• Cooking Time: 120
  • Servings: 2qts
  • Preparation Time: 45


  • 5 cups watermelon rinds, sliced into strips and cubes
  • 1 cup table salt
  • Water
  • 2 quarts apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whole coriander seed
  • 4 star anise
  • 3 tablespoons dill seed
  • 3 tablespoons brown mustard seed
  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
  • 3 tablespoons allspice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons white peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • Dash of Louisiana hot sauce


  • In a large covered container, add the watermelon rinds and salt. Add enough water to just cover the rinds. Stir until the salt has dissolved. Cover the container and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day remove the rinds from the refrigerator. In a colander, pour the rinds and rinse with cold water until all of the salt is removed. In a large pot on high heat, add the rinds and cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour. Turn off the heat, drain the rinds and add them to a container. Place them in the refrigerator to cool.
  • In a large pot on high heat, add the vinegar and sugar. Bring the liquid to a boil and add the rinds. Once the water comes to the boil again, lower the heat to a simmer and add all of the spices. Depending on how hot and spicy you prefer, add the red peppers flakes and a dash of Louisiana hot sauce. Cover the pot and let simmer for 1 hour on low heat.
  • After an hour, the liquid should have reduced slightly and begun to thicken. The rinds should have a translucent pickle-like look. Pour the rinds, along with the pickling liquid, into a tightly lidded container and let come to room temperature.


This is a simple 1-2-3 — brine, boil and pickle — process. You can vary this recipe — either add more sweetness or add more hot sauce for an edgier layer of heat. You can slice the rinds down to the white or leave a little of the pink melon for contrast. Some add green food coloring, but I prefer au natural. You really can’t mess this up.

Categories: Appetizer  Cajun  Fruit  Misc. Salad  Snack 

Author Credit: Chris Kaiser

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