20 Minute Sweet & Sour Watermelon (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Prep: 5 minutesCook: 15 minutesTotal: 20 minutes
Yield: serves 2Category: Dinners
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This delicious Sweet and Sour Watermelon is a quick and easy recipe that uses the watermelon rind as opposed to the flesh in a bid to help reduce food waste. Recently I have been working on a few recipes that feature the parts of fresh produce that are normally discarded, such as my Asparagus Ends Soup, my Barbecue Cauliflower Ribs and my Banana Peel Bacon which you can find here, and this sweet and sour recipe is one of them!

This is a great recipe to make through the week paired with some rice when you do not want to spend ages cooking, however, it is also great when made as part of a larger ‘fakeaway’ style feast along with my Salt & Pepper Mushrooms, Tofu Fried Rice or Salt and Pepper Chips on a weekend.

This is not really a recipe I thought I would ever write up, however, I also never thought I would create a recipe incorporating tomato ketchup as a key ingredient but here we are. If you are here because you follow a gluten free diet, make sure you check that the tomato ketchup and white rice vinegar you are using are gluten free.

I actually only found out a few weeks ago that the entire watermelon is edible, including the skin, and I immediately started experimenting with it in sweet and savoury recipes. The rind of the watermelon tastes completely different to the pink, fleshy part of the melon and has a really subtle flavour. If I had to compare it to something I would say it is most like a firm, crunchy cucumber. It turns out that, when cooked, the watermelon rind softens and is easily pierced with a fork.

If eating watermelon skin is not for you then you could still follow this recipe but just swap the watermelon for mangetout, baby corn, broccoli etc! I have kept this recipe simple but you could use it as a base and bulk it up using any additional vegetables desired and by adding in a protein source. You may actually prefer to make my Sweet & Sour Tofu or my Sweet & Sour Tofu Skewers instead! Alternatively you could substitute the existing ingredients to use up whatever you have to hand, for example a green pepper instead of red and white onion instead of red.

The sauce itself only needs five ingredients so if you are on the look out for a quick and easy sweet and sour sauce to pour over your chips or add to stir frys then this recipe could easily be adapted. This Sweet and Sour Watermelon does reheat well on the hob but is best eaten fresh!

If you like this recipe and want to show some support please leave a comment below or visit my Ko-Fi account to donate! x


  • 1 red pepper
  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/4 watermelon (rind only)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp white rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • pinch sea salt


  1. Roughly chop the watermelon rind, pepper, onion and pineapple into similar sized pieces, discarding the pepper seeds and the outside of the pineapple and onion
  2. Add to a pan containing the sesame oil and cook over a moderate heat for five minutes, stirring often
  3. Mince the garlic and add to the pan along with a big pinch of salt and allow to cook for another five minutes, stirring often
  4. In a small bowl or jug combine the maple syrup, tomato ketchup, rice vinegar and soy sauce. Mix well so the ingredients come together
  5. Stir the cornflour into the mixture, continue mixing vigorously to ensure you remove any lumps and set aside until needed
  6. Reduce the heat and pour the sweet and sour sauce into the pan containing the cooking vegetables, stir well so the sauce coats each piece and allow to simmer for another five minutes before serving


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