Watermelon is one of the hottest fruits of the summer, and for good reason. Not only is the red-hued fruit tasty, pretty, and easily found, but it really can help you get a flat stomach! In fact, research from the University of Kentuckysuggests that eating watermelon improves lipid profiles and lowers fat accumulation, thanks to the fruit’s high concentration of anthocyanin, a compound that calms the action of fat-storage genes and gives watermelon its signature hue. It gets better: Watermelon can also help reduce the level of muscle soreness after a tough workout.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, looking for the perfect post-workout watermelon snack idea, or you just want a delicious watermelon recipe for the Fourth of July, we’ve got you covered. Make the most of the watermelon season by loading up on these healthy watermelon recipes. You’ll be shocked how versatile this fruit is!
1. Watermelon Margaritas
What’s a cookout without a refreshing drink? This recipe from Teremana tequila is the most delicious way to stay hydrated this weekend.
2. Watermelon and Kiwi Pops
Can’t take the heat and humidity? Cool off with a homemade popsicle you can feel good about. Its short ingredient list and low sugar count knock the majority of packaged pops out of the water. The best part: These treats are extremely easy to make; all you need is a watermelon and a few kiwis.
That’s right two ingredients are all you need for these easy, delicious treats. Yep, the only ingredients in here are puréed watermelon and puréed kiwi. Just blend them together and freeze them for the perfect watermelon snack!
3. Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad
Seven ingredients and a half-hour of free time are all you need to whip up this refreshingly sweet and crunchy salad. We love that it’s built on a bed of spinach, a noted muscle builder that’s a rich source of fatigue-crushing iron, plant-based omega-3s, and folate, a nutrient that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. It’s also one of the 10 salad greens healthier than kale.
4. Watermelon Blueberry Salsa
Kick that salty jar of salsa to the curb and whip up this simple—yet remarkably healthy—dip at home. Paired with veggies or tortilla chips, it makes a creative addition to party platters. If you can’t stand to share, it also fares well as a grilled chicken or salad topper. All you need to make this recipe is a knife, a cutting board, and a food processor.
5. Watermelon, Feta, and Basil Quinoa
If you haven’t paired grains with watermelon before, this is sure to be your new favorite summer dish. All you’ll need to whip this up is quinoa (the only grain that’s a complete source of protein), watermelon, honey, feta, basil, lime juice, and a few simple seasonings. The simple yet bold flavors are sure to please kids and adults alike. Serve it with BBQ chicken and veggies for a complete crowd-pleasing family meal.
6. The Perfect Summer Salad
The name of this dish doesn’t lie; it really is the perfect summer salad. Sure, it’s tasty, but it’s also brimming with health benefits, thanks to its watercress base. A report published by the Centers for Disease Control ranked 47 fruits and vegetables by their amounts of 17 disease-fighting nutrients, and the CDC crowned watercress number one. Gram for gram, the mild-tasting green contains four times more beta carotene than an apple and a whopping 238 percent of the daily recommended vitamin K, an oft-overlooked bone builder and heart protector.
7. Chili Lime Cucumber Noodles on Salted Watermelon with Mint and Basil
This no-cook summer dish is overflowing with flavor thanks to the addition of lime juice, chili powder, honey, mint, and basil. And just one serving will provide 62% of the day’s vitamin C and 37% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A, an antioxidant that plays a vital role in immunity, vision, bone growth, and cell function.
8. Watermelon Gazpacho
Who knew you could make chilled soup with watermelon? This ingenious blogger. All you need to make it is a blender, meaning cleanup is minimal, which is always an added bonus. Enjoy this refreshing soup as an appetizer or alongside a sandwich, wrap, or veggie-packed salad as a full meal.
9. Watermelon Bacon Salad
This one’s for you, bacon lovers. Though watermelon and bacon may be an unusual combination, we can assure you it’s a delicious one. This creative salad is sweet, salty, crunchy, and refreshing—all the essential elements of a satisfying dish—for just 150 calories.
10. Grilled Watermelon Caprese Salad
If you’ve never grilled watermelon before, this is the summer you should try it out. In this recipe, the charred fruit serves as a delicious base for a new take on the classic tomato Caprese salad you already know and love.
11. Fresh Mint Granita with Watermelon and Raspberries
Enjoy this sophisticated pick-me-up of tart raspberries, sweet watermelon, and a hint-of-cool mint leaves with your next meal.
12. Grilled Shrimp Tacos with Corn and Cotija Salsa
Did somebody say Taco Tuesday? Regardless, this meal can be enjoyed every day of the week. Packed with zesty shrimp, corn, and diced watermelon, this recipe delivers an explosion of diverse flavors with each bite.
13. Cookie Cutter Fruit Salad
All you need is a star-shaped cookie cutter and some berries to create this one-of-a-kind dish! Not to mention, you will receive a fantastic detox from all of the water and phytonutrients that are packed in this colorful bowl. Break out this recipe for the Fourth of July and impress all your friends with such a simple yet exquisite creation.
14. Watermelon Salad with Basil Ginger Dressing
This salad is higher in protein than other fruit salads, thanks to the slivered almonds sprinkled on top. The light drizzle of the basil-ginger dressing complements the heat from the red onion that is interspersed throughout an abyss of sweet watermelon. Plus, the only sugar that derives from this dish is honey and, of course, the watermelon itself. Give your body the cooling effect it deserves with a refreshing bowl of fruit that ends with a spicy kick!
15. Watermelon Frosty
Wendy’s Frosty just got kicked to the curb with this drink. That’s right: This blogger is nothing short of a mad genius who created a lower-cal, lactose-free version of America’s beloved Frosty. Cooldown and drink up with this chill drink. The best part? It only has five ingredients!
16. Spinach, Watermelon, and Zucchini Salad
As we said earlier, watermelon comprises 92% of water, but zucchini beats it out by just a smidgen, being made up of 95% H2O. With both, this salad is super hydrating. Notice this dish has a fancy flare with its inclusion of Halloumi cheese. That grilled masterpiece laying across the bed of greens (and a splash of pink from the watermelon) is not a chicken breast. The cheese originates from the Mediterranean Island Cyprus and is can be made from either cow, goat, or sheep’s milk. What makes this cheese stand out is its ability to remain a solid, even when heated. That’s why it is able to be grilled like so!
17. Strawberry Chia Watermelon Smoothie
Chia seeds can be mixed into bowls of fruit, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, and plenty more. With five grams of fiber per tablespoon, why wouldn’t you use this wonder ingredient?? In addition, chia seeds have this special liquid-binding power, which means that they physically expand and they also thicken the liquid they’re immersed in. Translation? You’ll feel fuller, faster!
18. Heirloom Tomato, Watermelon, and Fennel Salad
Fennel is one of the quirky superfoods that are not talked about as often as powerhouses like beets and kale. However, fennel should not go unnoticed (or unused, for that matter) because it carries a specific amino acid called histidine. Histidine is a protein that stimulates the production of hemoglobin (the protein in red blood cells), and when paired with iron, these two can help prevent anemia. Women who are not pregnant need about 15 to 18 milligrams of iron per day, and thankfully, the vitamin C-rich tomatoes and watermelon aid in the absorption of iron in your bloodstream. Reap the energizing benefits of this salad stat!
19. Watermelon Feta Salad with Cornmeal Crusted Fried Scallops
This isn’t perfectly healthy—fried scallops are not something you want to consume regularly—but we couldn’t pass up this creation. It’s chock-full of protein, so you certainly won’t need to eat more than a serving size in order to feel satisfied. Fun fact: Your body can only synthesize 20 to 30 grams of protein in a single sitting, so anything more just turns straight into fat. You’ve been warned!
20. Watermelon Lime Slushie
Talk about refreshing! The lime adds a tangy twist to this mega-sweet drink and will help you stay hydrated throughout the course of a sunny day. Opt for a glass of this slushie rather than a beer or margarita, which will only dehydrate you—and ultimately put you at risk for heatstroke.
21. Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
So, there’s an interesting thing about pairing fruit with cheese: It actually helps stabilize your blood sugar. Thankfully, most fruits have a low glycemic index, which just means your sugar levels won’t spike immediately after you eat it. Watermelon actually has a medium glycemic index, so your body breaks it down a bit quicker, which may lead to an immediate sugar spike and typically a hankering for more food. This can happen if it’s eaten alone—but when paired with a protein, the effects of sugar will mellow out and you’ll feel full. The addition of protein even boosts your metabolism!
22. Summer Melon Fruit Salad
Sometimes, you just want a classic side dish, and that’s where this fruit salad comes in. Made with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, blueberries, and more, this just might be the most colorful side dish at your Fourth of July gathering.
23. Coconut Lime Watermelon Slushie
Have you ever enjoyed a frozen drink straight from a hollowed-out pineapple? What if we told you that you can do the same thing with a watermelon?
24. Watermelon Juice
Don’t feel like making the slushie? Juice your watermelon instead!
25. Chili Lime Watermelon
For another watermelon snack idea, give these chili-lime cubes a try. The sweet-spicy combo is to die for.