Wonderful Watermelon: The Perfect Summer Food, From Salads to Desserts

Watermelon is a favorite for kids of all ages!

By Charlotte Linde, Editor of Macaroni Kid EATS July 9, 2024

When you think of summer, what foods come to mind for you? For me, I think of corn on the cob, pasta salad, grilled hot dogs and burgers, s'mores, and WATERMELON! Summer just wouldn't be summer without watermelon, right? Watermelon adds a new twist and a sweet flavor to different recipes that your taste buds will not be expecting. 

Here are a few ways to enjoy watermelon this summer:

Add to your salads

Make a yummy Summer Watermelon Salad:

  • Ingredients: 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon, 2 cups cubed tomatoes (we love Campari), ½ cup halved and thinly-sliced red onion, a 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
  • Directions: 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 to salsa

Add to your favorite salsa or mango salsa for a sweet element. Macaroni Kid Middletown, Conn., publisher Christel Hoydic shared this recipe with us:

  • Ingredients: 1 seedless watermelon, 1 red onion, 5 jalapeño peppers (seeded), 1 cup basil, lime juice to taste
  • Directions: 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!

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 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

Granitas are so refreshing. We love this simple granita recipe from Johnstown, Laurel Highlands, Altoona, Pa., Macaroni Kid publisher Julie Follansbee:

  • Ingredients: 4 cups of cubed watermelon, seeded; juice of 1/2 of a lime; 1/4 cup sugar
  • Instructions: 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.

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

Watermelon is not only delicious but healthy too — it is full of vitamins A & C, lycopene, potassium, and amino acids. So don't just grab this big round ball of goodness for all summer long. 

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