Don’t worry about dinner, I got you covered. These Chicken and Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind Rice Bowls are ready in under 45 minutes and are so flavorful that your family will be asking for seconds. While this post is sponsored by the Watermelon Board, our love of watermelon, using the whole watermelon and the recipe are our own.
Light. Flavorful. Absolutely delicious. Are you looking for something different to make for dinner tonight? Actually, it’s great for lunch too…I made these Chicken and Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind Rice Bowls for lunch this past weekend too since we all loved them so much when I made them for dinner last week.
It’s summer and I love the bright colors of this dish. I also love that it reminds me to use the whole watermelon. I buy a watermelon just about every time I walk into the store and I have it cut and ready for everyone to enjoy within a day or two.
Watermelon is not only a sweet and healthy snack, but it’s also hydrating…making it the perfect snack for these hot summer months.
Since we have a lot of watermelon in the house, that means I also have a lot of watermelon rind. No…I don’t throw it away! I told you guys a few weeks ago that you can eat watermelon rind. YES! Do not throw it away. Watermelon rind can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, like in my Chicken and Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind Rice Bowls. Do your part in helping to reduce food waste and start using the whole watermelon!
Plus, once you taste my Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind, you will start buying watermelon just so you can use the rind 😉 Yes, it’s that good. I actually eat them right out of the jar as a snack.
Now, I know at first glance that these Chicken and Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind Rice Bowls look like there is a lot of steps, but I promise you, it’s not hard! I love making a big batch of rice in the beginning of the week as part of our meal-planning, rice is part of so many of our favorite recipes, so I like having it ready and available.
I also used precooked chicken, feel free to use leftover chicken from the other night, a rotisserie chicken, or if you have the time, bake some. I like saving time when I can, and the precooked chicken was on sale when I was at the store.
That beautiful green sauce and the base for the pickled watermelon rind share several ingredients, so I don’t have you headed to the store for a bunch of ingredients that you will use only once, I promise.
Now, if you end up with a bunch of watermelon rind in your house due to everyone enjoying watermelon, I definitely recommend making extra batches of these spicy watermelon rind pickles. As I mentioned, I like to eat them right out of the jar, but you can use them on so many other recipes!
Ways To Use Spicy Watermelon Rind Pickles
- On top of your favorite burger
- With your pulled pork sandwich
- On top of avocado toast
- In burritos
- With your favorite rice bowls…like this Chicken and Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind Rice Bowls
And that’s just a few ideas! The possibilities are endless….just wait until you taste them…sooooo good! Watermelon rind is a little crunchy and it has a cucumber-ish flavor to it, so using them to make a “spicy pickle” is a great way to enjoy watermelon rind.
Now that I have you all sufficiently hungry, shall we get cooking? Let’s do it!
Chicken and Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind Rice Bowls
- 1 lb cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast shredded or a rotisserie chicken is fine too – I used the refrigerated shortcuts
- 3 cups cooked white rice feel free to substitute brown rice
- 1 fennel bulb cut into sections
Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind
- 3 cups watermelon rind
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- ½ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- ½ tbsp honey
Spicy Scallion Sauce
- 5 scallions diced
- 1 cup coarsely chopped parsley
- ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ jalapeno
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Using a large knife, cut off the fennel fronds. Then cut off the root end of the fennel. Remove any tough outer layers, cut into sections, and place on a baking sheet.
- Spray with olive oil spray and season with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until it starts to brown.
Spicy Pickled Watermelon Rind
- Toss rind and a large pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Let sit at room temperature, tossing every 5 minutes or so, until rind releases some liquid and begin to soften, about 15 minutes.
- Whisk jalapeno, garlic, vinegar, honey, and a large pinch of salt in an airtight container large enough to contain the watermelon rind.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the watermelon rind to the bowl with the vinegar mixture. Stir to coat. You can also store in a mason jar. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Spicy Scallion Sauce
- Place the scallions, parsley, vinegar, olive oil, sesame oil, half of jalapeno and honey in a food processor/blender until smooth.
- Add water a teaspoonful or so at a time if sauce is too thick (should be the consistency of heavy cream). Taste sauce; jalapenos range in spiciness. Add more if desired.
- Place the cooked rice in your favorite bowl and top with roasted fennel, chicken, spicy pickled watermelon rind and the scallion sauce.