It’s the end of the summer season over here at the Heartwood Homestead. Temperatures are cooling down, the days are getting shorter and the harvests are abundant. It is the perfect time to dehydrate watermelon!

This year we grew an entire super happy row of melons, and while we did lose some to gophers, we’re still pulling in a great number of melons from the field. Fresh melon on a hot day is probably the best things you can eat, but now that the days are a little cooler, the wind is blowing and we’ve had plenty of fresh watermelon by now, it’s time to start getting creative with our melon processing.

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
Watermelon slices in a pile

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no cost to you. All opinions remain my own. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Dehydrate Watermelon!

This brings us to this wonderful and easy dehydrated watermelon recipe: Watermelon candy. This delicious snack preserves the watermelon flavor all year round.

If you’re like us, and are constantly trying to find new ideas to put in birthday party goodie bags, or need a healthy alternative to candy at holiday times, you can add this perfect snack recipe to your rounds and you’ll be sure to have a full arsenal of organic watermelon candy with no added sugar! It’s truly a hit for all!

Preserving Summer’s Sweetness: How to Dehydrate Watermelon

When summer rolls around, watermelon is a favorite treat for many. Its juicy, refreshing nature makes it a staple at picnics and BBQs. But what do you do when you have an abundance of watermelon and want to enjoy its sweetness year-round? The answer lies in dehydrating watermelon. In this guide, we’ll show you how to transform this summer delight into a tasty, shelf-stable snack that’s perfect for your homestead pantry.

Why Dehydrate Watermelon?

Dehydrating watermelon is a great way to reduce food waste and extend the shelf life of this fruit. It’s also a fantastic alternative to store-bought dried fruits, which often contain added sugars and preservatives. By making your own dehydrated watermelon and other dehydrated foods, you have control over the ingredients and can enjoy a healthier snack all year round.

What You’ll Need:

Before we dive into the process, gather the following items:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Watermelon

  • First, you’ll want to find a perfectly ripe watermelon with a delicious sweet flavor.
  • Start by washing the watermelon rind thoroughly to remove any dirt or contaminants.
  • Get your cutting board, and cut off the rind and slice the watermelon flesh into uniform pieces, approximately 1/4 inch thick. Remove any watermelon seeds as you go.

Step 2: Arrange on Dehydrator Trays

  • Line your dehydrator trays with parchment paper or silicone mats to prevent sticking.
  • Place the watermelon slices on the trays, ensuring they are not touching each other. This allows for better airflow and even drying during the dehydrating process.

Step 3: Dehydrate the Watermelon

  • Set your dehydrator to a temperature of around 135°F (57°C). The dehydrating time typically takes 8-12 hours, but this can vary depending on humidity levels and the thickness of your watermelon slices. Thicker slices will take longer.
  • Periodically check the watermelon’s progress. It should be pliable but not sticky when done. Watermelons have a high water content, this recipe will turn all that watermelon juice into something like watermelon taffy crossed with cotton candy.

Step 4: Store Your Dehydrated Watermelon

  • Once your dehydrated watermelon is ready, allow it to cool completely.
  • For best results, store the dried watermelon in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bags to maintain freshness. Keep them in a cool, dark place for the best shelf life.

Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor!

Dehydrated watermelon is a delicious fruit and healthy candy that retains the essence of summer’s sweetness. Whether you’re munching on it right out of the container or adding it to your favorite trail mix, you’ll love having this sweet treat on hand. Theres nothing quite like that dehydrated watermelon taste.

Now that you know how to make dehydrated watermelon, you can enjoy the flavors of the summer months all year long. Plus, you’ll impress your family and friends with your homesteading skills and ability to preserve the harvest. Happy dehydrating!

watermelon slices on a plate


This dehydrated watermelon recipe may be tried using your home oven as a dehydrator as well. The problem with this method is that most ovens don’t go as low as you need them to actually be successful in the drying process. The best way is to use a food dehydrator, but if you want to try this sweet treat without one, set your oven to the lowest setting 135- 140 degrees f, and set your watermelon slices onto a baking sheet. Let bake on low all day checking periodically to make sure it is not burning. You’ll want to use wax paper or something like it to be able to peel the sticky watermelon off of the baking sheet and place onto a cooling rack.

Delicious Dehydrated Watermelon Candy

Preserving the goodness of watermelon is a rewarding project for any homesteader. By making dehydrated watermelon or any homemade dried fruit, you can savor the taste of summer even during the colder months.

With these easy steps and a reliable food dehydrator, you’ll have a pantry stocked with this healthy snack. Don’t forget to experiment with different spice blends or dips for added variety with your dehydrating watermelon. We find a little lime juice or lemon juice squeezed on top is delicious and adds a really fun tang. Adding a sprinkle of salt is another exciting variation. Try both combined, YUM!
Enjoy your homemade dehydrated watermelon!

How to Dehydrate Watermelon

Learn how to dehydrate watermelon and make the best watermelon candy. Savor those summer flavors all year long.
Print Recipe
watermelon slices on a plate
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:10 hours


  • Sharp Knife
  • Food Dehydrator
  • Parchment Paper or Silicone Mats
  • Airtight Containers for Storage


  • 1 large Ripe Organic Watermelon
  • sprinkle of sea salt optional
  • squirt of lemon or lime juice optional


  • Clean watermelon, cut off rind, and cut into 1/4 inch uniform slices, removing seeds as you go
  • Line your dehydrator trays with parchment paper and align watermelon slices on the tray, ensuring they do not touch each other. Sprinkle with salt or seasonings if using
  • Set dehydrator to 135 degrees f and dehydrate for 8-12 hours, should be pliable but not sticky when done
  • Allow to cool completely and store in airtight containers or vacuum sealed bags in a cool dark place
  • Enjoy!


The thickness of your watermelon slices determine the amount of time in the dehydration process. Thicker slices will take longer.
You can add salt, lemon or lime juice, or other spices when you align your watermelon on the dehydrator trays. 
We recommend using silicone mats over parchment paper, as the watermelon juice can spill over and cause quite a sticky mess. 
Servings: 6 people
Author: Fallon

Try other sweet treats from the Heartwood Homestead:

If you love it, share it!

Pinterest pin on how to dehydrate watermelon to make watermelon candy

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating