36 Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes + Tips, Fun Serving Ideas & Nutrition Notes


Today is National Watermelon Day, and the date couldn’t be more timely. Watermelon hits its prime in August with the sweetest red, juicy flesh. You can of course pick up a watermelon and simply cut it into wedges for a potluck, barbecue or to nosh on as a refreshing afternoon treat. But why not adventure some easy dairy-free watermelon recipes? Below I have a fantastic collection of three dozen recipes, most of which are quite easy. I’ve also included tips for selecting the best watermelons, the latest nutrition notes on watermelon, and some fun, creative serving ideas.

36 Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes + Selection Tips, Fun Carving Ideas and the Latest Nutrition Notes on this Sweet Fruit

What’s New in the Healthy World of Watermelon?

Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes - HeartThanks to recent research studies on high-lycopene foods, watermelon now battles the mighty tomato for champion of this super phytonutrient. Lycopene has long been prized as valuable for cardiovascular health, but scientists are now viewing it as a strong contender for bone health, too.

Watermelon has a high citrulline content, which is a precursor to an amino acid that helps to improve cardiovascular health. Some studies have also shown that the conversion of citrulline may help to prevent excess accumulation of fat.

There’s no need to cast those watermelon wedges once you’ve devoured the bright red flesh. Even the pale pink layer has shown to be a nutritional standout for phenolic antioxidants, flavonoids, lycopene, and vitamin C. Our dairy-free watermelon recipes below show how to use not only that pale pink power but the rind, too!

Nonetheless, recent studies have shown that fully ripened watermelons do pack a more nutrient-dense punch throughout than their under-ripe beginnings. The biggest jump in lycopene (and other antioxidants) seems to occur when the watermelon flesh turns from white-pink to pink, but it becomes even more concentrated when that juicy red color appears.

How to Pick a Watermelon

According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, choosing the best watermelon for our dairy-free watermelon recipes is as easy as 1-2-3:

Dairy-Free Watermelon RecipesFirst, look the watermelon over. Ensure that it is firm, symmetrical watermelon and free of bruises, cuts or dents.

Second, lift it up to check for some heft. Most of the weight in a ripe watermelon (92 percent) is water, so it should feel heavier than it looks.

Third, turn it over and look for a creamy yellow spot. This is where it sat on the ground and finished ripening in the sun. If there isn’t a spot, it was picked before its peak.

Watermelon Carving Fun

These are some super fun and creative watermelon serving ideas for big barbecues and birthday parties.

Angry Birds Watermelon

Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes, Information and Carving Ideas (Angry Birds shown)

NASCAR Watermelon

Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes, Information and Carving Ideas (Nascar shown)

Watermelon Mermaid Tails

Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes, Information and Carving Ideas (Mermaid Cupcakes shown)

Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes: Cool Sips

Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes: Sensational Sweets

Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes: Salads & Salsas

More Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes

36 Dairy-Free Watermelon Recipes + Selection Tips, Fun Carving Ideas and the Latest Nutrition Notes on this Sweet Fruit

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. I love watermelon, it’s so cool for the hot summer. You can make watermelon ice cream or just put it to the fridge and wait about 15-30 minutes. You will have cool things for hot day.

    • No idea Elizabeth. I think it’s difficult to compare health benefits in that way. Watermelon is high in lycopene, while apples are high in quercetin, etc. They’re completely different foods!

  2. I’m getting ready to share this awesome post on my gfe FB page this afternoon and just saw that my watermelon sherbet is included in the links at the bottom! Thanks so much, Alisa! 🙂 This is a terrific, fun roundup and I love that watermelon is even healthier than we previously thought! 😉


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