How to Slice Melons

  • 01 of 05

    Start With a Fresh Melon

    Prepared Melon Half
    Sliced Melon. Molly Watson

    Sliced melon is one of the easiest and tastiest snacks—other than fruits or veggies eaten out of hand. Alas, melons are too large and have peels that are too thick to just munch into, so we must somehow cut them up to eat first.

    The following steps show how to do this easily and safely—those round edges can make cutting trickier than other foods!

    Here we have a mini-watermelon, chosen to make the picture-taking easier (it's small size and vibrant color make it easy to capture these steps), but...MORE the method is the same no matter which type or size of melon you want to cut into easy-to-hold slices, from cantaloupe to honeydew.

    Would you rather have ready-to-eat chunks of melon? See How to Peel Melons.


    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Cut Off the Melon Ends

    Preparing Watermelon
    Cut Off Melon Ends. Molly Watson

    On a cutting board or other firm work surface, hold the melon steady with one hand. Use a heavy sharp knife to cut off each end of the melon, cutting off enough peel to expose the melon's pretty flesh underneath.

    Cutting these flat ends make subsequent cuts much safer and easier. Safer because it creates flat sides so the melon stays still as you cut it. Easier because it exposes where the ​melon rind ends and the fruit starts so you can judge how big to cut the slices. 

    Using a sharp knife...MORE makes cutting easier (duh!) but also safer: since you won't need to move the knife to make it cut, you're less likely to slip and cut yourself! It may be counterintuitive, but it's true: sharp knives are safe knives. If you have a heavy knife, that will make these big initial cuts easier since its weight will help cut through the heavy melon.

    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Cut the Melon In Half

    Halved Watermelon
    Melon in Half. Molly Watson

    Stand the melon on one of the cut ends—it should stand steady. 

    Use that same sharp (preferably heavy) knife to cut the melon in half lengthwise.

    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Cut the Melon Into Slices

    Slicing Watermelon
    Sliced Melon. Molly Watson
    Lay each half of the melon on its broad cut side. For larger melons, you may wish to cut each half in half lengthwise, or even quarters, to end up with more manageable melon slices. Cut the halved melon into thick or thin slices, as you wish.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Serve Melon Slices

    Melon, Ready to Eat
    Sliced Watermelon. Molly Watson

    Serve the melon slices immediately or keep them, covered and chilled, until ready to eat. They will keep nicely overnight if you want to prep them the night before. Giving them a bit of time in the fridge gives them even more of the refreshing chill we all crave during those hot days of summer when melons are at their best.

    Want to keep the cold and refreshing? Set the slices, peel side-down, on a bowl of ice.

    A few ways to dress up melon slices:

    • Spritz with lime juice and sprinkle with chili...MORE powder
    • Salt & pepper—no joke, it's delicious on sweet melon
    • Serve alongside a cheese or charcuterie platter—sweet melon balances out salty cheese and meat very nicely
    • Sweeten up less-than-perfectly ripe melon with a drizzle of honey or agave syrup
    • Offer melon slices sprinkled with salt alongside tequila shots in place of the more pedestrian lime wedges for a fun—and more satisfying—take on throwing one back
    • Plop a slice of melon alongside a dish of sorbet