By Vanessa Greaves

Turn that watermelon frown upside down

Did you accidentally bring home a less than perfect watermelon? One that looks good on the outside but is dry and mealy on the inside? Hey, we've all been there. But instead of throwing it out or (ugh) eating it anyway, simply rework it into something definitely worth smiling about.

Related: Learn the simple trick to pick out a perfect watermelon.

What is a mealy watermelon?

When a watermelon gets too ripe for its own good, the juicy crisp texture of the flesh can turn gritty and dry. If you cut it open, you might see the flesh actually pulling away from the seeds.

What to do with a mealy watermelon.

To save the situation, you'll want to use the watermelon in recipes where crisp texture isn't a factor. And that means pulling out the blender and giving the offending melon a fast ride to purée town. Once you've changed the texture, you can add a bit of sweetness if it needs it and throw in some flavor boosters like citrus and mint, or even booze it up. You can even pickle the rind.

Look at that. You've just turned a watermelon fail into a whole lot of watermelon win.

Try these watermelon recipes.

1. Watermelon Fizz

Blend puréed watermelon with coconut water and a touch of stevia for a cooling tropical mocktail.

Photo by lutzflcat

2. Watermelon-Mint Paletas

Double down on the lime and brighten up with mint to make frozen Mexican-style pops.

Photo by simple mexican cooking

3. Watermelon Sangria

No one will ever guess this gorgeous sangria started out as a less-than-stellar watermelon.

Photo by Snacking in the Kitchen

4. Simple Watermelon Sorbet

Ice cream maker to the rescue! Don't have one? Make granita instead.

Photo by footballgrl16

5. Watermelon Martinis

These colorful cocktails are made with, you guessed it, watermelon juice. The recipe notes tell you how to make juice by blending and straining chunks of watermelon.

Photo by Dianne

6. Watermelon Soup

Mealy watermelon takes a spin in your blender along with lemon juice, honey, and fresh mint. To really show that watermelon who's boss, hollow it out and using it as a serving bowl.

Photo by Montana

7. Jewel's Watermelon Margaritas

You can make cocktails with tequila or mocktails without.(I know what I'd do.)

Photo by MyHotSouthernMess

8. Yummy Watermelon Pops

Raspberries (fresh or frozen) give these watermelon pops extra fruity color and flavor.

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

9. Chef John's Watermelon Agua Fresca

The perfect refreshment for a hot summer's day. Just take a sip and say aaaahhhhhhhhhhh.

10. Pickled Watermelon Rinds

Use up every last bit of that watermelon and turn it into sweet/tart pickles you'll want to eat with everything. For best results, use a watermelon variety with a thick rind.

Photo by Meredith

What to Do With Spoiled Watermelon

Sometimes a watermelon fail is beyond repair. If the rind is soft, discolored, or downright moldy, you really have no choice but to toss the whole thing — rind, flesh, and all. If you don't see signs of spoilage on the rind but the flesh turns out to be slimy or smelly, you still need to toss it out instead of eating it.

Get more recipes for fresh watermelon.