Watermelon Pickles Recipe

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by iStock/DebbiSmirnoff
5 pints SERVINGS


  • 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


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

Rosy Watermelon Rind Pickles

(Farm Journal Freezing and Canning Cook Book, 1973)

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.