Love and Olive Oil

Watermelon Jelly

Watermelon Jelly

You might be wondering what happened to the rest of our watermelon surplus. You know, the 1 1/2 watermelons that were left after we made popsicles. Let’s just say they are now jarred and jiggly versions of their former selves.

Maybe it’s the fact that I missed the majority of the canning season this year. But as the summer dwindled I was prepared to stick just about anything in a jar. And watermelon just happened to be one of those things.

Apparently it’s not that common, because I couldn’t really find a tested recipe for it. So I improvised, using a basic recipe for mint jelly on the pectin pack (I figured watermelon juice couldn’t be any different than minty water, and substituting it would be fine).

So I now I have all these little jars of sunset-colored jelly. And no clue what to do with it. Since it is such an unusual preserve, I’m stumped. What would YOU do with it? Most creative idea just might win a jar from me.

Watermelon Jelly

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2 cups watermelon juice (from about 1 small or 1/2 large watermelon)
3 tablespoons fresh or bottle lemon juice
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 pouch Certo liquid pectin


To make watermelon juice, roughly chop watermelon. You’ll need about 6 cups of chopped melon to produce about two cups of juice. Run melon through a food mill (if you have one), or crush and then strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any seeds or pulp.

Prepare canner and wash/sterilize 8 4-ounce canning jars. Keep jars in hot (not boiling) water until ready to use.

Combine watermelon juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a 6 to 8-quart nonreactive saucepan. Bring to a full roiling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) over high heat, stirring constantly.

Quickly stir in pectin. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.

Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving 1/4-inch of headspace. Wipe the rims clean and top with lid; screw on ring until finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath for 7 minutes. Remove from water and let cool completely, 12 to 24 hours. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and used within 1 month.

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  1. It’s a southern thing. We eat it on biscuits.  Yum!

  2. I would poor over cream cheese and add candied jalapeños.  Sweet and spicy.  Might have to make some this summer!

  3. I made this a couple of nights ago. The set is not as gelled as i like, so I’m going to see if it sets within a week. If not, i may just keep it for watermelon mojitos or margaritas. I may recook it with more pectin, but that is pretty unlikely.  Next time, i will use powdered pectin. It does taste good!

  4. This sounds awesome!! I made a couple batches of blackberry jelly  this summer so now I’ve got the bug :) cant wait to try it out :)

  5. Add a little bit of spice and use it as a spread on a pannini…maybe some chipotle. A sandwich with maybe turkey and ham with melted cheese.

  6. This recipe failed twice now. I think you may have left something out. I’m very disappointed. :-(

    • How so? Did it just not set up? The recipe is written as I recall and doesn’t seem to be missing anything, but I will say I’ve had issues myself with liquid pectin lately. I don’t know if they changed the formula or what but it hasn’t been setting nearly as well as powdered pectin. If I were to make this again I’d probably try to use that instead (of course, the recipe process would need to be modified, but the overall ingredients and things should stay the same).

  7. Actually, we had it all the time growing up because I lived very near some of the best melon-growing ground in the USA. We used it as a jelly just like any other. Toast mostly, but also on waffles and pancakes, cup cake filling, My grandma has an amazing cheese cake recipe and she would make a special mint cheesecake served with watermelon jelly sauce, instead of a strawberry or blueberry sauce.

  8. This definitely looks enticing!
    Have you tried it yet? How does it taste? Watermelon is quite a faint flavour when mixed into frozen yogurt or ice cream… so I’m wondering if it’s got much flavour or if it’s more of a sugary taste?

  9. I liked love and olive oil on facebook. Would love to win the cookbook.

  10. I know this was posted a while ago but I can’t wait to try this this summer. I think it would be amazing with just simply some thick creamy greek yogurt.

  11. The one time I tried to make preserves out of watermelon it smelled like squash while it cooked and we didn’t have the stomach to try it :-(

    Do you think filtering it so it is only the juice makes a flavor difference?

    As to what to do with it, it would probably be a good base for a salad dressing, a topping for icecream, a mix-in for plain yogurt, etc.

  12. I’m not a great cook and a very new reader who didn’t bother to read the other comments but I’d love to get watermelon jelly in a gift basket with a loaf of bread….something dense and wonderful. Or, just a jar…we love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at this house.

  13. When I was growing up my Grandmother used to make water melon jelly for us. We absolutely loved it on hot fresh sour dough toast! My daughters who are now 15, were able to enjoy this sweet treat with me and my husband when they were young. They remember going to Great Grandmothers home and when we would enter her home they would hug and squeeze her legs and beg for water melon jelly! Their father would run into the kitchen and fix them all a piece of sour dough toast and watermelon jelly. It was such a sweet memory. It has been 10 years now, Steven (their father) passed away from renal failure. Gone are those days. Taylor has been asking for some watermelon jelly for a couple of years and I thought that it would be easier to find than this but I have not found any yet. To hear the stories of each of your comments, has been an awesome blessing and a great reminder of why Taylor is probably remembering watermelon jelly so fondly! LOL! So I now have hope! It is not a dream that I dreamed of, it is real and I will still be looking so if you hear of anyone that makes and sells this jelly, please send me a web address. This brings back memories of the good things of my childhood and those moments that we shared with their father before he passed away. Thank you for a sweet reminder!

  14. I love watermelon, will definitely try this next summer!

  15. I will definitely be saving this recipe to use next summer. I think the watermelon jelly would make a great glaze on a fresh fruit tart.

  16. Pretty pretty!!

  17. I have no idea what to do with watermelon jelly and don’t need to be included in the contest. I love everyone’s ideas, though!

  18. Hi Lindsay, so glad to discover your beautiful site and the gorgeous photography. Your jars of home-made jelly looks wholesome and refreshing, perfect for the tropical weather in Singapore.

  19. I love watermelon and bet this jelly is amazing! There are some great suggestions above, but my first thought would be peanut butter and jelly. Simple and delicious. You could also use it to glaze berries for the top of a tart.

  20. I think this would be excellent included into a basket for Christmas for your friends or family where you theme the basket
    ” Picnic in December” or ” Summertime Remembered” with jars or colorful bags of seasonings for bbq or buffalo wings..
    ingredients to make homemade ice cream…homemade hot dog or hamburger rolls…your watermelon jelly…perhaps
    garnished with fresh produce like grapes, bananas…even including Grilling Tools …decorated with artifcial flowers that
    remind us of summer like sunflowers or daisies or daffodils. Mine would be lined with dish towels and pot holders with
    bright red cherries. The basket would exude ” summertime”…..( wink). ( of course..if you were rolling in money at Christmas ~ could~ put it all on top of an indoor Hibachi…)

    ok.. maybe you didn’t buy that one..but I spend every Christmas coming up with my next unique THEME for my Christmas
    baskets. I do NOT buy gifts for people I cook and put together amazing collections of things for them to eat
    on for a week.. long after the sox and gloves get put away after Christmas morning.

    Last year I made ” Mexican Baskets” .. which included homemade salsa.. maracas ( sp)..note pads that looked like
    hot peppers..hand made dish towels and pot holders made from hot pepper fabric..sombreros..garnished with long green
    Anaheim Chili Peppers..jars of ” Chili with Bean Soup”…and of course my usual homemade breads..cookies…candy..with
    a sprinkling of colorful hershey kisses and candy canes to make it look like it is brimming over.

    Okay.. YOU ASKED for it.. so I told you what ” I would do with it” ..

  21. definately in keeping with the easy breezy summer thing, i would make some watermelon jelly and brie or montery jack quesadillas on the grill…..goodbye summer….we will miss you……

    • Ok Vikie! I think you win! :) Planning on making some watermelon jelly, mozarella, and feta quesadillas this week! Email me your address, pretty please!!

  22. Tavern has a cocktail that has a spoonful of preserves in it, in a glass of vodka with ice. I bet a swirl of this jelly in it would be delicious!

  23. Envision with me: home made English muffins, toasted (but not too toasty), with cream cheese and watermelon jelly. A little bit of sweet and a little bit of salt on top of something as lovely as an English muffin? Sounds good to me.

  24. I think a watermelon flavored custard type pie sounds lovely, but of course I’m betting pb&j would be great with it too!

  25. Oh my, watermelon jelly! I would love to try it on a homemade biscuit with butter and some salty breakfast ham, or even crisp bacon! I just love salty and sweet together – don’t you?

  26. Looks awesome! I’d probably use it in a terrine with some of the last tomatoes I got this season from our CSA pickup.

  27. Wow that’s definitely a unique jelly there (and so pretty!). I’m not really sure what you could do with it, it’s a little hard to say without having some around to taste (hint hint) but maybe it would be good on a sandwich with some funky cheese like feta?

  28. I would pour it over a block of cream cheese and eat a bite at a time on a Wheat Thin. Simple and divine!

  29. Cream Brulle?

  30. My first thought was to use it in pepper jelly,
    Second I would try it in a ham glaze
    Lastly I thought of a custard, now this one sounds iffy but it might be something really new and different.
    OK for real lastly.. in a rum drink it would top off the evening.
    I made watermelon juice last year. Cantaloupe juice too. This year apple cantaloupe juice and syrup.

  31. Pizza!!
    With watermelon jelly, feta cheese and julienned mint :-)

  32. My first thought was a watermelon version of Orange Chicken. Hmm, why hasn’t someone thought of that before, that could be incredible!

  33. I’m just brainstorming, but I’m thinking of a sweet and sour type glaze made from it, some balsamic, and some sriracha or just red pepper flake. I think it’d be good with chicken or lamb, or maybe even fried Brussels sprouts.

  34. When I worked in this little cafe last year, we made amazing homemade cantaloupe preserves. We served it with a prosciutto, havarti cheese, and arugula panini. We sliced the panini into thin strips and served it with the preserves on the side for dipping. This would be fantastic for that!

  35. You could use it as a glaze on tempeh, and serve it with a couscous salad. I think it’d be delicious! I assume this same recipe would work with any melon? I have some melon left from my CSA that needs to be eaten/used very soon.

  36. Roast some pear slices drizzled with honey and sprinkled with nutmeg, while they’re still hot out of the oven spread the cool jelly over the top and enjoy!

    pd I love your blog!

  37. One of the best salads we had this summer had peaches, watermelon, tomatoes and feta so I would make brushetta! Ricotta + feta + mint as the base, watermelon jelly on top of that, and tomatoes on top of that.

  38. I would bake up a round of brie and serve the jelly on top. I’ve done this with pomegranate jelly and with some nice grainy crackers it’s am-az-ing!

  39. Just pinned this too so next year during watermelon season I can remember the recipe. I am soooo in :)

  40. Omg this looks sooo good! I want it!

    My grandma used to make watermelon jelly and with with rinds, she’d make watermelon pickles. Sounds meh…but they are the best pickles ever. So old school. No one has ever even heard of that most of the time.

    if I could get my hands on watermelon right now, I’d be all over that jelly of yours!

    • Oh man, wish I would have known about that sooner. I totally tossed all the rinds from these melons!

      Will note that for next year myself. :)

  41. A friend makes a delicious watermelon and halloumi salad so I wonder if there’s something that could be done along those lines…

  42. I have a few of those kinds of preserves that I made this year and now need to figure out what to do with them. As for as your Watermelon Jelly…how about a reduced glaze for a fruit tart? I am thinking it might be especially good with peaches and plums. I know it’s the wrong time of year for peaches, but I just saw beautiful Italian plums the other day. :)

  43. Girl, if it were me, I’d just smear it all over my face and lick it off.

    But that’s just me.

  44. You could use it as a filling for white cupcakes, topped with a candied mint leaf. A nice light addition to a holiday dessert platter.

  45. It looks just beautiful… I would try it with a sponge cake or cookies. Maybe try making a pretty desserts with layers?

  46. An appetizer perhaps: some chevre, prosciutto on some lightly toasted baguette with a small smear of watermelon jelly? Something akin to the classic prosciutto/melon pairing (but with a bit more sweetness and crunch).

  47. This could make the basis of a good salad dressing–with cucumber, feta, onion on greens & maybe a rice vinegar for the acid.

  48. I love the combination of watermelon, mint, and feta and saw a lot of salads with those ingredients on blogs this summer. I wonder if you could turn it into a winter appetizer by spreading the watermelon jelly on crostini or bread, and topping it with a mint leaf and some crumbled feta!

  49. So pretty! I don’t know why, but my first thought would be to use it as a glaze for grilled chicken, with maybe a feta salad as a side? It’s such a beautiful color, though. I would hate to use it somewhere that you couldn’t see how lovely it is!

  50. My first thought was to use it was a fruit salad dressing. Thin it out with some juice or oil and then toss it with cut apples, banana, oranges etc.

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