Nothing says summer quite like watermelon, but so many of us are reluctant to branch out with watermelon recipes. Sure, we’ll add it to fruit salad or put it in a frozen drink – we may even sprinkle it with some feta if we’re feeling festive. But what about using watermelon in unexpected ways? Why not grill it, turn it into a cake, or add it to a sandwich? Watermelon is much more versatile than most of us give it credit. Here are 10 ways to add watermelon to your diet – and there’s not a single fruit salad on the list.
1. Watermelon Sandwich
We all know the popular combination of watermelon and feta cheese, but how about mixing things up and putting together watermelon and goat cheese on an open-faced sandwich? This recipe shows you how to make the ultimate summer picnic meal. Add chopped mint on top and you have yourself one pretty – and pretty tasty – sandwich.
2. Watermelon Salsa
We’ve all heard of adding sweet fruits like pineapple and mango to salsa, but have you ever considered watermelon? This Fire and Ice salsa recipe combines sweet, soothing watermelon with spicy, hot jalapenos. The result is a delicious collision of flavors.
3. Salad with Watermelon and Shrimp
This combination may sound weird – and there’s citrus and endive leaves too – but this one’s a crowd-pleaser. It’s full of vibrant flavors and it looks beautiful when plated! Check out the recipe and wow everyone at your next summertime potluck.
4. No-Bake Cake
This recipe couldn’t be simpler for when you’re in the mood for a healthier sweet treat. All you do is cover a round of watermelon with whipped cream (and optional berries and nuts) and you have yourself a "cake" with "frosting." (You can even use Cool Whip instead of homemade whipped cream if you’re in a hurry.) Find the recipe here.
5. Frozen Dessert
This granata recipe requires only four ingredients: watermelon, honey, lime juice and ginger. Whip it up in the blender, freeze it overnight, and have a delicious frozen treat for hot summer days.
6. Chilled Soup
Gazpacho isn’t the only soup that rules summer. When you want a cold, refreshing soup made from four fresh ingredients, let this recipe guide you. Bonus points if you use the rind of the watermelon as a pretty soup bowl.
7. Watermelon Jelly
Forget typical strawberry and grape jellies this summer. Once you’ve made this watermelon jelly (which includes the optional ingredient of sparkling wine), you won’t want to spread anything else on your bread. Find the recipe here.
8. Edible Flower Bouquet
Here’s your chance to get creative with cookie cutters. Using watermelon, pineapple, kiwi and grapes, this recipe shows you how to turn your fruit into adorable flowers pretty enough to serve as an edible centerpiece.
9. Grilled Watermelon
We know what you’re thinking: The grill is for steak and burgers – maybe some veggie kabobs. But watermelon? Doesn’t watermelon belong in cold, triangular slices on the side? Think again. Adding a Thai-inspired sauce and grilling your watermelon will create a complex spicy flavor you didn’t even know was possible. This recipe shows you everything you need to know.
10. Unexpected Stir-Fry
The stars of this show: strip steak, sugar snap peas, and – wait for it – watermelon. No, the watermelon isn’t cooked with the steak and veggies. Added after cooking, it adds an unexpected level of refreshment to an otherwise been-there, done-that classic. Find the recipe here.
Slice it, dice it, chill it, grill it. Watermelon is an ingredient that blends well with almost anything, so feel free to experiment and try adding it to other dishes. Although it’s sweet, it’s not overpowering. Let’s welcome watermelon season and have some fun.