Melon Sorbet

DessertFreezer-friendlyCantaloupeIce Cream

Honeydew and mint, cantaloupe and lime, refreshing melon sorbets. Perfect for summer.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Please welcome Garrett McCord, who came by the other day to make these melon sorbets. So good! Refreshing on a hot summer day. ~Elise

Melons are one of those rare ingredients that are practically perfect as is. While they do take well to being tarted up a bit (maybe a light dusting of salt, few lashings of lemon juice, or some chopped mint), they certainly don’t need to be overdressed.

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No, with melons like cantaloupe and honeydew you want to preserve and highlight their sweet, musky flavors.

This recipe does little more than simply purée and churn these summer fruits into refreshing sorbets bursting with melon flavor.

Melon Sorbet

The cantaloupe sorbet is highlighted with citrus, and the honeydew sorbet is engaged with a simple syrup steeped with fresh mint.

Inexpensive and easy to create, these sorbets are delightful on their own or served with fresh blackberries, and they’re a perfect palate cleansing course for a summer dinner party.

Melon Sorbet Recipe

  • Prep time: 50 minutes
  • Chilling time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Each recipe makes approximately 1 quart.

Muskmelon, Canary melon, or any other type of melon can be used in these recipes. Watermelons may work too, but I haven't tested it with these recipes.


Cantaloupe Sorbet

  • 5 cups of diced cantaloupe (about 2 1/2 - 3 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup of lemon or lime juice
  • Pinch of salt

Honeydew Sorbet

  • 5 cups of diced honeydew (about 2 1/2 - 3 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup of mint leaves, well packed
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons of light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt


1 Prep the melons: Cut the melons open and scoop out the strings and seeds and discard them. Carefully cut off the rind and discard that as well. Cut up each melon and one at a time, purée in a blender or food processor until smooth and soupy. Set each puréed melon aside in a separate bowl.

2 Make simple syrup: Make a simple syrup by placing the sugar, water, and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Heat until the sugar has melted and the mixture has come to boil.

Remove from heat. Add the mint (if using) and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain out the lemon zest (and mint if using).

3 Stir together the simple syrup, citrus juice, corn syrup, salt, and the puréed melon. Chill, covered with plastic wrap. Chill for several hours or overnight.

4 Process in an ice cream machine via the manufacturer's instructions. The sorbet will have a soft texture right out of the ice cream maker. If you would like a firmer consistency, transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and place in a freezer for an hour or two. Once frozen, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes at room temperature to soften before serving.

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How to make ice cream without an ice cream maker - useful tips from David Lebovitz

Garrett McCord

Garrett McCord is a professional writer and recipe developer whose work has appeared in many print and online publications such as Gourmet Live, Saveur, Huffington Post, Smithsonian, and NPR. Past clients also include numerous food companies, wineries, and distilleries. Garrett writes about cocktails on his website, Coupe de Grace.

More from Garrett

11 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. leah

    Very good and really easy to make with an ice crean maker.


  2. Mike

    Update from 8/30

    I made the cantaloupe version, following the recipe to the letter, it was delicious. Next, I decided to make a watermelon/lemon version using Splenda instead of sugar. The flavor was great but there was definitely a difference in texture. The Splenda version was much icier, completely missing was the smoothness of the first batch. Although neither lasted long, the texture of the sugar version was far superior to that of the Splenda version.

    Thanks for your testing and notes, Mike! ~Garrett

  3. Becky

    Made this yesterday, the freshest most wonderful homemade dessert ever! I knew it would harden in the freezer, and my kids just adore italian ice, so I put out our fresh servings then spooned 3oz of the sorbet into 4oz kids cups and froze them. The kids really enjoyed their ‘italian ice’ for dessert yesterday!


  4. Mike

    Could I use Splenda in place of the sugar in this recipe?

    I don’t know. I never use it. Try making it yourself that way, if it works I hope you’ll leave a comment detailing your results. ~Garrett

  5. Russell

    For those against refined sugar, would turbinado sugar work for this application, or would it effect the flavor too much?

    Also, if I were to use honey, I would want to use something that would flavor well with the melon. I’m sure your grocery store variety “clover” honey would work, but I would be willing to bet orange blossom or some other 100% fruit tree variety would be incredible.

    Another idea would be to substitute part of the melon with some English cucumber.

    I would stick to the recipe as listed to be honest as anything else will change the flavor. Turbinado has a deeper flavor that might eclipse the melon a bit. I like the cucumber idea, though. ~Garrett

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