I am a big fan of frozen fruit. I always have big bags of berries, mango, and pineapple tucked in my freezer for smoothies and desserts, and I regularly buy a dozen bananas, let them turn spotty, then peel and freeze them.
While you can use frozen fruit for a whole host of things—baked goods, drinks, fruit salads, and more—some are best used for specific applications and don’t fare well after thawing. This is especially true with watermelon, and that’s why you don’t tend to see the melon in the frozen aisle of the supermarket.
You can freeze watermelon, but you’ll want to follow some key steps and use the frozen fruit for specific things. Luckily, those things are delicious and may make you rethink watermelon altogether.
How to Freeze Watermelon
I like to freeze seedless watermelon so I don’t have to deal with seeds before or after freezing, but any kind of watermelon will do. I tend to freeze whatever leftover watermelon I just can’t eat—a portion left from a grill-out, for example.
Cut off the green peel and white rind and slice the pink interior into roughly 1-inch cubes. Line a large baking sheet or two with parchment paper and place the cubes on top, spacing them slightly so they don’t touch. Freeze for at least 1 hour, ideally 2 to 3 hours.
Once frozen, transfer the cubes to a zip-top freezer bag, squeeze the air out, and store for up to a month. Work quickly, since frozen watermelon begins to thaw quickly.
How to Use Frozen Watermelon
I don’t recommend thawing frozen watermelon. Because watermelon is mostly water, it loses most of that water when it thaws, giving the fruit a sunken appearance and spongy texture.
Thankfully, frozen watermelon is delicious! If it’s an extra hot day, simply crunch on a few pieces of frozen watermelon and you’ll cool right down. The texture is similar to an ice pop, and there’s no added sugar or dyes.
I like to add frozen watermelon to a food processor and make it into a quick granita. Pulse several times to break up the cubes, then scrape down the sides. Run the processor until a fluffy pink powder forms. Serve immediately. It’s delicious drizzled with sweetened condensed milk or sprinkled with a mixture of chili powder, salt, and sugar.
You can also add frozen watermelon to blended drinks instead of or in addition to ice. Try making a frosty watermelon margarita or frozen watermelon lemonade!