Do More with Watermelon

From a twist on the frosé to savory bruschetta or a sauce atop fish to sweet treats including a “cupcake,” you can do much more with watermelon than you might think
Watermelon Frosé

Photo National Watermelon Promotion Board

Watermelon is aptly named: It’s 92% water. So, it’s refreshing on its own, of course, but it can also make a cool twist on the popular frosé drink and healthy fresh fruit frozen pops. And since it’s in the same family as cucumbers, pumpkins, and squash it can also make delicious twists on savory appetizers such as bruschetta, or lend fresh sweetness to a tangy tzatziki sauce to serve with fish. It can naturally make sweet desserts, of course—try it like a cupcake with the step-by-step idea here, and more in the links below.

At only 40 calories per cup, watermelon is also good for you: It is virtually fat and cholesterol free, low in sodium, and is a good source of vitamins A, B6, and C. It also contains potassium, thiamin, and magnesium.

Tip: Make sure to wash with cool tap water before use and dry before cutting it in order to remove any surface dirt and impurities on the rind that could be transferred from the knife to the flesh when cut.

In these recipes, which are courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board, you’ll find a variety of ways to do more with watermelon during the waning dog days of summer.

Watermelon Frosé

A fun drink for the everyday to holidays.

6 cups cubed watermelon
1 (750ml) bottle of favorite rosé wine
2 tablespoons agave
Small watermelon wedges for garnish (optional)

  1. Pour rosé into ice cube tray(s) and freeze at least 4 hours
  2. Cube watermelon and freeze
  3. Blend frozen rosé, frozen watermelon cubes, and agave until smooth.
  4. If serving immediately, pour into glasses with a spatula (mix will quickly melt due to alcohol). If serving later, pour into a shallow pan and freeze. (Will not freeze completely). When you are ready to serve, scrape out with a spoon or fork into a glass.
Watermelon Berry Pops

Photo National Watermelon Promotion Board

Watermelon Berry Pops

Makes 8 Servings

These are a treat and very easy to make. Just add some raspberries, blueberries, honey, and watermelon to your favorite pop molds and put them in the freezer.

6 cups watermelon
1 cup blueberries, divided
1 cup raspberries, divided
3 tablespoons honey

  1. Add watermelon, ½ cup of blueberries, ½ cup of raspberries, and honey to a blender. Blend until smooth. Press through a fine mesh strainer to remove pulp and seeds.
  2. Fill pop molds ¾ full with liquid. Add whole blueberries and raspberries to each mold. Insert sticks and freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely frozen.
Watermelon Cupcakes

Photo National Watermelon Promotion Board

Watermelon Cupcakes

Makes 8

This is a refreshing twist on a delightful dessert.

8 cupcake shaped pieces of watermelon
8 cupcake liners
2 cups yogurt of choice or frosting
Dash sprinkles for garnish (optional)

  1. Place the liners in an 8-cup cupcake tin.
  2. Cut 3-inch thick slices of seedless watermelon. Cut round cupcake sized pieces from the slices. Put a watermelon “cupcake” in each liner.
  3. Place a dollop of frosting on each cupcake.
  4. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.
Italian-Style Watermelon Bruschetta

Photo National Watermelon Promotion Board

Italian-Style Watermelon Bruschetta

This Italian-style bruschetta is a refreshing twist on a classic appetizer—swapping in juicy watermelon that pairs perfectly with tangy feta. Try a taste of an Italian summer!

2 cups diced watermelon
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
¼ cup fat-free feta cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Bread of choice
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Slice and toast bread.
  2. In a bowl, combine diced watermelon, rosemary, feta, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top the toasted bread with the mixture.
Halibut with Watermelon Rind Tzatziki

Photo National Watermelon Promotion Board

Halibut with Watermelon Rind Tzatziki

Makes 4 Servings

The flavor and rich colors of this watermelon rind tzatziki go well with any mild seafood, including cod, tilapia, or even scallops.

For the Watermelon Rind Tzatziki
¼ cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup diced cucumber
¼ cup watermelon rind, without skin, diced
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons sugar
2½ teaspoons minced ginger
1 (4-ounce) can diced chilies, strained
Salt, to taste

4 fillets (6 ounces) thick halibut
Dash olive oil spray
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup diced watermelon

  1. Heat grill.
  2. Place watermelon on two sheets of paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Set aside.
  3. Make the tzatziki sauce: Combine Greek yogurt with cucumber, watermelon rind, mint, cilantro, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, ginger, and chilies. Salt to taste. Set aside.
  4. Spray fish with olive oil spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until fish is flaky and no longer transparent throughout.
  5. Top each serving of fish with a ¼ of the tzatziki, then sprinkle with ¼ cup each of the diced watermelon.
Watermelon Pizza Alla Italia

Photo National Watermelon Promotion Board

Hungry for More?

Check out more savory and sweet watermelon recipes I have highlighted on this site:

5 Watermelon Recipes with a Twist

Switch things up with these cool watermelon recipes from salads to dessert that both kids and adults will enjoy throughout the summer—plus links to more recipes.

Try 8 Tasty Twists on Watermelon

No matter how you slice it—or purée it or dice it or juice it—watermelon is a tasty choice in recipes from appetizers and main dishes to dessert and cocktails.

The Savory and Sweet Sides of Watermelon

Refreshing watermelon moves from appetizers to entrees and desserts with ease in more recipes here.

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.