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4 Simple Watermelon Side Dish Ideas

4 Simple Watermelon Side DishesDo you have more watermelon than you know what to do with? Try one of these 4 simple watermelon side dish ideas. They’re easy & healthy too!

Watermelon Season

It’s almost the end of summer. Watermelon is cheap and at its peak of deliciousness, so when you see a ginormous watermelon at the farmers market for $4, you buy it. And then you realize that you have a LOT of watermelon on your hands. What are you going to do with it?

(Oh, and by you, I mean me. That was me that bought the ginormous watermelon.)

Well, here’s your answer: 4 simple watermelon side dish ideas. They’re healthy and easy too!

Kalamata Olives & Basil

Watermelon with Kalamata Olives & BasilOkay, I know most people would be inclined to add feta to this. Well, I don’t like feta! Toss some cubed watermelon with fresh basil leaves and some halved kalamata olives. If you’re a fan of sweet-and-salty, you will love this salad.

Mint & Lime Juice

Watermelon with Mint & Lime JuiceSqueeze fresh lime juice over watermelon slices and sprinkle with coarsely chopped mint leaves and a few pinches of sea salt. Watermelon slices never tasted so good!

Cilantro & Jalapeno

Watermelon with Cilantro & JalapenoThe perfect side dish for taco night! Seed and mince a jalapeno and chop some cilantro, then toss it with cubed watermelon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with a dash of salt (I used black sea salt, in case you were wondering what those little black flecks are in the photo).

Ginger Syrup & Lime Zest

Watermelon with Ginger Syrup & Lime ZestIs your watermelon a wee bit under-ripe? It’s okay! You can fix that! Combine 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, and a 2-inch piece of ginger (peeled and sliced into coins) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Once mixture has come to room temperature, pour it through a fine mesh strainer over about 6 cups of cubed watermelon. Stir in zest from one lime and serve.

What’s your favorite way to serve watermelon?

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57 Comments

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    July 31, 2012 at 8:23 am

    I’m all over that ginger syrup and lime zest. Holy yummy in my tummy!

  • Reply
    Natalie @ Once Upon a Cutting Board
    July 31, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I love each of these ideas! I had to buy a whole watermelon for a little side dish the other week and had no idea what to do with the rest of it so I ended up just pureeing it all into watermelon juice. That was good, but I wish I’d tried one of these ideas instead!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      I don’t think I’ve ever had watermelon juice! I’m going to have to try that…

  • Reply
    Miranda @ Mangoes and Chutney
    July 31, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I am going to try that ginger and lime one right now. I have mini watermelon and I was just saying yesterday that it was a bit under-ripe!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      I used to always buy those mini watermelons and I don’t think I ever got one that wasn’t under-ripe. I don’t know if I just have bad luck or what, but I stopped buying them! Even though they’re the perfect size and totally adorable…

      • Reply
        Miranda @ Mangoes and Chutney
        August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm

        This was my first time buying them. The second one turned out to be a little better – maybe they naturally don’t get as sweet? I did try the ginger simple syrup yesterday and it was so refreshing. Thanks for the inspiration!

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          August 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm

          Thanks for letting me know–I’m glad you liked it! 😀

  • Reply
    Samantha
    July 31, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    It seems we all have watermelon on the brain right now. I also bought the ginormous watermelon for 4 dollars! Exactly the same situation. huge watermelon, farmers market, $4!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      You can’t pass them up when they’re so cheap! They’re $2 more at the grocery store and they don’t taste nearly as good.

  • Reply
    [email protected]'s Recipes
    July 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I usually eat them just as they are….but love them in salads too.

  • Reply
    Erin Renee
    July 31, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Your watermelon cubes look so lovely! I have a hard time keeping mine from disintegrating into pieces and watery sawdusty stuff.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      That was all my husband’s doing. He’s the official watermelon cutter in our household! 🙂

  • Reply
    Aylin @ Glow Kitchen
    July 31, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    The ginger and lime zest one looks delicious! My mouth is watering thinking about the flavors!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      Ginger makes everything taste better! I think I could eat it with everything. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jackie @ The Beeroness
    July 31, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I love the idea of eating it with jalapenos and cilantro. Perfect for summer.

  • Reply
    Rikki
    July 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    You read my mind! I’ve got all this watermelon sitting in the fridge and nothing to do with it. This is perfect [:

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      Well, these four ideas got us through one whole watermelon–a different side every night!

  • Reply
    gem
    July 31, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Everything looks so refreshing!

  • Reply
    Mary @ Fit and Fed
    July 31, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Got you beat– I’ve got the big watermelon the hub bought, and the little Hermiston watermelon that I bought both in the fridge. Coordinate shopping trips much? I’ve got enough hungry people around here to eat them but not enough hot days to motivate them– yeah, fleece was still a good choice this morning, it has been unusually cold for the end of July. But never fear, I’m putting #2, the lime juice and mint special, on the table tonight. And hoping for a sunny day when we can demolish the rest soon.

    • Reply
      Mary @ Fit and Fed
      July 31, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Kiersten, I made the watermelon with mint and lime juice tonight and everyone loved it! So easy and yet much more special than just setting out slices of watermelon. Highly recommended!

      • Reply
        Kiersten
        August 1, 2012 at 7:23 pm

        I’m so glad you liked it–thanks for letting me know! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      I’ll trade our weather for yours! Although this week it’s been much cooler–in the low 90s. It’s sad when that feels cool!

  • Reply
    Pam
    July 31, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    All of these look so darn good. Have I told you lately that you inspire me to cook more often?

    thanks for all your hard work,

    Pam

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you–that is awesome to hear! 😀

  • Reply
    BusyWorkingMama
    July 31, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    YUMMY recipes!!

  • Reply
    Candace
    July 31, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    These are AWESOME! I love watermelon. So much. I typically eat it with just a little salt; but I’m loving the ginger and lime tip and the cilantro and jalapeno and and and…. I just love them all!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Thank you! I love having it with a little salt too. Especially sea salt–I like the crunchiness. 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected] eco friendly homemaking
    July 31, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    Oh my goodness I love watermelon and all of these look so delicious!!

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    July 31, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    I love watermelon…where is the watermelon breakfast smoothie and the watermelon popcicles? I so love your side dish ideas..they would be great for any occasion. You have the best ideas…..I still want to see all of them in a cookbook!!! The photos make my mouth water!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      I have another watermelon recipe coming in about a week and a half! Not a smoothie, but something frozen. 😉

  • Reply
    RJ
    August 1, 2012 at 12:53 am

    Holy cow those look refreshing!

  • Reply
    Stefani
    August 1, 2012 at 4:16 am

    I LOVE watermelon and have been eating it with salt!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      I love it with a little salt too! I just discovered that last summer. 🙂

  • Reply
    Crystal
    August 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

    The green of the herbs makes the red watermelon pop even more. Yummy!

  • Reply
    Anne - Mommy Has to Work
    August 1, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Mmmnn, mmint and lime. Sounds delightful!

  • Reply
    Lori Popkewitz Alper
    August 1, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I can’t get enough watermelon this summer. My kids love it too. These all look fantastic and I love that they’re so simple.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      I can’t either–we usually buy one whenever we go to the farmers market. And it lasts a whole week!

  • Reply
    The Good Life Diary
    August 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Love this! Amazing tips to try something new… Oh, I really needed this last week, I didn’t know what was I supposed to do with all that watermelon at home! 🙂

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Ha! That’s why I wrote this–I knew I couldn’t be the only one who bought a huge watermelon and needed ideas for it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Heidi @ Food Doodles
    August 1, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Watermelon as a side dish? Oh, I love this idea. I can’t get enough of watermelon lately! The ginger syrup and lime zest sound amazing with watermelon!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 1, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      The ginger syrup was born of desperation–we had a watermelon that was completely under-ripe and bland. Any kind of simple syrup would work too!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    August 1, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I love watermelon but am the only one in my family that does. I might try these as lunch ideas next time I buy one (I just finished up one last night).

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      August 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

      I don’t understand how anyone could not like watermelon! Watermelon and corn are the best things about summer. 😀

  • Reply
    Sheila
    August 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    I have never thought of using watermelon in any way other than the norm… so thanks for the great ideas.

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