Spicy Cantaloupe Jam

Spicy Cantaloupe Jam

This sweet and spicy jam is the perfect addition to your cheese board.

Makes2 cups

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Credit: Shelly Westerhausen Worcel

You only need four ingredients to make this sweet and spicy jam, which is the perfect addition to any summer cheese board. The cooking time will vary because not all melons have the exact same water content, so make sure you start checking to see if it’s set at 25 minutes, and then again every 3 or so minutes after that. I’m also a total wimp when it comes to spice so this recipe is spicy to me, but if you like more heat, feel free to add more red pepper flakes.

Spicy Cantaloupe Jam

This sweet and spicy jam is the perfect addition to your cheese board.

Makes 2 cups

Nutritional Info


  • 5 cups

    diced cantaloupe (1 inch cubes, from 1 large peeled and seeded melon)

  • 1 1/2 cups


  • 1/4 cup

    freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    red pepper flakes


  1. Place the cantaloupe in a medium bowl and toss with the sugar. Let macerate for 30 minutes, tossing the fruit every 10 minutes or so to help encourage the process. Meanwhile, place a small ceramic plate in the freezer.

  2. Pour the melon and all its juices into a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Add the lemon juice and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down slightly to medium-high to maintain a low boil and cook for 25 minutes, stirring often.

  3. After 25 minutes, use a potato masher or the back of a fork to break up any large chunks. Check to see if the jam is set by scooping 1 teaspoon of it onto the ceramic plate from the freezer. Tilt the plate; if the jam slides very slowly and wobbles only slightly, move on to the next step. If it’s still too watery, keep boiling. This could take up to an additional 15 minutes depending on how much water your melon had.

  4. Once set, add the red pepper flakes and stir constantly for 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and let cool. If you’d like it less chunky, use a potato masher to smash some of the remaining chunks. Transfer the jam to a jar, cover, and chill until ready to serve.

  5. Store, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 weeks.

Recipe Notes

Reprinted from Tables & Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel with permission by Chronicle Books, 2021