7 Creative Ways to Eat Watermelon

Watermelon is a refreshing addition to salads, beverages, and smoothies. In addition to the juicy, pink flesh, there are culinary uses for the crunchy watermelon rinds and seeds.  

Watermelon is a fruit and is in the same botanical family as cantaloupe and cucumber. One cup of watermelon (152 g) contains:

  • 46 calories
  • 12 g carbohydrates
  • <1 gram of fat, protein, and fiber
  • No cholesterol or sodium

Watermelon also contains vitamin C and some vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. It's a source of the antioxidant lycopene, which may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Watermelon has a higher antioxidant capacity than other popular fruits such as tomatoes and strawberries. The phenols in watermelon are said to have anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antioxidant properties.

Juicy and sweet, watermelon is about 92% water, making it a hydrating fruit. It has a crisp, juicy texture and a pleasing sweet flavor.

Watermelon Highlights

  • Source of vitamins A and C.
  • Contains lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may protect cells from damage by free radicals.

For more information, see Watermelon Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits.

How to Use Watermelon

This versatile fruit works equally well in sweet and savory dishes, as well as both foods and drinks. In addition to the pink flesh, you can use the rind and seeds too, making watermelon a zero-waste ingredient.

Lemon-Ginger Melon Salad

Watermelon adds a bright pink hue and sweet notes to any fruit salad. It especially pairs especially well with other melons.

Lemon-Ginger Melon Salad

Combine 2 cups each of diced watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe. Add 2 tbsp lemon juice, and 1 tsp of freshly grated ginger. Stir to combine.

Nutrition per serving (1 cup): 58 calories, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, carbohydrates 14g, sugar 12g, fiber 1.2g, protein 1g

Watermelon Feta Salad

Briny, salty feta cheese is the perfect partner for sweet, juicy watermelon in this flavorful salad. To make it into a meal, add 2 cups of chickpeas or edamame.

Watermelon Feta Salad

Mix 4 cups of cubed watermelon with 6 oz (170 g) crumbled feta. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and freshly cracked black pepper. Top with freshly chopped mint.

Nutrition per serving (1 cup): 185 calories, total fat 15g, saturated fat 5g, carbohydrates 9g, sugar 7g, fiber 0.5g, protein 5g

Grilled Watermelon

Watermelon is a delicious addition to any barbecue. You can thread watermelon squares onto kebab skewers, or place watermelon triangles directly on the grill.

Grilled Watermelon

Brush lightly with olive oil and grill for about 2 minutes per side. Top with a squeeze of lime juice, a pinch of spicy red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of honey. Serve it as part of dinner or as dessert!

Nutrition per serving (1 cup): 61 calories, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, carbohydrates 16g, sugar 14g, fiber 0.7g, protein 1 g

Mint Watermelon Freeze

Watermelon pairs well with fresh mint, and this icy beverage is smooth and refreshing. You can make this mocktail into a cocktail by adding one ounce of light rum per glass.

Mint Watermelon Freeze

In a high-powered blender, mix 1 cup of ice with 2 cups of watermelon and 2 tbsp of fresh mint sprigs. Blend until smooth. Add a squeeze of lime juice and a bit of honey if the watermelon isn't sweet enough. Serve cold.

Nutrition per serving (1 cup): 54 calories, total fat 1g, saturated fat 0g, carbohydrates 14g, sugar 12g, fiber 0.6g, protein 1 g

Watermelon Popsicles

For a nutritious, cold, refreshing treat, try these easy-to-make popsicles (note: you'll need a popsicle mold to make these). You can also try mixing other fruits, but the red berries paired with the pink watermelon make a beautiful and vivid color combination.

Watermelon and Strawberry Popsicles

Mix 3 cups cubed watermelon with 1 cup of hulled strawberries in a blender. Add a squeeze of lime juice, and blend until pureed. Add to popsicle molds and freeze overnight. Enjoy!

Nutrition per serving (1 popsicle): 31 calories, total fat 0g, saturated fat 0g, carbohydrates 8g, sugar 6g, fiber 1g, protein 1g

Watermelon Bruschetta

Watermelon replaces tomatoes in this fresh take on bruschetta. You can use the pink flesh, the white rind, or both.

Watermelon Bruschetta

Combine 2 cups of cubed watermelon (you can use the flesh and the rind), 1 clove of mince garlic, 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil, a drizzle of olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste. Scoop generously onto a toasted, sliced baguette and enjoy.

Nutrition per serving (2 pieces): 104 calories, total fat 1g, saturated fat 0g, carbohydrates 21g, sugar 6g, fiber 1g, protein 3g

Roasted Watermelon Seeds

In addition to the pink-hued fresh and juicy white rind, watermelon has one more bonus: the seeds! The black watermelon seeds can be roasted into a crunchy snack. If it's too much trouble to pick out the watermelon seeds, you can buy ready-made, packaged roasted watermelon seeds instead. Enjoy them on their own, or add them to trail mix with other seeds, nuts, and dried fruits.

Roasted Watermelon Seeds

Pick the black watermelon seeds out of a watermelon. Rinse them in a colander and pat dry. Toss with olive oil, salt, and preferred spices. Roast in the oven at 325 F for 15 to 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Nutrition per serving (1/4 cup roasted watermelon seeds): 150 calories, total fat 13g, saturated fat 2.6g, carbohydrates 4g, sugar 0g, fiber 1g, protein 8g

A Word From Verywell

Refreshing, sweet watermelon is a perfect addition to salads, beverages, and frozen desserts. With zero waste, you can enjoy the flesh, rind, and seeds in versatile ways. Watermelon is a hydrating fruit that is also a source of vitamin A, C, and lycopene, so it has the perfect combination of being nutritious and delicious!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it good to eat the skin of a watermelon?

    The green skin is edible, but a tad bitter. In addition to the green skin, the white rink, pink flesh, and black seeds are all edible, too.

  • What happens if you eat watermelon every day?

    Watermelon contains important nutrients that are part of a balanced diet, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and lycopene. It's fine to eat it daily, as part of an overall balanced, nutritious eating plan.

  • Are watermelon seeds okay to eat?

    Yes, watermelon seeds make a delicious snack. They are a source of protein, healthy fats, and minerals including calcium and magnesium.

4 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. USDA Food Data Central. Watermelon.

  2. Maoto MM, Beswa D, Jideani AIO. Watermelon as a potential fruit snack. International Journal of Food Properties. 2019;22(1):355-370. doi:10.1080/10942912.2019.1584212

  3. NIH National Library of Medicine. Medline Plus. Lycopene.

  4. Tabiri B, Agbenorhevi JK, Wireko-Manu FD, Ompouma EI. Watermelon seeds as food: nutrient composition, phytochemicals and antioxidant activity. International Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. 2016;5(2):139. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnfs.20160502.18

By Cara Rosenbloom, RD
 Cara Rosenbloom RD is a dietitian, journalist, book author, and the founder of Words to Eat By, a nutrition communications company in Toronto, ON.