This creamy, easy watermelon ice cream can be whipped up in a matter of minutes from frozen watermelon chunks. It’s a refreshing, no-guilt treat that is paleo, dairy-free, and vegan.
A couple of years ago, I showed you my favorite method for making an easy watermelon sorbet without an ice cream maker using a food processor.
One day, I had decided to freeze some excess watermelon chunks that I didn’t think I’d eat before they soured. Rather than eat them as-is, I decided to try something different and process them into a sorbet. Made with only watermelon and a touch of lime juice, it was surprisingly delicious!
I loved the outcome so much, that I made it over and over again. One day, though, I decided to experiment. Rather than use lime juice as the liquid to help process the fruit, I added coconut milk instead! The result was a smooth, creamy watermelon ice cream.
I wasn’t sure whether to call it ice cream or sherbet, but no matter what you call it, it’s the perfect sweet treat for these hot summer days!
This recipe is another simple one and uses only watermelon and coconut milk.
This is a great place to use your homemade coconut milk, but you can also use store-bought. For an even creamier dessert, you could use coconut cream instead.
If you don’t like coconut milk, you can use another dairy-free milk like almond milk. Or, if you aren’t avoiding dairy, feel free to choose whole milk or cream.
Just like my other easy frozen treats, this can be whipped up in less than 5 minutes once you have your frozen watermelon chunks.
First, prepare the watermelon by curing it into small chunks. Remove the outer rind and any large, black seeds.
Once you have the watermelon chunks ready, place them in the freezer for several hours. It’s best to spread them out so that they don’t all freeze together into one big block. To obtain the perfect consistency of ice cream, the watermelon chunks should be frozen solid.
Add the watermelon chunks to a food processor with half of the coconut milk. Process the mixture until smooth, adding in the rest of the coconut milk, as needed, to help the process go more smoothly, and to make a creamier watermelon ice cream.
Scoop the watermelon ice cream into bowls for serving immediately. If your ice cream is on the soft side, and you want to solidify it more, place the finished ice cream in the freezer until you are happy with the consistency. (Stir occasionally to keep ice crystals from forming and to help it freeze uniformly.
Ideally, this is best made right before serving. As long as you use a powerful food processor and process the watermelon cubes immediately upon taking them out of the freezer, the watermelon ice cream should be solid enough to scoop and hold its shape immediately.
If you want the ice cream to have a more solid consistency, place it in the freezer for a little while to solidify it more.
Because this is natural ice cream, without any gums or other agents to keep it soft and scoopable, freezing it too long will turn the ice cream into a solid block of ice. That’s why it’s best to serve right after making it. (Luckily, you can make it quickly last-minute.)
If you have some ice cream leftover and want to save it for another day, consider freezing it in ice cube trays and re-processing the ice cream before serving.
Another option is to take it out of the freezer for a while before serving it. I find that moving the ice cream from the freezer to the fridge for a few hours results in the perfect texture. If you’re in a hurry, though, you can leave it out on the counter for a little while before serving it. Just make sure to stir it occasionally so it doesn’t melt on the outside while staying frozen in the center.
Similar frozen treats
Since then, I have made many types of quick and easy, fruity icy treats. Some have a creamier texture like ice cream, and others are icier like sorbets, and I’ve loved pretty much all of them so far.
Another creamy, easy treat for pineapple lovers is my 5-minute pineapple ice cream. The recipe is surprisingly creamy and refreshing and will transport you to a tropical paradise.
Quick and Easy Pineapple Ice Cream
If you’re on a low-carb or keto diet, you can also try my easy mojito sorbet. Since it’s made without any added sugar, not even fruit like these other recipes, you could even eat it while on the candida or keto diet.
5-Minute Refreshing Mojito Sorbet
5 Minute, Easy Watermelon Ice Cream (Paleo, Dairy Free, Vegan)
- 1/4 watermelon small, round
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
Prepare the watermelon
- Cut watermelon into small chunks, removing both the outer rind and black seeds (if there are any).
- Freeze the watermelon chunks for at least 4-5 hours, until fully frozen.
Making the ice cream
- Add the watermelon chunks to a food processor with half of the coconut milk. Process the mixture until smooth, adding in the rest of the coconut milk, as needed, to help the process go more smoothly, and to make a creamier watermelon ice cream.
- Scoop the watermelon ice cream into bowls for serving immediately. If you want to make a more solid ice cream, store in the freezer for more time, as needed.
I have a huge watermelon that im looking to process because it is not sweet at all, that’s how I got here. My question is, how do the seeds work? Do I need to take them all out, even the small white ones? (which I dread lol) Thank you for any input.
Tracy Ariza, DDS
I haven’t taken the white seeds out. They all get blended up anyway. 😉
Have you ever tried to substitute almond milk for the coconut milk?
Tracy Ariza, DDS
While I haven’t personally done it, I would imagine that it would be just as delicious.
Do not do it. It needs the fats that the coconut has. Almond milk is not fatty.
It is a very good recipe , tried and tasted. Super quick , I used milkmaid instead of coconut milk to adjust in lockdown still it gave fabulous results. Thanks very much for sharing such a nice and delicious recipe for a desert.
Tracy Ariza, DDS
Thank you so much! I’m happy you enjoyed it as much as I did.
I have a giant watermelon and would like to make this do you have the approximate amount in cups of how much watermelon you used?
Sorry for the delay in my response. I saw your question while on my phone, and was going to look up an accurate amount when I got home.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it’s really difficult to judge the volume in something like this because it depends so much on how you either cube or cut up your watermelon. My best guess would probably have to be somewhere around 2-3 cups.
All of that said, in the end it doesn’t really make much of a difference. I’d suggest that you add a splash of coconut milk and begin blending. You can then judge by the appearance if you feel like you’ll need more. I usually don’t measure and just add a few splashes of coconut milk and blend until I’m happy with the flavor and appearance. These sorts of recipes are very forgiving and easy to adapt to suit your taste.
I hope that helps!
These instructions are so easy to follow. Thankyou for this recipe.
You’re welcome, Anlet!
I hope you enjoy the recipe. 🙂
I made this ice cream few times and my kids adore it. Thank you for sharing.
I’m so happy to hear that they enjoyed it!
Thanks so much for letting me know. 🙂
Hi Tracy no sugar is needed
I find it sweet enough without sugar, especially if you use a nice, sweet watermelon. I’m used to eating sweets that are low in sugar, though.
You can definitely add either a bit or maple syrup or a touch of a simple sugar syrup if you’d prefer a sweeter dessert. You can also add some stevia. It’s all about adapting it to your diet, needs, and personal taste. 🙂
I made this for a Saturday night treat and it was delicious. I added two teaspoons of Stevia to mine. My husband enjoyed it too! Thank you for this simply easy great recipe. I can’t wait to try other fruits.
Thanks so much for your comment!
I’m so happy you enjoyed it. 🙂
Pineapple sorbet/ice cream is maybe my favorite. Give it a try! 😉
I made this last week and it was lovely.
Thanks so much for your comment!
I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
What kind of coconut milk do you use? (sweetened, unsweetened?)
Tracy Ariza, DDS
I normally use unsweetened. I sometimes make my own coconut milk, and sometimes use store-bought. In this recipe, either works well.