1 ingredient, 4 quick recipes: Watermelon

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Adriana Urbina is an In The Know cooking contributor. Follow her on Instagram and visit her website for more.

While you’re probably already gearing up to eat lots of watermelon and fruit this summer, know that there’s good reason to keep up the melon obsession: Watermelon has a variety of beneficial properties, like its high quantity of water and fiber, plus the rind and seeds both have a surprisingly large number of health benefits. Chances are, when you eat watermelon, you eat it until you reach the green peel and then toss it. But you actually can eat the watermelon rind and seeds, too! By doing so, you can cut down on waste while also creating more delicious recipes for your week. 

For example, homemade pickled watermelon rind takes on a tart taste and a crunchy texture that’s similar to pickled cucumbers. I love adding it to a charcuterie board, salads or eating it right from the jar! Watermelon-seed crumble, on the other hand, is great for sprinkling in your salads, smoothies and breakfast protein, as they’re a rich source of vitamins, proteins and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids themselves.

Today, I’m bringing you four delicious and nutritious recipes that you’ll be adding to your weekly rotation: toasted watermelon seeds/powder, pickled watermelon rinds, watermelon vinaigrette and chili lime watermelon salad with cotija cheese.

Toasted Watermelon Seeds/Powder 

Turn watermelon seeds into a delicious snack or nutritious powder that you can sprinkle on top of your salads, smoothies, proteins, etc. Roasted watermelon seeds are reminiscent of popcorn and have a sort of caramel-like taste. After toasting them on the stove, you cook them in a bit of saltwater, giving them a satisfying salty flavor; alternatively, you can roast them in the oven with cooking spray and salt. 

Watermelon seed powder. (Credit: Adriana Urbina)


  • 1 cup of watermelon seeds 
  • 1 cup of water 
  • 1 teaspoon of pink salt 
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika  (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of olive oil 


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Soak the watermelon seeds in the water and salt.
  3. Drain the water, and dry the seeds very well with a towel.
  4. Toss the watermelon seeds with the olive oil and spices. 
  5. Roast in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool down completely. Store in an airtight container with a paper towel lining the bottom. 
  7. To make the seeds into powder, blend in a food processor and store in an airtight container.

Pickled Watermelon Rinds 

Pickled watermelon rinds. (Credit: Adriana Urbina)


  • 2 (16-ounce) glass jars with lids
  • 1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3-inch piece of ginger, broken
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 2 cups watermelon rinds, green skin removed and chopped into 2-inch pieces


  1. Add the water and sugar to a small saucepan and bring it to a boil until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the ginger, salt, black pepper, cinnamon and watermelon rinds. 
  3. Cook for 20 minutes. 
  4. Cool it down and store it in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator.

Watermelon Vinaigrette 


  • 2 cups organic watermelon (diced into cubes)
  • ¾ cup avocado oil or olive oil 
  • 1 organic Medjool date (pitted)
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice or apple cider vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder 
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 


  1. Add all of ingredients into a blender and combine until smooth. 
  2. Taste and adjust seasonings and/or sweetener to your preference.
  3. Store in an air-tight container. Stir before using, because it will separate.

Recipe Notes:

This recipe will make approximately two (2) cups of vinaigrette. Serving size is approximately two (2) tablespoons.

Chili Lime Watermelon Salad with Cotija Cheese, Herbs and Toasted Seeds 


  • 4 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder (or tajin for less spice) 
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 tablespoon mint leaves 


  1. Place the cubed watermelon into a large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and the chili powder (using more if you wish!).
  3. Toss well.
  4. Squeeze on the lime juice and top with the lime zest.
  5. Add the crumbled cotija cheese and cilantro.
  6. Serve immediately!

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