Gelo di Melone – Sicilian Watermelon Dessert

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Last Updated on July 16, 2022 by Chef Mireille

Gelo di Melone – Sicilian Watermelon Dessert is an all natural watermelon pudding dessert made without gelatin – a Sicilian favorite! This homemade jello has way more flavor than any box brand you use, full of fresh fruit flavor.

If you are looking for more delicious Watermelon Recipes, don’t forget to check out some more Watermelon Recipes here – both sweet and savory watermelon recipes.

Gelo Di Melone Sicilian Dessert with grated chocolate and chopped pistachios

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

How to Make Sicilian Gelo Di Melone

cooking -edit

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

Gelo di Melone -edit

Such a simple dessert that will be loved by the whole family!

Watermelon Jello -edit

This all natural Watermelon Pudding 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 di Melone Sicilian Dessert on a plate

Italian Gelo Di Melone Watermelon Dessert with pistachios
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3 from 1 vote

Gelo di Melone – Sicilian Watermelon Gelatin

This Sicilian dessert, a watermelon pudding, is refreshing and easy to make. All you need are a few simple ingredients like sugar, honey, lemon juice, and of course, watermelon! Give it a try this summer.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 151kcal


  • 2 3/4 cups watermelon puree strained
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon jasmine extract or rosewater
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 skinny cinnamon stick
  • shelled pistachios 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.


Calories: 151kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 121mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 596IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.3mg
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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Reader Interactions


  1. 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!

    • 🙂 – 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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