Watermelon Rind “Peperoncini”

What's special

Watermelon rind "peperoncini" has the spicy and savory notes of a pickled pepper but elevates the crunch, adding beautiful flavor and texture to any dish.

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Watermelon Rind “Peperoncini”

A no-waste recipe turning crunchy watermelon rind into deliciously crisp "peperoncini".
Servings 16
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 min



  • Bring the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, whisking to combine. The mixture should be a clear liquid. You should not be able to see the sugar or salt.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, remove the dark green outer skin of the watermelon.
  • Using a chef's knife, remove any remaining pink fruit from the underbelly of the watermelon rind.
  • Slice the watermelon rind in ⅛" width and no longer than 4-5" in length. You want them to be shorter than the canning jar you're using to store them in.
  • Peel and smash the garlic cloves.
  • Measure the peppercorns, smashing some for additional spice, or leave whole.
  • Add two cloves of garlic and 1½ tsp black peppercorns to each jar. Fill the jar with the watermelon rind spears, standing them vertically, making sure not to over-stuff the jar. You want to ensure the pickling liquid can surround each rind to preserve them properly.
  • Add 1 bay leaf to each jar and pour the hot pickling liquid over the contents, leaving ¼" of space at the top.

Pro Tip:

  • This recipe can be easily multiplied or divided.
  • Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • Proper water bath canning methods must be used to store for up to 1 year. (see below for instructions)

Canning Method:

  • Place the jars into the canner, making sure that the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Cover your pot with the lid and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, remove the lid, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the jars from the canner and set them on a towel to seal. Let them sit on your counter on top of a towel until they have reached room temperature. You can repeat the canning process if the jars have not been sealed after 12 hours. You'll know when the jars have suctioned by either hearing a loud "snap!" or seeing the indentation on the lid.
    Once properly sealed, this is shelf-stable for 1 year.


How to include your child(ren): Have your little chef(s) sharpen their fine motor skills by pouring the vinegar and water into the measuring cups and then from the measuring cups into the saucepan, followed by using the measuring spoons to measure and pour the dry ingredients. As a sensory activity, encourage them to taste each of the ingredients. Have them sharpen their vocabulary and conversational skills by having them explain to you what each ingredient tastes like to them. Build their critical thinking skills by asking them what other foods go well with each ingredient or comparing what other foods taste like if they already incorporated an ingredient they tasted. Is it crunchy like a carrot? Sour like a pickle? Sweet like candy?
Calories: 9kcal
Course: Appetizer, Condiment, Salad, Snack
Keyword: peperoncini, watermelon, watermelon rind


Serving: 2oz | Calories: 9kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.03g | Saturated Fat: 0.01g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 437mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below, tag @domesticgourmet on Instagram, and hashtag #domesticgourmet.

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