Rachel Cooks

How to Eat a Pomegranate {+Recipe Round-Up}

Pomegranates have been calling my name lately every time I go to the grocery store.

This time, they called my name and said, “Hey lookie, I’m on sale!!!”

And then two jumped into my cart. I had no idea what I would do with them, but I knew I was going to eat them. And take photos of them. They are so pretty!

The task of breaking a pomegranate open and getting to the seeds (arils) can be a little daunting, so  hopefully this step-by-step tutorial will help you get to the little jewels inside of the fruit.

Step 1. Gather your supplies (not all pictured).

  • sharp knife
  • cutting board
  • towel (it’s messy–or maybe that’s just me)
  • large bowl filled with cold water
  • slotted spoon
  • strainer

Step 2. Wash the pomegranate.

Step 3. Slice off the top (“the crown”–the part that looks like…well, a crown). 

Step 4. Score the pomegranate in four or five places. Don’t cut quite as deep as I did. 

Step 5. Place upside down (cut side down) in a bowl of cold water and leave there for about 10 minutes. 

Step 6. Remove from bowl, open the pomegranate and begin to separate the arils (seeds). Let them fall into the bowl. They will sink and any white stuff (which probably has a technical name–flesh?) will float to the top. I think I’ll stick with “white stuff” because “the flesh will float to the top” sounds pretty gross. The color of the juice is already reminding me of a few things I’ve seen working at the hospital…

Step 7. When you’re done, you can skim this off with your slotted spoon. 

Step 8. Remove seeds from water. This is where your strainer comes in handy! 

Step 9. Enjoy in any of the fun recipes listed below. Or just marvel over how seriously pretty these little seeds are. 


Main Dishes:
Roasted Almond Crusted Salmon with Pomegranate Glaze from How Sweet It is
Turkish-Spiced Chicken Kebabs with Pomegranate Relish from Perry’s Palate
POM Butter Chicken from Fake Ginger
Pomegranate Chipotle Black Bean Sliders from The Wicked Noodle
Pomegranate Chipotle Baby Back Ribs from The Wicked Noodle

Roasted Autumn Panzanella Salad from How Sweet It Is
Festive Pomegranate, Orange and Pear Salad from Budget Gourmet Mom
Layered Autumn Quinoa Salad from How Sweet It Is
Sweet Potato, Bacon, and Pomegranate Salad from Family Fresh Cooking
POM Chicken Salad from Bran Appetit
Spinach, Strawberry and Goat Cheese with Pomegranate Vinaigrette from Nutmeg Nanny

POMosas  from Aggie’s Kitchen
Pomegranate Coconut Shake with Cocao Nibs from Family Fresh Cooking
Pomegranate Mojitos from Recipe Girl
Pomegranate Lime Margaritas from Lauren’s Latest
Pomegranate Margarita Martini from Dine & Dish
Virgin Cranberry and Pomegranate Bellini from Taste and Tell
Pomegranate Cosmopolitan from The Merry Gourmet

Pomegranate and Citrus Marshmallow Meringue Pie from Doughmesstic
Pomegranate Sorbet from Mango & Tomato
Peanut Butter Pomegranate Jelly Bars from Lauren’s Latest
Pomegranate Gelato from The Merry Gourmet
Pomegranate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Two Peas & Their Pod

Roasted Cauliflower with Blue Cheese, Garlic and Pomegranate from Sarah’s Cucina Bella
Chickpea Dip with Toasted Cumin and Pomegranate from Recipe Girl
Pomegranate Salsa from Lauren’s Latest
Pomegranate Apple Cranberry Relish from A Spicy Perspective
Cranberry Pomegranate Relish from Flavia’s Flavors

When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!

65 Responses to “How to Eat a Pomegranate {+Recipe Round-Up}”

  1. amanda @ fake ginger — November 16, 2011 at 7:21 am

    Thanks for including me! I looooove how cheap poms are right now! 🙂

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      I know! It is awesome.

  2. Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — November 16, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Awww, I’m honored to be listed. Your shots here are just gorgeous!

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      Thanks Sommer!

  3. Chris @ TheKeenanCookBook — November 16, 2011 at 8:57 am

    You know I have never had a pomegranate – I think it was all that talk of it being hard to eat. Now I have a handy guide 🙂

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      I hadn’t had one until this year either Chris!

  4. Curt — November 16, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I grew up in south Texas where pomegranate trees and bushes were abundant.

    I always just ripped them apart and sucked the juices out of the seeds, then spit the seed out. Some people do chew up the seeds though. At least that’s what I did as a kid! 🙂

    I’ll have to try out some of these awesome recipes!

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 10:17 am

      Lucky you! Must have been awesome to eat them so fresh. I eat the seeds when I put them on salads, etc (when there are only a couple), but if I’m eating lots, I tend to spit out the seeds too.

  5. Lindsay @ Schnoodle Soup — November 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I am always too lazy to cut my own pomegranate. How bad is that? I think the white stuff is called pith…or am I lying? Your photog skills are fantastic…I should take lessons from you. I suck at food photography, I’m quickly finding 😉

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      Aww, thank you! It is definitely a learning process and my photography skills still occasionally frequently suck 😉

  6. Bree — November 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Thank you for this! I always want to buy a pomegrante, but never know how to cut it open either 😉

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 10:31 am

      It is a tricky fruit 😉

  7. brandi — November 16, 2011 at 10:21 am

    beautiful pictures!

    thanks for the link 🙂

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 10:31 am

      Thanks! Wouldn’t dream of leaving you out! 🙂

  8. Bev Weidner — November 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I’m so glad you posted this because JUST THE OTHER DAY I was about to shoot my pom with a gun.

    I don’t own a gun.

    But if…I….did……

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

      Wanna borrow mine?
      Wait, what?
      Disclosure: I do not condone violence against delicious fruit. 😉

  9. Lauren — November 16, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Thanks for including one of my recipes!

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

      You bet!

  10. the wicked noodle — November 16, 2011 at 11:43 am

    YAY!! Thanks for including my sliders & ribs. Pomegranate and chipotle were made for each other! You’re right though, there’s just nothing like fresh ones!

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

      For sure, I can’t wait to try them!

  11. Nutmeg Nanny — November 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Such a great roundup and tutorial! I hate cutting into pomegranates but it’s totally worth it 🙂

    I need to pick up a few today or tomorrow. They are going to be a star in one of my holiday cocktails 🙂

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      Ooooh can’t wait 🙂

  12. The Elegant Eggplant — November 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I really appreciate this post because I have a BAD habit of buying the ready to eat arils.. which is so expensive!! Thanks for this 🙂

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      You betcha! I don’t think I’ve ever even seen the arils sold by themselves.

  13. Olga @ mangotomato — November 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    thanks for sharing my link!
    your blog is becoming more and more gorgeous: seriously!

    Btw, I have the same bowls 😉

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      Aww thanks 🙂

  14. Kitchen Belleicious — November 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I remember last summer my picky son who loves nothing but fruits decided at the grocery store he wanted a pomegranate. I was like okay- are you sure. We got home and it was the messiest but cutest thing to watch him eat it! Great tutorial so to speak:)

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 3:06 pm

      Oh my gosh, I bet that was adorable! I should try it with my one year old 🙂

  15. Krista {Budget Gourmet Mom} — November 16, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Great pictures, Rachel! We had a pomegranate tree growing up. I don’t know how I got so lucky but I’ve loved them all my life. Thanks for including my salad!

    • Rachel — November 16th, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

      Lucky you! Happy to include you 🙂

  16. Cassie — November 16, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I love it when things just jump into my cart like that! 🙂

    I love pomegranates, especially this time of year! They are totally worth all of the work to get the little seeds. My mouth is watering!

  17. Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut — November 16, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Pretty pretty pictures! The way my sister and I do the pomegranates is a little different haha!

  18. Mom — November 16, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Just tried pomegranate seeds this weekend at a friend’s house. Delicious! Thanks, Rachel, for the tutorial. Now I can fix my own. I hear they’re really, really good for you (antioxidants!)

  19. Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — November 16, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Nice roundup Rachel! I love pomegranates and I never knew how to get the seeds out so thanks.

  20. Jessica @ How Sweet — November 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Thanks for including me love! I adorrrrre poms. Your pictures are fabulous!

  21. mjskit — November 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    I sure could have used this method 40 something years ago! Our neighbor had a row of pomegranate “bushes” – more like trees along his driveway. We got to pick as many as we could eat or use. I loved eating them and then spitting out the seeds at my big brother. 🙂 My hands and lips were purple afterwards but the process was fun. Today I think I’ll use your method.:)

  22. Jennifer @ Mother Thyme — November 17, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this fabulous posts and links for some delicious recipes! You have inspired me to get some pomegranates and get cooking with them! 🙂

  23. Claire @ Claire K Creations — November 17, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Thanks Rachel. I’ve always been intrigued by pomegranate but am still yet to try them.
    I saw an episode of Nigella once (actually could have been Jamie Oliver or both) and she cut them in half then tapped their bottoms and all the seeds popped out.

  24. marla — November 17, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I love pomegranates and this post! Just pinned & thanks for including me 🙂

  25. Geni — November 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Love pomegranates! I never knew a good way to crack those babies open and get to the goods. Now I know. Thanks! Happy Thursday Rachel! 🙂

  26. Leslie Means @ Her View From Home — November 17, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Love all these ideas! And yes – poms are gorgeous aren’t they?!! By the way – can’t wait for you to get the Ella B. Bella books!!

  27. foodfashionandflow — November 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    wow, these shots are amazing!

    • Rachel — November 18th, 2011 @ 8:02 am

      Thank you!

  28. Marybeth — November 18, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I use warm water, and take out the seeds while the pomegranate is in the water. That way, my hands stay warm, and the juice doesn’t splash everywhere. With your technique, what’s the difference in using cold water and opening outside the bowl–does it not squirt everywhere when you accidentally burst one aril open? Just curious.

    • Rachel — November 18th, 2011 @ 8:04 am

      You could definitely do it under the water. I think I did a little of both–but my bowl was on the smaller side. As to warm vs. cold, the only reason I could think of is to keep the arils extra fresh in the cold water. But sounds like it has worked fine for you. Thanks for the good advice!

  29. Maria — November 19, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Great post! Love the photos! I love pomegranate season!

  30. perudelights — November 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    I love this post and the gorgeous pictures. I had been eating pomegranates since I was a kid, in Central America. They are sooo good, and now we know they are healthy too. Be careful with your clothes because poms juice stains everything. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rachel — November 20th, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

      Thank you! My love for poms is new but I am sure it will be long-lived! 🙂

  31. jackie @ marin mama cooks — November 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Hi Rachel! Thanks for posting this. I just bought some pomegranates the other day and was trying to think of something fun to make with them and you just gave me a boatload of choices 🙂 I think I may also throw them in with some roasted brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving.

    Love your blog name, hilarious 🙂

    • Rachel — November 21st, 2011 @ 10:49 am

      They would be great with roasted Brussels! Thanks for your comment!

  32. Carolyn — November 21, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Hey, this is really helpful. I never knew about the bowl of water and found pomegranate way too much work to bother with.

  33. Suzanne — November 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I love pomegranates. A heaping handful, with a few blueberries thrown in for good measure, on top of a bowl of Greek non-fat yogurt, is the best afternoon snack I can think of. The recipes using pomegranate juice all refer to bottled juice. Why not make your own with a good quality citrus press? The resulting juice is so much more nutritious.

    • Rachel — November 19th, 2012 @ 11:54 am

      That snack sounds great! And really good advice about making your own pomegranate juice! Thanks!

  34. Brette Sember — November 19, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Martha Stewart once demonstrated how to cut them in half and just smack them with a wooden spoon and all the seeds fall out. It works really well. I love the way pomegranate tastes, but really, really hates all those little seeds inside.

    • Rachel — November 19th, 2012 @ 2:48 pm

      Does that really work? Seems like something *Martha* could do but no one else 😉

      • Brette Sember — November 19th, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

        Yes, I’ve done it. You just keep whacking away at it

  35. Andrea — August 4, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    I just ate one 4 the first time. I dunno how they grow all the pomegranate trees in Cali, I’m in Florida and most trees I find on properties that have any fruit are lemon. Well I cut it across with a plastic knife and it came apart into sections easy. The red seeds taste like cranberry but are sweet not bitter, if that helps. The flesh is bitter, took a bite and threw it away but spent a good hour on the seeds, plenty and makes it filling. I like it pretty much.

  36. Sibusiso Chauke — July 26, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Hi I am an Industrial Engineer, working with a small organic pomegranate processing facility in South Africa. I want to compose a work procedure for the pomegranate de-seeding/ arils extracting task. What is the significance of ” tep 5. Place upside down (cut side down) in a bowl of cold water and leave there for about 10 minutes. ” ?

    • Rachel Gurk — July 26th, 2014 @ 10:25 pm

      It loosens up the arils a bit and the water contains the mess of the juice spraying everywhere. The soaking probably isn’t 100% necessary but will make it slightly easier.

  37. Sibusiso Chauke — July 28, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Thank you very much for replying 🙂 , I found your method very helpful and I will conduct a study on it.


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