How to Cut a Pomegranate

Here, two different ways to cut open the fruit and remove the arils.

August 30, 2021

How to Cut a Pomegranate 00:55

Pomegranates have a reputation for being difficult to cut open, but they aren't as intimidating as they seem. Learn everything you need to know about how to open this gorgeous fruit and what to do with all those juicy, delicious seeds.

By Krissy Downey for Food Network Kitchen

Krissy is a Digital Culinary Production Fellow at Food Network.

Pomegranates are one of the most gorgeous and nutritious items in the produce aisle, but they have quite the reputation for being difficult to cut open. We’re here to help, and we promise, pomegranates aren’t as intimidating as they may seem. Read on for everything you need to know about how to open a pomegranate and what to do with all those juicy, delicious seeds.

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166141939

Hands seeding a pomegranate with the water method

Photo by: Studio-Annika/Getty Images

Studio-Annika/Getty Images

How to Cut a Pomegranate

  1. Pick out the perfect pomegranate. It should feel a bit heavy for its size, with smooth skin and no cracks, bruises or wrinkles.
  2. Score the pomegranate around the center with a sharp knife. Be sure to just cut through the skin; don’t cut deep enough to get into those precious seeds.
  3. Submerge the pomegranate in a large bowl of cold water.
  4. Pry apart the fruit. With the tips of your thumbs at the part of the fruit that is scored, carefully pry open the pomegranate to reveal the jewel-like seeds.
  5. Turn one pomegranate half cut side-down in your hand and hold it over the water. Set the other half aside for now.
  6. Smack out the seeds. Grab a wooden spoon and hit the pomegranate until all the seeds fall into the water. You want to hit it with enough gusto to force the seeds out, but not so hard that the fruit breaks apart.
  7. Repeat step 6 with the second half of the pomegranate.
  8. Drain the seeds. Some of the white pith may have fallen into the water with the seeds, so discard that and then drain the seeds by dumping the contents of the bowl through a fine mesh strainer or a colander. After the seeds are drained, pat them dry with a paper towel.
  9. Enjoy or store the seeds. Enjoy the seeds right away, or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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459411749

Cut open and closed pomegranates on a wooden table

Photo by: Studio-Annika/Getty Images

Studio-Annika/Getty Images

How to Cut a Pomegranate Hack

If the whole whacking a pomegranate technique doesn’t sound appealing, you might want to try a viral hack for how to get to those seeds instead. We’ve tested it out, and it works like magic.

  1. Cut off the end of the pomegranate. Using a sharp knife, cut off the stem end of the pomegranate. Cut off enough to just reveal some of the seeds. You’ll notice that the pomegranate seeds are divided into natural sections, separated by the white pith. It will almost resemble the segments of an orange.
  2. Use the pith as a guide to scoring down the length of the pomegranate. With the exposed side facing up, place your knife on the skin starting at the top of the pomegranate along one of the white pith segments. Score the pomegranate skin about 1/4 inch deep from the top all the way down to the base. Repeat around the pomegranate along all the sections of white pith.
  3. Crack open the pomegranate. Cup the pomegranate in your hands and use your fingers to break it open into slices. You will have several slices with exposed seeds.
  4. Pull out the pith. You can now reach in and pull out the white pith in big sheets. Discard it.
  5. Pop out the seeds. With your fingertips, pry out the seeds in big hunks. They’ll pop out easily, which is extremely satisfying.

Can I Eat the Skin of the Pomegranate?

The white pith and skin of the pomegranate is technically edible, but they have a tough texture and a bitter taste. For those reasons, we recommend composting the pith and skin and sticking with just the seeds for eating.

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188023028

Pomegranate seeds are in a white bowl on the old cutting board

Photo by: ozgurcoskun/Getty Images

ozgurcoskun/Getty Images

Do You Eat the Whole Pomegranate Seed?

Pomegranate seeds, also called arils, are tart, sweet and juicy, and they have a somewhat crunchy center seed. The entirety of the seed is totally edible, and that crunchy seed gives off a delightful texture. Some people do prefer to just suck the juice off the seed and spit out that seed, but they are missing out on the added textural layer, plus the nutritional value of the center, including vitamin C, potassium and fiber.

How to Eat a Pomegranate

Toss Into a Salad

Pomegranate seeds are a simple way to add juicy freshness to any salad. The same-old greens, vegetables and nuts get old quickly, so keep a pomegranate on-hand to make your salads instantly more interesting.

This is the receipe for Christmas Salad

Photo by: Kate Mathis

Kate Mathis

Don’t let the name fool you- this salad is the perfect base for year-round pomegranate seed enjoyment. Peppery arugula, crunchy pecans and creamy feta get a bright kick with the addition of juicy pomegranate seeds.

Mix Into Baked Goods

You may not think of adding pomegranates to cakes, breads and muffins, but they bake up deliciously, maintaining their freshness and adding to the sweetness of baked goods.

Muffin of the Month Club

Muffin of the Month Club

Photo by: RYAN DAUSCH

RYAN DAUSCH

Pomegranate seeds pair perfectly with orange flavor, as highlighted in these sweet, glazed muffins.

Add to a Classic After School Snack

Fruit salad cups are the sweetest after school snack. Whether they are mixed with sugary syrup or served raw, what could be better than a big bowl of fruit to come home to after a long day at school?

Make Ahead Dessert

Make Ahead Dessert

A clear bowl with a sideways spoon containing a fruit dessert

©Food - Jamie Kimm

Food - Jamie Kimm

Packed with antioxidants, pomegranates add some extra nutrition and beautiful color.

Make Beautiful Appetizers

Pomegranate seeds are a simple yet impressive addition to appetizers and hors d'oeuvres. Make any celebration, book club or dinner party extra beautiful by showing up with one of these pomegranate appetizers.

Creamy, herby goat cheese gets coated in an abundance of pomegranate seeds, resulting in an absolutely show-stopping appetizer.

This hors d'oeuvre of store-bought phyllo shells, fig jam, brie cheese, walnuts and pomegranate seeds comes together in a flash and brightens up your dinner party with barely any work at all.

Pomegranate seeds become a savory topping when you toss them with sherry vinegar, parsley and honey. That sweet and savory topping is the perfect way to liven up white-bean crostini.

Give Them the Main Course Treatment

Savory meats and vegetarian main courses all benefit from the juiciness of pomegranate seeds. They are just one ingredient, but they instantly turn a main dish into something spectacular. Try adding pomegranate seeds to your meats, grains and vegetables for an extra bright kick.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Tahini

A vegetarian main course of whole roasted cauliflower gets a little something extra special with a tahini and pomegranate seed topping.

Food Network Kitchen’s Grilled Double Lamb Chops with PomegranateMint Pesto.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Matt Armendariz, Copyright 2015

Pomegranate-Mint Pesto pairs wonderfully with grilled lamb chops but keep this one in your repertoire to serve with grilled steaks, fish and vegetables, too!

Citrusy pork tenderloin and pomegranate-topped farro were made for each other. Brussels sprouts in the farro makes this a full meal you’ll be making over and over again.

Use Them In Cocktails

Who can resist a sweet cocktail with ruby-red pomegranate seeds? Pomegranate juice and seeds kick up cocktails (and mocktails!) to the next level.

Build Your Holiday Feast

Build Your Holiday Feast

Photo by: Ryan Liebe

Ryan Liebe

Pomegranate juice gives these French Martinis the sweetness they need, and pomegranate seeds are a festive, delicious and surprising garnish.

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