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Watermelon Rind Relish

Looking for a creative and delicious way to use up watermelon rind this summer? This watermelon rind relish fits the bill. It’s perfect for your plant-based hotdogs, burgers, and even potato salad. I mean, why not? Traditional sweet pickle relish is made with cucumber, a very close cousin of watermelon. Give it a try, and you’ll want to make this a mainstay on your summer menu every year!

Vegan Hotdog with Watermelon Rind Relish

You’re wasting money and food. 

Watermelon rind taking up most of your garbage or food scrap bin? Yeah, me too! It’s a delicious and nutritious food that is so overlooked but absolutely usable. Should we really consider it a food scrap, rather than a food? Watermelon rind is high in vitamins B and C. It really doesn’t taste like much, but neither does cucumber, and watermelon rind happens to be a good substitute for cukes in lots of recipes––especially pickles, chutneys, juices, smoothies, and sautées. 

What part is the watermelon rind?

Just so we’re clear, the watermelon rind is the white part of the flesh that encases the red sweetness we all love. As I mentioned before, it is high in vitamins B and C, and potentially other phytonutrients like citrulline which supports heart health and circulation. Watermelon rind is crunchy, and can be somewhat difficult to eat depending on its firmness. Though you can eat watermelon rind raw (like my daughter does), I think it’s most pleasant cooked or pickled. 

Watermelon rind is versatile

Like so many foods we consider waste, watermelon rind is actually very versatile and has been consumed forever in a variety of delicious ways. Here in the Southern USA, pickled watermelon rind is a popular use for the crunchy white leftovers. In India, watermelon rind is often used in chutneys and curries. Watermelon rind can be shredded, chopped, sauteed, pickled, roasted, fried, or baked. The sky’s the limit!

Watermelon Rind Relish

How to make watermelon rind relish | 5 simple steps

This sweet relish is super easy to make. You don’t need any special tools or skills at all. 

  1. Peel the watermelon skin with a peeler. The skin is edible, so this part is optional, depending on the final texture you desire. 
  2. Mince watermelon. Or use a food processor to do the work. 
  3. Soak it with salt for at least an hour.
  4. Rinse the watermelon, and press out any excess water.
  5. Sauté and add sugar, mustard powder, and vinegar. 

Vegan Hotdog with Watermelon Rind Relish

Watermelon rind relish on everything!

Now that you’ve made a bomb watermelon relish, you can can it or use it up this summer. It will last about a week in the refrigerator. The relish is slightly crunchier than regular sweet pickle relish, and I like that. Use it to top your vegan hot dogs and burgers this summer. You can use it anyway you would use cucumber relish; think potato salad, pasta salad, etc. Also try the relish in salads and on grains for extra flavor and crunch. 

Try these creative recipes for common “food scraps” 

4.50 from 8 votes

Watermelon Rind Relish Recipe

Recipe adapted from this one:


  • 4 cups watermelon rind, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup sweet onion, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • Pinch fresh ground nutmeg


  • Add minced watermelon, onion, peppers, and sea salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir well, and set aside for at least an hour, or overnight.
  • Transfer the salty rind mixture to a colander or mesh strainer, and rinse. Press the water out with your hands or a cheese cloth.
  • Place the rind mixture in a dutch oven or large frying pan.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the relish from the heat, and allow it to cool completely before using.
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Jenne

I’m a Georgia Peach living in Los Angeles (by way of NYC), with an insatiable love of sweet potatoes, travel, animals, and cooking. On Sweet Potato Soul you’ll discover hundreds of delicious and easy-to-make vegan recipes.

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  1. I’ve only had watermelon rind relish once and I’ve never forgotten about it! I found this recipe by chance and I cannot wait to try it out. Thank you so much!

  2. Hi! I just made this and it’s great! I figured I wouldn’t be able to eat the whole batch right away, so I canned most of it. Easy to make and tasty.