This easy watermelon sorbet is the answer to your summer snacktime cravings. It’s made with fresh watermelon, tart lemon and sweeteners in a blender or food processor and takes about 10 minutes to assemble. Use your Cuisinart ice cream maker or try the no-churn method (given) to make this sweet, refreshing watermelon sorbet recipe today.
When it comes to beating the summer heat, watermelon sorbet is the ultimate treat!
Unless you’ve got a crowd, tackling a whole watermelon can seem daunting for just 3-4 people, so if you’re wondering what to do with extra watermelon, I say turn it into this refreshing watermelon dessert!
This watermelon sorbet recipe is the perfect blend of sweet and tangy, with a vibrant color that screams summer.
The sweet fruit and naturally high water content make this frozen watermelon sorbet a refreshing and healthier alternative to traditional summer desserts.
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- It uses a blender or food processor to quickly transform chunks of fruit into a smooth puree.
- Fresh lemon juice adds a tangy quality which makes the sorbet taste like frozen pink lemonade.
- Sugar and a little corn syrup add just the right amount of sweetness without being cloying. Additionally, corn syrup is composed of glucose (granulated sugar isn’t), which attracts moisture and inhibits ice crystal formation.
- It’s optional, but a little vodka added to the watermelon puree will prevent the sorbet from freezing into a solid mass, making it much easier to scoop.
- An ice cream churn makes quick work of this sorbet, but you can also make it without a machine.
- This sorbet will cool you off on the hottest of summer days.
- It’s a perfect snack for the kids.
- The recipe can be doubled or tripled (you may have to freeze it in batches).
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Fresh Watermelon – You need about 4 cups of fresh fruit, so that could be ¼ to ½ of your melon, depending on how large it is.
- Granulated Sugar
- Corn Syrup (I used Karo corn syrup – you can use regular or light – both varieties of Karo syrup are not formulated to contain high fructose corn syrup).
- Lemons (for fresh squeezed lemon juice).
- Vodka (optional) – Adding a small amount of liquor to frozen treats is another failsafe from freezing so solid that the sorbet can’t be scooped. You only need a little if you use it, and it doesn’t make the watermelon dessert taste boozy.
Here’s how to make the watermelon sorbet quickly and easily.
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat to cool.
- Cut watermelon into large chunks, discarding the rind. Transfer the fruit to a blender or food processor and pulse until completely pureed.
- Add the lemon syrup mixture and vodka,(if using) to the watermelon and pulse again to blend.
- Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until very cold, about 2-3 hours.
- Set up your Cuisinart ice cream maker (or other ice cream churn) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the watermelon mixture to the ice cream maker (be sure you’ve frozen the cylinder overnight) and churn for 20-25 minutes until the sorbet freezes to a soft whipped cream consistency.
- Transfer the watermelon sorbet to a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
If you’re using a Cuisinart ice cream maker like mine to churn the watermelon sorbet, don’t forget that the cylinder has to be frozen overnight before using. Otherwise, it won’t freeze the sorbet. Plan ahead.
How to make sorbet without a machine:
If you don’t have an ice cream churn, you can use this hack:
- Pour the watermelon mixture into a wide, shallow pan, like 9″ cake pan and freeze it.
- Every 20-30 minutes, remove the pan from the freezer and use a fork to scrape, stir and mix the sorbet so it doesn’t freeze into a solid block.
- When the watermelon sorbet is completely frozen, transfer it to a freezer-safe container with a lid (so it doesn’t get infiltrated with weird freezer smells).
- For plain watermelon sorbet, you can skip the lemon juice.
- Make popsicles by transferring the fruit puree to popsicle molds and freezing until solid.
- Strain the sorbet mixture to remove any excess pulp and pour it over ice for homemade pink lemonade. Add sparkling water for the kids or a shot of vodka in each glass for the adults.
- Add other summer fruits for a watermelon sorbet blend. It would be good with strawberries or raspberries.
Watermelon sorbet is made from fresh fruit, sweeteners and lemon juice.
If your fresh watermelon doesn’t have a lot of sweetness, turn it into this watermelon dessert.
You can keep the frozen watermelon dessert in a well-sealed container for up to 10 days to 2 weeks in the freezer.
The 1-quart container has a flexible silicone lid that is easy to remove and fits tightly over the sorbet to keep the dessert tasting fresh. I also have the larger variety, which I use for this pineapple sorbet and some big batch ice creams.
They have airtight lids to prevent the contents from taking on weird freezer odors and tastes and prevent freezer burns. The larger variety has a non-slip bottom so you can scoop confidently.
If you don’t want to go that route, use a freezer-safe container with a tight-fitting lid.
How does it taste?
This watermelon sorbet is sweet and tangy, like a frozen pink lemonade. The texture is just beyond slushy. It will wake up your taste buds and probably give you a brain freeze if you eat it too fast…
My tasters loved the balanced flavors, the sweetness and the lush melt on their tongues.
It’s just THAT GOOD.
More frozen dessert recipes to try:
- Pineapple Mango Sorbet
- Guava Sherbet
- Blueberry Swirl Yogurt Popsicles
- Pineapple Sorbet
- Bourbon Pralines and Cream Ice Cream
- Decadent Homemade Dulce De Leche Ice Cream
More watermelon desserts, drinks and recipes you’ll love:
- Watermelon Popsicles
- Red White and Blue Fruit Salad
- Watermelon Margarita Recipe
- Watermelon-Mint Agua Fresca
- Watermelon Cucumber Salad
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Watermelon Sorbet (a.k.a. Pink Lemonade)
- 1 food processor or blender
- 1 ice cream maker we use Cuisinart
- 4 cups fresh seedless watermelon cut into chunks
- ½ cup lemon juice fresh squeezed from 2-3 lemons
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 2 tablespoons vodka optional
MAKE THE WATERMELON SORBET MIXTURE:
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.
- Transfer the watermelon chunks to a food processor or blender and pulse until completely pureed.
- Add the lemon syrup and vodka (if using) to the watermelon puree and pulse to blend. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 -3 hours until very cold.
MAKE THE SORBET:
- Transfer the watermelon sorbet mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturers instructions, about 20-25 minutes or until the sorbet freezes to the consistency of soft whipped cream.
- Transfer the watermelon sorbet to a freezer safe storage container and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
- To serve, let the watermelon sorbet rest on the counter for about 5 minutes to make it easier to scoop.
IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN ICE CREAM MAKER:
- Make the watermelon sorbet as directed, then transfer to a wide, shallow freezer-safe container, like a 13×9″ cake pan. Transfer the pan to the freezer.
- Remove the pan every 20-30 minutes, and use a fork to scrap and mash the watermelon sorbet. Please continue to do this until the mixture is frozen, then pack it into an airtight storage container to keep in the freezer.
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