Grilled Watermelon Skewers With Turkish Rice (GF Vegan)

July 9, 2021
Traditionally Turkish rice is made of bulgur (in Turkish, "rice" refers to bulgur originally) but it is not gluten-free so I decided to go with arborio rice instead. If you do not suffer from gluten allergy or celiac disease then is absolutely no need to swap bulgur to rice, as it would make no sense to go gluten-free unless you have a reason to do it.

It tastes wonderful with the sweet grilled watermelon skewers that have a minty-lemony zest to them. Perfect combo to have something filling and refreshing at the same time. If you let the watermelon get sightly charred it will give a bit of a caramelized flavor to it, which I enjoyed very much!

If you don't have/like skewers it is okay, you can just cut the watermelon into cubes and grill them individually and serve with toothpick or cut wedges off and grill them. It will taste great either way.
grilled watermelon and turkish rice on a white plate

Grilled Watermelon Skewers With Turkish Rice (GF Vegan)

utensils YIELDS 2 servings
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 1 small watermelon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • to taste jabanero chili sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 small head onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1–2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 banana pepper, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • to taste salt, pepper
  • 150 g rice (Bulgur for non GF)
  • 300ml water
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For the watermelon skewers:


1. Cut the rind off of the watermelon and then slice the watermelon bite sized cubes.

2. In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, jabanero and maple syrup.

3. Heat a grill pan to high heat.

4. Thread the watermelon cubes on skewers, transfer them on the grill pan and brush both sides with the sauce. Grill them just for a few minutes until the grill marks are visible, then remove from heat.

5. Brush the watermelon with any remaining sauce and sprinkle with the shredded mint and sprinkle with salt before serving.


For the Turkish rice:

1. Heat up the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and sauté the chopped onion until translucent, add the garlic and stir for 1–2 minutes more. Add the chopped banana pepper to is and cook for 5 more minutes.

2. Add the chopped tomato as well and cook for 10 minutes on low heat. Stir in tomato puree and 50 ml of the water. Season with salt, pepper and stir well to combine.

3. Add in the rice and the rest of the water. Cover the pan and cook it until rice is tender.

Imola is a Hatha and Ashtanga yoga teacher, tree planter and writer and editor of Raised by the Wolf, an online magazine for Wild Women, with a passion for exploring and life outdoors. Originally from Hungary but currently planting trees and rewilding the enchanting forests of France. Hop over to RBTW magazine, and blog and follow her on Instagram @yogiraisedbythewolf


always stay inspired!