It’s no mystery how watermelon became summer’s unofficial mascot. There’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a cold wedge on a hot day. It’s refreshing, it’s sweet and you can even get your kids to eat it. But there’s a lot you can do with this pretty-in-pink fruit besides cutting it up. Here, 32 watermelon recipes that are sure to be a hit at your next barbecue.
1. Grilled Watermelon Steaks
Tell beef to take a seat. These smoky, seasoned slices hold up beautifully on a hot grill. Serve over a green salad spritzed with lemon.
2. Watermelon Salad with Almonds and Dill
It only takes eight ingredients and 15 minutes to make this impressive appetizer. Crumbled feta and sliced radishes add salt and crunch. Have a second bowl before all those burgers and dogs.
3. Watermelon Poke Bowls
Stand back, tuna: This main is totally vegetarian. With scallions, cucumber slices and sprouts, this crunchy gem will be the lunch envy of the office. Oh, and the soy-sesame dressing? You’ll want to put it on everything.
4. Grilled Watermelon Feta Skewers
Salad’s always better on a stick. Here’s what we like to call a twist on a traditional Caprese, using sweet watermelon and tangy feta in place of tomatoes and mozzarella. Not only is it simple to make, but the char marks will make you feel like a total grill master.
5. One-Ingredient Watermelon Sorbet
In the summer, we try to chill as much as possible. Luckily, this sweet fits right into our schedule since it’s made of nothing but twice-frozen watermelon.
6. Strawberry Watermelon Wine Slushies
Sorry kids, this one’s for grown-ups. All you need is a bottle of white, fruit and a blender. Serve it in a hulled watermelon rind to blow your guests away.
7. Spicy Grilled Watermelon with Crème Fraîche
This sweet fruit comes alive with smoky grill marks, lots of chili powder and fresh lime juice. Stay fancy with a fork and knife or dig in sans cutlery. Either way, we support you.
8. Cucumber, Basil and Watermelon Salad
You’re going to fall hard for the zingy soy-ginger dressing spiked with garlic, lime and serrano pepper. Ahh, we feel more refreshed already.
9. Watermelon Salad with Mint
This dish is packed with watermelon, sliced grapes and grape tomatoes. Toss it all in a simple vinaigrette with fresh herbs and your work is done.
10. Watermelon Raspberry Slushies
The kids can sip the fruit-and-agave version all day long, but we give you permission to add a splash of raspberry-pomegranate vodka to yours.
11. Watermelon Gazpacho
This dish stars our other favorite seasonal fruit, tomatoes. Blended with cucumber, red onion and bell pepper, it’s a great way to cool off and get your vitamins for the day. (Bonus points for homemade croutons.)
12. Watermelon Salsa
Grilled chicken. Fish tacos. Tortilla chips. There are a million things to put a scoop of this stuff on. And with six simple ingredients, it’s a cinch to put together too.
13. Jalapeño Watermelon Margaritas
It’s fiesta time. Spicy margs are always a treat, but with fresh watermelon juice? Keep ’em coming, bartender.
14. Grilled Chicken with Watermelon Mango Salsa
Meet the cookout’s guest of honor. Bust out of your chicken rut with this fresh, easy recipe that leaves you with minimal cleanup. Keep the salsa for up to five days in the fridge. (We’re having it with chips.)
15. Watermelon Pizza with Cream Cheese Icing
Surprise the kids with a breakfast they’ll beg for over and over again. This pie has berries and a light drizzle of icing, but feel free to let them run wild with decorating.
16. Watermelon Lemonade
Regular ice cubes? Yawn. Frozen watermelon ice cubes, on the other hand, are just what your picnic needs.
17. Spinach and Watermelon Salad
Greens loaded with Cotija cheese, sweet onions and glazed walnuts? Now this is a salad we can get behind. We’ll meet you on the patio with extra red-wine vinaigrette.
18. Patriotic Flag Fruit Platter
Consider your July 4th table centerpiece taken care of. Think blackberries, grapes, apples, cherries or whatever else you can work into the platter design. Serve with a cheese board or yogurt dip.
19. Watermelon Agua Fresca
Forget about hopping a flight to Puerto Vallarta. This drink will take you there in 10 minutes. We’ll meet you at the beach.
20. Grilled Watermelon and Balsamic Chicken
Meet us on the porch. Store-bought balsamic reduction is just fine, but you can totally handle making it on your own.
21. Moroccan Watermelon Cucumber Salad with Pistachio
The only way this salad—loaded with mint, Italian parsley, feta and toasted nuts—could be any better? Serve it with juicy grilled steak.
22. The Best Watermelon Margarita
Does it get any easier than a three-ingredient cocktail? Didn’t think so. We’ll take ours with extra salt.
23. Watermelon Boba Slushie
Love bubble tea? Sip your way to the bottom of this honey-watermelon drink to reach all those black tapioca pearls.
24. Grilled Gochujang Pork Chops with Watermelon Mint Salad
Your grill will be so psyched to meet Korean gochujang, a sweet-and-spicy fermented red chili paste. Better yet, you’ll get to feed everyone in just a half hour. Serve it over cauliflower or jasmine rice.
25. Watermelon Coconut Lime Popsicles
Take four ingredients for a spin in the blender, freeze and voila. You’ll never want store-bought pops again.
26. Watermelon Peach Cooler
Make the most of your farmers market haul with this blended beauty. We’re already planning to add a dash of coconut rum.
27. Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca Popsicles
Sometimes shouting at the kids to come inside isn’t enough. These four-ingredient pops will get their attention.
28. Watermelon Water
Staying hydrated is priority one when the temperatures rise, but water can feel plain when we’re craving something sweet. Skip the soda and opt for this one-ingredient refresher, made with nothing but watermelon and water. Add agave or honey for extra sweetness.
29. Red, White and Blue Watermelon Blueberry Fruit Salad
No one’s ignoring this looker at the dessert table, featuring watermelon mixed with cubed jicama, mint and feta and dusted with chili powder.
30. Shrimp and Watermelon Ceviche
Aren’t you fancy? Ceviche always impresses, but it’s actually a breeze to put together. Just boil and chill the shrimp, combine with the produce and top with salt, mint and cilantro. Serve with yucca chips.
31. Coconut Rice and Watermelon Salad Bowls
A dish that’s totally vegan, gluten-free and extremely delicious. Warning: The coconut cream and honey may ruin plain rice for you forever.
32. 3-Ingredient Watermelon Raspberry Popsicles
You’ll be host of the year once these hit the table. Don’t look now, but we’re drizzling ours with dark chocolate.