This Watermelon Granita recipe has just three ingredients and is an ultra-delicious and simple way to cool off and refresh. With only 5 minutes of hands-on prep time, it’s a simple dish that you can whip together and have ready to go for hot summer days ahead.
Nothing screams summer more than refreshing icy snacks! Popsicles, ice cream, and other frozen treats are all the rage on warm summer days, no matter your age. But, have you ever tried granita? More exciting than water ice and less creamy than ice cream, granita is like shaved ice, but with a twist.
And, with only 3 ingredients, watermelon scraped ice is an easy peasy dish that takes everything you love about summer and freezes it up into a delightful cooling treat. It’s basically the most satisfying way to eat watermelon!
What is a granita?
First thing’s first… what even is a granita? Well, it depends. As with all good things, it comes from Italy, but even in Italy it can vary greatly from one to the next. In some variations you drink it, in others it resembles a course sorbet. The flavors range from almond, coffee, and chocolate to fruity flavors like watermelon and mandarin.
The granitas we’re making today fall somewhere between slushies and sorbets on the texture scale. Our ultra haute method of making these (literally just scraping and stirring away at it) produces light flakes of crystalline watermelon.
Essentially you just get yourself some watermelon, puree it into a thin liquid, add sugar and lime, and then pour it into a baking dish and freeze it. You’ll want to use the widest dish you have to allow the mixture to freeze quick and evenly. This should also (optimally) be a glass or ceramic dish, which won’t scratch as you scrape away at the granita.
Ingredients in watermelon granitas
3 ingredient desserts are the bomb, which means this watermelon treat is even better than you could’ve imagined. After all, we don’t want to wash away the ripe watermelon flavor by adding too many different ingredients! By keeping things simple, we’re able to capitalize on the flavor watermelon offers while enhancing it a smidgen by adding sweet and tangy twists.
- Watermelon: This recipe starts with ½ of a medium seedless watermelon. Of course, you can double the recipe by using the whole berry if you’d like! (Yes, watermelon is a berry. Who knew?!)
- Lime Juice: To add a bit of tang and zest, we will use a dash of fresh lime juice!
- Sugar: Finally, we gotta add some sweetness! Watermelons are tasty as they come, but a little extra sugar helps the flavors to pop when frozen. You can substitute the sugar for a sugar alternative (like Stevia or Splenda), or go with a liquid sweetener like honey, maple, or agave.
Optionally, you can take your dessert one step further and make grown up granitas! Add ½ cup of vodka along with the lime and sugar. This version will be a bit more slushy, as the vodka won’t freeze solid.
How to make watermelon shaved ice
Shaved watermelon granita is made exactly how you’d suspect. You mix, freeze, and scrape! This simple recipe can be broken down into two parts.
Step 1: Blend the ingredients
First, scoop the fruit out of the watermelon. In a blender or food processor, puree the watermelon until it reaches a thin, even consistency. You should have about 6 cups of watermelon juice. If you have seeds in your watermelon, strain them out at this point with a mesh colander. Then, stir in the lime juice and sugar.
Step 2: Freeze everything
Pour the mixed ingredients into a large baking dish and freeze it for 4 to 6 hours. Throughout freezing, remove it from the freezer and scrape at the frozen sides and the top. Place back in the freezer. Repeat this process of freezing and scraping every few hours, until the mixture is completely frozen and scraped.
As for storage, keep the scraped granitas in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to enjoy!
More frozen watermelon desserts to try
This summer has been a hot one, so here are some more tasty watermelon recipes that you can use to refresh and recharge. There’s nothing better than something cool and fruity to make the scorching heat a bit more bearable!
- ½ medium seedless watermelon
- 1 Tbsp lime juice about ½ lime, 15 mL
- ¼ cup sugar
- Blend: Scoop the fruit out of the watermelon. In a blender or food processor, puree watermelon until it reaches a thin, even consistency. You should have about 6 cups of watermelon juice. If you have seeds in your watermelon, strain them out with a mesh colander. Stir in lime juice and sugar.
- Freeze: Pour into a large baking dish and freeze for about 2 hours. Remove and scrape at frozen sides and top. Place back in freezer. Repeat this process of freezing and scraping, every few hours, until mixture is completely frozen and scraped.
Tips & Tricks
- Store granitas in the freezer in an airtight container.
- Make it a grown up granita! Add ½ cup of vodka when you add the lime and sugar. This version will be a bit more slushy, as the vodka will not freeze solid.