Dehydrated Watermelon is one of the most delicious and healthy snacks that you can make. Also called Watermelon Jerky, this recipe is simply made from 100% watermelon. It is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and sweet with no added sugars.

bowl of dehydrated watermelon jerky in a white bowl.

Dehydrated watermelon isn’t crispy like you would think. Rather, it is pliable and bendy, kind of like beef jerky, but with a sweet flavor. This recipe is made without any preservatives or added sugars. It tastes like healthy candy!

Watermelon is a nutritious fruit. They are rich in beta-carotene, antioxidants, and fiber. They are a summer fruit, although here in California we can find them at the farmers’ markets through November.

I love to use extra watermelon in my Watermelon Banana Smoothie, but I also love to dehydrate it. This watermelon jerky recipe tastes like watermelon candy and is better than anything you’ll find at the grocery store.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • Sometimes you can buy a watermelon so big that it’s hard to eat it all. This recipe for homemade Watermelon Jerky is a great way to use up any extra watermelon before it goes bad. This helps reduce food waste and can be stored like fruit leather in an airtight container.
  • If you’re trying to cut back on added sugars, try this healthy snack that has no added sugars at all, but is still very sweet and satisfying. Read my full article on how to cut back on sugar and my list of sugar free foods.
  • Watermelon is budget-friendly and is on my list of clean eating foods.

What You Need to Make This Recipe

You’ll need fresh regular watermelon. I like to use a seedless variety. If your watermelon has large black seeds, try to remove them from the watermelon before the dehydration process.

You are also going to need a food dehydrator or an oven that works on a low temperature. For best results, your oven works at 200 degrees F or lower. Otherwise, a regular dehydrator like an Excalibur dehydrator is best.

Recipe Steps

Step One

Cut your sweet watermelon in half using a sharp knife on a cutting board and then cut each half into quarters. Try to use a perfectly ripe watermelon for the sweetest result.

Don’t worry about the white watermelon seeds, but try to remove any large black seeds.

From that point, you can cut the fruit off the rind and slice the watermelon flesh into 1/2-inch slices.

sliced fresh watermelon.

Step Two

Lay the watermelon slices on your dehydrator sheets or dehydrator trays, leaving a little bit of space between each piece so the warm air can circulate.

If you are using an oven, you can use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You could also use a cooling rack or other types of wire racks to make the dehydrating time more efficient.

watermelon slices on a dehydrator sheet.

Step Three

Set your dehydrator to 135 degrees F for 12 hours. You can check on the watermelon jerky after about 10 hours to see how it’s doing. It should have dried out to be very thin, but still pliable.

If you don’t have a dehydrator and want to dehydrate watermelon in an oven, you can set it to the lowest temperature or lowest setting (200 degrees F or lower). It will take up to 16 hours to fully dehydrate and get rid of the water content.

This recipe is similar to my process for How to Dehydrate Beets.

I hope you and your family enjoy this watermelon taffy that tastes like watermelon jolly ranchers! It’s a perfect treat during the summer months.

dehydrated watermelon jerky in a bowl ready to eat.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • Make sure to use a watermelon that is naturally sweet. Taste a bite before you go to the effort to dehydrate the whole thing.
  • Use a seedless watermelon so you don’t have to pick out the black seeds. Don’t worry about the white seeds as they will shrivel up in the dehydrating process.
  • Want more healthy snack ideas? Check out my list of the best gluten-free and dairy-free snacks. You may also like my recipe for Dehydrated Pineapple.

Recipe FAQs

What kind of dehydrator do you recommend?

I use a full-size Sedona Express with stainless steel trays. For a more budget-friendly option, try the Nesco Snackmaster.

Can I dehydrate watermelon in an oven?

If you don’t have a dehydrator and want to dehydrate watermelon in an oven, you can set it to the lowest temperature (200 degrees F or lower). It will take up to 16 hours to fully dehydrate.

Can I dehydrate the watermelon rind?

Yes, the rind is edible but it won’t have as much flavor as the flesh. But, the rind has lots of health benefits and is worth using.

More Healthy Watermelon Recipes You Might Like

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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dehydrated watermelon jerky in a bowl.

Dehydrated Watermelon Recipe (Watermelon Jerky)

Dehydrated Watermelon is one of the most delicious healthy snacks that you can make. Also called Watermelon Jerky, this recipe is simply made from 100% watermelon. It is naturally vegan, gluten-free, and sweet.

  • Total Time: 12 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 seedless watermelon

Instructions

  1. Wash the outside of the watermelon and pat it dry.
  2. Cut the watermelon in half and then cut the halves into quarters.
  3. Carefully cut the watermelon off the rind. Then, cut each slice of watermelon into 1/2-inch pieces.
  4. Lay each watermelon piece on a dehydrator tray. Dehydrate the watermelon for 12-16 hours at 135 degrees F.
  5. Check on the watermelon after 12 hours to make sure it is very thin but still pliable.

Notes

  1. Store the dehydrated watermelon in a tightly-sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  2. You can also seal the watermelon jerky in an air-tight container for up to a month.
  3. If you don’t have a dehydrator and want to dehydrate watermelon in an oven, you can set it to the lowest temperature (200 degrees F or lower). It will take up to 16 hours to fully dehydrate.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 136
  • Sugar: 28 g
  • Sodium: 4.5 mg
  • Fat: 0.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.1 g
  • Fiber: 1.8 g
  • Protein: 2.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: how to make watermelon jerky, how to dehydrate watermelon

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About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with nearly 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.