Preserve summer's bounty with this quick tutorial on how to freeze cantaloupe! You can enjoy frozen cantaloupe as a snack, throw it into smoothies, or make it into a quick sorbet.
Why you'll love it
You're not alone if you've ever wondered "Can you freeze cantaloupe?". The answer is yes! Whether you want to freeze a perfectly ripe melon, or have leftovers you can't finish, you can freeze it!
I admit growing up I didn't see the appeal of cantaloupes. Why have a cantaloupe when I could eat fresh berries? I'm so glad I've seen the light.
A sweet and juicy cantaloupe is a thing of beauty. You can eat it as a snack, turn it into cantaloupe juice, or mix it with watermelon for a quick fruit salad. It's currently one of of my favorite summer fruits!
What you need
Ripe cantaloupe - Be sure to pick a ripe cantaloupe! It should have a creamy yellow, sandy gold, or beige rind. If it's predominantly green, it's not quite ripe yet. The blossom end should smell sweet and musky. And it should feel heavy for its size, not hollow or light.
If you cut and freeze an underripe, bitter-tasting melon, it won't magically taste sweet when you defrost it! Purchase a ripe cantaloupe or wait for it to ripen on the counter before you cut into it.
How to cut a cantaloupe into chunks
Before you freeze the cantaloupe, you need to cut it into chunks. There's more than one way to do this, but I prefer the method below.
First, cut the bottom and top off the melon so you can stand it straight up without it rolling around.
Next, stand the cantaloupe on one of the cut sides. Place your knife on the top of the cantaloupe, and cut it in half vertically. Scoop out the seeds and goop with a large spoon.
Cut the deseeded cantaloupe in half again, so you have large wedges. Cut the wedges in half again so you have slices. Use the picture below as a reference.
Once you have cantaloupe slices, you can slide your knife under the orange flesh but above the green rind. Cut the cantaloupe flesh away from the rind. Cut the slice into chunks.
Now you have cantaloupe chunks ready to go! Simple, right?!
How to freeze a cantaloupe
You can freeze fresh cantaloupe, and it's super simple! Place the cantaloupe chunks onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Place the sheet pan into the freezer and freeze until the cantaloupe solidifies, at least 30 minutes.
Transfer the frozen cantaloupe to a freezer-safe ziplock bag. I used two small ones, but one big one is fine too!
Place the bags back into the freezer and you're done! Now you have frozen cantaloupe for snacks and smoothies!
- Don't skip freezing the cantaloupe on a sheet pan. Freezing the cantaloupe before you bag it prevents it from sticking together and freezing into one big ball.
- Frozen cantaloupe tastes delicious slightly thawed. Once you freeze a cantaloupe, it will lose some of its texture once it's defrosted. I like to let it thaw only slightly, then eat it while it's still frosty. It's super tasty! If you don't want to do that, it's great for smoothies too!
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
Cantaloupes are a great source of health benefits!
- High in beta-carotene and antioxidants! Antioxidants protect your cells against free radicals. Beta carotene is the carotenoid also found in carrots. It gives cantaloupe its orange hue and is great for healthy eyes and skin.
- Jam-packed with vitamin C! One cup of cantaloupe gives you over one hundred percent of your daily value. This immune-boosting vitamin is essential for growth and development of all body tissues.
- Hydrating - A cantaloupe is almost 90 percent water! Most Americans don't drink enough water, and water is crucial for healthy organs that work efficiently.
Frozen Cantaloupe Serving Ideas
Snack - Enjoy frozen cantaloupe chunks as a nutritious and refreshing snack! Most fruits thaw out soft and cantaloupe is no different, which is why I enjoy it slightly frozen. It's super sweet and delicious.
Juice - Thaw the cantaloupe, then throw it in a blender with a splash of lime juice. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and enjoy over ice.
Sorbet - Blend the frozen cantaloupe in a food processor until crumbly, then add a splash of water and lime juice. Process again until smooth like sorbet.
Smoothies - Add it to all your favorite fruit smoothies. It tastes especially good with tropical flavors like orange and mango.
I don't recommend freezing a whole melon with the rind on. Once the melon is frozen, it would be difficult to cut into chunks or slices. Once a melon is defrosted completely, it loses some of its crisp texture. That's why I like to cut the melon into chunks beforehand, so I can eat the chunks partially frozen. They're also ready to go for smoothies!
A cantaloupe will taste just as sweet once its thawed as it did when it was fresh! However, once fresh fruit is frozen, the ice crystals pierce through cell walls and the texture softens. This is why fruit isn't crisp once it's thawed. The easy fix for this is to enjoy the cantaloupe while it's still slightly frozen!
Yes! You can freeze and thaw cantaloupe. Just be sure to cut it into chunks first, then freeze it on a sheet pan. Once the fruit is frozen, transfer it to a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Doing this prevents the fruit from freezing in one big clump!
How to Freeze Cantaloupe
- Cutting board
- large knife
- Sheet pan
- 1 ripe cantaloupe, cut into chunks
- Place the cantaloupe chunks onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
- Put the sheet pan in the freezer until the cantaloupe chunks are frozen, at least 30 minutes.
- Transfer the frozen cantaloupe chunks to a freezer bag and freeze. Use within 3 months for best results.