Have you ever wondered how to cut a pomegranate without making a mess? There are many different ways or “hacks” to cut a pomegranate, like hitting it with a spoon or submerging it in water. I’ve found this method for cutting a pomegranate to be the cleanest and easiest way. All you need is a good paring knife.
I use pomegranates a lot in my cooking. They are juicy and tasty, and add a pop of beautiful color to your meals. You might think of these delicious seeds to be used with sweet foods, but they also pair well with savory recipes like roasted honeynut squash with spiced beef or lamb shoulder chops.
- Why This is the Best Method for Cutting a Pomegranate
- All About Pomegranates
- How to Pick Out a Ripe Pomegranate
- Recipe video
- The Best Way to Cut a Pomegranate
- Tips for Cutting Pomegranates
- How to Store Pomegranates and Seeds
- How to Use Pomegranate Seeds
- Pairing Suggestions
- Recipe FAQ
- Related Recipes
- Mess Free Way to Cut a Pomegranate
Why This is the Best Method for Cutting a Pomegranate
✔️ Less mess! Pomegranates can be messy, and their juice can stain. I’ve tried all the methods for getting the pomegranate seeds out, and this is the least messy way.
✔️ Less waste. With the spoon method, the arils can fly around, and some get smashed in the process. This is a more precise method of cutting a pomegranate, so there is less waste.
✔️ Just need a knife. No water bowl, or a wooden spoon to bang on the fruit. You only need a sharp knife.
✔️ It’s the easiest. Skip the “hacks” and cut open your pomegranate like a pro with this easy method.
All About Pomegranates
So what is a pomegranate, anyway? Pomegranates are red rounded fruits filled with ruby red seeds that were originally grown in the Mediterranean area. In the northern hemisphere, pomegranates are in season from fall to early spring.
The outside of the pomegranate has a red leathery exterior with a crown shaped calyx (blossom end) opposite the stem end. This fruit is actually a type of berry, with the inside being filled with hundreds of small seeds (called arils) with a juicy red coating. The seeds are separated into segments by a pithy white membrane. The skin and pith are technically edible, but I don’t recommend eating them as they are tough and bitter. The edible part of a pomegranate fruit are the juicy seeds.
The bright red juice of the pomegranate seeds will stain, so be mindful when cutting one open!
Pomegranates are also considered a superfood by some since they are high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Read more about the health benefits of pomegranates from Healthline.
How to Pick Out a Ripe Pomegranate
When picking out a pomegranate, look for ones that are bright and vibrant in color. A ripe fruit should feel heavy for its size, meaning the arils are juicy and full.
The best pomegranates are not actually perfectly round, but have visible ridges on the outside. Select one with the least amount of bruising, brown spots, or scrapes. I prefer the ones with shiny skin.
Although pomegranates may be available all year round at the grocery store, the best ones will be during peak season in late fall and winter.
The Best Way to Cut a Pomegranate
Follow these easy steps to remove your pomegranate seeds, mess free!
Step 1. Using a paring knife, cut a circle about 2 inches in diameter around the pomegranate top or calyx (crown-shaped part).
Step 2. Put enough pressure to cut through the rind, but not too deep where you are cutting into the arils. Remove the cut piece so you can see the inside of the pomegranate.
Step 3. Locate the white membranes that go from the top of the pomegranate to the base. Use a paring knife, match up the tip of the knife to the membrane, and score the rind with shallow cuts.
Step 4. Make cuts down the sides of the pomegranate from the top to the bottom. Repeat with the other membranes. Typically, there are anywhere from 4-6 membranes or sections.
Step 5. Using your hands, loosen the pomegranate into segments or sections from the center.
Step 6. Take each segment and, using your hands, loosen it up and remove the pomegranate arils into a bowl. Remove any white bits from the seeds.
Tips for Cutting Pomegranates
- I like to use a paring knife for cutting pomegranates open because it is small and gives you good control.
- Once you cut a circle on the top of a pomegranate, use the tip of the knife to lift the top.
- I like to peel the entire pomegranate and store the seeds in a glass container or mason jar and use it throughout the week on top of salad, oatmeal, or just eat it by the handful.
How to Store Pomegranates and Seeds
Storing whole - A whole pomegranate can stay at room temperature for a few days or in the fridge for a few weeks.
Storing seeds - Fresh pomegranate seeds can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 5 days. You can even freeze the seeds! Lay the arils out in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to 6 months.
How to Use Pomegranate Seeds
You can snack on the juicy arils as is, use them to make pomegranate juice, or use them in recipes. They work great sprinkled on top of smoothie bowls, oatmeal, salads, or main courses. They work with sweet and savory dishes!
Here are some ways to eat pomegranate seeds:
- Great with winter squashes like butternut or honeynut squash - like in this honeynut squash stuffed with ground beef recipe.
- It is also excellent with lamb, like in these lamb shoulder chops. This recipe uses pomegranate molasses to complement the gaminess of the lamb and also uses the arils as a garnish.
- Add the arils to salads like in this broccoli apple slaw for extra crunch and flavor.
- If you’re craving something sweet, try this no bake chocolate pomegranate tart, or use the seeds in chocolate bark.
- Use them as a topping for oatmeal or yogurt.
- Add them to charcuterie boards for a beautiful presentation.
Other products made with pomegranate
- Pomegranate juice
- Pomegranate molasses (I recommend Al Wadi Pomegranate Sauce or Just Date Pomegranate Molasses
- Dried pomegranate seeds
- Pomegranate powder
- Pomegranate flavored tea
Pomegranates pair well with the flavors of:
- Citrus, like oranges, pomelo, and grapefruits, especially in salads or fruit salad
- Winter squash, like butternut squash and acorn squash
- Rice pilaf as a crunchy topping
- Sweeter breakfast foods like oatmeal or yogurt
- Lamb recipes, or other grilled or spiced meats
Yes! You can eat the entire pomegranate seed, the juicy part, and the hard small seeds inside. However, some don't like the texture of the inner seed and prefer to spit them out.
Pomegranate seeds are sweet and juicy, and can be a little tart.
Some pomegranate varieties have white, or light pink seeds which are perfectly normal.
Lastly, if you try this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! And if you snapped some photos, tag and share them with me on Instagram.
Mess Free Way to Cut a Pomegranate
- 1 pomegranate
- Using a paring knife, cut a circle about 2 inches in diameter, around the pomegranate top or calyx (the part where the stem sticks out). Put enough pressure to cut through the rind (the red skin layer), but not going too deep where you are cutting into the arils or seeds. Remove the cut piece so you can see the inside of the pomegranate.
- Locate the white membranes that go from the top to the very base. Use a paring knife, match up the tip of the knife to the membrane, and score the rind (just enough to pierce the skin) going all the way from the top to the bottom. Repeat with the other membranes. Typically, there are anywhere from 4-6 membranes or sections.
- Using your hands, loosen the pomegranate into segments or sections from the center.
- Take each segment and, using your hands, loosen it up and remove the arils or pomegranate seeds into a bowl.
- Use a sharp paring knife
- Select a pomegranate that feels heavy for its size, vibrant in color, has a nice sheen to the skin, and has minimal bruising, scrapes, and brown spots.
- Storing seeds - Fresh pomegranate seeds can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 5 days. You can even freeze the seeds! Lay the arils out in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer to a freezer bag and store for up to 6 months.