10 Sweet and Savory Ways to Enjoy Watermelon

Try using watermelons in sweet and savory preparations

Shutterstock / Boiarkina Marina

For sweet watermelon dishes, try lemonade, ice pops, or shakes. For a savory twist, make gazpacho, salad, or salsa. 

Watermelon is the perfect fruit for summer. It keeps you feeling refreshed, and it’s super sweet. We don’t think of fruit as ideal for savory applications, but watermelon is delicious in both sweet desserts and savory entrées.

Use watermelon for sweet recipes like spiked watermelon balls, lemonade, and ice pops. Spice up your lemonade by adding some watermelon chunks or puréed watermelon. You’ll have a sweet and creative drink that’ll surprise your guests. At your next party, create spiked watermelon balls by marinating your watermelon balls in your favorite liquor: vodka, tequila, gin… the possibilities are endless. Then, add your spiked balls back into the watermelon half. Sweet watermelon preparations are a breeze, but you may have some trouble with the savory side of things — don’t worry, The Daily Meal has a few ideas to get you started.

Click here for the 10 Sweet and Savory Ways to Enjoy Watermelon slideshow.

If you’re looking to use watermelon in a savory preparation, make watermelon salsa, gazpacho, or salad. Watermelon salsa is made the same way you make regular salsa — with lime juice, chiles, onions, cilantro, and garlic. Omit chopped tomatoes for chopped watermelon and you have a savory preparation that you can use to complement fish or chicken. For lunch, toss a watermelon salad together with fresh tomatoes, watermelon, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Want to try out more sweet and savory watermelon recipes? We have 10 to get you started — you may need to buy a few watermelons to try all of them out.

Halibut with Watermelon Salsa

Light and flaky, halibut is an ideal choice for a simple summer dinner. Here, halibut steaks are marinated in a watermelon-raspberry vinaigrette, quickly grilled, and then topped with refreshingly tart watermelon salsa. For the Halibut with Watermelon Salsa recipe, click here.

Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind with Ginger and Lime

Making pickled watermelon rinds is a great way to use the whole watermelon and enjoy this summer fruit in a savory context. This classic Southern summertime preserve is a real mouthful that mellows over time, so it's best to pickle in the summer and enjoy in the fall as a snack or garnish. Usually made with cloves, ginger, and allspice, this version adds some kick with little dried red chiles and lime zest. For the Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind with Ginger and Lime recipe, click here.