Watermelon desserts are one of the best desserts, and this watermelon gelato is proof of that. It’s so easy to make, and no ice cream maker is required. This watermelon recipe is dairy-free, sugar-free, fat-free, and vegan. The best part? It only requires 2 ingredients to make it!
I posted this Watermelon Gelato recipe a few years back. Since it isn’t in one of my current books and is consistently a top recipe on Pinterest, I’m updating it for you with new photos. (As a side, I have included this recipe in Dreena’s Kind Kitchen, which is now on sale for just over $15)!
I have always loved ice cream. And dairy-free ice creams have come a long way.
But when we go out for gelato, I don’t care for most of the flavors.
When a gelateria has dairy-free options, they are most often the tart-fruit sorbets: lemon, grapefruit, lime, sometimes the berry blends. Too sour, not enjoyable for me. I won’t even bother.
Then there are the sweeter dairy-free gelato: pear, mango, strawberry, melon. I sometimes like the mango, or the melon, but most often they are too sweet.
What’s a girl to do?
Make her own!
What to Make with Watermelons: Dairy-Free Gelato!
Hubby bought a couple of gorgeous watermelons, and I didn’t want to just wedge them up for snacking. I figured I’d freeze some, and use it for smoothies for the kids.
A couple of days later it was stinking hot here, and I thought I’d whip them up a watermelon smoothie. Then I thought: Watermelon Gelato
It was easy, it was delightful!
Unlike a store-bought dairy-free gelato, this watermelon gelato isn’t sickly sweet, and it’s a touch creamier thanks to the addition of ripe banana.
That’s the trick, the addition of the banana makes it so slightly creamy, and the banana flavor doesn’t come through (if you’re not a huge fan of bananas or nice cream).
How to Make Watermelon Gelato
A few of tips before you get started:
- Cube the watermelon and freeze on a baking sheet.
Note: I rarely do this day to day for food preparation. I’m too food-rushed to bother!
Most times I just chuck fruit (sliced bananas, berries) in a ziploc bag. If they stick together, I whack that bag on the counter until it yields. Anger management. 🤪
Yeah, you could do this here too, but it’s easier to freeze in cubes beforehand.
The watermelon freezes quickly, and you can then pop into a ziploc bag or container until ready to make the watermelon gelato.
- Don’t add liquid to the puree!
The watermelon is already so moisture-rich. Let it do its thing, and the watermelon gelato will be perfecto! Food processor is easiest, but a rambo blender will also work.
- Make it creamier!
If you want to add something for additional creaminess, try adding 1-2 tbsp of raw cashew butter. I wouldn’t use roasted nut butter or almond butter, it isn’t as mellow in flavor. You could also add 1-2 tbsp of coconut cream.
- This watermelon gelato is best enjoyed immediately, or after setting in freezer for just an hour or so.
If the watermelon gelato freezes longer, it’s still fine! It’s just that the texture becomes a little more watery when it needs to thaw out.
- Sweetener is truly optional. I tested adding 1/2 – 1 tbsp of coconut nectar or cassava syrup (new sweetener for me). Use only if your banana isn’t really overripe or you think the sweetness is not quite to your liking.
Ready? WATERMELON GELATO awaits!
Share your thoughts below… x Dreena
Love vegan ice cream too? Here are a few vegan ice cream recipes I’ve shared in the past:
- Chocolate Gelato
- Homemade Pineapple Whip
- Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
- Chai Peanut Butter Ice Cream
- Cardamom-Scented Peach Ice Cream
Vegan Watermelon Gelato (Only 2 Ingredients!)
- 5 cups frozen cubed watermelon see note
- 1 cup sliced overripe banana (frozen or room temp) see note
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp coconut nectar or cassava syrup OPTIONAL (see note)
- 1-2 tbsp raw cashew butter, OPTIONAL (see note)
- Add watermelon and banana to a food processor (if you prefer to use a blender, it must be high-speed for this recipe). Pulse to first mince the frozen fruit, and then once in slivers or small pieces, switch to puree.
- Puree until smooth, stopping to scrape down food processor once or twice. Taste, and if you’d like it a little sweeter, add the sweetener to taste. Serve, or transfer to the freezer for an hour or more for a firmer set gelato.
- Sweetener is truly optional, there is usually enough natural sweetness in the watermelon and ripe banana.
- For additional ‘creaminess’, add 1-2 tbsp raw cashew butter.
Food photos by Angela MacNeil
This post was originally published August, 2017 and has been updated for July, 2022.