Easy Watermelon Granita

published Jul 14, 2022
Watermelon Granita Recipe

Any icy-cold refreshing treat on a hot summer day.

Serves4

Makesabout 4 cups

Prep5 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Photograph of watermelon granita in a glass cup with lime slice.
Credit: Kelli Foster

I’m always enticed by brightly colored watermelons — especially in the middle of summer, when they’re stacked high at the grocery store. But many times I’m disappointed when they’re not as sweet or crisp as a perfectly ripe watermelon should be. This ho-hum watermelon does not need to go to waste, though. With the addition of just three ingredients, you can turn any watermelon (whether it’s mediocre or amazing) into a sweet, refreshing, icy-cold vegan treat: granita.

What Does a Granita Taste Like?

A granita is basically juice or liquid that’s frozen and scraped into fluffy, slush-like pieces with a fork. It’s usually intensely flavored and really refreshing. You can serve it as a dessert or palate cleanser between courses. 

Credit: Kelli Foster

What Is the Difference Between a Sorbet and a Granita?

A sorbet is churned like ice cream in an ice cream maker so it has a smooth, scoopable texture. Granita is more like a coarse shaved ice, with flakes that aren’t compacted together.

How Long Does Granita Last in the Freezer?

Granita can last in the freezer for up to one month. To re-fluff, just scrape the granita again with a fork before serving. If the granita melts and starts to get too chunky, don’t worry! Just let it completely melt again in a baking dish and repeat the freezing and scraping process.

To slow down the melting, freeze the bowls or glasses you’ll be serving the granita in for 10 minutes before serving. For a refreshing easy cocktail, pour some vodka or gin into a glass of watermelon granita!

Watermelon Granita Recipe

Any icy-cold refreshing treat on a hot summer day.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes about 4 cups

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds

    seedless watermelon (about 2/3 mini), or 1 1/4 pounds cut watermelon

  • 1

    medium lime

  • 1/3 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Make sure you have enough room in the freezer for a 9x13-inch baking dish or similar-sized food container to sit flat.

  2. Trim and cut 2 1/2 pounds seedless watermelon or 1 1/4 pounds cut watermelon into 1-inch cubes until you have 4 cups. Place in a blender.

  3. Finely grate the zest of the lime into the blender. Juice the lime into the blender (about 2 tablespoons). Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed, 25 to 45 seconds.

  4. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into the baking dish or container. Push against the solids to extract more of the liquid and scrape the underside of the strainer. Discard the solids.

  5. Place in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, use a fork to scrape through the frozen parts to break them up. The granita is ready when the mixture is fluffy and slushy-like, with no more liquid at the bottom, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours total freezing time.

  6. If not serving immediately, transfer the granita (a bench scraper works great for this) to an airtight container just large enough to hold it . Freeze for up to 1 month. Scrape with a fork to fluff up and break up any large pieces before serving.