Salted Cantaloupe Jam

Open jar of Salted Cantaloupe Jam, with a halved cantaloupe behind
Recipe At-A-Glance
Vegan, Gluten-Free1 hour
Cantaloupe certainly isn't the first fruit you think of when it comes time to make jam, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be on your "must can" list! This Salted Cantaloupe Jam is a new favorite in our house.

Share this post:

I take a lot of pride in where I live. I know a lot of folks consider Indiana a “fly over state” and that might be a negative to the vast majority of citizens in this country, but I’ll let you in on a little bit of a secret—us Midwesterners enjoy the fact that we’re off the radar.

I love that I have neighbors who never will bother me unless I need them to, and then they’d give me the shirts off their backs. I love that I can drive for hours and hours and see little more than farmhouses and cornfields. I love that I can keep my car unlocked (and running) while I pop into the post office. And I love that I can drive up to any one of two dozen farm stands within a five mile radius in August and buy farm fresh cantaloupe by dropping a few quarters in an old coffee can.

Salted Cantaloupe Jam

Southern Indiana isn’t really well-known for a lot of stuff (other than being Louisville’s hat), but one thing we do excel at is making some seriously mean cantaloupes. In particular, Jackson County, Indiana—which is just north of where we live—is pretty well-known in the region as having the best cantaloupes in all of the Midwest. Folks drive hundreds of miles to visit this rural Indiana county just to grab a cantaloupe or two! I’m not sure what it is about this area that produces the sweetest, juiciest, biggest cantaloupes you’ll ever see, but I’m not complaining.

Salted Cantaloupe Jam

We only planted a handful of cantaloupe plants this year, but we have no less than 473,000 melons on the vines right now (not only are cantaloupes grown in this area incredibly delicious, but they’re also incredibly prolific). And as much as I love eating cantaloupe morning, noon, and night, the truth is, we’re a little bit overwhelmed with our haul. Melons are one of those summer items that can be really difficult to preserve for winter eating, but I figured it might be worth a shot to try turning some of our bounty into some cantaloupe jam to enjoy during those cold January nights. And, man, was that ever a good idea.

The idea for salting the preserves came from the fact that summer dinners for me growing up meant a giant bowl of cantaloupe on the kitchen table for dessert. And next to that bowl was always the salt shaker. Just like all sweet foods, a little bit of salt sprinkled on some fresh cantaloupe slices really sets it off. I figured those flavors would be really interesting combined into a jam.

Salted Cantaloupe Jam

Because of the welcoming of our little girl, I haven’t had the chance to do as much canning this summer as I normally like to, but I was so happy I carved out an afternoon to make this cantaloupe jam. Not only is it delicious, but there is something about canning that makes me feel incredibly connected to my roots. My parents canned food. My grandparents canned food. My great-great-grandparents canned food. My soul tells me I should be canning on a weekend afternoon in August. It’s hard to explain, but there is something about ladling bubbly jam into steaming hot jars that makes me feel a little more connected to my past. To me, canning is so much more than just stocking away some food (although, that’s a nice perk, too).

Salted Cantaloupe Jam

Because of this love of canning, I am so happy to be participating in Ball Canning’s International Can-It-Forward Day for my third year. I’m excited anytime I get a chance to spread the love of food preserving! I’m so proud to work with an incredible Indiana company like Jarden Home Brands (makers of Ball and Kerr Mason jars).

Can-It-Forward Day is this upcoming Saturday, and they will be live streaming seminars and canning demonstrations on their website to help folks get excited about canning. If you’ve ever wanted to get started canning but were too afraid or intimidated, this Saturday is a great way to get your feet wet!

Now, go make some cantaloupe jam! Enjoy.


Salted Cantaloupe Jam

Salted Cantaloupe Jam

Yield: 8 half-pints
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Cantaloupe certainly isn't the first fruit you think of when it comes time to make jam, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be on your "must can" list! This Salted Cantaloupe Jam is a new favorite in our house.


  • 6 cups diced, very ripe cantaloupe
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 5 tablespoons powdered pectin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt


  1. Fill a waterbath canner with water, and place inside eight half-pint jars (make sure the water covers the jars). Bring to a boil. Place lids and rings in a small saucepan with hot water and heat, but do not boil.
  2. Bring cantaloupe, lemon juice, and 3 1/2 cups of sugar to a boil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a full, rolling boil that cannot be stirred down (it should take 10-15 minutes).
  3. Once the mixture is at a full boil, whisk together the remaining sugar and the pectin. Whisk the mixture into the cantaloupe mixture.
  4. Bring mixture back to a full boil, and then boil hard for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture looks thickened and is set. I like to test it by putting a small amount on a spoon and placing it in the freezer for a few minutes. If it's jelly-like when it's cold, it's set! If not, boil for a few more minutes.
  5. Once set, remove from heat, and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
  6. Remove the hot jars from the waterbath canner, and turn the canner back up onto high.
  7. Ladle the jam into the hot jars, leaving a 1/2" headspace. Using a clean, damp cloth, wipe any extra jam from the rim of the jars, and then place on the lids and the rings—tightening just until snug, not overly tight.
  8. Place the jars in a rack in the waterbath canner, bring to a boil, and process for 10 minutes. Remove from canner, and let cool completely. Check seals after 24 hours—the lids shouldn't flex or move when pushed down on. Store sealed jars in a cool dark place for up to a year. Any jars that don't seal, place in the fridge and eat within a month.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 64 Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 56Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 54mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 0g

At Wholefully, we believe that good nutrition is about much more than just the numbers on the nutrition facts panel. Please use the above information as only a small part of what helps you decide what foods are nourishing for you.

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

223 Responses
  1. I’ve never canned before (but I do remember “helping” my mom with it – aka eating jam – when I was little in Norway), but I have a friend who is ready and willing to show me the ropes once I get my own gear, so this would be perfect!

  2. Helen

    I would have never thought to make something like cantaloupe jam. I would love to try this! I’ve always wanted to figure out how to make dill pickles!

    1. Kapp

      Research CAREFULLY when you can tomatoes if you don’t do it right and can at the correct temp it can end in illness we LOVE doing our own but I know my grandma always made sure to be real careful that they sealed correctly and everything was clean!

        1. Joy

          Tomatoes are one of the easiest things to can. And, as they are very acidic, they do not need to be pressure canned; A water bath canner is used. As long as you are careful and follow all directons for canning, you should have no problems at all.

  3. Kristin Q

    I want to get into canning this summer since my freezer has no more room for garden goods. I love having a bit of summer in the middle of winter.

  4. I really want to learn how to can dill pickles. I got a bag of Mrs. Wages spices but it says to use a non-reactive pan and I have no idea how to tell what my pans are made of. I also don’t have any materials for water bath canning, but I’d love to learn. My family has always canned but I’m a little afraid to do it on my own. I also want to do peaches and applesauce.

  5. Justine

    As a recent master’s graduate taking the summer off, I have been canning all season as a way to stretch my grocery budget and my growing season. My favorite are fridge pickles, made with something sweet and a couple hot peppers from the garden. Fridge pickles are my favorite because they keep their crunch.

  6. stephanie piazza

    i have never done any canning but i have several friends who do can tomatoes and lots of fruit! my sister in law has made grape jelly !what about cherry or greem bean canned?

  7. Meghan

    Okay, so I really want to can but I can’t even think of something that I’d have ENOUGH of to can. So I will say that it would either be blueberry jam (because there are a million U-Pick blueberry farms up here in NW Indiana) OR… I’d be using those jars as containers for my dry goods until I can get a garden up and running. =)

  8. Christina B

    Just started canning last year, and I am the only one in my house who really eats cantaloupe. This recipes looks interesting.

  9. Alaina

    My family always canned things growing up, too, and I would really like to start on my own! I planted a ton of tomato plants this year and have too-many-to-count green babies just waiting to turn red to harvest! I would love to can these in lots of forms (sauce, whole, crushed, salsa, etc) to have on hand for the winter!

  10. Emma

    I have to be honest and say that while I would use some of the jars for canning, probably 80% of them would be used in my classroom to hold supplies. I’m always looking for glass jars!

  11. Jennifer

    I love canning! It’s one of my favorite hobbies. This year I’ve been experimenting more with savory jams. So good on cheese and crackers or as a glaze for meat.

  12. Kera

    I tried my hand at canning pickled radishes (no-go) and apricot-lime jam (yay!), but I want to expand my abilities and be able to can more whole tomatoes, sauces, pureed squash, etc. That jam looks delicious!

  13. Catherine

    I’ve made freezer jam and pickled beets – next up I’d like to learn how to make hot sauce, chutney, and red pepper jelly! Love your posts about growing and preserving food!

  14. katie walker

    cantaloupe jam? crazy awesomeness! I can’t wait to try this! I want to learn to can meals–I can do things alone, but canning them together to make a soup would make dinner so easy!

  15. I have never canned before! I did refrigerator pickles for the first time this year [and they were amazing]! Baby steps. (-:

    I’d love to learn to can peaches, I have fond memories of my Great Grandma’s canned peaches and slurping up the sweet, sticky syrup that the peaches came in after we devoured the fruit.

  16. Lisa

    I would love to learn to can anything! This isn’t something that was passed down in my family and it intimidates me! I’d like to can peach preserves for a taste of SC in the winter!

  17. Elyse

    This looks fantastic! I can’t wait to bring this to my next office meeting with my team. They are going to love it 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  18. Lina

    That looks delicious…I love using unique jam flavors on a cheese plate. I’d like to learn how to pressure can veggies and stocks as I’ve got the water bath canning pretty much down.

  19. Crystal C.

    My grandma has been making her own raspberry and blackberry jams for ages now, and we always love to get a jar or two of “grandma jam” to take home in the summer. I would love to try making her recipe at home and have my own stash to last all year!

  20. Michelle

    I would love to try and can peach jam with some of the incredible peaches I’ve been getting at a farm on my way home from work!

    1. Cassie

      I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why low-sugar pectin won’t work. You could probably cut back 1-2 cups. But it’ll take some experimenting to make sure it sets.

  21. Nichole

    I have no idea how to can anything. I tried to make pickles once and failed miserably. So, really – I’d like to try anything!

  22. When I was growing up I used to always help my mom can and now that I’m moved out and married I am looking forward to doing some of my own canning. With probably multiple calls to my mom for help 😉

  23. Rachel

    This recipe sounds AHmazing!! I haven’t canned anything before, but I’d like to try canning meat. My husband smokes a lot of meat on our smoker, and it’d be great if it was possible to can some of it rather than freezing it all…

  24. Lisa Marie

    Oh wow that sounds amazing. I love cantaloupe! I also am really interested in canning but have yet to take the plunge and actually do any yet 🙁

  25. Caitlyn

    I’d love to learn how to can spaghetti sauce. I grew up canning with my Mom, but we’ve always stuck to jam, etc – which I don’t eat a lot. I know there is something more complicated with spaghetti sauce, but I’ve never really understood why.

  26. Neena

    I would love to learn how to can salsa. Tomatoes are so summery fresh and I would love to crack into a jar of tomato salsa in the dead of winter to get a taste of some summer!

  27. Caitlin

    I recently canned peaches, peach butter (which totally bombed and is more like syrup…yum!), and pickles. Hoping for applesauce, pears, and possibly salsa or tomatoes. Oh and green beans! I love canning!

  28. I would love to get more adept at making various kinds of jam and jelly. My mom has always stuck to the basic berry jam varieties, but jelly or other fruits would be fun!

  29. audra

    I would love to learn how to can pretty much anything! I’m obsessed with mason jars, and have plenty, but I’m pretty much too scared to try.

  30. Tina

    I love cantaloupe, but had never thought to make it into jam. I would like to can the abundance of jalapeno peppers my one plant has been producing. Maybe jalapeno jelly should be on my “to can” list!

  31. Name *

    I love Ball jars. Their new straw sipper lids are our favorite thing here. I have been longing to learn some canning! This is inspiring.

  32. Erin

    I just made this and it was awesome. A really unique flavor that makes you go hmmmm. And it looks so pretty with the clear-ish orange color. The one thing I would recommend would be to cut back on the sugar. It was a little too sweet for my taste. Thanks for a great recipe!

  33. Anna C.

    I would love to learn how to can anything. Right now we freeze pretty much everything and con nothing My kids love applesauce so I would start with that and then jams and jellys.

  34. Susan

    I want to learn how to can anything and everything! But, I should probably start with the bounty of tomatoes, zucchini, jalepenos and yellow raspberries that my garden provided this summer. Thanks for sharing all your fabulous recipes and tips for those of us trying to preserve (pun intended) a natural lifestyle.

  35. Laura V.

    I’ve canned a lot of different things, but never tried strawberry jam. I’d love to try it because I love strawberry jam 🙂

  36. Alina

    I love Mason jars for everything – storing food, drinking . . . and canning too! Just started last year with pickles and tomatoes and looking forward to trying other things!

  37. Kim B

    I have never canned on my own, but would love to carry on a family tradition! I also have some very delicious Indiana cantaloupes!

    1. Cassie

      We use a “vintage” one that’s been in the family for 30 years! So, sorry, I don’t have any idea about the new ones.

  38. Alaina

    Question – about how many cantaloupes equals 6 cups? Would love to try this, but not sure how many I need to get from the farmer’s market… thanks for the help!

        1. Cassie

          There is a picture in the post of the diced cantaloupe in a measuring cup. Smallish, but not tiny. No need to be fussy about it. Maybe 1/2″ x 1/4″?

  39. Aimee C

    I do quite a bit of canning but the one thing I have not gotten into doing yet is making pickles…why, I don’t know. It really ought to be next on the list!

  40. Elaine Isaacs

    I have never canned by myself before, but it’s been something I have wanted to do for a long time. I would try making Jam, plum Strawberrys and mixed furit. Fingers crossed

  41. Stefanie

    I am totally fascinated by this cantelope jam – I love summer melons and never thought to make jam from them!

    I have made small batches of what I call “smooth jam” before – seedless raspberry and blackberry jam, and my partner makes quick-pickled everything, but I would love to try this cantelope jam and watermelon rind pickles as well!

  42. Teresa

    I’d like to can tomatoes and jams like blueberry, strawberry, etc. I’d also like to can applesauce. I’m hoping to learn this year.

  43. Jessie

    One of my goals this summer is to learn how to can pasta sauce. And make pickles. And different kind of jams. OK, so I want to PRESERVE EVERYTHING. 🙂

  44. i already do a lot of canning. Mainly water bath canning, but i’ve done some pressure canning too. i would love to learn to can soups and also potatoes. For some reason the low acid foods intimidate me a bit, so i have avoided them.

  45. TeresaM

    I would love to start canning, we always love receiving canned jams and veggies as gifts. I would probably start with apple butter because yum!

  46. Tara Mason

    I have canned lots of veggies (marinara, zucchini, pickles, green beans) but I have never tried jams. I would love to try jellies and jams.

  47. Jessica H.

    So far I have only been brave enough to can berries. I would love to learn to can veggies, like green beans. And I would love to learn to pickle. Thank you for the wonderful giveaway!

  48. Georgia Beckman

    I would like to make jams & jellies but I am most interested in preserving things we put on the table every day: VEGETABLES!

  49. Heather r

    tomatoes, asparagus and pickles. my daughter just gave me a couple of strange cucumbers from her garden – she’s learning to be quite a little farmer – one was a white cucumber and another a lemon cucumber. I’m sure there will be lots to can!

  50. Elicia P

    Pickles. Sounds silly but I am afraid at this moment. Last year was my first year canning. I did ketchup and applesauce. They were simple.
    Pickles somehow scare me, I need to take the plunge!!!!

  51. Kathy

    Ohhhh my goodness!! This makes up the BEST jam I’ve ever made!! I’ve made it with both cantaloupe AND honeydew with great success!! Thank you SOOOOO much for sharing this recipe!!!!

  52. Erin

    I made your jam for my mom, whose father was from Tell City, IN. We always salt our cantelope, too. Thank you so much for the recipe. It is great on biscuits.

  53. Patience

    What about the acidity levels? Are the two tablespoons of lemon juice enough to prevent botulism after the jam is canned? I just canned this recipe, so I’m a little nervous.

  54. Susan

    That sounds like an interesting thing to try. Next summer, I’m not driving to your neighborhood, but I’ll try it with some local cantaloupes. I also don’t use sugar/pectin. I use a different pectin that jells with calcium, so it isn’t full of sugar. It’s worked with everything I’ve tried so far, so I expect it will be fine.

  55. pam

    wow, can’t wait to try it. I have made bread with cantaloupe but never heard of jam, it will be fun to give it a try this summer.

  56. Gj

    I don’t know how my mom came up with her recipe. She made cantaloupe preserves 60 years ago No one had ever heard of it or guessed what they were made of. She was way ahead of her time. Miss her every day.

  57. Regina D . Potts

    Yes! Delicious awesomeness! Been making Cantaloupe Preserves for years out of cantaloupes that did not taste so great. Use equal parts sugar & cantaloupes and no vanilla or salt. Very excited about this Cantaloupe Jam recipe…the vanilla & Salt probably takes it up a notch!

  58. Starr

    OMG!!! I just made this and it is hands down the single best testing jam I have ever made. Thanks for sharing this recipe with the world.

  59. john

    very interesting in aussie australia we call this preserving using a vacuol system i am going to try this it was a fluke i evan looked for cantaloupe most aussies call it rockmelon

  60. Kathleen M Leggio

    Just finished a batch of salted cantaloupe jam, your recipe is fabulous, delicious, delightful. This will be a family favorite. We have so many cantaloupes coming out of our garden…ugh. ..this is a great way to use some! Can’t wait to spoon some over vanilla ice cream! Thank you so much!!!

  61. Jennifer

    I was a little skeptical about Salted Cantaloupe Jam, but salted caramel is pretty good, so I thought I would give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did, because this jam is SO GOOD!!!! I don’t even particularly care for cantaloupe, but I planted it on a whim and it took off, necessitating finding some way to preserve it. Freezing wasn’t an option (the freezer is currently full of home grown chickens), so canning won the day.

  62. Paula Kennish

    I have canned successfully my whole life. I make at least 400 jars of jams & jellies per year. This was the biggest waste of time & good cantaloupe that I’ve ever seen. It would not set up (a problem I’ve never had). I’m back to making raspberry jam, strawberry jam, peach jam, jalapeno pepper jelly, apple butter, etc. All have wonderful flavor & set up every time!

  63. Stephanie

    I made this jam last year and it is by far my most favorite jam.Thank you! My husband still loves raspberry jam the best, but that is okay with me. It means the cantaloupe is all mine. However, I have almost entirely cut out all sugar from my diet. Do you know if I can safely make this with stevia or grape juice? Even if I still used half the sugar and half alternative sugar source?

    1. Cassie Johnston

      Hi Stephanie: I’m not sure on the safety of making this with lower or less sugar. I do know that in this cookbook (one of my faves): Melissa has a Cantaloupe jam recipe that uses agave. I know it’s not the same as reducing the sugar entirely, but it might at least be a starting off point.

  64. Jen

    Has this recipe been tested for acidity level? I’m reading conflicting reports about the safety of water bath canning cantaloupe, but I LOVE your recipe!

      1. Jen

        Thanks! I am experimenting with increasing the acidity level to something approaching that Ball recipe, even though I know the sugar also helps! So far, adding a teaspoon of citric acid and an additional teaspoon of vanilla (helps tone down the tartness) seems to make the least difference in taste. We LOVE your recipe! I grew 12 cantaloupe plants this year just so we wouldn’t run out of jam. ;). I’ve made 3 batches so far and have another 2 in the works.

  65. Anne Cusker

    Oh my goodness, we must be near neighbors! We also live in Southern Indiana! Outside Madison, in a small town, Manville. Glad to find you! Good thoughts 😊

  66. Donnie

    I have canned a lot but this is my first attempt at jelly. I always have more cantaloupe than I can eat or give away so thought I’d try making this jelly. I haven’t had it cold but sampled some of the leftover that wasn’t enough for a jar, OMG, this is fantastic. Good Lort y’all !!!

    1. Cassie Johnston

      I used Ball® Canning pectin. You can use low or no sugar pectin for this, and just make sure to follow the sugar suggestions on the recipe on the box or bottle.

  67. Janice

    After making this I was informed on my jelly group that there is not enough lemon juice to bring up the acidity of the cantaloupe and therefore not safe to eat.
    I am SO bummed!

  68. Robin

    So I just got done making and canning this, and first of all: YUM! I’m a newer canner, so I’m sure this is operator error, but somehow I only ended up with 3 3/4-ish half pints of jam. I followed the ingredients list exactly, so I have no idea what I did wrong! Any suggestions are welcome!

    1. Danielle @Wholefully

      Hi, Robin! We’re so glad you enjoyed the jam! It doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong. Yields can vary based on how much juice the fruit releases and how long you cook it down. So it’s possible that your smaller yield was just right for your fruit!

      Since you mentioned that you’re a newer canner, we do want to note that any jars that aren’t full (like that 3/4-ish jar you had) shouldn’t be canned. So use up the not-quite-full jar first! You can just stick it in the fridge and eat it within a few weeks.

Starter Guide

The free Living Wholefully Starter Guide is packed full of tips, tricks, recipes, and a 14-day meal plan to get you started on the road to vibrant health.

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

Learn More About Me →

Skip to Recipe