36 Best-Ever Watermelon Recipes to Serve This Summer
There are many things that remind Southerners of summertime, and at the top of the list you’ll find a cold, juicy slice of watermelon. Some love it plain, others with a sprinkling of salt. Either way, it’s a delicacy enjoyed by everyone below the Mason-Dixon all summer long. And while watermelon is delicious enough to stand alone, it makes just as strong of a showing as a main ingredient in summer salads, salsas, desserts, and cocktails.
We’re making it easier than ever to celebrate the South’s favorite melon by sharing the tastiest watermelon recipes ever. Start with one of our watermelon salads that serve as the ultimate cookout side dishes, or perhaps begin with one of our refreshing watermelon cocktails that cool off the hottest of summer days. In between, plenty of watermelon dishes like watermelon-infused popsicles, watermelon-peach salsa, and even a watermelon chiffon pie will give fresh flair to your summer menu. Make the most of this summer staple with these 36 best-ever watermelon recipes.
You won't find a prettier cocktail than this oh-so-fresh Watermelon Margarita.
Watermelon-and-Feta Orzo Salad
Recipe: Watermelon-and-Feta Orzo Salad
Watermelon and feta make a foolproof salad combo—but orzo, arugula, and a homemade lemony vinaigrette take this dish to delicious new heights.
Recipe: Watermelon Salad
Start your summer party on a fresh note with this simple salad.
Recipe: Watermelon Gazpacho
Cool off with your new favorite chilled soup. Every summer should see a batch of watermelon gazpacho.
Recipe: Watermelon-Ginger Mojitos
Watermelon, mint, lime, and ginger come together to make this wonderfully refreshing pitcher drink.
Recipe: Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad
This no-cook salad combines sweet, juicy watermelon chunks with the makings of a beautiful summer salad.
Tomato, Watermelon, and Feta Skewers with Mint and Lime
No time for skewers? Gently toss the ingredients in a salad bowl, or dice the tomato, watermelon, and cheese into small cubes to serve as a fresh relish for grilled meats.
Watermelon Chiffon Pie
Recipe: Watermelon Chiffon Pie
My, oh my—watermelon pie! You never knew you needed this summer dessert until now.
Marinated Watermelon and Tomato Salad
This isn't your basic watermelon salad. Tomatoes and melon soak up the tangy lime-ginger-mint vinaigrette, while goat cheese crumbles add a nice, creamy note.
Spiked Watermelon Lemonade
Recipe: Spiked Watermelon Lemonade
Your local lemonade stand’s got nothing on this summer cocktail refresher.
Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad
Cucumbers add a welcome crunch to this salad recipe.
Crunchy Jerk Tacos with Watermelon-Mango Salsa
This recipe has more personality than your Taco Tuesday has ever seen.
Tipsy Red-and-Yellow Watermelon Salad
This pretty and easy to prepare spiked-fruit salad is guaranteed to be a conversation-starter at your next gathering.
Recipe: Watermelon Smoothies
Make use of your fresh watermelon by way of a hearty breakfast smoothie. Five ingredients, and you're set.
Watermelon-Lime Pops with Chile Dipping Salt
This zingy watermelon pop is refreshing with the most subtle spicy kick.
Watermelon Agua Frescas
Recipe: Watermelon Agua Frescas
Melons are at their most flavorful this time of year so chill out with this summer refresher.
Grilled Grouper with Watermelon Salsa
This delicious dish is ready in less than 30 minutes! Cool watermelon salsa pairs perfectly with hot-off-the-grill fish. For a sandwich option, serve fish and salsa in pita pockets.
Watermelon-Peach Salsa and Tomatoes
Reinvent the fruit cocktail with hot pepper jelly, watermelon, peaches, herbs, and tomatoes.
Chadwick Boyd’s Watermelon Derby Juleps
Watermelon, Mâche, and Pecan Salad
Spiked with the sweet-sharp heat of a pepper-jelly vinaigrette, ice-cold cubes of watermelon team up with buttery crumbles of Gorgonzola cheese and toasted pecans. Mâche is a tender, heirloom variety of lamb’s lettuce, but the salad is equally good prepared with a mix of baby lettuces.
Recipe: Melon-and-Mozzarella Salad
This rainbow of summer fruit makes for an elegant presentation and a refreshing side for a luncheon, brunch, or dinner.
Recipe: Beef-and-Watermelon Stir-Fry
The sweet heat of this beef dish is surprisingly refreshing. Slice the watermelon into sticks about the same size as the sugar snap peas so you get a sweet crunch in every bite. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves for extra flavor.
Herbed Goat Cheese-Melon Party Bites
Indulge in the warm days of summer with this refreshing watermelon and goat cheese combination.
Southwest Watermelon Salad
Recipe: Watermelon Cooler
Watermelons are a classic summer road stand fruit that sometimes goes to waste because they are so large. Make use of your leftover watermelon slices and cool down from the heat with this fresh, tangy summer sipper.
Grilled Watermelon with Blue Cheese and Prosciutto
Blue cheese and salty prosciutto are delicious with sweet melon. Grilling the watermelon enhances that sweetness and adds a touch of smoky flavor. Brushing the wedges with oil keeps them from sticking to the grill.
Melon and Plum Salad
Recipe: Melon and Plum Salad
Watermelon, honeydew, and plums are dressed with a bold Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette in this fresh salad.
Shrimp Salad over Zesty Watermelon
This salad uses just enough mayo to coat the shrimp, which will keep them moist but not drown them in a deluge of dressing.
Recipe: Watermelon Bellini
Whirl up any summer melon in this refreshing sipper. For a nonalcoholic option, replace the sparkling wine with sparkling white grape juice, sparkling cider, or club soda.
Watermelon "Steak" Salad
Recipe: Watermelon "Steak" Salad
Not your mother's fruit salad. A cold, thick, steak-like slice of ripe watermelon pairs unexpectedly well with salty Cotija cheese and a smoky vinaigrette. Also try it with leftover grilled chicken or beef.
Pickled Watermelon Rind
Recipe: Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad
This surprising salad combination will please your palate. The bright hues and refreshing flavors make Tomato-and-Watermelon Salad the perfect summer side dish.
Recipe: Watermelon-Mint Margaritas
Use leftover watermelon to make this slushy summer drink. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
Instant Watermelon Pops
Recipe: Instant Watermelon Pops
Cut a 1-inch slit into the rind of a just-cut watermelon wedge, and insert a wooden stick. Serve pops a variety of ways: sprinkle with flavored salts and freshly ground pepper, drizzle with local honey and fresh lime juice, dust with red pepper, or add a splash of schnapps.