Watermelon Pickles Recipe

An old secret, blow your friends and family away with homegrown Watermelon Pickles recipe.

March/April 2017

  • A small bottle of maraschino cherries gives these pickles a pretty rosy color.
    Photo by DebbiSmirnoff
  • Process these pickles in a water-bath canner.
    Photo by iStockphoto.com/GarysFRP

Yield: 5 pints

Rosy Watermelon Rind Pickles

(Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cook Book, 1973)


• 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


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

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

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Add cherries, and bring pickle mixture to a boil. Pack in hot jars. Adjust lids at once. Process in boiling water bath at 212 F for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and complete seals, unless closures are the self-sealing type.

NOTE: Substitute 1/2 teaspoon oil of cloves for whole cloves; 1/2 teaspoon oil of cinnamon for stick cinnamon. If cherries fade in the jar, substitute a few from a new jar before serving.

For some tips about gardening your own watermelons, see: Growing Watermelon.

Andrew Weidman lives and writes in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. In his opinion, nothing improves a summer evening like a big wedge of watermelon, with or without seeds.