Looking for cantaloupe recipes? This summer fruit can be used to elevate savory dishes as well. We've gathered some of the best ways to use this summer melon.
Much like other summer melons, cantaloupe tastes best in the height of summer. It’s at its peak from June through August, though you may be able to find it in stores in other months, depending on where you live. Because very little pesticide residue is normally found on conventionally-grown cantaloupe, it has earned a spot o the Clean 15 food list, which means that you can buy this produce non-organic without having to worry about ingesting suspicious chemicals.
Cantaloupe is a fruit source of protein that is easy to digest. It’s also a good source of beta-carotene and is considered to be a low FODMAP fruit. There is a wide variety of cantaloupe recipes available, so you can easily incorporate this summer melon into your diet.
Cantaloupe Salad Recipes
This summer melon is a common ingredient in fruit salads, but there are also plenty of ways to use cantaloupe in savory salads as well.
- Cantaloupe Cucumber Salad: Ball the melon, cut the cucumbers into half moons, and add to a bowl. Whisk together some lemon juice, olive oil, and salt for the dressing. Toss the melon and cucumbers in the dressing, and add some vegan feta cheese, sunflower seeds, and freshly chopped basil as garnish.
- Tomato Cantaloupe Salad: Ball the melon, halve 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, and add them to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before adding chopped basil as a garnish.
- Shaved Cantaloupe Salad: Use a mandolin to shave the cantaloupe very thinly into ribbons. Arrange the slices on a plate and drizzle them with olive oil. Top with fresh herbs of your choice and chili flakes.
- Cantaloupe Slaw: mix together shredded cabbage and grated cantaloupe and toss with some sour cream, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt.
- Vegan Caesar Salad: Use some Tuscan kale and romaine lettuce for this twist on a classic salad. Toss in some chopped cantaloupe, toasted almonds, and some avocado slices for a fresh summer salad.
Use the following cantaloupe recipe ideas to help take your eco-friendly garden party to the next level.
- Prosciutto e Melone: This Italian classic pairs sweet and juicy cantaloupe with salty prosciutto by simply wrapping the cured meat on the melon spears. You can use seitan or roasted eggplant to make vegan prosciutto, so you don’t miss out on these wonderful flavors. Add these toppings to a flatbread or eat them as is.
- Vegan Crostini: Get creative and add some cantaloupe to the mix alongside homemade vegan cheese.
- Cantaloupe Salsa: This salsa can be used on top of black bean burgers, salads, and burrito bowls or simply as a dip for tortilla chips or pita. Dice some cantaloupe and red onion and toss it into a bowl. Mince some fresh cilantro and fresh jalapeno and add that to the bowl as well. Toss in some lime juice and season with sea salt.
Grilled Cantaloupe Recipe
Grilled fruit has a delectable charred flavor that can really help bring out the more subtle flavors. So fire up the grill and get ready for this delicious grilled cantaloupe recipe:
- Slice the cantaloupes into spears and remove the rind.
- Bush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle with a mixture of lime zest, chili powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and pepper.
- Grill the spears for approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
- Remove from heat and sprinkle with additional sea salt before serving.
Cantaloupe Pasta Sauce
The sweetness of the melon balances the saltiness of the bacon in this cantaloupe pasta sauce recipe. We’ve also included some alternative ingredients to make this recipe vegan-friendly.
- 3 tbsp butter or vegan butter substitute
- 2 oz. bacon or seasoned tofu, diced
- 1 medium shallot, diced
- 3 cups diced ripe cantaloupe
- ½ cup heavy cream or vegan substitute
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp minced fresh oregano or thyme
- Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add the bacon or mushrooms and cook until crispy and browned, then add the shallot in and cook until soft.
- Mix in the rest of the butter and wait for it to melt. Then add the cantaloupe to the pan and cook until the melon has broken down.
- Next, add the cream, salt, pepper, and herbs and cook the sauce until it’s thickened and reduced by half.
- Add in the cooked pasta along with some pasta water and toss until the pasta is well coated.
- Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan or vegan parmesan cheese.
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