Cantaloupe granita. Lovely and delicate melon goodness with the lilt of summer. And no ice cream maker required. It comes together simply and easily with nothing more than a metal pan, a blender, a fork, and a freezer.Monica L. Helton

*What’s The Right Pan To Make Granita?

You can really grab any metal pan that you happen to have to make this cantaloupe granita. It’ll freeze quicker in a wide, shallow roasting pan and will take longer to freeze in a deep, narrow loaf pan. Both options yield a refreshing and impressive granita, so use what you have. Perhaps the biggest consideration? Whatever pan you have room for in your freezer.

A small glass filled with cantaloupe granita and a spoon sticking out of it.

Cantaloupe Granita

5 / 2 votes
Cantaloupe granita. It’s icy, sorbet-y, creamy, and melon-y. And it calls for just four ingredients: cantaloupe, sugar, water, and lemon juice. Pretty much everything you imagine a granita could be.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories203 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time3 hours 40 minutes
Total Time4 hours


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds chopped cantaloupe (not including rind and seeds)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup or 60 ml)


  • In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the sugar and water and boil until the sugar is dissolved, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  • Toss the chunks of cantaloupe into a blender along with the lemon juice, all or some of the cooled sugar syrup, and, if desired, a pinch of chile powder. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust by adding more lime juice if a slightly less sweet granita is desired and a little more syrup if a sweeter version is more your style.
  • Pour the mixture into a metal baking pan. (See *Which Pan note above). Cover with a tight-fitting lid or a couple layers of plastic wrap.
  • Carefully situate the container in the freezer so it’s flat and let it freeze for 4 to 6 hours or so, stirring with a fork every hour or so and being certain to scrape the icy edges of the pan. You want to freeze it until it has an icy yet still sorta creamy consistency, sorta like sorbet. (If you forget to stir it and you end up with a solid block of melony goodness, just let it sit at room temperature until it begins to thaw and then use a fork to scrape the granita into icy fluff.)
  • Serve in dishes or diminutive glasses with a spoon. If you cover and freeze any leftovers, they will take on a more icy texture that’s not quite as smooth but that tastes just as spectacular.
Acquacotta Cookbook

Adapted From


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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 203 kcalCarbohydrates: 51 gProtein: 1 gFat: 1 gSaturated Fat: 1 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gSodium: 29 mgPotassium: 455 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 51 gVitamin A: 5753 IUVitamin C: 62 mgCalcium: 17 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2017 Emiko Davies. Photo © 2017 Lauren Bamford. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

The granita is a lovely finish to a comfort food meal. Light and refreshing. It cleanses your palate and satisfies any sweet cravings.

I’m looking forward to experimenting with other fruits. I set syrup aside to cool while cutting up the melon and processing it in food processor. The consistency was lumpy but in a good way, the sort of way that says this was homemade with love! Leftovers were fairly easy to flake with a fork the following day.

So pretty, so refreshing, and so easy! This cantaloupe granita came together in a heartbeat and produced about 4 cups of refreshing and delicious cantaloupe ice. When first frozen, the texture is like a silky melon sorbet. The next day, after being roughed up with the tines of a fork, it was more solid and icier and the texture was more like a traditional granita, a little grainy but still very delicious. A taste of summer.

My melon was very ripe and sweet; the next time I would add the grated zest of the lemon to cut the sugar a little and likely add more than the pinch of chile powder. All in all this was a lovely treat. I’m looking forward to using this very simple formula with berries next.

Although the purée/final result was rather sweet, I think the recipe probably needs this much sugar to keep the final product scoopable. I initially froze the purée/sugar/juice mixture in a 10-inch square metal pan. It seemed VERY sweet at first, but the sugar level became more balanced as the mixture got colder. After 1 hour in the freezer, it was well chilled but not frozen. At 2 hours, the edges were beginning to freeze. At 3 hours, it was quite slushy and I transferred it to a smaller container with a lid to finish freezing. At 4 hours it was lovely, creamy and ready to serve. I would recommend tasting it after 2 to 3 hours, adjusting to taste with additional chile powder and/or lemon zest when you stir everything thoroughly.

Simple and elegant!

​This cantaloupe granita is an easy and delicious recipe. Serve it as a refreshing summer treat or as a light ending to a rich dinner.

It was fantastic.

I used 1 large casaba melon and it weighed in at a whopping 7 pounds. I also got a little bit over 7 cups of puree after combining the melon flesh and the juice. I had a lot of air in the puree which actually made the granite have a smooth almost creamy texture. I used all three limes to cut the sweetness of the melon and the simple syrup mixture. I would suggest adding the sugar mixture a little at a time along with the limes to make sure you get the balance of flavors you are looking for. Mine was a tad bit sweet.

I was able to keep the granita loose while it froze by scraping it every 30 to 45 minutes. Once it was completely frozen, I left it alone until the next afternoon. Out of the freezer, it took only 10 minutes or so to be able to serve it.

I actually used this at a reception and using 2 small serving scoops per person and was able to serve 18 people with some leftover.

Light and refreshing, a lovely dessert for a warm summer evening. Sweet ripe melons and tart limes balanced the flavors perfectly. My son, who loves cantaloupe, was happy to eat bowls of this icy treat.

The melons I used were very ripe, very sweet, with lots of juice. I blended them in the food processor in 2 batches. Then I added the simple syrup. I started with the juice of 2 limes. I got about 1/8 cup of juice from each lime. I then added a third lime and found it still too sweet and wanted some more lime flavor as it tasted too syrupy. I then added a fourth lime. The extra lime balanced the sweetness of the sugar and the fruit juice. I loved the sweet cantaloupe smell every time I opened the freezer to run a fork through the granita.

I scraped the juice first at 30 minutes and then decided 45 was better. It took about 5 hours for it to freeze completely. I used a 9-by-13 metal baking pan and if I had a larger pan I think the freezing process would have been quicker. I would suggest that more lime juice may be needed depending on the sweetness of the melons. I did get lots of juice from the melons and ended up with a very full cake pan.

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This cantaloupe granita is easy and completely refreshing. I’m not usually a cantaloupe fan, but I definitely enjoyed this dessert and think it would be a great end to a summer dinner party menu.

    I used a flat take-out container to freeze the granita mixture, which worked well. It took a little over 5 hours with regular stirring and scraping for the granita to freeze. This took very little time. The consistency was like Italian ice the first day. After left in the freezer overnight, I was able to enjoy it as granita. I didn’t flake it but scooped it out. It was definitely better the first day but still yummy the second.

    I also think this would be fabulous with any other fruit that blends up smoothly. I might try it with watermelon and with less simple syrup. It also occurred to me that this might be fantastic with some whipped cream or soft serve ice cream, sort of like the great “gelati” that Rita’s Water Ice serves (layered Italian ice and frozen custard).