Featured Image

8 Great Watermelon Recipes for the Campsite

Watermelon as an ingredient fits both culinary philosophies when it comes to car camping. Bringing a melon to the campsite and preparing delicious dishes right there on the picnic table works great and is a terrific way to impress impromptu dinner guests. Yet watermelon’s delicious pink flesh, juice, and even rind are all great ingredients to use to prep bring-along dishes ahead of time so you can spend more time enjoying and less time cooking once you reach the campground.

So in the compendium below from the National Watermelon Promotion Board, we offer great watermelon recipes for disciples of both methods. And don’t forget to check out our article on How To Pick The Perfect Watermelon to make sure your recipes turn out just right!

Watermelon Recipes:

Watermelon Jerky
You’ll need a food dehydrator for this recipe. Cook time can be greatly influenced by the climate you are in. For example, in Florida during summer season the time will be three to four times greater than needed in a northern, drier climate.
Recipe type: Appetiser

  • Fair amount of watermelon cut into 6″-8″ strips about ½” thick (think Hershey bar or men’s belt).

  1. Place watermelon strips in dehydrator for 8 hours. Can take 8-12 hours, or up to 24 hours depending on climate. The watermelon crisps after cooling.
  2. Make thicker slices for a fruit leather roll up type snack. Make thinner for crisped watermelon chips.


Fire and Ice Salsa
This salsa has a cool side to it with some watermelon, but then heats up your mouth with some jalapeno peppers!
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 3 Cups

  • 3 cups chopped watermelon
  • ½ cup green peppers, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. green onions
  • 2 Tbsp. jalapeno or habanero peppers, chopped

  1. Combine ingredients.
  2. Mix well and cover.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour or more.

Skinny Fish Tacos with Watermelon Radish Slaw
These Skinny Fish Tacos are prepared with tilapia and are paired with a watermelon radish slaw. The watermelon slaw offers a refreshing twist to a delicious and nutritious dish.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

  • 1 lb. tilapia
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 2 tsp.chili powder
  • 1 tsp.cumin
  • ¼ tsp.cayenne pepper
  • Dash of salt and pepper (to taste)
  • For the Slaw:
  • ⅓ cup greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup Ready-to-Eat Radish Ministicks (or chop your own)
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup seedless watermelon, diced small
  • Dash of salt to taste

  1. Place fish in a freezer bag with olive oil, 3 tablespoons lime juice, honey, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Close bag and coat fish completely. Marinate for 15-20 minutes at room temperature.
  3. Place fish on a broiler pan and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place fish in hot, greased Dutch Oven, covered for 5 minutes. Turn fish over and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until it easily flakes. Remove fish.
  5. Wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and place in Dutch Oven, which has been taken off the fire.
  6. Meanwhile, add Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, and lime juice to a bowl. Stir until combined. Add cabbage, radishes, and cilantro. Toss lightly. Add watermelon and salt to taste. Toss lightly.
  7. Remove tortillas from oven. Place pieces of fish on two tortillas. Top with slaw. Garnish with extra cilantro.
  8. Serve warm.

Grilled, Spicy Watermelon
Transform watermelon from sweet to savory with this mouth watering Thai-inspired sauce. Watermelon wedges are grilled until caramelized, drizzled with garlic chili sauce and garnished with cilantro. Serve as a side dish along with ribs, chicken or shrimp.
Recipe type: Appetiser
Serves: 8-10

  • 1 Tbsp. lime zest
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tsp. garlic chili sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 watermelon, medium sized
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped cilantro

  1. Preheat grill to high. In bowl, whisk together lime zest, juice, 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of the honey, garlic chili sauce and salt.
  2. Cut watermelon into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick wedges. Lightly drizzle each side with remaining honey and place on grill.
  3. Grill until just browned, about 2 minutes per side.
  4. Place watermelon slices on a plate and drizzle with lime dressing. Garnish with cilantro.


Watermelon Walnut Bagel Spread
Light and slightly sweet, add watermelon to your list of favorite fruit-flavored bagel spreads.
Recipe type: Breakfast

  • 6 oz. whipped cream cheese
  • 2 oz. walnut pieces, chopped
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup minced seedless watermelon

  1. Mix together the cream cheese, walnuts and cinnamon. Just before using, mix in the watermelon.
  2. Toast bagels cut face down on the grill or the grate over the campfire ring to get some dark grill marks on the bread.
  3. Spread mixture liberally on toasted bagels.

Grilled Watermelon and Pineapple Skewers
This fondue-inspired dessert recipe will impress and delight your taste buds!
Serves: 4

  • 12 1 X 1 fresh seedless watermelon chunks
  • 12 1 X 1 fresh pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup unrefined granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon sugar
  • 1 cup warm fudge sauce of choice

  1. Alternate three of each cube of watermelon and pineapple on skewers and sprinkle the fruit skewers with the unrefined sugar and cinnamon sugar.
  2. Grill over medium hot coals on all for sides about 30 seconds per side.
  3. Arrange on a platter and drizzle with warm fudge sauce.

Skinny Watermelon Berry Popsicles
These Skinny Watermelon Berry Popsicles are a treat and very easy to make. Just add some raspberries, blueberries, honey, and watermelon to your favorite popsicle molds and put them in the freezer.
Serves: 12

  • 5-6 cups seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup California Giant Blueberries
  • 1 cup California Giant Raspberries
  • 3 Tbsp. honey

  1. Add watermelon, ½ cup of blueberries, ½ cup of raspberries, and honey to a blender. Blend until smooth. Press through a fine mesh strainer to remove pulp and seeds. Fill popsicle molds ¾ full with liquid. Add whole blueberries and raspberries to each mold. Insert sticks and freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely frozen.


Perfect Make-Ahead 4th of July Bonus Recipe

Flag Kabobs
Let your American flag fly with pride with these fruity kabobs. Easy fun the whole family can help create!

  • Varying amount seedless watermelon, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 pkg. fresh, washed blackberries
  • 1 angel food cake, cut into 1″ cubes (white part only) (alternating with marshmallows is also a great camping option)
  • 12 wooden skewers
  • Varying dips of your choice

  1. To create an American flag, thread 5 blackberries on 5 skewers, followed by alternating cake and watermelon cubes.
  2. On the other skewers, alternate watermelon and cake, so that the first and last cubes are both watermelon. The fruit and cake will create stripes when lined properly with red strips at the top and bottom.
  3. We served with red, white and blue yogurt dips, but the possibilities are endless! Try chocolate, caramel or marshmallow for a super sweet tooth.


Photos and recipes courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board.


Featured Image

The Best Deals at Gear Coop

Featured Image

3 Great Ways Your Everyday Banking Choices Can Help You Travel More 

Featured Image

You Won’t Want to Miss the Strawberry Moon this Weekend

Scroll to Top