With all the delicious fruit that’s in season this summer, don’t forget about cantaloupe. Full of nutrients, hydrating, and sweet, cantaloupe pairs well with other melons, like honeydew and watermelon. We’ll share our best tips for picking, storing and freezing cantaloupe.

Graphic for post - how to pick, store and freeze cantaloupe. Images are in a grid of a cantaloupe, a storage container filled with cut cantaloupe, frozen cantaloupe and cut cantaloup against a white background.

Medically reviewed and co-written by Jamie Johnson, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

How to Pick, Store & Freeze a Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is a vibrant, juicy, orange fruit that’s perfect for summer. It’s mildly sweet and hydrating, which makes it great for babies and toddlers. Cantaloupe is a versatile fruit, easily used in smoothies, salads, sorbet, or for just snacking.

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting home from the grocery store to find out that you’ve picked a dud as far as cantaloupes go. So what should you look for in a ripe cantaloupe? How do you cut and store it? Below you’ll find our advice for minimizing waste and keeping cantaloupe fresh.

Cantaloupe Benefits

Melons are filled with a wide variety of nutrients;

  • Contains potassium, an important electrolyte for maintaining fluid balance, muscle contractions and normal heartbeat.
  • High in vitamin C, which supports the immune system and helps with iron absorption.
  • Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy eyes and skin.
  • High water content helps keep your baby hydrated and relieves constipation.

How to Pick a Ripe Cantaloupe

Here’s how to pick a cantaloupe that’s perfectly ripe and ready to enjoy:

  • Weight: pick up the melon and hold it in your hands. If it feels heavy for its size, you have a cantaloupe that’s close to ripe.
  • Touch: a ripe cantaloupe should have the right level of firmness. It shouldn’t be as hard as a watermelon, although too soft and it may be past its prime.
  • Color: if the rind on your cantaloupe has a greenish hue, it likely needs a couple more days to ripen fully. But if the rind has a beige, pale yellow hue, it’s likely ripe and ready for eating.
  • Sound: give the melon a little shake. If it’s ripe, you should hear all those little seeds making a rattle.
  • Scent: give it a quick sniff. Ripe cantaloupes should have a sweet, musky smell. If you don’t smell anything, it’s likely not ripe yet.

Cantaloupe Types: Cantaloupe is a melon that consists of many varieties – a few of the most common types are European, North American, Charentais, Japanese, and Asian.

Pair of hands holding a cantaloupe against a white background.

How to Store a Cantaloupe

You can store uncut, whole cantaloupe at room temperature for a couple of days. If you aren’t ready to cut your cantaloupe, you can store it in the fridge for about 5 days. If your cantaloupe isn’t ripe enough, you can keep it in a closed paper bag to accelerate the process.

Half of a cantaloupe deseeded, covered in saran wrap ready to be stored in the fridge.

How to Store Large Pieces of Cantaloupe

If you want to cut up only one half of your cantaloupe at a time, wrap the remainder tightly in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Use the rest of the cantaloupe within 3-5 days.

A wooden cutting board with a glass container with diced cantaloupe.

How to Store Cut Cantaloupe

Store cantaloupe that’s been cut in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-5 days.

How to Cut Cantaloupe

Start by trimming each end off of the cantaloupe so that you can stand it up on its flat bottom. Then slice it straight down in half. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds on both sides. From here, decide how you want to cut your cantaloupe up further. You can cut cantaloupe into wedges, cubes, shapes, sticks or balls.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you tell if a cantaloupe is ripe?

There are several ways you can tell if a cantaloupe is ripe: its weight should feel heavy for its size, the color should be a beige or pale yellow, a sweet, musky smell, and just the right level of firmness.

How do you pick sweet cantaloupe?

A sweet cantaloupe is a ripe cantaloupe, so if you look for the above tips on how to tell if a cantaloupe is ripe enough, your cantaloupe should be sweet and juicy as well.

What is the best way to eat cantaloupe?

There are so many ways to enjoy cantaloupe that it’s hard to pick the best way! Arguably, one of the best and easiest ways is to eat it chilled and sliced into wedges as a refreshing snack.

How To Freeze Cantaloupe

Freezing cantaloupe is a great way to store extra ripe melons you may have before they go bad. Here’s how to freeze cantaloupe:

  1. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper
  2. Cut cantaloupe into cubes
  3. Spread out the cubes onto the baking sheet, making sure they don’t touch
  4. Place the baking sheet into the freezer and let freeze for 5-12 hours
  5. Once frozen, remove the baking sheet and place the cubes into a zip-lock baggie or stasher bag.
  6. Keep the frozen cantaloupe in the freezer until you are ready to use.

How to Use Frozen Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe can be kept for up to 3 months in the freezer. The flavor and texture of thawed cantaloupe isn’t recommended to use in a salad or eaten plain, due to its high water content, but you can add frozen cantaloupe to smoothies, popsicles, cocktails or use in sorbet.

Some Amazing Kid-Friendly Cantaloupe Recipes

Frozen cantaloupe in a Ziploc bag.

Get the recipe: How to Freeze Cantaloupe

5 stars (2 ratings)
Freezing watermelon is a great way to make use of the extra fruit for future recipes.


  • 1/2 cantaloupe


  • Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Cut cantaloupe into cubes. Spread the cubes onto the baking sheet, making sure they don't touch.
    Baking sheet with frozen cantaloupe.
  • Place the baking sheet into the freezer and let freeze for 5-12 hours.
  • Once frozen, remove the baking sheet and place the cubes into a zip-lock baggie or stasher bag.
    A baking sheet with frozen cantaloupe in hand putting the frozen cantaloupe into a Ziploc bag.
  • Keep the frozen cantaloupe in the freezer until ready to use.
    And overhead shot a frozen cantaloupe in a Ziploc bag against a white background.

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