Who wants watermelon? Raise your hand! In the summer (or whenever you want to cool down completely), this fresh and fabulous watermelon gelato from Dreena’s Kind Kitchen will totally win you over with its bright color and creamy consistency.
We think you’ll totally fall in love with the simplicity of the ingredients and instructions––just cut, freeze, and blend––that’s all! If you remember to prepare your fruit ahead of time, you’ll be able to savor the sweetness of this wonderful watermelon gelato recipe even sooner.
Why You Need to Make This Fantastic Frozen Dessert
If you’re not already drooling over the photos for this fantastic frozen food recipe, we can give you at least five more reasons to give this a try today. Ready?
Cool and refreshing
Full of nutritious fruit
Smooth and silky texture
Easy to make
(Bonus!) Gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, vegan (and vegetarian), and raw
Absolutely, no-doubt-about-it delicious!
Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, this section will be a cinch! Who can resist a dessert that can be boldly blended and into a bowl within minutes? So exciting!
Watermelon – low calorie, high water content, full of vitamins and minerals (vitamins A and C, cucurbitacin E, potassium, magnesium, lycopene, and caroteniods).
Banana – rich in fiber, antioxidants, and packed with vitamins and minerals such as potassium, B6, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
Agave Nectar – Agave nectar has a honey-like consistency and is delicious in ice cream and sorbet recipes. However you can use any liquid sweetener you’d like (maple syrup, coconut nectar, date syrup, simple syrup, etc.). If you’d prefer a refined sugar free dessert, you can omit the sweetener altogether.
How to Serve Up Your Watermelon Gelato
This watermelon gelato recipe is simple and sumptuous, but also super versatile with three solitary ingredients. You might be wondering what changes you can make or tips that you can use to take this recipe to the next level. Luckily, we’re happy to share!
Full Fruit Fusion – Instead of using only watermelon, swap out 1-2 cups of watermelon cubes with the same amount of raspberries or strawberries. Berry-licious!
Satisfy My Sweet Tooth – If the sweetness of the fruit is not enough for you (or if your fruit wasn’t quite ripe), feel free to add a tablespoon or so of liquid sweetener, such as coconut nectar, agave nectar, maple syrup, or whatever you wish.
Please Plan Ahead – Because the fruit needs to be cut and frozen completely before blending, it’s a good idea to do this the night before your timed treat. Even the morning of would work, if you’re not intending to enjoy until the evening.
Spoon It Up ASAP – This recipe is meant to be eaten immediately, so be sure to make this recipe right when you’re ready to dig in. You can place the watermelon gelato in the freezer for an hour or so but, once thawed, might have a bit more of a weak, watery texture instead of a suitable solid.
Equipment You’ll Need
All you need are a few usual kitchen items to measure out, cut, and freeze your fruit. After the fruit is frozen, a quick blend or process is the only step you need before enjoying your delightful and refreshing dessert.
1cupsliced fresh or frozen overripe banana, see note
½–1tablespoonagave nectar or other liquid sweetener, optional
Put the watermelon and banana in a food processor or high-powered blender.
Pulse to mince the frozen fruit into slivers or small pieces, then puree until smooth, scraping down the processor once or twice. Don’t add any liquid to the puree! The watermelon is already so water-dense. Let the processor do its thing.
Taste, and if you’d like it a little sweeter, add the sweetener as desired.
Serve or transfer to the freezer for an hour or more for a firmer set gelato (see serving tip).
Watermelon Note: Cube the watermelon and spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to freeze. This will need to be done a day in advance (or longer) before making the gelato. Freezing the watermelon on the parchment rather than a container or bag keeps the watermelon chunks separate, making it easier to break up in the processor. After it’s frozen, then you can transfer the cubed watermelon to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container until ready to make the recipe.
Banana Note: If you don’t have a frozen banana, you can use fresh, since the bulk of the fruit (watermelon) is frozen in the recipe. When freezing bananas, don’t freeze in the peel! It is very hard to peel after freezing. Just peel and slice up your overripe bananas, then pop them into a container or resealable plastic bag and freeze so they are always at the ready. Don’t like bananas? Their flavor isn’t pronounced here, and they do help make the gelato a little creamier. If you really want to omit it, you can; the finished texture will be a little grittier.
Serving Tip: This gelato is best enjoyed immediately, or after setting in the freezer for just an hour or so. If the gelato freezes longer, it will need to thaw slightly, and then the texture becomes a little watery.
Idea: Want some flavor variations? Replace 1–2 cups of the watermelon cubes with 1–2 cups of frozen raspberries or strawberries!
If you try this Watermelon Gelato recipe, let us know what you think by leaving a comment and rating below! Be sure to follow along on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for even more vegan recipe inspiration.
Although this recipe is best served right on the spot, you can also freeze any leftovers in a freezer safe, covered container. It should last for a month, if stored properly. To thaw, place the gelato out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Another alternative is to pour any leftovers into ice cube trays and freeze. You can pop them out and add them to smoothies, beverages, or even include a wooden stick in the center to enjoy as a popsicle!
Frequently Asked Questions
With just a few kitchen tools needed and even less ingredients, you might not think there would be many questions about making this recipe. But, all of us here at World of Vegan love to go the extra mile and encourage you all we can. Here are a couple of quick questions that may be on your mind:
What if I’m allergic to watermelon? No worries! Because watermelon is high in water and sweetness, you need a fruit that has similar properties. Here are the best fruit choices when swapping out the watermelon: guava, dragon fruit, pear, honeydew or cantaloupe, strawberries, or pineapple.
I really dislike bananas. What can I use instead? If you aren’t fond of bananas, you can always replace the amount of bananas for mangos, which give a similar creamy, sweet flavor and texture.
My teeth are very sensitive to frozen foods. Can I still enjoy this recipe? Yes, you can! Our suggestion is to freeze your watermelon gelato a little longer than necessary––maybe 2-3 hours––and then let it thaw at room temperature for 15 or more minutes. When it’s liquid enough, you can use a smoothie straw to slurp it up. No need to make your teeth tingle or cause dessert discomfort.
About the Author
Dreena Burton, author of the popular Plant-Powered Families cookbook, has created a collection of 100 tried-and-true and tasteful recipes for your kind-hearted kitchen. These whole food, wholesome recipes can be enjoyed any day of the week and focus on healthy food choices, along with a solid foundation of flavor. Her newest cookbook, Dreena’s Kind Kitchen, is full of simple, delicious recipes, cooking guides, charts, and the fundamentals of eating kindly.
We want to thank our amazing recipe tester, Annie Sparks, for helping us perfect this recipe!
This vegan Watermelon Gelato recipe was reprinted with permission from the Dreena’s Kind Kitchen by Dreena Burton (BenBella Books, Inc., 2021). Food photography by Angela MacNeil Photography and lifestyle photos by Sarah Amaral. Article written by Gina House and edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this post includes affiliate links when available which supports our work at World of Vegan.
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