie-dye look. Food coloring who?
Iced Watermelon-Lemon Tea
For a seasonal riff on the classic Arnold Palmer, try this watermelon and lemon iced tea combo. Create a fun, crowd-pleasing visual by adding frozen melon balls instead of ice cubes. Turn it into a cocktail by adding vodka or rum, or keep it booze-free for the kids.
Swordfish with Watermelon and Lime-Ginger Citronette
Impress your guests with this mouthwatering seafood recipe. Ready in just 25 minutes, this dish features grilled skinless swordfish steak on a bed of watermelon and lettuce. The lime ginger dressing adds a bright dash of tanginess, ultimately rounding out the meal.
Perfectly creamy and sweet, this watermelon smoothie will hit the spot on a hot summer day. Make it dairy-free by using almond, cashew, or coconut milk—whatever suits your fancy. For a portable version, freeze the smoothie into ice pop molds for a delightful frozen treat.
Watermelon Punch and Bowl
Who needs a punch bowl when you have a melon? With a few clever cuts, you can turn a watermelon into an attractive zero-waste bowl. Purée the flesh in a blender, then mix it with seltzer for a fizzy punch. Serve it as is or add lemon juice and sugar for extra flavor.
Watermelon, Orange, and Feta Salad
Between the salty feta cheese and sweet watermelon, this salad will make your taste buds sing. Use French feta, Greek feta, or your favorite kind—any type of feta is fair game for this recipe. Add thinly sliced onions for a kick, or skip them if raw onions aren't your thing. Serve the salad with grilled meat or as part of a cheese board.
Watermelon Mint Sorbet
Oysters on the Half Shell with Watermelon Granita
Tabbouleh with Watermelon
Yogurt-Marinated Chicken with Watermelon Salad
Equal parts sweet and savory, this chicken and watermelon recipe boasts a medley of delicious flavors. The yogurt marinade makes the chicken extra moist, offering a texture that complements the crispy watermelon so well. The best part? It takes just 30 minutes to make.
Watermelon and Tomato Salad Basil Oil
For another savory option, toss watermelon cubes with a robust basil-infused olive oil. Make the most of summer produce by adding cucumber and tomatoes, plus more basil for good measure. Chunks of goat cheese adds a tangy touch, but you can also use crumbled feta or dollops of ricotta.
Watermelon and Coconut Sorbet Parfaits
This summer, cool down with a batch of watermelon mint mojitos. Purée watermelon in a blender, then mix it with lime juice, fresh mint, and sugar. Maple syrup and honey also work well. To make it kid-friendly, skip the rum and add seltzer or club soda instead.