Watermelon Rind Bread and Butter Pickles

"Not as sweet as common watermelon pickles, and fantastic on turkey sandwiches (and don't forget to use the onions!). You can use cucumbers instead, but I prefer the firm texture of watermelon rind. (For crispness, I soak the cubes in a little alum and water, which is not recommended any longer.) If you leave the cubes big -- or even cut the rind into spears -- they're delicious straight from the jar and on relish trays."
photo by weisserlance photo by weisserlance
photo by weisserlance
photo by fluffernutter photo by fluffernutter
photo by fluffernutter photo by fluffernutter
Ready In:
2hrs 10mins
8-10 pints




  • To prepare the melon, use a spoon to scrape away all the pink.
  • Cut away the rind with a knife (this is fastest if you cut the melon into 3-inch squares).
  • Cut rind into strips, cubes, or chunks.
  • Layer the MELON and onion with salt in a large bowl; cover with ice cubes.
  • Let stand 1 1/2 hours.
  • Drain and rinse.
  • Combine remaining ingredients in a large pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the MELON and onions and return to a boil.
  • Pack hot PICKLES into hot, sterile jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
  • Fit with lids.
  • Process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
  1. Patti R.
    It says 3-4 cups vinegar....not sure why the large discrepancy.....is it just if you want more brine that you would go to 4? Acidity level is important when canning so it should be a more accurate measurement for a novice so they dont make anyone sick or worse since these are shelf stored after processing.


  1. Gratefully Deadicat
    This was my first time making watermelon rind pickles and I chose this recipe because it didn't have the large amounts of sugar like all the other recipes, I found out that these tasted like my Grandma's bread and butter pickles that I loved so much as a kid but with watermelon rind and they are wonderful. I will definitely be making these again.
  2. weisserlance
    This is a clear cut, no nonsense recipe which is really straightforward and not difficult. We made a mistake and picked a watermelon WAY before it was ripe (they aren't easy to judge) and so watermelon pickles it was. The only variation came from my using pickling spice as a substitute for mustard/celery seeds. And my only question is whether one is supposed to let them 'cure' for a week or two? That is what I decided to do.
  3. ChloeBaby
    First off, I have never had watermelon rind pickles before in my life, but have always been intrigued by them. After a few false starts (thanks fluffernutter for the help!) I have 6 jars of the crunchiest, yummiest, homemade pickles I've ever had. Ok, 5 jars now :) The onions are fantastic too. I will be making these every year now, they are definitely winners!!! Thank you for converting me!!
  4. Sleepm
    Just wonderful too use like a side relish for every day. Now my husband hunts for watermelons just for the rind. OMG, I better not run out!
  5. apache6286
    Once Jared how long will they last in the cabinet?


Food writer, recipe editor, gear tester, restaurant reviewer in the US. Author, "Southern Cooking for Company" (HarperCollins 2015); :The All-New Square-Foot Gardening Cookbook"; "Seductive Tables for Two," and many other books, usually for other people, companies and groups. You probably have one of my books on your shelf. I love to talk about food.
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