Cantaloupe Granita

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.

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

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. Originally published August 28, 2016.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.

Cantaloupe Granita

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 20 M
  • 4 H
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Acquacotta cookbook

Want it? Click it.



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.

Print RecipeBuy the Acquacotta cookbook

Want it? Click it.

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!


#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


  1. 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).

Have something to say?

Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

Rate this recipe!

Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

Upload a picture of your dish