Watermelon Rind Coleslaw Recipe

This watermelon rind coleslaw will be your new favorite dish to bring to a BBQ potluck – fresh, bright, flavorful, and unique! Thank you to The Watermelon Board for sponsoring this post.

watermelon rind coleslaw recipe

If you’re tired of the usual suspects at summer cookouts and want to mix it up a bit with a fun new recipe, this watermelon rind coleslaw is for you! It’s refreshing and doesn’t require turning on your oven. :) Plus, it uses a not-so-commonly-used part of the watermelon: the rind!

Most people throw away the rind and just eat the inside of the watermelon, but the rind actually packs an impressive nutritional punch; it’s rich in vitamin C, vitamin B-6, and potassium. Watermelon rind is also a good source of citrulline – a compound that’s a precursor to arginine, an amino acid that helps out with blood and cardiovascular health. Plus, using the rind is a great way to cut back on food waste, too!

watermelon rind coleslaw recipe

I had never cooked with watermelon rind before making this slaw, but found that it was surprisingly easy to work with. To prep, just cut your watermelon, separating out the pink part of the watermelon (yum), the very thin green skin (toss this), and the rest of the white/light green rind. You can use a knife or a peeler! Once you have all of your chunks of white rind (in the middle below), grate away! The rind is surprisingly easy to grate – almost like the texture of a cucumber.

watermelon rind coleslaw recipe

Once you get the grating out of the way, this recipe is super easy! The watermelon rind itself doesn’t taste like much, which makes it the perfect base for a flavorful dressing. I love using a vinaigrette dressing and fresh herbs on my slaw instead of a mayo-based dressing, because I think it tastes better and keeps everything brighter and fresher.

watermelon rind coleslaw recipe

This slaw is flavorful enough to use as a condiment, but it’s pretty much a salad too – so it’s great as a side dish for grilled chicken or fish or as a topping on tacos, burgers, and sandwiches. Try it with my Jackfruit Carnitas TacosEasy Lentil Veggie Burgers, Almond Crusted Tilapia, or Jamaican Jerk Turkey Burgers (just skip the salsa and use the slaw instead)!

Here’s everything you need to put it together:

watermelon rind coleslaw recipe

Just grate/chop the slaw, shake up the dressing, and toss it all together!

Here’s the full recipe. Enjoy!

Serves 3CUPS COLESLAW     adjust servings

Watermelon Rind Coleslaw

Prep Time 15 MINUTES Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time 15 mins Total Time
This watermelon rind coleslaw is sure to be your new favorite side dish for summer cookouts - it's fresh, bright, flavorful, and so much fun!


  • About 2 cups grated watermelon rind (from ~1/2 a watermelon or 1 mini watermelon, depending on thickness of the rind)
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard (dijon would work well too)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. To grate the watermelon rind: cut the flesh (the pink part you normally eat) away from the white rind. Then cut the very thin layer of green skin off of the rind (it may be easier to use a peeler for the skin). Grate the chunks of white rind on a coarse box grater. Place the grated rind in a colander and press gently to drain some of the water (no need to go crazy and get all of the juice out).
  2. Combine the grated watermelon rind, bell pepper, carrot, green onions, and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. In a small jar, combine the apple cider vinegar, mustard, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake to combine.
  4. Pour the dressing over the watermelon rind mixture and toss to coat. Enjoy!


watermelon rind coleslaw recipe

watermelon rind coleslaw recipe

Love watermelon as much as me? Here are some other fun recipes I’ve made in partnership with my friends at The Watermelon Board!

Have you ever eaten watermelon rind? How did you eat it? What other uncommonly used parts of produce do you cook with?


  1. 1

    This is such a unique recipe. I never would have thought to use the rind part! I hate wasting any food so this is the perfect alternative to throwing it out. Yum!

  2. 2

    I was in Cuba a few months ago and we took a cooking class that included making a fruit salad. They told us that you cannot eat the watermelon rind because it’s poisonous. It was pretty hilarious and a lot of the information about the fruit and the rest of the cooking definitely fell more under old-wives-tales-science than actual science. Anyway, this recipe looks fun! I hate throwing away so much of the watermelon.

  3. 4

    How clever, I eat a ton of watermelon during the summer, but have never thought to use the rind. I will have to give this a try.

  4. 6

    I just love this! I’m really focused on reducing food waste and this is such a perfect way to use a part of the watermelon that you’d usually toss. Yay! Thanks for sharing.

  5. 8

    What a creative way to use up the rind! I love that this cuts down on food waste, and is a flavoursome dish to serve at a BBQ! I will sure be pulling this one out next watermelon season!

  6. 9

    Is this what we can expect now that you are pregnant? 😒 maybe you should take a break from blogging.

    • 10

      Hi Sam! I’m sorry to hear you weren’t feeling this post! My blog will continue to be as it always has – a mix of lifestyle food/fitness posts, dedicated recipe or food-themed posts, travel stuff, etc. I’m happy to hear blog post ideas if there are things you’d rather see more of – thanks for reading!

  7. 11

    I have all of the ingredients except green onion… definitely giving this a try!
    My default way to use watermelon rind is to slice it thin and cook it as part of a stir fry (one of the veg components). Just a faint sweet flavor comes through, and it loses some of its crispness. This sounds more exciting!
    Anybody else get in trouble as a kid for eating all the way down to the green rind? My mom always told me it would make my stomach hurt (it didn’t).

  8. 13

    WOW I’ve been obsessed with watermelon lately–this sounds so good!


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