Get the info you need about freezing watermelon and learn how to use it, like in Watermelon Popsicles, the perfect refreshing healthy summer treat.
Did you buy a giant watermelon at the store and realize after a few days there’s no way you and your family can eat it all fresh? Don’t throw out that leftover watermelon! I’ve got everything you need to know to enjoy wonderful watermelon even when the summer is long over.
Can You Freeze Watermelon?
Yes, you can! Freezing watermelon is a great option so that none of this delicious fruit goes to waste. A large whole watermelon is often a lot to get through, especially if you have a small household. But it’s usually a much better deal than buying already cut melon at the store.
Once cut, you only want to keep fresh watermelon in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. If the flesh starts to get slimy or have an off smell, it’s time to toss it. But go ahead and buy that giant melon, then freeze part of it in the first couple days to enjoy a taste of summer later on in the year.
Keep in mind though that because of the high water content (about 92%!), it won’t be the same after freezing if you were to thaw it. It will end up more of a pureed texture if thawed completely, which is fine if you’re throwing it into a smoothie, but not if you wanted a nice fruit salad.
How To Freeze Watermelon
First, think ahead to how you’re going to be using it. That will determine how you cut the fresh watermelon. You can freeze the fruit in chunks, use a melon baller to create evenly sized balls, or simply cut them into wedges like I’ll show you for popsicles.
Whatever shape you decide on, you’ll want to remove the rind and any black seeds you find before they go in the freezer.
Start with a flash freeze to make sure your watermelon doesn’t end up a solid frozen chunk. To do this, lay out your watermelon pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lining the tray with parchment paper can be helpful so they don’t stick. Put in the freezer for 2-4 hours till they are partially frozen.
At this point, remove the melon from the baking sheet and move them into freezer bags or a freezer-safe container for long term storage. The frozen watermelon will last in the freezer for about 8 months.
Uses For Frozen Watermelon
There are lots of great options! You can partially thaw your melon in the fridge for easy snacking, but it won’t have the same texture as when fresh. You can also partially thaw your watermelon if you are just throwing it in the blender to enjoy as watermelon juice.
If you cut your melon into balls or small cubes, you can add them still frozen to a drink to act as delicious fruity ice cubes.
One of my favorite options is to blend frozen watermelon chunks into a refreshing watermelon smoothie or frozen cocktail. Try this Watermelon Slushie that has options to add alcohol or maybe watermelon mint margaritas.
You could also turn the melon into a dessert like a sorbet or watermelon granita.
And of course, there’s watermelon popsicles which I explain below.
How To Make Watermelon Popsicles
If you’re like me, you want something healthy, easy, and satisfying for snacks for the kids. I came up with frozen watermelon on a popsicle stick. While there are popsicle molds available to make frozen treats of any flavor, this makes it even simpler for you.
Cut watermelon into slices, trim off the rind, insert stick, and freeze. No sugar or anything else added (except the popsicle stick, of course).
I hesitate to actually give a recipe since that’s all there is to it. But in case you want really explicit instructions on how to cut the watermelon, the recipe is below.Print
So easy! Put watermelon onto sticks and freeze. Easiest popsicles ever.
- Half of a seedless watermelon
- Popsicle sticks
- From your watermelon, cut off one half moon of a slice about 3/4 inch thick. Trim off the rind, poke off any pale seeds that are showing and then cut the slice into 3-4 triangles.
- Lay one triangle of watermelon on a cookie sheet. Slide a popsicle stick in at least halfway (I slide mine into the curved edge where the rind used to be but it doesn’t really matter where you stick it as long as it goes at least halfway in and is completely surrounded by watermelon).
- Repeat with remaining watermelon until you have as many popsicles as you’d like (note that they can’t be touching while they freeze or they become hard to break apart. So only make as many as you have space for on cookie sheets in your freezer).
- Spread the slices out on the cookie sheet so that they’re not touching. Freeze on the cookie sheet for 3-4 hours, until frozen through.
- Eat or wrap watermelon popsicles individually in plastic wrap and return them to the freezer where they’ll keep for 5-7 days.
This post originally appeared in May 2012 and was revised and republished in August 2022.