12 Hacks That Will Change The Way You Eat Watermelon

First cultivated some 5,000 years ago, watermelons are versatile and refreshing treats that have managed to retain their popularity. In fact, watermelons have been ranked the third most consumed fruit in the world in 2022, after tomatoes and bananas. If we disregard the fact that watermelons are technically a berry and have also been classified as a vegetable, this is an impressive achievement. The widespread appeal of the watermelons shouldn't come as a surprise since they aren't just delicious and hydrating, but also rich in vitamins A and C, lycopene, and citrulline.

While most of us enjoy watermelon in the traditional way — cut into wedges and savored as a snack — the fruit holds a treasure trove of bold and exciting possibilities for adventurous foodies. Its vibrantly hued, sweet flesh can be incorporated into a variety of unexpected culinary delights. In addition, watermelon rinds — which are often overlooked as mere scraps — can also be transformed into a plethora of enjoyable surprises for your taste buds.

Are you ready to elevate your watermelon creations to brand-new heights? Check out our list of hacks that will change the way you eat watermelon!

Make watermelon ice cubes and popsicles

Perfect for hot summer days, watermelon ice cubes and popsicles aren't just refreshing but also remarkably easy to make. For ice cubes, all you have to do is chop up your watermelon into bite-sized pieces and pop them in the freezer. No ice cube tray is required; just grab a knife and you're good to go. It's best to line up the watermelon cubes on a tray covered with baking paper or parchment paper before freezing. This way the cubes remain separated and easy to transfer and store in a freezer bag for later use. Not just a great addition to water, watermelon ice cubes can also add a touch of fruitiness to sparkling water or lemonade.

Almost as easy to make as watermelon ice cubes, watermelon popsicles make a healthy and invigorating summer treat. All you have to do is purée your ingredients and pour them into popsicle molds. While watermelon popsicle recipes vary, they all share a common base — fresh, juicy watermelon. You can make your own watermelon popsicles by blending watermelon with fresh mint, fresh lime juice, agave syrup, and tequila blanco. For a sweeter take on the cooling treat, you can also try adding honey and strawberries to the mix.

Cut watermelon into sticks for easy serving and snacking

While it's tempting to purchase cubed watermelon at the supermarket, buying precut fruit isn't recommended. Not only do precut watermelons go bad faster, but they can be a breeding ground for dangerous microorganisms (via HuffPost). As such, the best way to enjoy this vibrantly colored fruit is by buying it whole and cutting it at home yourself. While most of us usually cut watermelons into wedges or slices, there's a much more convenient way to enjoy this sweet treat. And that's by slicing it into sticks — a process that shouldn't take longer than a minute.

To begin, cut the watermelon in half lengthwise. Next, place one of the halves on a cutting board with the flat side facing down. With a sharp knife, cut the fruit into 1-inch slices, and then cut it in the opposite direction to create cubes. One option is to keep the watermelon rind to make the sticks easier to handle and eat. Alternatively, you can take a slightly different approach by removing the watermelon rind before slicing the fruit into sticks. Once cut, cover the watermelon with a bowl and flip over the cutting board to transfer it into the dish. Finally, pop skewers into each watermelon stick to create mess-free treats.

Turn watermelon into pizza

Watermelon pizza offers an imaginative and refreshing take on classic pies. The light, low-calorie nature of the dish makes it perfect as an appetizer or a snack between meals. As creative as each individual, watermelon pizza can be customized with a plethora of sweet and savory ingredients, from fruit and herbs to cheeses such as feta.

To make watermelon pizza, slice the fruit in half, and then cut it into 1-inch-thick circles, or pizza bases, before topping them with your chosen ingredients. Once ready, cut the watermelon pizza into slices just like you would a regular pie.

If you aren't sure what goes well with watermelon, some popular recommendations include cilantro, jícama, tomatoes, ricotta, goat cheese, and fennel. Alternatively, you can use colorful fruit such as strawberries, kiwis, raspberries, and blueberries to create a dish that's not just delicious but also visually appealing. If you're serving watermelon pizza as dessert, you can also top it with whipped cream or chocolate sauce.

Make watermelon Jell-O shots

The allure of watermelon Jell-O shots lies both in their taste and visual appeal. Unlike conventional alcoholic Jell-O shots, watermelon Jell-O shots take the form of mini wedges. What's even better, making these delightful adult treats requires just five simple ingredients: watermelon, water, Jell-O, gelatin, and a splash of vodka or another spirit. Of course, you can also make a Jell-O batch for the little ones sans the boozy twist.

Whipping your Jell-O shots into shape is as simple as cutting the watermelon into two halves, scooping out its flesh (an ice cream scoop should be up for the job), and using the hollowed rind containers to set the Jell-O. To make the job easier, you can position the watermelon halves on top of a cooking sheet and stabilize them by stuffing paper or cloth towels on either side of the fruit while the mixture solidifies. Once ready, the Jell-O bowls can be cut into 1-inch slices, and then two or three separate wedges. To add a tangy twist to the watermelon Jell-O shots, you can set them inside lemon or lime rinds. This will also make them less messy to eat.

Fashion your watermelon into a drink dispenser

Watermelons make a great alternative to traditional punch bowls, guaranteeing a crowd-pleasing addition to any party. Blending creativity and functionality, watermelon kegs not only provide a convenient method for dispensing drinks, but you can also infuse them with a refreshing hint of watermelon flavor. Whether it's a fruity punch, an aromatic cocktail, or a refreshing non-alcoholic concoction, a watermelon beverage dispenser is bound to both draw attention and ignite conversation.

To transform a watermelon into a drink dispenser, start by cutting a slice off the bottom end of the fruit to create a stable base. Similarly, remove a larger slice from the top of the melon to form a lid-like opening. Next, scoop out the fruit's innards just like you would with a pumpkin for Halloween. Once the watermelon is hollow, use a drill or an apple corer to make a hole for the spigot. Take care not to crack the fruit's rind when pushing the spigot into place. If you don't have a new spigot and don't fancy a trip to the hardware store, you can try repurposing an old beer keg tap or a water dispenser tap to save time.

Turn watermelon into sorbet

Smooth and velvety in texture, sorbet is a light alternative to ice cream, which can be too creamy for some tastes. Most sorbets are also vegan, dairy-free, and paleo, which makes the frozen treat suitable for those on dietary restrictions. While sorbet flavor options are endless, watermelon is one of the best ingredients for the frosty dessert due to its refreshing flavor and 92% water content. That being said, it's best to use seedless watermelon when making sorbet since the last thing you need is any unwanted solids in your dessert.

While watermelon sorbet is relatively simple to make, it does require a little forethought since you need to cut and freeze the fruit before starting the preparation process. To make things easy, simply pop the watermelon — and any other fruits you will be using in the recipe — in the freezer the night before. If you're looking to add a touch of creaminess to the mix, bananas are a great option. The next day, purée the fruit along with some water, lime juice, and maple syrup or honey before popping the mixture in the freezer for another 12 hours. To get the texture of the sorbet exactly right, it's best to add the water gradually as you blend the ingredients.

Make grilled watermelon

While this may come as a surprise to some foodies, grilling watermelon enhances its unique flavors and texture. This is because heat caramelizes the fruit's sugars, bringing out its sweetness. Searing watermelon also imbues it with smoky and earthy tones, as highlighted by the appealing grill marks on the flash. In addition, grilling watermelon makes it firmer and chewier without compromising the fruit's trademark juiciness. Some foodies have even gone as far as comparing the consistency to that of meat.

To make grilled watermelon, slice it into half-inch wedges, leaving the rind intact. Next, line the pieces of fruit on a sizzling griddle or grill and sear for between two and three minutes or until you see grill marks. To add zest to the final dish, drizzle it with a sauce made from ingredients such as lime zest, honey, and red pepper flakes. Grilled watermelon can be enjoyed on its own, as a refreshing appetizer or side dish, or as an unexpected addition to salads and desserts.

Don't throw away the watermelon rind

According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board (via The Packer), a staggering 40% of us have no idea that watermelon rind is edible. Even those of us with an inkling that watermelon skin can be repurposed typically discard it, unaware of its versatility in the kitchen and its health benefits. According to Healthline, incorporating watermelon rind in your diet can lower blood pressure, add fiber to your diet, and increase oxygen delivery to the muscles.

Watermelon rind can be utilized in a multitude of ways. Watermelon rind makes a delicious addition to stir-fries since it's quick to soften and takes on the flavors of the sauce. It can also be pickled for a tart and crunch treat. Notably, the first cookbook published in the U.S. in 1796 included a recipe for pickled watermelon rind, alongside other treats such as stuffed goose and Queen's cake. Other ways to make the most out of watermelon rind is by turning it into smoothies and juices or shredding it on salads. 

For a sweet treat, you can also transform watermelon rind into candy. Start by cutting the rind into 1-inch chunks and then boil the pieces until they are tender and translucent. Finally, add sugar and lemon juice to the mix and simmer on medium heat. Once they have cooled, store the watermelon rind candy in airtight containers. However, rather than popping them in the fridge, it's best to place the containers in a cool and dry place to prevent the rinds from getting sticky.

Make the most of watermelon seeds

While for many of us watermelon seeds are nothing but a nuisance — after all, there's a good reason why we have seedless watermelons — for others, they represent a world of possibilities. With each fruit harboring between 300 and 500 seeds, the potential for creativity is vast. And if you're worried that eating watermelon seeds will sprout a melon in your stomach — an idea perpetuated by some ill-informed urban myths — rest assured that indulging in the small kernels is perfectly safe.

To obtain the best seeds possible, it's best to use a watermelon that has been allowed to fully ripen — or even become overly ripe — on the vine since watermelon seeds stop ripening the second the fruit is cut down. Once in the kitchen, scoop the watermelon flesh out, and place it in a container with water. The pulp and damaged seeds will float while the healthy seeds will sink to the bottom, aiding in the separation process. If you're using a colander to separate watermelon seeds from the flash, be mindful of the fact that it's the melon's black seeds that are ready to eat while their white counterparts are still unripe.

To make the seeds ready for consumption, dry them in the sun for around a week or save time by roasting them in the oven. Whatever method you choose, rest assured that the final result will be both tasty and nutritious since watermelon seeds contain plenty of magnesium, potassium, and fatty acids.

Make watermelon lemonade

Just like its name suggests, traditional lemonade contains lemons, as well as sugar and water. However, the sweet beverage isn't limited to these three ingredients. Lemonade has countless variations that incorporate additional flavors, fruits, and even herbs to create unique and refreshing drink combinations. One such additional ingredient is watermelon, whose sweetness and juiciness are a great complement to the tangy taste of lemons.

To make watermelon lemonade, chill the fruit in the fridge, scoop out its flesh, and purée it in a blender before straining. To complete the refreshing beverage, combine the watermelon juice with cold water, lemon juice, sugar, fresh mint, and crushed ice. For extra flair, garnish the concoction with a slice of lime. An ideal thirst quencher on hot summer evenings, watermelon lemonade is also healthy. In addition to the vitamin C found in lemons, watermelon brings additional nutrients to the beverage. More specifically, the juicy fruit is a rich source of vitamin A, carotenoids, and lycopene.

Add watermelon to salsa

The classic salsa recipe we all know and love includes a predictable list of ingredients such as tomatoes, onion, garlic, lime, and dried chili peppers. However, it may come as a surprise that there are plenty of more unusual salsa versions, including corn salsa, shrimp salsa, and rhubarb salsa. In addition, salsa doesn't need to be savory. The versatile condiment is also often loaded with fruit, berries, and other sweet ingredients.

Those looking for a fresh take on the ubiquitous dish shouldn't go past watermelon. Ideal for serving with tortilla chips, or as a taco topping, watermelon salsa can be as varied as each foodie. Whatever you add to it, however, with watermelon as a base, the dish is bound to be incredibly refreshing and come with a tinge of sweetness. Popular takes on the dish combine watermelon with ingredients like cherry tomatoes, serrano peppers, red onion, fresh mint, fresh cilantro, lime, as well as salt and pepper.

Make watermelon skewers

If you think skewers need to be meaty, think again. There are plenty of satisfying skewer options out there that don't include meat. Particularly popular on hot days, watermelon skewers make a juicy and colorful treat that's not just light and delicious, but also invigorating and hydrating.

Watermelon skewers are ultra versatile and easy to prep and assemble. Simply cut the watermelon into cubes, and skewer them with a bunch of other ingredients, depending on the season and your mood, such as feta cheese and olives. If you enjoy savory dishes, try making Tajín skewers. Blending sweetness and spice, the watermelon treat combines mint, Tajín seasoning, lime juice, and Mexican cotija cheese or feta cheese.

Watermelon skewers can also be turned into imaginative drink markers and food holders. Ideal for kids' parties, the skewers can be made with a variety of melons and berries to add color to the end result. To make the job easy, use cookie cutters to fashion your ingredients into the desired shapes before placing them on the skewers. Another option is to create custom words on the skewers with alphabet cookie cutters. For instance, you could spell out your child's name on watermelon skewers for their birthday party.