Italian Sausage, Pork, And Vegetables Baked Inside A Watermelon

Watermelons have quite a few hidden talents, and this recipe features one of them! Although watermelon is delicious when it's served up fresh, it also tastes great when paired with meat, and even when it's cooked. This zesty Italian sausage and pork dish gets baked with vegetables, seasoned with a citrusy dry rub, and baked inside of a hollowed-out watermelon, giving it an amazing, original flavor! Once it's done baking, everything gets served with a refreshing watermelon salsa, making for a delicious summertime treat. You won't be able to get this recipe out of your head!

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2½ hours
Inactive Time: 2 hours
Difficulty Level: Moderate

You'll Need:

For the watermelon casing:

  • 1 watermelon (approx. 11 lbs)

For the meat:

  • 1½ lbs pork belly, chopped
  • 1½ lbs pork neck, chopped
  • 11 oz Italian sausage, sliced

For the dry rub:

  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder

For the vegetables:

  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • lbs potatoes, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • zest of 1 lemon

For the watermelon salsa:

  • 3 cups chopped watermelon
  • 1 red chili pepper, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • zest & juice of 1 lime
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • salt & pepper to taste


  • pineapple corer

Here's How:

1. For the meat, chop the pork belly, pork neck, and Italian sausage and transfer everything to a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the ingredients for the dry rub and add it to the meat. Stir everything together until the meat is coated evenly, cover the bowl, transfer it to the refrigerator, and chill for 2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Chop the vegetables into small, equally sized pieces, stir them together, and add the mixed vegetables to the seasoned meat.

3. Wash the outside of the watermelon thoroughly to make sure no bacteria or dirt remains on the rind. Cut the top off of the watermelon, use a pineapple corer to remove the fruit from the center, and set the fruit of the watermelon aside for later. Transfer the meat and vegetable mixture to the hollowed-out watermelon and add in the sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and lemon zest. Place the top back on the watermelon, transfer it to the oven, and bake at 325°F for 2½ hours.

4. For the watermelon salsa, chop the fruit of the watermelon into small cubes and season them with salt. Let the salted watermelon sit briefly to remove any excess moisture. Once the excess moisture has drained, combine the chopped watermelon with the minced chili pepper, chopped mint, lime juice & zest, diced red onion, and season with salt & pepper.

Once the meat and vegetables are done baking inside of the watermelon, remove them from the oven and serve this delicious, original dish with tangy, refreshing watermelon salsa. This surprising combination of flavors will stun you and the lucky guests or family members you serve it to. You'll never see watermelon in the same way again!

Get the recipe for the Chicken Cooked Inside A Watermelon featured in the bonus video.


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