Watermelon Jelly: An Easy Recipe

Do you know you can turn your favorite summer snack into watermelon jelly?

Summertime is here. When I imagine summer, I think of my blooming garden, hours swimming at the lake, picnics, and watermelon. Watermelon is, by far, one of my favorite fruits. It is juicy, sweet, and messy, the perfect combination for a treat.

Connor absolutely loves watermelon. He can eat so much of it, I swear he will BECOME a watermelon! 

Eating Watermelon

A year ago, I knew I wanted to preserve watermelon, but how? Canning watermelon slices won’t work. Then I realized, why not make a jelly out of watermelon? It is amazing.

You do need a juicer or at least a way to get the juice out of the watermelon without the pulp. That could mean blending and straining the watermelon.

We just happen to have a juicer, which makes the process easier. If you plan to make a lot of jellies, I suggest you get a juicer. You can use it to make grape jelly, strawberry jelly, and so much more!

Start to finish, it takes me less than an hour to make watermelon jelly.

*It is important to note that watermelon is higher on the acidity scale, which means you must add acid to the recipe to safely water bath this recipe.

How to Make Watermelon Jelly

Before you do anything else, you have to cut up your watermelon. I have to admit; I’m not a fan of this. No knife seems to make the job any easier, and the juices go everywhere.

Cut Watermelon

I’ve had ants in my kitchen, so I always worry that juice on my counters will be an invitation to visit once more.

Anyway, your next task is to juice the watermelon. I’ve found that it’s best to only juice half of a watermelon at first. Typically, I can get an entire half gallon, which means I can double this recipe.

Juicing Watermelon

After you juice the watermelon, it’s time to start canning! The canner needs to be filled with water and set on the burner to start boiling the water. Put the watermelon juice into a stockpot and start boiling the juice down.

Canning Process

Watermelon is primarily made of water, and it needs to be boiled down more than other jellies. I’ve found that you need to boil for up to 30 minutes to form a proper jelly out of watermelon juice. Once the juice comes to a boil, stirring frequently to reduce boiling.

Cooking watermelon juice

Now is the time to mix in the pectin and sugar. Mix the pectin and 1 cup of sugar in a separate bowl and then whisk it into the jelly. Whisk well to avoid any lumps and add lemon juice.

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and let it boil for 1-2 minutes. Once boiled, you can take it off of the heat and prepare to fill the jars with the jelly.

EDIT: I had some questions about this recipe because people were having a hard time getting it to a jelly consistency. I experimented and found that, after you add the pectin, sugar, and lemon juice, you should let this boil until it reaches 220 degrees F. Stir consistently to stop it from burning. This seems to help, and make sure you have a candy thermometer!

Fill the jars, leaving 1/2 inch space. Wipe off the rims of the jars and place on the lids and rims. Fill the rack with the jars.

Water Rack Jelly

Put the jars into your water bath canner, letting them boil for 10 minutes. Pints should boil for 15 minutes instead.

Watermelon Jelly
5 from 3 votes

Watermelon Jelly

A sweet and delicious jelly made from watermelon juice is a treat your whole family will love.

Author Bethany Hayes


  • 4 Cups Watermelon Juice
  • 4 Cups Sugar
  • 1 Box Low-Sugar Pectin
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice


  1. Juice the watermelon or blend then strain the mixture. Put the juice into a pot and turn on medium/high heat to boil.

  2. Allow the watermelon juice to boil, stirring frequently. Since watermelon contains so much water, you need to cook it longer than normal. Make sure you stir so that it doesn't burn. On average, it will take 15-30 minutes. For best results, boil and let cook until the liquid reaches 220 degrees F.

  3. Next, Mix the box of pectin with one cup of sugar. I use low sugar pectin because 8 cups of sugar for the regular pectin is just too much. You'll lose the flavor of the watermelon.

  4. Stir in the pectin and sugar mixture. Then, slowly add the rest of the sugar, stirring well after each cup.

  5. Let the liquid come back to a rolling boil and boil for 1-2 minutes while stirring continuously. Add in the lemon juice.

  6. Remove from heat and ladle into jars. You will typically get 7 to 8 half-pint jars with one recipe.

  7. Finally, water bath can for 5 minutes. Remove from the canner and place on a dry towel on the counters. Let cool for 12 hours before disturbing.

Have you ever tried watermelon jelly? It is a top seller for me because my friends and family love it for its unique flavor.

Supplies to Make Watermelon Jelly

For a complete list of canning supplies, take a look at my guide to gather canning supplies!

Are you excited to make watermelon jelly this year? I am!

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  1. It tastes real good but it didn’t set. I used a half a water melon and I got 10 cups. I’m going to try again using only 4 cups.

    1. When you used 10 cups of watermelon juice, did you also add double the amount of pectin and sugar? The amount of pectin used is based on the amount of liquid or fruit. So, you have to increase those if you want to increase the liquid amount.

  2. The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of lemon juice but I can’t find anywhere in the instructions that says when to add it. I am assuming you would add it to the watermelon juice?

    1. Yes! I thought I added it to the recipe, so I need to change that. Thanks for the heads-up!

  3. I’m looking to try this but I’m confused when it says a box of pectin as there are many different size boxes. How much do I need to add as in measurement – like how many tablespoons or how big of a cup or oz, etc.

    1. So, when I use a box of pectin, I use the Low-Sugar by Sure Jell. It’s in a pink box that you can find in almost any grocery store. It’s usually around 6 tablespoons

  4. Great recipe. Tried it loved it! Tried a couple others on Pintrest this one is the simplest most straight forward instructions. And I thought it was the best one. A lot of them the sugar overpowers the watermelon flavor. Great job!

    1. Thank you! I’m so glad that you tried it. I tried several other recipes too, and the amount of sugar overpowered the taste of the watermelon. Watermelon flavor doesn’t stand up well in too much sugar, and I wanted that flavor to shine. I love straightforward recipes – we don’t have time for complicated, right?!

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Bethany! I just made this and am so excited to try it! I’m a little nervous since it didn’t quite smell like I expected it to. It’s sitting undisturbed now so we’ll try it tomorrow! Could you share some more info on how long to cook the watermelon juice before adding the sugar/pectin? I’m new to jelly making so I don’t really know what the usual is 🙂

    1. I hope it turned out well for you! It does smell different but I think that’s because we aren’t used to the smell of hot watermelon. So, watermelon has a lot of water, so you’d want to cook it down for 10-15 minutes. That should give it enough time to boil down.

  6. I tried this recipe & it only yielded 4 of the ½ pint jars & they did not set. Still like juice in jars. I am an experienc ed canned so I do not believe I didn’t follow directions & use my knowledge of canning. Don’t know that I would attempt this recipe again. The flavor was good though & if you put it in refrigerator, it does jell. But who wants 4 jars of jelly in the refrigerator at the same time?

    1. I’m sorry that it didn’t work for you. Thanks for letting me know! I plan to make another batch in the next week or two, and I’m going to double check my calculations to ensure nothing is wrong.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this last week and LOVE it 🍉❤️ Planning on making more today! Never had it before but now it’s a summer staple

  8. So after you nice the watermelon do you pickle the rinds ? What do you do with the pulp maybe fruit leather?

    1. You can pickle the rinds. I typically give my chickens the pulp, but you could try a fruit leather if you blended them up with maybe another fruit. Hmm..

    1. I’ve tried halving recipes, and they honestly never turn out well. But yes, the theory would be half pectin. If it works, let me know!

  9. I have the reg pectin in the yellow box. Do I need to reduce the amount of sugar.? If so , what would you recommend? 3 cups instead of 4 ,

    1. The regular pectin typically requires more, not less, sugar. Take a look at the instructions inside of the box for making jelly. I THINK that its like 7-8 cups for regular pectin, but I could be wrong.

  10. 5 stars
    i made this but by the time it reached 220(on high) i lost a lot of the juice. Boiling temp here is 212 so should i stop there next time?

  11. I live in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma and can’t find low sugar pectin anywhere. Can I adjust my sugar to keep from drowning out the melon flavor with the sweetness and still have it set up correctly

  12. I love love love this jelly. I made it 2days ago and my family loved it so much I ended up making more today. I followed the recipe to a tee and it came out perfect. You have to make sure you bring it to a rolling boil then start timing it for 30 minutes. I made 2 batches in different pans because I find when I try to double jelly recipes in one pot they don’t set as well. I got 6 jars out of 2 batches.which was one watermelon. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.

  13. I made this flavor is great. But it set so thick it’s to hard to spread. I’ve had jellies that didn’t set and fixed those. Any suggestions how to fix it when it’s to thick. Thanks

  14. I just made 5 batches of this recipe yesterday and it came out great and taste delicious (6 pint jars and 14 half pints). For one of the batches I added some fresh mint and ginger to my juicer while I juiced the watermelon just to add some variety to my batches, plus these ingredients go so well with watermelon. Sitting down right now eating toast with the jelly. Delish! Saving this recipe for next summer. Thank you for sharing.

  15. OK…what do you DO with watermelon jelly? Do you put it on toast (which sounds kind of yuck)? I can find a lot of recipes, but not a lot of “how to eat it” or “what to pair it with” …

  16. Going to try this tomorrow. Have you ever put the juice in a crock pot to boil down overnight? Have you used line juice instead of lemon? If you use the yellow box of pectin is it too sweet?

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