Gelo di Melone – Sicilian Watermelon Jello

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Last Updated on May 20, 2020 by Chef Mireille

Gelo di Melone – Sicilian Waternelon Jello is a natural way of making jello – a Sicilian favorite! This homemade jello has way more flavor than any box brand you use.

Gelo di Melone, Sicilian Watermelon Jello

This is a traditional Sicilian dessert, especially served during the festival of Ferragosto. I have celebrated Ferragosto here in the Bronx’s Little Italy several times, but never noticed this treat. I did not have the opportunity to attend this year because I was working, but I am definitely going to try to attend next year and will be on the lookout for Gelo di Melone and see how mine compares.

This treat is a result of Sicily being under Arab rule from the 9th-11th centuries. Sicily is a unique fusion culture of both Christian and Arab cultural traditions, especially on the western part of the island where the Arab influence remains strong to this day. This dessert is one example of how the multi-cultural island creates culinary synergy.

…but before we get to today’s recipe, let’s check out some other Italian treats…

Italian Desserts




cooking -edit

This is a great summertime treat – when juicy watermelon’s are readily available everywhere!

Gelo di Melone -edit


Watermelon Jello -edit

This jello does not firm as tightly as store bought packaged jello you might be used to, but the taste is far superior with fresh watermelon juice, instead of artificial colors and flavors.

Gelo -edit


Gelo di Melone - Sicilian Watermelon Jello
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3 from 1 vote

Gelo di Melone – Sicilian Watermelon Gelatin

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian


  • 2 3/4 cups watermelon puree strained
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon jasmine extract or rose
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 skinny cinnamon stick
  • shelled pistacchios garnish
  • grated chocolate garnish
  • candied fruit optional garnish


  • In a small bowl, pour about 1/3 cup of the watermelon puree. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth.
  • Combine with the rest of the watermelon puree in a saucepan. Add sugar, jasmine, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
  • Simmer on medium heat, stirring constantly, for 20 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick.
  • Rinse 4 ramekins, but do not dry them. This will make it easier to remove from the molds after they chill.
  • Divide the watermelon among 4 ramekins. Put in refrigerator and chill overnight.
  • Unmold the jello and garnish with the pistacchios, chocolate and candied fruit, if using.


The most popular type of candied fruit to garnish this dessert with is zuccata, Sicilian candied pumpkin.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I'd love to share them!

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About Chef Mireille

Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

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Reader Interactions


  1. Aaron Oliver

    Between Watching Golden Girls and reading this recipe, I’m convinced I must get to Sicily one day! Until then, I will have to make this and get a taste of an Italian treat!

    • Chef Mireille

      🙂 – you had me LOL at Golden Girls and reminding me about Sophia and all her Sicilian references. This treat will definitely give you a little piece of Sicily until you get there!

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