Watermelon Rind Preserves (Serbian Slatko Lubenice)

watermelon slices and rinds
Alison Stieglitz/E+/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 48 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
220 Calories
0g Fat
53g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 48
Amount per serving
Calories 220
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 3g
Calcium 19mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for watermelon rind preserves is a favorite among Serbians, who call it slatko lubenice. Only the white rind of the watermelon is used. A good slatko (preserve) should contain whole chunks of fruit, so don't cook this to a mushy consistency.


  • 2 pounds watermelon rind (white part only, cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 4 pounds sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 2 sliced lemons

Steps to Make It

  1. Place watermelon rind cubes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil, remove any scum that rises to the surface. Reduce heat and simmer until rind is al dente. Drain well in a colander.

  2. Place sugar in the same large saucepan and cover with cold water. Cook syrup over medium-low heat until it is the consistency of thin honey. This may take some time.

  3. Lower the fruit carefully into the syrup and add the vanilla beans and sliced lemons. Cook gently until the watermelon rind is quite soft, about 20 minutes. Remove vanilla and lemon.

  4. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars, making sure rind is covered with syrup. Seal with hot, sterilized two-piece lids. Store cooled jars in a cool, dark place.