The 20 Best Things You Can Do With Watermelon This Summer

Few things remind us more of summer than the sweet, juicy, crisp taste of fresh watermelon. These days, we're finding ourselves putting watermelon in salads, mixing it into barbecue marinades, turning it into pickles, drinking it in cocktails, enjoying its sweetness in desserts, and even deep-frying it (Yes, really!). We've rounded up the most creative summer recipes that are easy to make and allow you to savor every last bit of this refreshing, delicious fruit, including ways to prepare...MORE the rind and seeds. Make use of the watermelon at its yummy best with these simple and surprising recipes.

  • 01 of 20
    A delicious and refreshing watermelon gazpacho, ready to serve
    Steven Krug / Getty Images

    Watermelon gazpacho (or cold soup) is a fast and easy way to enjoy the fresh flavor of fruit. This simple, no-cook recipe is perfect for summertime meals when you don't want to heat up the kitchen.

  • 02 of 20
    Still Images

    This delightfully refreshing salad is easy to put together at the last minute and makes a great party appetizer or starter salad. Fresh basil adds an herbaceous spiciness to this light dish, while sweet balsamic syrup brings out the best flavors of both the watermelon and the fresh mozzarella.

  • 03 of 20
    Stuart West

    Cool, crisp, sweet watermelon pairs beautifully with fresh mint and tangy feta cheese in this refreshing summer salad. This recipe offers tips for customizing this perfect party salad or appetizer dish to suit your personal tastes.

  • 04 of 20
    Cool, refreshing salad of watermelon, prosciutto, and feta.
    Stuart West

    Prosciutto adds a great savory, meaty flavor and saltiness to this refreshing summer salad with watermelon. Finished with an easy-to-make honey vinaigrette, toasted sesame seeds and fresh mint, this flavorful dish makes a great side salad or even a light lunch by itself.

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20
    Homemade watermelon popsicles
    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Sweet and juicy watermelon is a popsicle lover's dream come true. Delicious, vegan watermelon ice pops are super-easy to make and enjoy. You'll need an ice pop tray to make this summer frozen treat at home.

  • 06 of 20
    Zeng Baoyan / EyeEm

    Yes, you can deep-fry watermelon! Here's a fun and tasty recipe that will make you look at fresh and juicy watermelon in a whole new way. Watermelon is dipped into a light batter, fried and topped with powdered sugar for a delicious, warm and crisp summertime snack.

  • 07 of 20
    Tim Gerard Barker

    What can you do with those pesky watermelon seeds? Crispy, low in calories and nutrient dense, roasted watermelon seeds are the perfect snack food and can easily take the place of other unhealthy snack options. Try them as a road trip snack in place of sunflower seeds or peanuts.

  • 08 of 20
    Ribs cut from beef, coated in barbecue sauce, close-up
    Ian O'Leary / Getty Images

    This no-prep, easy watermelon barbecue sauce makes a great marinade for chicken, pork, fish, shellfish or roasted vegetables this summer. Watermelon and brown sugar are the fresh and sweet flavors that perfectly balance the salty tang of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and Dijon mustard. 

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20
    Fresh summer grilled watermelon salad with feta cheese, arugula, onions on blue background
    sveta_zarzamora / Getty Images

    Summer cooking can't get easier than this super-quick yet delicious grilled watermelon recipe. Grilled watermelon has a smoky, sweet quality that's a perfect melding of summer's best flavors. Eat it straight from the grill, add it to your summer salads, or drizzle it with honey to serve for dessert.

  • 10 of 20
    Debbi Smirnoff

    This classic recipe for watermelon rind pickles is one of the best things you can do with watermelon and a great way to use the whole fruit. Watermelon pickles are a great condiment to add to savory dishes, or add it to your tuna, chicken and shrimp salads this summer.

  • 11 of 20
    Sara Rosso

    Here's a light, cool and refreshing dessert recipe that's perfect for all your summer parties, from backyard cook-outs to more formal dinners. You'll need an ice cream maker to create this easy, elegant iced treat.

  • 12 of 20
    The Spruce

    Make a watermelon into a fun party decoration or centerpiece for your buffet table this summer. Get kids involved by letting them help you create decorative hearts you'll turn into a handle for the basket. 

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20
    Paulo Simao

    Chopped watermelon rinds are sweetened and cooked with spices, raisins, and pecans in this delicious double-crust pie. Delight your guests with a watermelon pie at your summer barbecues and buffet parties.

  • 14 of 20
    Dmitry V. Petrenko / FOAP

    Here's a cool, refreshing, Southern-inspired drink that you can serve proudly to family and friends this summer. Loaded with fruit, garnished with herbs and bursting with flavor, you'll go through a pitcher in no time.

  • 15 of 20
    Watermelon Smoothie
    The Spruce

    Frozen watermelon smoothies are the perfect choice to serve to children this summer and a great alternative to the traditional milkshake. Adults will also enjoy this sweet, rich and creamy virgin smoothie drink that blends frozen watermelon with milk, yogurt and maple syrup.


  • 16 of 20
    Ivan Grubacki / EyeEm

    Here's a refreshing, grown-up way to enjoy sweet, juicy fresh watermelon. Watermelon juice combines with vodka, simple syrup, and lime juice in this delicious martini cocktail that's quick and easy to prepare when unexpected guests arrive.

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20
    The Spruce

    If you were to combine all of your favorite summer flavors into one drink, you might come up with this scrumptious Mojito recipe. The classic Mojito, a rum and mint based cocktail, is transformed for summertime with fresh watermelon and creamy coconut milk. Enjoy this frozen fruity slushy poolside or at your next warm weather event.

  • 18 of 20
    Jennifer Levy

    Cosmos, anyone? The Cosmopolitan, popularized in the hit series Sex in the City, gets a summer makeover in this yummy drink that proves you don’t need to be a bartender to serve fancy cocktails right from your home kitchen. 

  • 19 of 20
    Malcolm P Chapman

    Fruit-flavored margaritas are a classic summer party cocktail. These frozen watermelon drinks put a sweet twist on the traditional margarita that's welcome at all your outdoor parties this summer, from Mexican-themed gatherings to last-minute cook-outs with the neighbors. 

  • 20 of 20
    Stephanie White

    Looking for a fun and unique way to serve drinks at outdoor parties this summer? Serve up a refreshing watermelon drink in a DIY watermelon keg that's perfect for your next patio party.