Sweet ‘n’ Hot Watermelon Rind Pepper Relish - Carolina Country

Sweet ‘n’ Hot Watermelon Rind Pepper Relish

4.5/5 rating (11 votes)
Sweet ‘n’ Hot Watermelon Rind Pepper Relish

Making pickles and relishes with the rind is simple and canning them yields tasty, year-round treats. Similar to chow chow, this relish adds a punch of flavor to greens, burgers, hot dogs and in egg or potato salad. Adjust jalapeño peppers to your personal heat level!


  • 6 cups cubed watermelon rind (white part minus the green skin)

  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into chunks

  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into pieces

  • 2 jalapeño peppers, split and seeded

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1¾ cups sugar

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1½ cups apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons mustard seeds

  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice, tied in cheesecloth


  1. Put rind, onion and peppers into food processor. Pulse until relish consistency. Pour into non-metallic container and toss with salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

  2. Drain in colander and rinse. Drain again, dabbing with paper towels to remove excess moisture.

  3. Put into a large heavy pot and stir in remaining ingredients. Bring just to a boil, then cut back to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove and discard cheesecloth with spices.

  4. Store the relish in the refrigerator without processing for several weeks. If planning to use later, ladle hot into sterilized jars, leaving a small headspace. Place lids on jars and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Take care when canning to avoid spoilage! More detailed canning guidelines can be found at freshpreserving.com.

Watermelon Granita L1

Use the whole watermelon

North Carolina’s muggy, hot summers call for icy cold relief, and this granita, made with local watermelon and blueberries, is just fit’n for that. Try our Watermelon and Blueberry Sunshine Granita.

Get the recipe

Recipe courtesy of

Wendy Perry, a culinary adventurist and blogger, chats about goodness around NC on her blog at WendysHomeEconomics.com.

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4.5/5 rating (11 votes)

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Comments (2)

  • Are you supposed to peel the green off the rind?

    Amanda Hourt |
    August 04, 2022 |

    • Yes! The rind is the crunchy white part of the melon. You'll want to peel off the green and discard.

      Carolina Country |
      August 31, 2022 |

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