Pickled Jalapeño Watermelon Rinds

Don’t ask me why I decided to pickle watermelon rinds.

Ok, I’ll tell you.  I bought a watermelon the other day and as I was cutting it, I got to thinking how wasteful it seemed to throw away all of that white part of the watermelon.  It was practically edible, if not a little flavorless, bitter and hard….

So I googled.  Apparently pickled watermelon rinds is totally a thing.  Actually…pickled anything is a thing.  People pickle some of the strangest things.  Pickled chicken feet.  It’s real.  Don’t look it up.  Anywho…anyone who knows me, knows I love pickles.  LOOOVE pickles.  I could marry pickles.  So pickled watermelon rinds certainly piqued my interest.

Then I remembered I had a slightly-old-slightly-wrinkled-forgotten-about-sad-and-pitiful jalapeño in the fridge just begging to be used and thought why not, we’ll throw that in too.

So here’s the recipe, with commentary!


Pickled Jalapeño Watermelon Rinds

  • 1 c water
  • 1 c unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/4 c plus 1.5 TBS white sugar
  • 1 TBS salt (It doesn’t matter if it’s table. We’re not putting on airs with that fancy kosher stuff)
  • 1 lb watermelon rind, green skin removed (a peeler works great, cut in 1 inch cubes sliced thin. I didn’t slice mine thin enough. Think the thickness of hmm…pork roll or Canadian bacon.  That’s the first thing that comes to mind)
  • 1 large jalapeño, sliced in rounds (next time I’ll use two more, casually seeded, for more jalapeño pickled goodness without the addition of too much molten lava spiciness)

In a small saucepan, bring the water, vinegar, sugar, & salt to a boil, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved, stirring ever so often to keep the liquid from getting angry.  (Just a minute or two)

Layer the watermelon rinds and jalapeño in a 1-quart glass jar.  (I like Mason jars because that’s what they have at the store)

Let stand at room temperature for 3 hours. (Keep a vigilant watch for fruit flies/gnats. Those crafty bastards love vinegar)

Cover with that handy dandy Mason jar provided lid and refrigerate for 12 hours.

Pickles should last for about 2 weeks in the fridge, without getting too funky.  Sadly, I don’t have a photo of my results…mainly because I keep forgetting and the fridge is so far away.

These might make a nice 4th of July party snack addition too, if your guests are brave enough.


I don’t think Lou approves of the watermelon rind pickles.  His face was full of confusion when he tried them.  Sweet, spicy, bitter.  He’s crazy!  They kind of remind me a little of radish kimchi.  The texture and the spiciness.  But just kind of.