40 Watermelon Recipes That Are Delicious and Refreshing

40 Watermelon Recipes That Are Delicious and Refreshing

There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a juicy wedge of perfectly ripe watermelon. And while it’s delicious on its own, there are actually tons of watermelon recipes that use the fruit in some surprising ways: With the right prep, watermelon can star in both sweet and savory dishes.

To play off the fruit’s sweetness, combine it with acidic additions (like balsamic or lime juice), fresh herbs (mint or basil, for instance), soft cheese (like feta or mozzarella), spicy mix-ins (like jalapeños), or other types of seasonal produce (like heirloom tomatoes or avocado), Celine Beitchman, MS, director of nutrition at the Institute of Culinary Education, tells SELF. To give it a savory, smoky taste and caramelized texture, sear it on a grill.

As for extra flavoring, you can look to the fruit’s cousins for some inspiration. Watermelons are part of the same family as squashes, cucumbers, and pumpkins, so consider seasoning them in similar ways, says Beitchman. Think: cinnamon, nutmeg, or Za’atar to kick up the taste.

You can also, of course, keep it easy and just let its simple freshness shine through. Cube up the melon and serve in salads—or enjoy on its own. Because watermelon is made up of 92% water, it’s a super hydrating option, making it the perfect refresher for hot days, says Beitchman.

There are tons of ways to go with this versatile fruit: delicious salads—fruit, grain, or green—frozen treats, salsas, chilled soups, drinks, and clever dishes that cook with the melon like it’s a protein. Take a look at the options below; you’ll be delighted by what watermelon can do.

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