Watermelon Granita Recipe

Watermelon granita

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Freeze Time: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 10 mins
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
611 Calories
2g Fat
164g Carbs
7g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 611
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 15mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 164g 59%
Dietary Fiber 11g 40%
Total Sugars 127g
Protein 7g
Vitamin C 152mg 762%
Calcium 153mg 12%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 1303mg 28%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bursting with sweet watermelon and bright, tangy lime, this granita is a cool, refreshing dessert that requires no ice cream machine or churning. With only three ingredients, it's an easy treat to whip up in the summer heat.

Granita is a simple Italian dessert, originating from Sicily. It's made with sugar, water, and some kind of fruit. You'll love this dessert if you like sorbet or Italian ice. It's very similar to both of those treats but has more texture. The unique way it's created makes it seem like you are eating frozen fruity crystals.

We garnished it with fresh basil for a little herbaceous pop, or you can garnish with lime zest, or just serve it straight up. The watermelon granita also makes a great base for frosty cocktails. After grating the granita and adding it to your glass, pour on a shot of rum, tequila, or vodka for a thirst-quenching adult beverage.

"Granita is one of my favorite summer treats! This recipe is so simple and in the end you get a refreshing delicious treat that can be used on any of your favorite fruits." —Kiana Rollins

Watermelon Granita/Kiana Rollins
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 6 cups cubed watermelon

  • 3 medium limes, zested and juiced

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • Basil leaves, for garnish, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients to make watermelon granita

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Combine the watermelon, lime juice, and sugar in a blender. 

    Watermelon, lime juice, and sugar in a blender

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Blend on a high setting until completely pureed.

    Pureed watermelon mixture in a blender

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl. Pour the puree through the sieve. You might need to do this in batches so it doesn’t overflow. Push the puree through the sieve using the back of a large spoon. Discard the pulp.

    A sieve straining the watermelon mixture over a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Pour the watermelon juice into a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish and place it in a freezer. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours or until solid. 

    Watermelon mixture in a large casserole dish

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Use a fork to scrape the granita into fine crystals.

    Two forks scraping the frozen watermelon mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Serve the granita in little bowls with lime zest or basil leaves for garnish, if desired. 

    Servings of watermelon granite with lime wedges

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack


  • You can skip the straining step to make this even easier. As long as the seeds weren’t large or hard, the granita will still have a great texture.
  • If the watermelon is very sweet, you may not need to add as much sugar. Just taste the watermelon before you start and adjust the sugar accordingly.
  • You can scrape the granita in batches. Pull it out of the freezer after an hour or so and scrape the top. Place it back in the freezer and do it again after another hour or so and repeat until it is completely broken up.

Recipe Variations

  • Spicy Watermelon Granita: Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder to the puree.
  • Berry Watermelon Granita: Add a cup of raspberries or strawberries to the blender before straining.
  • Watermelon Cucumber Granita: Add half of a chopped English cucumber to the blender before pureeing. Make sure to strain thoroughly if you are trying out this concoction. 
  • Boozy Rose Watermelon Granita: Add two cups of your favorite rose wine to the juice before you freeze. Add in a little more sugar if you want it sweet as the rose will cut down on some of the sweetness.