Salted Watermelon Ice Cream


Nothing screams summer like slices of salted ripe watermelon, and this simple ice cream takes it to the next level. Coconut milk infuses the ice cream base with its velvety-smooth sweetness; lime provides a gentle flavor lift that subtly intensifies the juicy watermelon flavor. To salt or not to salt—that is the question, and it’s entirely up to you. If you’re skeptical, try it with crunchy flakes of Maldon sea salt; they’ll make you a believer.

Salted Watermelon Ice Cream
Photo: Jen Causey
Active Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
7 hrs 15 mins


  • 1 1/4 cups fresh or bottled watermelon juice (such as Tsamma)

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 (13.66-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk, well-shaken and stirred

  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest plus 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (from 1 lime), divided, plus more zest for garnish

  • Chopped fresh watermelon and flaky sea salt, for garnish


  1. Stir together watermelon juice, sugar, and kosher salt in a small saucepan. Cook over medium, whisking often, until sugar has fully dissolved, 3 to 4 minutes. (Do not simmer.) Remove from heat, and whisk in coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, heavy cream, and lime juice until fully incorporated.

  2. Pour mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-quart ice cream maker, and proceed according to manufacturer’s instructions until ice cream has the texture of soft serve, about 1 hour. (Instructions and times may vary.) Stir in lime zest.

  3. Quickly transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container; press parchment paper directly onto surface. Cover container, and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours. Ice cream can be stored in freezer up to 3 months. To serve, garnish with fresh watermelon, flaky sea salt, and lime zest.

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