What is more quintessentially summer than ripe, juicy fruit and grilling? Honestly, I would guess nothing. Put the two together and you’ve got a match made in heaven, so grab yourself a cantaloupe and and fire up the grill!
Grilled Cantaloupe Is a Quick and Easy, Refreshing Summer Dessert
Grilled cantaloupe is one of my all time favorite summer desserts because it’s so juicy, fresh, and flavorful – plus it’s ready in minutes!! You know those hot summer nights where you’re craving a dessert but just don’t feel like baking anything? Obviously the answer is to slice a big, sweet melon in half and toss it straight onto the grill, right?
Grilled Cantaloupe is:
- fast and easy
- gluten free
This recipe calls for:
- home made date caramel
- plant based vanilla ice cream
- fresh berries
To make the date caramel, you will need:
- pitted dates
- plant based milk
- vanilla extract
How to make Grilled Cantaloupe with Vegan Ice Cream and Date Caramel
First, you’re going to want to pick the perfect melon. To do this, I headed to my local Sprouts Farmer’s Market because they have such a wide variety of fresh fruit and great prices.
How to Pick the Perfect Cantaloupe
When looking at all of the cantaloupes, go for one that is mostly golden or tan in color. Green ones aren’t totally ripe yet. Bonus points if it has lots of beige webbing patterns all over it and is still pretty firm. Skip any melons that feel squishy or have soft spots, as these are probably over ripe.
How to Make Date Caramel
Once you’ve brought home the perfect melon, you can get started on your date caramel. Pick out about 15 dates, and make sure to remove the pits from them. Then you can take them and plop into water to soak for a few hours, or even as long as over night if you’re really a planner.
I used deglet nour dates because my grocer sells them already pitted which saves on time, but feel free to use medjool if you have them handy. For medjool dates, I would use about half as many since they’re typically bigger and sweeter.
After dates have soaked thoroughly, add the dates along with the syrupy water left from soaking to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Add blended date mixture to a small saucepan and turn to medium heat. Mix in 1/3 cup plant based milk. I used soy milk, but oat, almond, or coconut milk will work just fine. Next, add in 1 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp salt, and continue stirring occasionally until it forms a thicker consistency, about 10 to 15 minutes.
How to Grill the Cantaloupe
Cut the cantaloupe in half, scooping out the seeds from the center. Cut into wedges, or leave in half, depending on preference. I did half and half with mine. So part I cut into wedges since they’re a bit easier to eat, and the other half I grilled as is because who can resist a cantaloupe ice cream bowl?!
Place wedges or halves of cantaloupe on a grill or cast iron grill pan. If using a grill pan, spritz with a little bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Allow to remain in place for 5-8 minutes until char marks appear.
If you went with the wedges, simple plop the cantaloupe in a bowl, top with a scoop or two of vegan vanilla ice cream, drizzle with date caramel, and top with berries of choice. If you are using the half cantaloupe as the bowl, fill with ice cream and add your toppings. Be careful to scoop a deep enough hole for the ice cream or it will melt and get everywhere. Simply use a spoon to scoop ice cream with some of the juicy flesh from the melon and enjoy!
Grilled Cantaloupe with Vegan Ice Cream and Date Caramel
- 1 cantaloupe
- 1 pint vegan vanilla ice cream
- 15 dates pitted
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup plant based milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Add 15 pitted dates and ½ cup water to a lidded container. Let soak at least one hour, up to overnight.
- After dates have soaked thoroughly, add dates and syrupy water left from soaking to a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
- Add blended date mixture to a saucepan and turn to medium heat.
- Mix in 1/3 cup plant based milk, 1 tsp vanilla, 1/8 tsp salt, and continue stirring occasionally until it forms a thicker consistency, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Cut cantaloupe in half, scooping out the seeds from the center. Cut into wedges, or leave in half, depending on preference.
- Place wedges or halves of cantaloupe on a grill and allow to remain in place for 5-8 minutes until char marks appear. If using indoor grill pan, spray lightly with olive oil so fruit does not stick.
- Place cantaloupe in a bowl, fill with vegan vanilla ice cream, drizzle with date caramel, and top with berries of choice.
- If vanilla ice cream is on the sweeter side for you, opt for vanilla or plain yogurt.
- Swap date caramel for maple syrup or melted chocolate if they are handy.
- Any number of toppings would be perfect here ranging from shaved coconut, blueberries, mint, shaved almonds, etc.
If you are a new vegan or are curious about plant based lifestyle: Please join our Facebook Group: New Vegan Recipes and Advice Community to ask questions about vegan recipes, lifestyle, personal products, restaurants in your area etc. It’s a forum and support group full of other plant-based food bloggers and seasoned vegans who would love to help you on your journey!
As always, if you make this easy and delicious grilled cantaloupe recipe, tag me on Facebook or Instagram, and let me know how it goes! You can also check out my Pinterest page for more easy weeknight dinner inspiration.
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Lauren 🌱 Easy #Vegan seasonal recipes: usually healthy, always satisfying. Sustainability + garden to table inspo
Vegan since ‘13👇click for recipes