Recipe Box: Watermelon is a Perfect Summer Food, from Salad to Dessert

☀️ Yummy Recipes for Summer

By Charlotte Linde, Editor of Macaroni Kid EATS June 29, 2020

When you think of summer, what foods come to mind for you? For me, I think of corn on the cob, pasta salad, grilled burgers and brats, s'mores — and WATERMELON! Summer just wouldn't be summer without it, right?

Watermelon adds a new twist and a sweet flavor to different recipes that your taste buds will not be expecting. It's not only delicious but healthy too... full of vitamins A & C, lycopene, potassium, and amino acids.

So don't just grab this big round ball of goodness for the 4th of July holiday — enjoy it all summer long. Here are a few new ways to enjoy watermelon this summer!

🍉 Add it to Salad

Summer Watermelon Salad

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 2 cups cubed tomatoes (we love Campari)
  • ½ cup thinly-sliced red onion
  • Handful of torn fresh basil
  • ¼ cup avocado oil
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Feta cheese for topping/garnish (we also like it with shaved Parmesan),
  • Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper and whisk together. Add watermelon, tomato, onion, and basil and toss until coated. Serve at room temperature or chill for later. Add cheese right before serving. Serve with crusty bread for a fresh and light lunch.

More salad ideas:

Add it to Salsa 🍉 

Watermelon Salsa
Courtesy of Christel Hoydic, Macaroni Kid Middletown, CT Publisher

  • 1 seedless watermelon
  • 1 red onion, 5 jalapeño peppers (seeded)
  • 1 cup basil
  • Lime juice to taste

Roughly chop all ingredients and mix! Feel free to experiment, adding more or less of any particular ingredient to fit your family's taste. Serve immediately!

🍉 Use the Rinds

Don't throw out the rinds! Just remove the green and you can make all kinds of treats!

  • Pickle the rinds for a tart treat.
  • Grate the rinds and add to coleslaw.
Slice It 🍉 

Eat it as is, or bring out the sweetness by sprinkling a little sea salt on your slices.

Add it to toast with goat cheese, honey, and thyme.

🍉 Grill It

For a savory treat, grill slices or chunks and try different spices and flavors like chili powder and lime or honey.

Grill Caribbean kabobs with chicken, pineapple, peppers, and watermelon. 

For Dessert 🍉 

How about a cake made out of watermelon? Peel, cut in the shape you'd like, frost it with whipped topping, and top with berries. So fun!

Granitas are such a refreshing treat for summer and this recipe couldn't be simpler!

Watermelon Granita
Courtesy of Julie Follansbee, Macaroni Kid Johnstown, Laurel Highlands, Altoona, PA Publisher

  • 4 cups of cubed watermelon, seeded
  • Half a lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup sugar

Puree all ingredients, pour into a shallow dish, freeze for one hour, scrape off the top, layer by layer, with a fork and serve with a garnish of lime or fresh mint leaves.

 A version of this story originally appeared in Macaroni Kid EATS. Subscribe today to receive free family-friendly recipes right in your inbox once a month!