How to Freeze Leftover Watermelon

Preserve a taste of summer for sweet drinks and desserts

Plate of watermelon popsicles
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A watermelon is a large fruit and it can be difficult to eat the entire thing before it goes bad. If you want to preserve leftover melon, can you freeze it? The simple answer is yes, watermelon can be frozen, but it will be mushy when it's thawed. Enjoy whole chunks of watermelon while it's fresh because it will not taste the same after freezing. However, you don't need to throw out your leftover watermelon. You can still freeze this sweet fruit and use it once it's thawed.

Indeed, frozen watermelon is perfect for drinks like smoothies and margaritas and can infuse a taste of summer that you can enjoy in the coldest months of the year. Watermelon also makes a delicious sorbet or granita.

How to Freeze Watermelon

Frozen watermelon will be good for eight to 12 months, which is perfect because it will be watermelon season by the time you run out.

Preparing watermelon for the freezer is very easy and should take less than 10 minutes. This flash-freezing method creates individually frozen chunks of fruit that are easy to store and use as needed. When you are ready for a smoothie, just pull out four or five pieces and close the container back up. To freeze your watermelon, follow these simple steps:

  1. Chop the melon into small cubes or balls.
  2. Remove all of the seeds.
  3. Spread the pieces out on a baking sheet so they do not touch each other.
  4. Put the tray in the freezer and flash-freeze the pieces for a few hours or until they are firm.
  5. Transfer the watermelon chunks to a freezer-safe container or storage bag and store it in the freezer.

Benefits of Flash-Freezing Watermelon

If you simply place fresh watermelon chunks in a container, they will freeze together, and you will need to chisel them apart. It can be a mess, so putting in a little extra effort at the beginning is worth it.

Sweet and Juice-Packed Watermelon

As an alternative to flash-frozen cubes, you can pack your watermelon with sweetener or juice and freeze the entire container. Use granulated sugar and simple syrup to sweeten your watermelon. This is a nice option if you plan to use the fruit for desserts or need drinks for a party after watermelon season is over. To sweeten your watermelon, follow these steps:

  1. Cut watermelon into chunks and remove all of the seeds.
  2. Place the chunks into a freezer-safe container, leaving about 1/2 inch of room at the top (watermelon expands as it freezes).
  3. Cover the watermelon with sugar or simple syrup.
    • For sugar, use about 1/2 cup of granulated sugar for every pound of watermelon. Mix well so that all of the pieces are covered with sugar.
    • For simple syrup, add enough syrup to cover the watermelon completely. 
  4. Seal the container and store it in the freezer until you need it.

    Alternatively, use pineapple, orange, and other fruit juices to add extra flavor. This is a fun option for blended drinks.