Wildcard Winner

Spicy, Savory & Sweet Watermelon Rind Pickles

By • July 24, 2013 • 9 Comments

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Every Monday and Wednesday, we'll announce a new Wildcard winner: a recipe that may not have been entered in (or won) a contest, but a recipe that we've tested and loved.

Today: Who says you can only have good watermelon in the summer?

Spicy, Savory & Sweet Watermelon Rind Pickles from Food52

WHO: Nancy Manlove is a home cook, photographer, and food stylist that recently turned professional!

WHAT: The way to preserve the watermelon scraps you aren't eating anyway -- and keep them all year long.

HOW: Cut away the white, fleshy part of the watermelon, simmer the cubes in spices, and keep them in the fridge for months.

WHY WE LOVE IT: We love that Nancy takes what we would usually throw away and creates something exciting -- and something we can eat when the watermelon-sticky summer days are long over. We could see this pairing wonderfully with cheese, or as a condiment in a meaty sandwich.

Spicy, Savory & Sweet Watermelon Rind Pickles by Nancy Manlove

Makes 4 quarts

12 cups watermelon rinds (as prepared in step 1 of the recipe, linked below)
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup white vinegar
4 tablespoons mixed pickling spice
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
12 whole cloves
8 thin slices of fresh ginger cut into strips about 2-inches long by 1-inch wide
3 cinnamon sticks, broken into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons whole allspice 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photo by James Ransom

Jump to Comments (9)

Tags: wildcard, wildcard winner, pickles, preserving, watermelon, summer

Comments (9)


6 months ago Renee Knapp Matarese

I partially cook half slices of bacon, wrap them around the watermelon rind, secure with a toothpick and bake at 350 deg. for about 15 min. The reason for precooking the bacon is so that it's nice and crispy. It's been a huge hit wherever I've taken it.


about 1 year ago Elizabeth



about 1 year ago Mustafa Emin Büyükco?kun

In Turkey we do a jam from this and it has an amazing texture.


about 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I've been making watermelon rind pickles since I was a kid. In fact, they are a mandatory item on my family's Thanksgiving tables. I've had such a hard time in recent years, however, finding watermelons with rinds that are thick enough to pickle. They used to be at least 1 1/2 inch thick. Now they are really thin! Do you have any tips for finding a good watermelon rind? Are there particular varieties in existence today that are not impossibly thin-skinned? ;o)


about 1 year ago Rita

Try a farmer's market or farm stand, and ask for "heirloom" varieties. The newer hybrids are engineered to have thinner rinds (for those folks who think only the red flesh is edible)!


about 1 year ago Lizzie 4208

2 Days ago friend, who is a great chef, gave me a jar of her Sweet Watermelon Rind Pickles. I spent time on-line looking for a recipe for watermelon rind wrapped in bacon. I had it in the '70's outside of Philadelphia. PA people say it's from PA while many said it was a Southern hors d'oeuvre.
Anybody have an idea ??


about 1 year ago Rita

A lot of Southern roots are in eastern & central PA. Might want to try some Amish/Mennonite cookbooks.


about 1 year ago AnnieR

There's a whole page of bacon wrapped watermelon rind recipes here. http://www.cooks.com/rec...


about 1 year ago Irena S.

This is so creative! Definitely gonna try it x