Watermelon Pie

Tapioca thickens the filling in this vibrant and festive watermelon pie. A sweet watermelon flavor shines in this cooling pie with whipped cream and orange zest that elevates the fruitiness. This pie is perfect for a hot summer day.

Watermelon Pie
Photo: Jennifer Causey


  • 1 ⅓ cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1/3 cup, divided

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 small seedless watermelon (about (4 1/2 pounds)

  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons quick-cooking tapioca

  • teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon orange zest

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar


  1. Lightly coat a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Place graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a food processor; process until well combined, about 5 seconds. Add butter; process until evenly combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Freeze, uncovered, until hardened, at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.

  2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake the frozen pie crust until lightly browned, 8 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.

  3. Cut watermelon in half; remove and discard rind. Refrigerate 1 watermelon half until ready to use. Chop the remaining watermelon half into cubes (about 3/4-inch) to equal 3 cups; (reserve any remaining chopped watermelon for another use). Place the watermelon cubes in a blender; process until completely smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl, pressing on the pulp in the strainer to squeeze out juices; discard solids. Measure watermelon juice to equal 1 1/3 cups and set aside (reserve any remaining juice for another use).

  4. Process tapioca in a spice grinder until finely ground, about 30 seconds (alternatively, grind tapioca using a mortar and pestle). Transfer the ground tapioca to a small saucepan; whisk in the watermelon juice, salt and the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Boil, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and the tapioca is mostly translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in orange juice; set aside.

  5. Beat whipping cream with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form, about 30 seconds. Transfer 1/2 cup of the whipped cream to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Gently fold the cooled watermelon juice mixture into the remaining whipped cream, about 1/4 cup at a time, until smooth and combined. Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, at least 8 hours or up to 12 hours.

  6. Using a melon baller, scoop out flesh from the reserved watermelon half to make 18 (about 3/4-inch) balls. Spread the reserved whipped cream over the center of the pie, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border; arrange the watermelon balls around the outer edges. Sprinkle orange zest over the whipped cream. Serve immediately.

To make ahead

Freeze crust (Step 1) for up to 12 hours. Prepare the pie through Step 5 and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Continue with Step 6 just before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

347 Calories
16g Fat
51g Carbs
3g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Serving Size 1 slice
Calories 347
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 51g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 35g
Protein 3g 6%
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Vitamin A 1969IU 39%
Sodium 122mg 5%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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