Watermelon Rind Tomato Sauce (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
This watermelon rind tomato sauce recipe is the perfect way to save parts of the watermelon that we throw away so easily when indulging in a delicious, sweet, juicy watermelon.
Not many people think that you could make a rich, tasty tomato sauce that pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes using watermelon rind.
This recipe is a family recipe, and my mum has been making it for a long time. Not until I started thinking about sharing it, did I realise how unique it truly is!
So next time when you buy a whole watermelon, don’t throw out the rind! Make sure to use it all and notice how much less waste you’ll create in the process. I find that my compost bin is much smaller when I make this.
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You can use all parts of the watermelon, including the outer thicker and darker green skin, but it is quite tough, even when cooked. Using a peeler, simply peel off the darker parts, and you’ve got some excellent watermelon rind ready to use!
The watermelon rind has some wonderful health benefits too! Here are a few:
- High sources of vitamin B and C
- It’s a wonderful workout booster
- Helps reduce blood pressure
- It’s rich in fibre
- Can boost libido
How to peel watermelon and use the rind
I have grown up peeling and cutting things in my hands. And while I know, it’s not a safe option; this is how I’ve been doing it for a long time.
I imagine that I picked it up from my mum that picked it up from hers.
To separate the outer darker, tougher watermelon skin from the rind, you can do it one of three ways – this is once you’ve cut off the sweet pink, eating watermelon.
- Sit it sideways on the chopping board and run a large, sharp knife along the darker green part separating it from the rind. You can also chop it off straight down and continue to rotate it. Like you would a pineapple.
- Not recommended, but this is how I do it. Hold firmly in your hand with the darker skin facing you, slide the knife just underneath the skin to cut it off towards you. I usually do it in smaller chunks rather than one big piece.
- This is probably the most practical way to do it. Use a peeler!!
This watermelon rind tomato sauce recipe-
- Melts in your mouth
- Is the perfect balance of sweet, sour and salt
- Super easy to make with minimal ingredients (there are only four!)
- Helps reduce waste – this recipe saves almost a kilo of delicious, useable watermelon rind that would otherwise go to waste!
- Very affordable to make
You can whip this together to feed you and your family in no time! Try something a little different and use an ingredient that would otherwise end up in either your trash can or compost.
If watermelon is not in season and you’d like to make this when it is or don’t feel like making it now, you can always freeze the chopped watermelon rind and thaw it before using it.
Other recipes you’ll love:
- My Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese (Vegan)
- Easy Vegan Baked Ziti
- Sauerkraut and Bean Stew (Slovenian Jota)
- High Protein Vegan Salad with Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Satay Tofu
- Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto
If you try this watermelon pasta sauce recipe, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram, or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest. Or Pin It for later!Print
Watermelon Rind Tomato Sauce (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Serves 4
This four-ingredient rich tomato sauce with watermelon rind is a great zero-waste, budget-friendly tasty recipe.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 6 cups (approx 850g / 1 medium sized watermelon) of watermelon rind, cut into bite-sized pieces* (the white part of the watermelon)
- 1 can / 425g / 14.99 ounces diced tomatoes
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Place a large saucepan on medium heat and add the oil and onion. Saute for around 5 minutes.
- Add the watermelon rind cooking for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with the pot lid slightly askew to keep all the moisture in the pot.
- After 10 minutes, add in the diced tomatoes and ½ cup / 125ml of water (I add the water to the tomato can to get the remained of the tomatoes and juices out of the can).
- Cook for 30 minutes or until the watermelon is nice and soft, making sure to stir occasionally.
- Once it’s cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with mashed potatoes.
Watermelon rind: Use one of the methods that I outlined above to peel the darker green skin off. This part you discard and only use the white section (and a little bit of pink is okay too).
- Diet: Vegan
Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I made the sauce for supper last night and it was a big hit. I will definitely be making this recipe again.
That’s great, Susan! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it 😊
I added garlic and Italian seasoning blend. Great way to reduce waste.
They sound like delicious additions! Sure is 🙂
Would this make a good substitute for marinara sauce if pureed?
I personally haven’t tried it and I’m not sure how the watermelon rind would turn out. Let me know how you go if you give it a try!
I just wanted to report back that I made this sauce (adding 3 cloves of garlic to the original recipe) and then pureed it in the blender. My toddler really liked it as a sauce on pasta but I wouldn’t say it came out like marinara. I think what it would be best for would be as a replacement in a recipe that includes canned tomato sauce. I definitely will make this again for that purpose.
Glad your toddler enjoyed it 🙂 thanks for sharing!
Simply devine 🥰🥰🥰
Super easy, delicious and comfy
I made this recipe today and it is definitely a keeper, I love it. Quite recommended!
I got this recipe in my email box and kept it in the back of my mind, until watermelon season started and I bought one. Today I am making this lovely sauce, thank you for this great idea. I hope you and Michael are doing well, take care and have a great weekend!
Thanks so much Aline! I hope you love this dish as much as we do and also have a wonderful weekend 🙂
Watermelon rinds do contain valuable nutrients. I feed my dogs homemade food, and puree the rinds and include it as part of their regular meal. I puree their food to make it easier to digest.
What a wonderful zero-waste idea! Thanks for sharing 🙂
This looks interesting. I just picked up a watermelon yesterday, so I’m going to have to try this. Thanks for the idea.
Perfect timing! Hope you enjoy it 🙂