How to Cut Melon the Quick & Easy Way

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Knowing how to cut melon is a valuable skill to help you make the most of in-season produce and to facilitate a healthy diet. Here’s how to do it.

a bowl of cut melon

You see a great deal on cantaloupe and watermelon. You want to take advantage of it, but what in the world do you do with it when you get home. Sure, you can buy those plastic packs of pre-cut fruit, but let’s be real. Rarely does that fruit taste ripe and delicious.

And here in front of you is a fragrant melon just begging to be carted home.

Don’t fear the melon.

You can do this. Knowing how to cut melon, whether it’s a cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon, is a valuable skill to help you make the most of in-season produce and to facilitate a healthy diet. Melon is full of fiber and vitamins and can be a great way to hydrate, but it won’t do you any good if the fruit sits on the counter uneaten.

Never fear. This is easy.

Years ago I worked for my university’s catering company in their prep kitchen. I learned how to put together deli trays and fruit platters. And among other skills that I learned, they taught me how to cut a melon.

How to Cut a Melon the Quick & Easy Way

Perhaps you have a method that you like and are happy with. Great! If not, you might want to give this one a try.

But first, you’ll need the following kitchen tools:

a melon on a cutting board with vinegar spray

1. Rinse the melon with water and vinegar.

Even though you aren’t going to eat the rind, you are going to cut through it, thereby possibly exposing the inner flesh to bacteria and other germs. I like to use white vinegar, a cheap cleaning agent, to kill surface bacteria.

I also like to cut a melon on a cutting board inside a rimmed baking sheet. In this way, the juices are collected in the tray and don’t stray all over the counter. This makes clean quick and easy.

Cantaloupe  on a cutting board

2. Cut off the two ends and stand the melon on one end.

You want the melon to be stationary while you’re cutting, no wobbling about.

cantaloupe being cut

3. Remove the outer rind.

With a chef’s knife, cut away the rind, curving your cuts between the rind and flesh along the rounded shape of the melon.

cantaloupe rind being cut off

Proceed around the sides of the melon until all the rind is removed. Don’t worry if the melon is no longer perfectly round. You won’t notice it later.

Melon being cut

Sometimes little green bits of rind escape your larger cuts. Go around the melon, turning it upside down if needed, to slice off these green sections.

Melon being cut in half

4. Slice the melon through the center lengthwise.

Once you’ve got all the rind removed, cut through the center lengthwise, from flat end to flat end.

seeds being scooped out of a melon

5. Gently scoop out the seeds and inner membranes.

No one I know eats melon seeds and its pulpy inner membranes, so remove this with a spoon. This is where the rimmed tray again comes in handy, to contain all the juicy stuff you’ll be discarding.

melon cut in half and seeds scooped out

Clean out the inner well smoothly, removing any stray seeds.

melon being sliced

6. Cut the melon into slices or cubes.

Place each half, cut-side down on the cutting board and slice into thin, even slices crosswise. You can fan these slices out on a platter with other fruit if you prefer.

melon being arranged on a plate

You can also cut the melon into wedges, like this:

Melon sliced into wedges

And you can cut the wedges into cubes, like this:

Melon cut into wedges and chunks

You can cut other melons this way, such as the watermelon. In that case, there won’t be any insides to scoop out. Just trim off the rind and cut the melon flesh into slices or cubes.

Watermelon being sliced

Knowing how to cut melon is a simple, easy task that can pay off big dividends. Not only can you take advantage of great in-season specials, but you can also serve all kinds of melon in pretty presentations.

Do you know how to cut melon?How to Cut Melon the Quick & Easy Way | Good Cheap Eats

About Jessica Fisher

I believe great meals don't have to be complicated or expensive. There's a better way, and it won't take all afternoon.

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  1. Regina Ulmer says:

    Thank you so much for this! I don’t know why I’ve never seen anyone do it this way before; it makes total sense. I’ve always been afraid to use that great big knife on a wobbly melon. This totally eliminates that problem! So makes me want to stop by one of those roadside watermelon stands now 🙂

  2. Janet says:

    My challenge is squash. As I have gotten older, even with a sharp knife I just cannot cut through the rind. Unlike some squashes, my favorite spaghetti squash is not sold already cut in half in any of my area grocery stores.

    • Jenny says:

      You could probably bake it, that would cook it and the rind would peel right off. 🙂 I love the butternut squash.

    • Kathleen says:

      Janet, I injured my shoulder so badly (healed now) that I couldn’t cut spaghetti squash either. My first solution was one of the several teen boys in our home cutting it for me. Since that may not apply to you, I suggest my second solution, which is to wash it, then roast it. Whole. Uncut/unpoked. About 60-90 minutes in the oven at 350, until a fork easily pierces the rind. Allow to cool enough to handle and you can use a table knife to cut in half. Scoop out the seeds just like you normally would, then the yummy flesh. We often roast an oven full at a time and freeze in bags for eating later.

      • Janet says:

        Thanks Kathleen! It never occurred to me to try and roast it whole. I will be trying this out for sure. It is one of the few vegetables my husband and kids will happily eat as long as you put a good marinara sauce over it.

    • I microwave it for a few minutes and it slices like butter. Directions here:

  3. Kathleen says:

    YES! This is how I cut all melon, including watermelon. I have gotten many strange looks and comments on how I do it, but for me, this is MUCH faster and less waste at the table.

  4. Shari says:

    This is so enabling! Thank you.

  5. Misty says:

    Great tip for all! I would also like to add you should add some Tajin (Mexican spice) to those melons for extra punch. WARNING: Highly addictive!

  6. Alice E says:

    I have cut melons like this and it is very efficient and easy. Saw it once on TV. I also have been known to wash well a honeydew or canary melon ( they are similar) and cut it in half. scoop out the seeds Then put it cut side down on the cutting board and slice it thinly, then cut the slices in half down the middle and scoot it off onto a platter. You wind up with thin quarter slices that can be held by the rind and eaten as finger food by kids picnicking outside like at the park. It was very well received at the reunion.

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