Watermelon Rind Preserves: Tips, Benefits, and Serving Ideas

Watermelon rind preserves involve using the often-discarded watermelon rinds to create a sweet, tangy treat. The creation process starts by peeling the dark green outer skin and removing any pink flesh. The remaining portion is then cut into small pieces, often cubes or strips. These pieces are cooked with sugar, water, and sometimes lemon juice or ginger until they reach a thick, jam-like consistency.

Canning the preserves extends their shelf life, making them accessible year-round. Ensure a sterile environment for canning to prevent spoilage. Use boiling water canners or pressure canners for best results, depending on your recipe. The entire process takes several hours but the outcome is a delicious and eco-friendly delicacy.

Health Benefits of Watermelon Rind Preserves

Watermelon rind contains citrulline, an amino acid linked to improved blood flow and reduced muscle soreness. The preserves retain this beneficial compound. They’re also rich in fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting gut health. Unlike many commercial jams, homemade watermelon rind preserves often contain fewer additives and artificial ingredients, making them a healthier alternative.

For those managing their sugar intake, you can adjust the sugar content in homemade preserves. Replace refined sugar with natural sweeteners like honey or agave syrup to further enhance the nutritional profile. Incorporating watermelon rind preserves into your diet can elevate your meals while providing health benefits.

How to Make Watermelon Rind Preserves

Required Ingredients

To make watermelon rind preserves, assemble the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups of watermelon rind, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  1. Prepare the Watermelon Rind
    Peel the green outer layer, then cut the white part into small cubes.
  2. Soak and Rinse
    Place the cubed rind in a large bowl, cover with water, and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Soak for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
  3. Simmer the Rind
    In a large pot, combine the soaked rind, 2 cups of water, and 2 cups of sugar. Heat on medium until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add Flavorings
    Add the lemon slices, cinnamon stick, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir to mix the flavors evenly.
  5. Cook to Desired Consistency
    Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 1 hour or until the rind turns translucent and the syrup thickens, stirring occasionally.
  6. Check and Adjust
    Taste the syrup and adjust the sweetness if necessary, adding more sugar in small increments.
  7. Store the Preserves
    Once cooked, allow the preserves to cool slightly. Transfer to sterilized jars, seal tightly, and store in a cool, dark place. For long-term storage, process the jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

These steps enable you to create delicious watermelon rind preserves while maximizing the use of the fruit and minimizing waste.

Exploring Different Recipes

Traditional Sweet Preserves

Traditional sweet preserves offer a classic way to enjoy watermelon rind. Combine rind pieces, sugar, lemon juice, and water. Simmer the mixture until the rinds are translucent. Add vanilla or cinnamon sticks for extra flavor. You’ll need to cook the mixture for around 1-2 hours, depending on the thickness of the rinds.


  • Watermelon rind chunks (4 cups)
  • Granulated sugar (2 cups)
  • Lemon juice (1/4 cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Cinnamon sticks or vanilla (optional)


  1. Peel and cut watermelon rind into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Combine rinds, sugar, lemon juice, and water in a pot.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Add cinnamon sticks or vanilla if using.
  5. Cook for 1-2 hours until rinds are translucent.
  6. Pour into sterilized jars and seal.

Spicy Variation

For those who prefer a kick, a spicy variation adds heat to the sweetness. Use chili flakes or jalapeños with the basic ingredients. Spice levels can be adjusted to taste.


  • Watermelon rind chunks (4 cups)
  • Granulated sugar (2 cups)
  • Lemon juice (1/4 cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Red chili flakes (1-2 teaspoons) or jalapeños (1-2, sliced)
  1. Prepare rind chunks as per traditional recipe.
  2. Mix rinds, sugar, lemon juice, and water in a pot.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Stir in red chili flakes or jalapeños.
  5. Simmer until rinds are translucent, around 1-2 hours.
  6. Transfer to sterilized jars and seal.

Both recipes provide delicious, unique ways to repurpose watermelon rinds while minimizing waste.

Storing and Serving Suggestions

Best Practices for Storage

To ensure watermelon rind preserves maintain quality, use clean, sterilized jars. Store them in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry, to prevent spoilage from light and heat exposure. Once opened, refrigerate preserves and use within two weeks for optimal freshness. It’s crucial to label jars with the preparation date for better tracking.

Creative Ways to Serve Watermelon Rind Preserves

Integrate watermelon rind preserves into various dishes for enhanced taste. Spread it on toast, croissants, or bagels for a sweet morning treat. Pair the preserves with cheeses like brie or goat cheese on a charcuterie board to offer a balance of flavors. Use them as a glaze for meats such as chicken or pork, providing a unique combination of sweet and savory. Adding a spoonful to yogurt or oatmeal can elevate your breakfast, while incorporating it into salad dressings can bring a refreshing twist to your greens.


Watermelon rind preserves offer a delicious and sustainable way to use every part of the fruit. By customizing with natural sweeteners and flavorings, you can create a unique preserve that suits your taste. Proper storage ensures your preserves stay fresh and flavorful, ready to enhance a variety of dishes. Whether you’re spreading it on toast or adding a sweet twist to your charcuterie board, these preserves bring a delightful touch to any meal. Embrace this creative culinary option and enjoy the benefits of watermelon rind preserves in your kitchen.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *