Canning Watermelon Jelly

Update: If canning is your “thing” be sure to visit my new growing, canning, and preserving site at Seed to Pantry. I’ll be adding new canning tips and techniques on a regular basis!

The response to Tuesday’s post on canning apricot syrup has been pretty positive. Seems like there are lots of inquisitive canners out there! So today I continue to wear my Home Economist hat with this unusual recipe for Watermelon Jelly.  I adapted this from a very old canning recipe, and I’ve never seen another like it.  It’s a great way to find true watermelon flavor in the middle of the winter. My grand-daughter likes this jelly with peanut butter, and it is very good on a bagel with cream cheese. Watermelon jelly can be served with chicken or other fowl, or added to homemade sweet and sour sauce. Better yet, this recipe is really easy.


Start with 4 cups of diced watermelon (use seedless or pick out the seeds). Puree it in a blender and then pour the puree into a Dutch oven. Add 3 1/2 cups of sugar and 2 Tbsp of lemon juice. Remember to rub butter around the top inner lip of the pan so it doesn’t boil over.

Stir the sugar to melt, and bring the mixture to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in one, 3 ounce packet of liquid pectin. Bring back to a full boil. Continue stirring while mixture boils for 1-2 minutes more.

Remove Dutch oven from heat, skim off the foam if there is any, and ladle into 4 half-pint jelly jars. Wipe the jar lips with a moistened paper towel, put on the two-piece lids, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


Once you remove the jars from the water bath, let them cool.  The jelly may set immediately, or the jars may need to be refrigerated before using.

Tips: Although this picture doesn’t look it, the jelly is a beautiful pink color. Don’t be tempted to double the recipe. Jelly works best made in small batches and you increase the chances that it won’t set if you double the recipe. If the jelly doesn’t set (and I have had this happen – it all depends on the weather that day) don’t despair, it can be used as syrup or you can re-make the jelly. To re-make, pour the jelly back into a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp liquid pectin. Bring back to a boil, boil for one minute while stirring, and then follow the usual directions – put in jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.

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About the Author

Renee Pottle, an author and heart-healthy educator, loves to explore and write about the Mediterranean Diet. She blogs at and

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