Here is a short guide to freezing melon. Learn how to freeze the fruit, what to expect after thawing, and the best ways to use melon after freezing.
Have an extra melon or two that you don’t want to spoil? That makes you wonder: can you freeze melon?
the short answer
Melon is noticeably softer after freezing and works well only in certain dishes, such as smoothies and baked goods. To freeze the cantaloupe, cut it up, pre-freeze it on a cookie sheet, transfer it to a freezer bag, and place it back in the freezer.
That is the gist of it.
Interested in learning more? Here’s what we cover next:
- details on what to expect from frozen melon
- a step-by-step description of the freezing process (and some modifications)
- ways to defrost fruit
- ideas on how to use frozen melon
Does melon freeze well?
Cantaloupe freezes well, but not very well.
The flesh is noticeably softer after thawing, so you probably wouldn’t want to eat it as is or add it to a fruit salad. But for smoothies, sherbet, and all sorts of baked goods, the change in texture isn’t a problem, and you can use frozen melon in these just fine.
Then there are the recipes that call for melon puree. In these, frozen melon should also work well.
The only thing you need to consider is the texture of whatever you are cooking. For example, if you discard all the water left over after thawing the fruit, you may need to add a teaspoon or two of water to the dish to make up the amount discarded.
(In almost all cases, you’ll instinctively know whether or not you need more water, so it’s not a big deal.)
Long story short, cantaloupe freezes well, and there are many recipes where you can successfully use this fruit after freezing.
Knowing that, you are probably wondering how to go about the freezing process. Let’s cover that.
How to freeze melon
Here’s how to freeze melon:
- Homework. Wash and cut the fruit. I suggest you either dice or bite the melon small pieces, as either works great for most uses. If you’ve already planned out how you’ll use the fruit, feel free to cut it in whatever way makes the most sense for you. Finally, allow the pieces to dry for 10 to 15 minutes or pat dry with paper towels. This will help reduce the amount of frost that is produced.
- Pre-freeze. Take a cookie sheet and spread the pieces on it in a single layer so they don’t freeze in lumps. If you want to make it easier to remove the fruit from the foil, line it previously with a silicone mat or baking paper. Then, place that tray in the freezer for 2 to 3 hours, or until the melon pieces are frozen solid.
- Transfer to a freezer bag. Once frozen, take the cookie sheet out of the freezer, break up any pieces that were frozen, and transfer everything to a freezer bag (or bags). Remember to squeeze out the air before sealing the bag. Add a label with your content and the date if you like.
- Freeze. Throw the bag with the frozen melon in the freezer.
That’s all. As you can see, the process is as simple as it gets and takes just a couple of minutes of uptime.
(You can use the same process to freeze honeydew.)
Now, you may have more questions about it. Let’s cover that.
Do you have to pre-freeze the melon?
No, but it allows you to quickly grab as many pieces of the bag as you need. In other words, it makes it easier for you to use that frozen melon in the future.
Of course, if you already have a plan and know precisely how much melon you need, there’s no need to pre-freeze it. Instead, measure and freeze the required amount in a single bag and skip pre-freezing.
But if you want to freeze the melon just to keep it from spoiling, without knowing how you’re going to use it, pre-freeze the chunks. You’ll be glad you did when you’re ready to use it.
How long can melon be frozen?
There is no clear answer to that question, but I suggest using it within 3 months of freezing for good quality.
Like any other frozen food, melon gradually loses quality, so the sooner you get it, the better.
Obviously, it will never go bad in the freezer, so if yours is already half a year old, it should be pretty good and definitely safe to use.
Can you freeze melon puree?
Of course. While the default method (chunks) works well for all uses, you can freeze pureed fruit if you know you’ll need it at some point.
If you do, skip the pre-freeze step. This way, all you need to do is transfer the puree to an airtight container and place it in the freezer.
Last but not least, you can easily puree thawed melon if needed. That means you don’t have to decide yet if you need to process it or not.
Can grated melon be frozen?
Yes. If your recipe calls for grated melon, I suggest you take care of that before freezing. Grating a firm fruit is much easier than working with frozen or thawed soft chunks.
If you freeze your grated melon and aren’t sure how much you’ll need for a recipe, I suggest pre-freezing it in tablespoon-sized portions. That allows you to grab everything you need without defrosting the entire bag.
How to defrost melon
If you need to thaw the melon, use an airtight container or resealable bag and thaw the fruit overnight in the refrigerator. Please note that there will be some water in the bag or container after thawing.
In most cases, you can just drain that water and use the fruit. But as I’ve already pointed out, in some recipes, that little bit of extra water can be crucial to getting the consistency you want (fix shortbread dough that’s too dry, for example).
So if the texture of what you’re whisking is difficult to achieve, set the water aside in case it’s needed. Or just add a teaspoon or two of water to make up the loss.
Try to use thawed melon within 1-2 days. And refrigerate leftovers you don’t use right away.
Related: How to store melon?
Now the good news is that it is not always necessary to thaw frozen melon. In some cases, you can throw it right out of the freezer and all should be fine.
(Or frozen fruit is what’s required for the recipe to work, as is the case with sherbet.)
Ways to use frozen melon
There are numerous ways to use frozen melon. These are some of the most popular:
- Make a straw. Here is a simple recipe that is worth trying.
- Make a smoothie. If your blender can handle ice cubes, you can even skip thawing the fruit and throw it out frozen. Or even replace your ice cubes with frozen melon chunks.
- Bake some muffins. There are hundreds of muffin recipes out there: Here’s one to get you started
- Throw it frozen in a glass of water for a fruity drink on a sweltering day.
- Bake a quick bread. Here’s what that might look like.
Of course, there are many other options for using frozen melon. Here is yet another recipe that you may find useful. if you like baked goods. This one uses grated cantaloupe, so be sure to grate yours before freezing.