Watermelon ice is the perfect treat for hot summer days. And it requires very little prep, no bowls, and just a microplane grater. Freeze large chunks of watermelon until solid then grate the fruit into serving bowls and enjoy with all kinds of toppings and sauces. 

Easy Watermelon Ice

There’s a new frozen fruit trend going around the internet where you freeze whole fruits and grate them to make fruit ice. And it’s genius! It’s much easier than making a granita-like ice where you have to scrape the mixture with a fork every hour so it freezes—but doesn’t freeze solid. 

It’s one of those things I would love to make, but don’t have the patience to do so. Which is why this watermelon ice has been such a hit in our house lately. All you need is a microplane and a chunk of frozen watermelon and you’re seconds away from a delicious watermelon ice.  

Shaved watermelon ice in a glass green bowl topped with fresh basil. Gold spoon spooning up some of the ice and cream of coconut.

What You’ll Need

  • Watermelon: a medium seedless watermelon will get you many servings!
  • Microplane: also sold as a grater. You’ll need a grater that has tiny holes, do not use a large-hole box grater. You can also use a rotary grater if you’ve got it. 
  • Optional toppings and sauces: my favorite combo is cream of coconut (like sweetened condensed coconut milk), basil and a touch of flaky sea salt

How to Make

  1. Cut the watermelon into large chunks. I like to cut each piece to be large enough for one serving. No need to remove the rind—keeping it on makes it easier to hold and grate. 
Frozen watermelon on a baking sheet with a microplane set on the edge of the sheet pan.
  1. Freeze the watermelon by placing the watermelon on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freezing until solid. This will take about 4 hours. 
  2. Chill your serving bowls in the freezer for a few minutes before serving, this will keep the ice from melting immediately. 
  3. Spread a spoonful of cream of coconut in the bottom of each bowl. 
Dollop of coconut cream in the bottom on a chilled glass bowl.
  1. Using a microplane, grate a frozen watermelon chunk into each bowl. The cold watermelon is hard to hold for long so either wrap the end in paper towels or use clean kitchen gloves to help with the cold. 
  2. Top with fresh basil and a dash of flaky sea salt. Eat immediately! 

Variations and Serving Suggestions 

  • Any fruit can be frozen and grated, so explore other fruits like peach, orange, strawberry and cantaloupe. 
  • Top with toasted coconut for even more flavor or skip the cream of coconut altogether and use Greek yogurt. 
  • Sweetened condensed milk is a great substitute for the cream of coconut. Top with a bit of lime and a dash of Tajín. 
  • Spread a bit of vanilla ice cream in the bottom of the bowl before topping with the shaved ice for a creamsicle vibe. 
Shaved watermelon ice in a glass green bowl topped with fresh basil. Gold spoon set off to the side.

FAQs

What is a microplane?

A microphone is a very fine grater often used to grate parmesan, zest citrus or grate nutmeg. 

How do I keep the ice from melting right away?

Chill your serving bowls for a few minutes in the freezer before grating the watermelon into them. This will keep the ice from melting right away. You can also serve the ice in small styrofoam cups.

Can I use this method for other fruits?

Absolutely, it would be great for peaches, cantaloupe, strawberries and oranges (peeled).

Watermelon Ice Recipe

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Freezing Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Category Dessert
Cuisine Amercican

Description

An easy recipe for shaved Watermelon Ice. Simply freeze ripe watermelon then grate into a bowl with any number of toppings and sauces.

Ingredients

  • 1 small watermelon, cut into large chunks
  • Cream of coconut, optional
  • Basil, optional
  • Flaky salt, optional

Instructions

  • Cut watermelon into large chunks (large enough for each to be 1 serving) I like to cut each piece to be large enough for one serving. No need to remove rind—keeping it on makes it easier to hold and grate.
  • Arrange watermelon in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.
  • Chill serving bowls in freezer for a few minutes before serving, this will keep ice from melting immediately.
  • Spread a tablespoon of cream of coconut in bottom of each bowl (if using).
  • Using a microplane, grate a frozen watermelon chunk into each bowl.
  • Top with fresh basil and a dash of flaky sea salt. Eat immediately!

Notes

Grating watermelon: The cold watermelon is hard to hold for long, so either wrap the end in paper towels or use clean kitchen gloves to help with the cold.
If you have a rotary grater, that will make easy work of grating the watermelon. Just don’t use a large-hole grater. You need a small fine grater. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4.5gSodium: 20mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 25g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Shaved watermelon ice in a glass green bowl topped with fresh basil. Gold spoon set off to the side.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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