Cook This!

25 Watermelon Recipes You’ll Crave

There's nothing better than biting into a juicy piece of watermelon on a hot, summer day—besides losing weight while you do it, that is.

Cook This!

25 Watermelon Recipes You’ll Crave

There's nothing better than biting into a juicy piece of watermelon on a hot, summer day—besides losing weight while you do it, that is.

Watermelon is one of the hottest trends of Summer 2016 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, University of Kentucky research suggests 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. The faster you're able to get your butt back in the gym, the sooner you'll get the body you've always wanted—it's as simple as that.

Make the most of watermelon season by loading up on these healthy watermelon recipes from around the web! And to keep the smart, fruity choices going, be sure to also check out the bloat-fighting benefits of these 20 Grapefruit Recipes for Weight Loss, too!

1

Balsamic Watermelon Chicken Salad

watermelon chicken salad recipe
Serves: 4
Nutrition, per serving: 369 calories, 18 g fat, 5.5 g saturated fat, 327 mg sodium, 11.8 g carbs, 1.7 g fiber, 6.9 g sugar, 37.8 g protein

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.

Get the recipe from Pinch of Yum.

2

Watermelon Blueberry Salsa

watermelon blueberry salsa recipe
Serves: 5
Nutrition, per ½ cup serving: 37 calories, 0.3 g fat, 121 mg sodium, 8.8 g carbs, 1.6 g fiber, 5.8 g sugar, 1.1 g protein

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.

Get the recipe from Love and Olive Oil.

3

Watermelon, Feta and Basil Quinoa

watermelon feta and basil salad recipe
Serves: 4
Nutrition, per serving: 259 calories, 8 g fat, 4.1 g saturated, 721 mg sodium, 38 g carbs, 3.3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 10 g protein

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.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

4

The Perfect Summer Salad

perfect summer salad recipe
Serves: 2
Nutrition, per serving: 281 calories, 22.1 g fat, 3 g saturated, 251 mg sodium, 19.6 g carbs, 1.6 g fiber, 11.9 g sugar, 5.9 g protein

The name of this dish doesn't lie; it really is the perfect summer salad. Sure, it's tasty, but it's also brimming health benefits, thanks to its watercress base. A recent report published by the Centers for Disease Control that ranked 47 fruits and vegetables by amounts of 17 disease-fighting nutrients 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.

Get the recipe from A House in the Hills.

5

Watermelon and Kiwi Pops

watermelon and kiwi popsicles recipe
Yields: 16 pops
Nutrition, per pop: 29 calories, 0 g fat, 1 mg sodium, 7 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 0.6 g protein

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. If you prefer your frozen treats on the sweeter side, the recipe creator suggests mixing in a bit of agave syrup. Just be sure to go easy on the stuff. Even though it's a natural sweetener, it has little to no nutritional value and carries excess sugar and calories that can contribute to weight gain like any other sweetener.

Get the recipe from Real Food by Dad.

6

Cucumber Noodles on Watermelon

cucumber noodles on watermelon
Serves: 2
Nutrition, per serving: 430 calories, 30.4 g fat, 6.1 g saturated, 256 mg sodium, 40.4 g carbs, 9.5 g fiber, 21.6 g sugar, 8.6 g protein

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 percent of the day's vitamin C and 37 percent of the daily recommended vitamin A, an antioxidant that plays a vital role in immunity, vision, bone growth and cell function.

Get the recipe from The First Mess.

7

Watermelon Gazpacho

watermelon gazpacho
Serves: 6
Nutrition, per serving: 84 calories, 0 g fat, 125 mg sodium, 20.3 g carbs, 1.3 g fiber, 13.8 g sugar, 2.1 g protein

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 along with a sandwich, wrap, or veggie-packed salad as a full meal.

Get the recipe from A House in the Hills.

8

Watermelon Bacon Salad

watermelon bacon salad
Serves: 4
Nutrition, per serving: 154 calories, 8.3 g fat, 1.5 g saturated, 111 mg sodium, 17.9 g carbs, 1.8 g fiber, 11.7 g sugar, 2.2 g protein

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.

Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.

9

Grilled Watermelon Caprese Salad

watermelon caprese salad
Serves: 4
Nutrition, per serving: 195 calories, 12.3 g fat, 4.1 g saturated fat, 468 mg sodium, 14.5 g carbs, 1.3 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 9.2 g protein

If you've never grilled a 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.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

10

Balsamic Melon Salad

balsamic melon salad
Serves: 6
Nutrition, per serving: 57 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 282 mg sodium, 13.8 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, 11.4 g sugar, 0.8 g protein

Need to debloat—stat? Whip up this melon salad. In addition to watermelon, Laura, the talented blogger behind this recipe, throws in honeydew melon — a fruit that's a natural diuretic — to amp up the naturally sweet flavor profile of this dish. Enjoy it as a side or serve it over a bed of greens with chicken or grilled fish for a more complete, one-dish meal.

Get the recipe from The First Mess.

11

Shrimp Tacos with Cotija Salsa

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 580 calories, 30.7 g fat (7.6 g saturated fat), 708 mg sodium, 44.9 g carbs, 8.8 g fiber, 5.5 g sugar, 35.2 g protein (calculated with 8 corn tortillas, ¼ cup quinoa, feta cheese, and without salt)

Did somebody say Taco Tuesday? Regardless, this meal can be enjoyed on all days of the week. Packed with zesty shrimp, corn, and diced watermelon, you get an explosion of diverse flavors with each bite. Side note: We swapped out flour tortillas for corn tortillas in order to cut down on the carbs. If you think this is a fun way to incorporate watermelon into a dish, just wait to until you check out the ideas listed in 12 watermelon trends you have to try!

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

12

Watermelon Stars

Serves: 1
Nutrition: 110 calories, 0.7 g fat (0g saturated fat), 3 mg sodium, 27.4 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 20.1 g sugar, 1.9 g protein (calculated with 1 cup watermelon, ½ cup strawberries, ½ cup blueberries)

Speaking of 12, number 12 on this list is a star—literally! All you need is a bite-size, 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.

Get the recipe from Wit and Whistle.

13

Watermelon Salad with Basil Ginger Dressing

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 311 calories, 10.9 g fat (3.1 g saturated fat), 149 mg sodium, 53.0 g carbs, 3.8 g fiber, 42.6 g sugar, 7.1 g protein (calculated with half a large watermelon without bacon or sea salt)

Wow, check out that protein content! Not bad for a fruit salad, eh? That is all thanks to the slivered almonds sprinkled atop this sweet-yet-savory salad. The light drizzle of the basil ginger dressing complements the heat from the red onion that is interspersed throughout an abyss of sweet watermelon. And you know it is sweet by looking at the sugar content. Not to fear, though, because the only sugar that derives from this dish is honey and, of course, the watermelon itself. Give your bod the cooling effect it deserves with a refreshing bowl of fruit that ends with a spicy kick!

Get the recipe from Lexi's Clean Kitchen.

14

Watermelon Bites with Cashew Cheese & Basil

Serves: 5
Nutrition: 320 calories, 16.1 g fat (3.2 g saturated fat), 243 mg sodium, 43.2 g carbs, 2.8 g fiber, 29.2 g sugar, 7.1 g protein (calculated with half a large melon)

One of the 42 Ways to Lose 5 Inches of Belly Fat is to drink 16 ounces of water before each meal because studies have shown that it can lead to weight loss over time. Well, how about you pair that first glass of water with a serving of this appetizer! After all, each bite of watermelon is comprised of 92 percent water, so you are bound to feel a bit more hydrated after snacking on a wedge or two. Slash the serving size in half for a snack, or enjoy the full as a meal and pair it with a kale salad for a boost in vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for keeping your bones strong. Relish the small dollop of cashew "cheese" that sits at the top of the square, but make sure not to smother it on because it's loaded with healthy fats. But healthy fats are still stored as fats, so be sure to spread them out throughout the day and receive them from various sources!

Get the recipe from In Sonnet's Kitchen.

15

Watermelon Frosty


Serves: 2
Nutrition: 91 calories, 0.3 g fat, 3 mg sodium, 23.5 g carbs, 1.4 g fiber, 17.4 g sugar, 1.3 g protein

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. Cool down and drink up with this chill drink. The best part? It only has five ingredients!

Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.

16

Creamy Watermelon Pops

Serves: 8
Nutrition: 58 calories, 1.1 g fat (0.6 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 7.1 g carbs, 6.0 g sugar, 4.6 g protein (calculated with Chobani Watermelon Greek yogurt)

Two ingredients. That's all you need for these easy, delicious treats. Yep, the only ingredients in here are Chobani's watermelon Greek yogurt and fresh watermelon fruit. Whip up a batch of these chilly treats and receive nearly 5 grams of protein for under 60 calories. For another snack that has 5 grams of protein for 50 calories, read up on Simply Protein's mini sweet & salty peanut crunch bar in our 50 best snacks with 50 calories or less article.

Get the recipe from Creme De La Crumb.

17

The Hydration Salad

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 367 calories, 18.8 g fat (5.3 g saturated fat), 304 mg sodium, 49.2 g carbs, 4.4 g fiber, 37.5 g sugar, 8.6 g protein

It's called the hydration salad for a reason. As we said earlier, watermelon comprises 92 percent of water but zucchini beats it out by just a smidgen (being made up of 95 percent H2O.) 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!

Get the recipe from Gourmande in the Kitchen.

18

Watermelon Chia Seed Smoothie

Serves: 2
Nutrition: 118 calories, 1.9 g fat, 5 mg sodium, 24.7 g carbs, 5.0 g fiber, 14.3 g sugar, 3.0 g protein (calculated with 1 tbsp chia seeds)

Chia seeds can be intermixed in bowls of fruit, a smoothie, a bowl of oatmeal and a yogurt parfait. And how could you not, with it offering 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon? 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!

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

19

Watermelon Tomato Fennel Salad

Serves: 2
Nutrition: 343 calories, 29 g fat (4.2 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 22.9 g carbs, 6.0 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 4.5 g protein (calculated with 2 cups arugula and without fennel fronds)

Fennel is one of the quirky superfoods that are not talked about as often as let's say beets or kale. However, it 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 15-18 mg 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!

Get the recipe from How Sweet it is.

20

Watermelon and Feta with Fried Scallops

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 382 calories, 16 g fat (5.9 g saturated fat), 533 mg sodium, 33.4 g carbs, 2.3 g fiber, 11.4 g sugar, 27.4 g protein (calculated with tapioca starch and without frying oil)

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 20-30 grams of protein in a single sitting, so anything more just turns straight into fat. You've been warned!

Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.

21

Watermelon Salad with Chipotle Dressing

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 196 calories, 11 g fat (1.7 g saturated fat), 130 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 2.0 g fiber, 21.3 g sugar, 2.3 g protein

You won't have to buy or make a detox water today if have a serving of this water-filled salad that's rich in antioxidants. Hit the pool with a container of this salad and be extra protected from the sun with the plethora of vitamin C stored in both the berries and watermelon. (But still wear your SPF, okay?)

Get the recipe from In Sonnet's Kitchen.

22

Watermelon Lime Slushie

Serves:4
Nutrition: 196 calories, 11 g fat (1.7 g saturated fat), 130 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 2.0 g fiber, 21.3 g sugar, 2.3 g protein

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 heat stroke.

Get the recipe from Running to the Kitchen.

23

Watermelon, Feta and Mint Salad

Serves: 4
Nutrition: 223 calories, 15 g fat (3.4 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 22.3 g carbs, 1.3 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 3.1 g protein (calculated with ¼ of a large watermelon)

So, there's an interesting thing about pairing a 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 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!

Get the recipe from Lexi's Clean Kitchen.

24

Watermelon Mint Granita

Serves: 6
Nutrition: 120 calories, .7 g fat (0g saturated fat), 6 mg sodium, 29.8g carbs, 4.7 g fiber, 22.6 sugar, 2.0 g protein

Check out this fancy starter. No guilt should be shed with this itty beat treat either; it's doesn't house a single ounce of saturated fat. You know, the gunk that clogs your arteries? Enjoy this sophisticated pick-me-up of tart raspberries, sweet watermelon, and a hint-of-cool mint leaves with your next meal.

Get the recipe from Gourmande in the Kitchen.

25

Watermelon Cake

Serves: 8
Nutrition: 244 calories, 5.5 g fat (3.4 g saturated fat), 19 mg sodium, 48.6 g carbohydrates, 3.0 g fiber, 38.6 g sugar, 5.1 g protein (calculated with 1 cup of fresh berries and without powdered sugar)

This may just be one of the only cakes that won't throw you completely off of your weight loss goals. Again, the sugar content may look scary but it's all sourced from the berries and watermelon. We removed the small amount of powdered sugar that the original recipe includes, which makes it rank higher on the health scale than that standard piece of chocolate cake that houses just 30 grams of sugar. Dieticians preach that you should limit your added sugar consumption from 6 to 10 percent of your daily calorie intake. So, if you are consuming 2,000 calories a day, you should have (at most) 30-50 grams per day. This is excluding natural sugars from fruit, mind you. It's clear to see that one piece of chocolate cake can wipe out your whole day's worth of added sugar, so be mindful and cut into this melon-cake instead!

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvet.