How to cut a watermelon

Follow our simple guide to preparing watermelon, and try our favourite watermelon recipes and serving suggestions. You'll only need basic kitchen kit for impressive results.

Watermelon pizza

Watermelon is lovely on its own, but also makes a good ingredient in other recipes. It pairs well with salty cheeses such as halloumi and feta, and even makes a good accompaniment to rich meats such as pork belly

Cooling and refreshing on a hot day, there are lots of ways to use it – you can even barbecue slices or turn it into a colourful watermelon ‘pizza’.

The first piece of advice when cutting watermelon is not to buy an enormous one. The bigger it is, the more unwieldy it will be on your cutting board. Also, bear in mind that watermelons produce quite a bit of juice as you cut them, so you may want to place your cutting board inside a tray to catch any drips. Finally, pick a long enough knife so you can cut through the whole melon easily – a cook’s knife will do.

You can cut watermelon into a variety of different shapes, so choose what suits your serving style or recipe and follow the steps below.

Removing watermelon seeds

Many watermelons are now sold as ‘seedless’ and may have no seeds, or a few pale yellow soft seeds that can easily be flicked out with the point of a knife. If your watermelon has lots of seeds, you’ll have to remove them as you cut.

The seeds grow in seams through the flesh, and if you cut the watermelon in half and look at the cut surface, you should be able to see roughly their pattern of growth – they’ll radiate out from the centre with a circle free of seeds in the middle. There will also be some distinct patches where there are no seeds. Cut the watermelon into thin wedges, starting from the centre, going outwards, keeping the seeds at the edge of some of the cuts so you can easily flick them out.

For watermelon triangles

Watermelon and halloumi salad
You can use watermelon triangles in salads and fruit salads, and to dip into flavourings. Try our watermelon with dukkah dip for a party nibble with a difference. 

1. Put the watermelon on your cutting board and cut it in half through the middle.

2. Cut each half in two to create quarters. If you have a very large watermelon, cut the quarters in half again to make thinner wedges that will be easier to cut.

3. Put one piece of watermelon on the board and move the others to one side. Using a sharp knife, make slices across the length of the melon, from one end to the other, cutting through to the white part of the rind but not all the way, unless you’re planning on picking the pieces up with your hands and eating the flesh off the rind.

4. Use a sweeping cut from one end of the watermelon quarter to the other along the white part of the rind to release the triangles from the base.

For watermelon cubes 

Avocado and watermelon salad
Watermelon cubes are perfect for popping in salads for a splash of colour and flavour. 

1. Put the watermelon on your cutting board and cut it in half through the middle.

2. Cut each half in two to make quarters. If you have a very large watermelon, cut the quarters in half again to make thinner wedges that will be easier to cut.

3. Put one piece of watermelon on the board and move the others to one side. Using a sharp knife, cut down into the flesh to make slices the width of the cube you want to end up with, cutting through to the white part of the rind, but not all the way through.

4. Make a sweeping cut along the base from one end of the watermelon quarter to the other to release the first row of slices, then chop into cubes. Make sure the chunks are not too long (remembering that the watermelon gets wider nearer the rind) and halve any peices if you need to.

For watermelon sticks

1. Slice down the middle

Watermelon sliced in half on board
Put the watermelon on your cutting board and cut it in half through the middle. If you watermelon is oval in shape, make two cuts to halve it, leaving a thick slice in the middle – otherwise your sticks might be too long. You can use the middle slice for cutting into long thin wedges – imagine a wagon wheel as you are cutting them. Or you could use the slices for a recipe like our watermelon ‘pizza’

2. Cut into thick slices

Watermelon half cut into strips on board
Put one half on the board, cut-side down, and cut it into thick slices.

3. Slice the opposite way

Watermelon half sliced into sticks on board
Turn the board 90 degrees, then cut slices the other way to form sticks. Trim the rind off each piece, if you like.

For watermelon balls

Watermelon lollies
1. Put the watermelon on your cutting board and cut it in half through the middle.

2. Using a melon baller, cut balls out of each half of the melon. Cut away any leftover bits, and trim off the rind as you go. Use the leftovers to make a smoothie or slushie.
 

More recipe ideas for summer

5 of our finest summer punches
Easy no-cook summer desserts
Our ultimate summer recipe collection

 

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