How to Cut a Cantaloupe

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Learn how to cut a cantaloupe with ease to make slices, wedges, cubes, and spheres. You can now enjoy this sweet orange-fleshed melon as a quick snack, appetizer, or healthy dessert with these easy knife skills.

pieces of cantaloupe on a cutting board
Table of Contents
  1. Step 1: Wash
  2. Step 2: Trim off both ends
  3. Option A: Remove the rind
  4. Halve and remove the seeds
  5. Cut into slices
  6. Cut into wedges
  7. Cut into cubes
  8. Option B: Keep the rind on
  9. Halve and remove the seeds
  10. Cut into wedges
  11. Cut into cubes
  12. Cut into spheres
  13. Selecting
  14. Storing
  15. Ways to use cantaloupe
  16. FAQ
  17. How to Cut a Cantaloupe Recipe

Pieces of sweet and refreshing cantaloupe make the perfect snack on warm summer days. Once you pick a ripe melon, it’s time to cut it up and enjoy the juicy orange flesh inside. It might seem more convenient to grab a precut package at the grocery store, but who knows how fresh it is. Plus, cutting up a whole melon provides way more fruit for your dollar.

Cantaloupe is a widely cultivated variety of muskmelon species (Cucumis melo). The netted rind may look intimidating, but it’s thin and easy to slice. Once you master these simple cutting techniques, you’ll be able to make various shapes to add to a classic fruit salad or other light summer dishes.

Step 1: Wash

Rinsing a melon with water in a sink

Always wash melons with cool running water to remove any bacteria or dirt that may be on the skin, especially in the crevices of the netted, textured rind. Skipping this step may transfer those contaminants to the flesh when cutting.

Step 2: Trim off both ends

cutting off the end of a melon with a knife

Place the cantaloupe on a large cutting board. Use a chef’s knife to cut off both ends until you see the orange flesh.  When turned on the cut side, this creates a sturdy base for peeling and cutting.

There are two options moving forward:

  • Remove the rind – makes slices, wedges, or cubes.
  • Keep the rind on – makes handheld wedges, cut cubes, or spheres.

Option A: Remove the rind

Slicing the skin off of a cantaloupe

The cantaloupe rind looks bumpy, but it’s very thin. The light greenish beige outer skin houses a pale orange flesh. This technique is used in hotels and restaurants to make fancy sliced fruit displays, wedges, or bite-sized pieces. Use a sharp knife to peel away this layer carefully. Cut from the top edge down and around, following the natural curve of the melon.

Halve and remove the seeds

Cut the fruit in half lengthwise to unveil the mesh of light brown seeds in the center. Use a spoon to scoop them out. You can simply discard them or clean and roast them just like pumpkin seeds for a nutritious, high-fiber snack. Do this step when also keeping the rind on.

Cut into slices

slicing a melon into thin pieces

To make a pretty presentation, place the halves cut-side down. Make crosswise slices about ¼-inch to ½-inch thick. From here, you can fan the pieces to add to a fruit tray.

Cut into wedges

Cutting a cantaloupe into wedges

For larger pieces, cut the melon into wedges lengthwise, about 1/2- to 1-inch thick on the widest side. This process yields about 16 to 20 pieces, depending on the thickness. Wedges are great for a snack or a hearty appetizer like prosciutto and melon.

Cut into cubes

The wedges can be further cut down into smaller cubes, about ½ to 1-inches in size. Alternatively, place each half with the cut-side down. Slice lengthwise, then rotate and cut to create a crosshatch pattern. You can further trim the pieces if needed. Smaller cubes are an excellent option for a salad or adding to a fruit smoothie.

Option B: Keep the rind on

Halve and remove the seeds

For a quick snack that’s easy to grab, keep the rind on. With the ends removed, cut lengthwise into halves and remove the seeds.

Cut into wedges

cutting wedges into a melon with the rind on

Now you can cut wedges lengthwise down the fruit, about ½ to 1-inches thick on the rind side.

Cut into cubes

Once in the wedge shapes, you have two options to cut the fruit down further into cubes. A) Use a knife to separate the flesh from the skin, then cut into smaller pieces. B) Cut down into the wedge, about 1-inch long to create segments, then cut away from the rind. Use this method if you don’t feel comfortable peeling first.

Cut into spheres

melon baller making cantaloupe spheres

Use a melon baller to create round spheres. This tool makes for an eye-catching appearance for fruit salads, skewers, or individual appetizers. Cut in half lengthwise, then rotate and scoop out the flesh.

Selecting

Similar to watermelon, the best time to eat cantaloupe is at its peak season, during the summer months. When picking a melon, it should feel heavy and firm with no soft spots. The skin will have beige netting with green undertones that turns more golden as it ripens. Make sure there are no cuts, as this could introduce bacteria or promote mold growth. 

Cantaloupe has a sweet honey and flower blossom aroma. If you lightly press on the stem end, there should be some slight give. When tapped, it should sound hollow, similar to beating on a drum. Don’t be afraid to give it a good tap. Underripe melon tastes a bit crunchy. Overripe will start to be mealy and overly soft.

Storing

If not yet ripe, store at room temperature until ready. If ripe, you can leave it on the countertop (away from moisture and direct sunlight) for about 3 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The skin tends to mold if exposed to heat and humidity. 

Store large cut portions tightly covered in plastic wrap, then foil for an extra barrier. Store smaller cut pieces in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days. Store cut pieces with the rind still intact separate from flesh pieces to prevent cross-contamination.

Ways to use cantaloupe

  • Cut pieces and add fresh or frozen for a refreshing fruit smoothie
  • Wrap wedges in prosciutto for an easy sweet and savory appetizer
  • Chop some up to make a summer fruit salad or green salad
  • Add as a topping for an acai bowl 
  • Make small dices for a salsa or fruit topping on fish or chicken
  • Slice it into thin pieces and pickle for a sweet and tangy condiment

FAQ

What are the different types of cantaloupe?

There are two varieties most commonly found in the market. The European (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis) cultivated in Italy, with its beige webbed skin and green ribbed lines along the rind. The North American (Cucumis melo var. reticulatus) produced in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, has beige netted skin. Both varieties have sweet, orange flesh.

When is cantaloupe in season?

Cantaloupe prefers heat and relatively dry conditions; therefore appears at markets around May until November. However, the peak season is from June to August. In the United States, California produces about three-fourths of the nation’s crop, but it’s also grown in Arizona, Texas, Georgia, and Florida.

How much does it yield?

The average weight of a cantaloupe is between 3 to 4 pounds. One pound yields about 1 ½ cups of cubed fruit. When cut into wedges, about 16 to 20 pieces.

How long can it sit out for?

Discard cut pieces after sitting at room temperature for 2 hours, less time on hot days. Any longer in the temperature danger zone of 40 to 140ºF (4.4 to 60ºC), food spoilage organisms can cause illness.

Can I freeze fresh cantaloupe?

Yes! This freezing is a great way to use uneaten ripe fruit in beverages like smoothies. Cut into small uniform pieces, about ½ to 1-inch in size. Place in a single layer in a resealable plastic bag, then lay flat in the freezer for up to 6 months. Do not defrost unless using for a jam or puree as the texture becomes mushier.

cantaloupe cut into a various shapes and sizes

Why you should buy cantaloupe in season

Buying seasonal and locally harvested melons provide the best flavor and nutrition like Vitamin A, C, and potassium. Many markets offer the fruit year-round. However, to withstand the harsh transportation conditions and stay fresh, they need to harvest them while still green. In this case, they have less time to mature and turn their starches (amylose and amylopectin) into sugars, resulting in a less sweet taste. The longer they can stay on the vine, the more flavorful they become.

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How to Cut a Cantaloupe

Learn how to cut a cantaloupe to make slices, wedges, cubes, and spheres, so you can enjoy this sweet orange-fleshed melon all summer long.
Pin Print Review
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Total Time10 mins
Servings 5 servings
Course Snack
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 cantaloupe

Instructions 

  • Rinse the cantaloupe under cool running water, scrubbing away any dirt. Dry with a clean towel.
  • Place the melon on a cutting board on its side. Use a sharp chef's knife to trim both ends off. Place cut-side down to create a sturdy base.
  • OPTION A (Remove the Rind): Start from the top, run the knife down, following the natural curvature of the melon. Once the rind is removed, cut it in half and use a spoon to remove the seeds.
    Slices: Place the halves cut-side down and slice into about ¼-inch to ½-inch thick pieces.
    Wedges: Cut each half lengthwise to make wedges, cutting at an angle to create a larger base, about 1/2- to 1-inch thick on the widest side. This yields about 16 to 20 pieces, depending on the thickness.
    Cubes: You can cut the wedge pieces into cubes, about ½ to 1-inches in size. Alternatively, place each half cut-side down. Cut thick slices lengthwise, then rotate and cut to create a crosshatch pattern.
  • OPTION B (Rind On): Starting from the top, cut the melon in half lengthwise.
    Wedges: Cut each half into wedges lengthwise, cutting at an angle to create a broader base, about ½ to 1-inches thick on the rind side.
    Cubes: Once cut into wedges, use a knife to separate the flesh from the skin, then cut into smaller pieces. Alternatively, cut segments into the wedge, about 1-inch long, then cut away from the rind.
    Spheres: Use a melon baller to scoop and rotate. Trim off the excavated areas to make it easier to make more spheres with the flesh below.

Notes

  • Serving Size: Based on about a 3-pound cantaloupe, about 1/2 cup cubes per serving.
  • Storing: Uncut at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerator for 5 days. Refrigerate large sections wrapped in plastic for 3 days, small pieces in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days.
  • Freezing: Store in a single layer in a large resealable bag. You can freeze the fruit for up to 3 to 6 months. Do not defrost before use, or the texture will become mushy.

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Nutrition Facts
How to Cut a Cantaloupe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 38 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 18mg1%
Potassium 295mg8%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 3734IU75%
Vitamin C 41mg50%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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