10 Things to do with a Pomegranate

pomegranate seeds

10 Things to do with a Pomegranate ~  pomegranate recipes, tips, and tricks, to making the most of this beautiful and healthy fall fruit!

10 Things to do with a Pomegranate —  a guide to nature’s most beautiful, and most confounding, fruit

It’s pomegranate season, and you’ve probably already spotted them in your supermarket, I know I have. But just a few short years ago I wouldn’t have touched them with a ten foot pole. I didn’t have a clue how to use them, much less how to open one up. And even if I got one open, what’s the deal with the seeds…how to you get them out,…and do you spit the pits? Swallow them? Pomegranates can cause a lot of confusion.

10 things to do with a pomegranate

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first you need to know how to choose one from that daunting pile in the produce section.

There are a few basic rules for picking the right pomegranate

Since poms don’t continue to ripen after being picked, what you see is what you get, so it’s important to choose wisely.

  • Look for a large fruit, because large fruit will have more pulp (arils)
  • Don’t just look, pick them up, a  fresh juicy pomegranate will feel heavy for its size
  • Find one with a bright color, because that indicates good quality
  • And finally, a smooth shiny skin tells you it’s fresh


Most pomegranates will have deep ruby red arils, or seeds, but some are pale pink, or even white.

There isn’t any way to tell this from the outside, so it will be a surprise when you open it up. No need to worry, the paler colors taste just as good, and if anything, they’re a little sweeter.

How to remove the seeds from a pomegranate

Ok, so you’ve chosen your pomegranate, now what? You need to get those little seeds out! There are several ways to do it but one is by far the best:

  • Cut your pomegranate in half, and if it is very big, you can even separate it into quarters.
  • Over a bowl in your sink, hold the pomegranate, skin side up, in one hand, and whack it with a wooden spoon with your other hand. The seeds will miraculously fall into the bowl.

You can keep the seeds in an airtight container for several days in the refrigerator. Use them for snacking, or topping yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, or hummus!

Jeweled Hummus ~ 50 Ways to Hack Your Hummus ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Are pomegranates healthy?

Pomegranates are super healthy and fall under the super food category

  • they’re loaded with antioxidants called punicalagins, which protect cells from damage by free radicals
  • The seeds are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Pomegranate is anti-inflammatory
  • They may help fight prostate and breast cancers
  • They may help lower blood pressure, and help arthritis sufferers

Pomegranates originated in the Middle East

But they’ve quickly spread all around the world. They grow in California, and also in Arizona. In our last house we had the luxury of a neighbor’s tree that hung way over into our driveway. We had pomegranates right up until Christmas. During those years I came to know and love this unusual fruit.

Pomegranate season

The season in America goes from September through November, but pomegranates are hardy, and store well, so you’ll find them in stores way past November.

Now, with imports from Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and Mexico, you can find pomegranates in many stores year round.

Here are ten of my favorite ways to use pomegranates

Oven roasted Brussels sprouts with pomegranate molasses and pomegranate seeds

I love to jazz up roasted Brussels sprouts by sprinkling them with pomegranate seeds

They’ll sparkle like little jewels and maybe even tempt those Brussels sprout haters in your life to give them a try! When you’re pressed for time and trying to fill a holiday table, this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate is a great recipe to have on hand.

Wait until the last minute before serving to sprinkle pomegranate seeds on your finished dish.



A striking new combination from Yotam Ottolengi's new cookbook Plenty More

Mix them with heirloom tomatoes

This Tomato and Pomegranate Salad is an  little unusual, but trust me, the flavors mingle beautifully. This is an example of a dish where pomegranates play a starring roll. I particularly love the colors in this salad, the pink arils were a pleasant surprise!




Use the juice and arils with grilled chicken

I love these Pomegranate and Lime Chicken Thighs, the recipe uses both the seeds and the juice of the pomegranate so the unique sweet tart flavor really comes through. The lime and the pomegranate colors are gorgeous!



Homemade Gum Drops with sugar coating

Make candy!

Fresh pomegranate juice can be used to make all natural Homemade Gumdrops.  You can use fresh juice or bottled and the process is easy. This is a fun project to do with kids.



Citrus Salad with Pomegranate and Pistachio

Pair pomegranate with winter citrus

An easy Citrus Salad with Pomegrante and Pistachio is a great choice for a fall or winter salad course. The colors of the citrus along with the garnet colored seeds is really festive.



Make pomegranate sorbet

A simple and healthy  Pomegranate Sorbet can be made with pomegranate juice and some sugar to sweeten it up a bit. You don’t even need an ice cream maker for this recipe.



Make your own homemade pomegranate molasses

One of my favorite condiments in the world is Pomegranate Molasses. You can buy it in the grocery store, usually in the International aisle, but it’s simple to make yourself. You boil down pomegranate juice until it becomes a thick syrup. Voila — you have the best secret weapon ever for sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and tons more…use your imagination!

This pomegranate wine sauce goes with my Mini Koftas, which are little Middle Eastern meat kabobs. The sauce will blow your mind. No exaggeration. I copied it from a restaurant dish and I’m so glad I nailed it.



grilled shrimp with pomegranate salsa is so healthy, and practically zero calories :)

Make a fresh salsa to go with fish and seafood

Pomegranate salsa is a versatile little idea, I served it with Grilled Shrimp with Pomegranate Salsa but I can think of a million ways to use it. Pomegranate salsa is a clever way to bring some sunshine to a midwinter meal.




Make Persian Jeweled Rice

This beautiful Middle Eastern inspired rice pilaf is probably one of my favorite dishes that uses pomegranate seeds. They really do look like little jewels on top of this classic Middle Eastern pilaf. I think it’s made for the holidays, and will make any vegetarians or vegans at your table very happy.



Autumnal Harvest Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Feature them in a Harvest Salad with Pomegranate Allspice Dressing

Pomegranates are used in both the salad and the dressing in this recipe. They brighten a seasonal salad and make it holiday worthy. The combination of pomegranate and allspice is a wonderful discovery, too.


Pomegranates are a beautiful food, they’ve inspired writers, artists, and cooks, for centuries. I hope I’ve inspired you to dive into that pile in the produce section!

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Mary LaFond
    January 3, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Hi, I’ve ground up Pom seeds to strain and make juice for jelly. There is a lot of debris left in the strainer. Has anyone ever used this leftover seed debris for anything like a chutney or some kind of relish???? Seems like a waste to toss it.

  • Reply
    Jeanne Losurdo
    December 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    I just opened my first pom… I’m 70 y/o. I really liked the flavor BUT the small seed in the center of each one was quite hard, which I did not find enjoyable. Is this how they are normally consumed?

    • Reply
      December 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Yes, the little pits in the center are hard, I usually spit them out, but a lot of people just eat them. You might enjoy pomegranate juice more.

  • Reply
    Cheryl L Armstrong
    December 3, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    I have only had store bought juice 1 time, but due to liver and diabetes diseases, I am not aloud to have sugar!! I for some reason bought 1 pomegranate before I left 3 weeks ago on vaca, which I got home and realized it was looking dry. Tonight I watched a video on how to prepare and eat, he said to follow the seams of six, just cutting enough, break apart in water and the seeds float to the bottom and the pulp to the top…yep! I now was looking up what they are good for for my health, and found you. Question? Do you put together any foods with the poms for ones with diet restrictions like myself? Sugar Free most for sweets, but like to get from food sources. Thanks, and I like just eating off the spoon…yummy!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2020 at 10:32 am

    I have 2 cups of very ripe seeds from Christmas. Can I make them into a syrup for cocktails? Can I also try to make a molasses by putting the seeds in a pot with sugar, boiling and straining? Or how about adding vinegar and sugar? I don’t want to waste them!

    • Reply
      January 11, 2020 at 11:10 am

      The seeds would make a nice syrup, but for the molasses you really need the full on juice.

  • Reply
    November 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    I haven’t eaten pomegranates since childhood looking forward to trying this sweet/tart memory again

    • Reply
      November 23, 2019 at 1:56 pm

      They’re such special fruits!

  • Reply
    January 20, 2019 at 9:02 am

    Thank you for the beautiful recipes and images!

  • Reply
    December 24, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    I did my first pomegranite today and I’m hooked already. I was going to make brussels sprouts for supper with deer sausage, and that idea is great. I hope to have enough left over to have oatmeal in the morning!!! Great ideas!

  • Reply
    Jo Warren
    December 1, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I just finished last week taking the arils out of twelve pomegranates. It’s easy to lop off the top and I cut them into fourths to deseed them. But I end up doing the task in the sink as the juice can fly everywhere so maybe doing it underwater is better. Once I finish, I put everything into freezer bags and store them in the freezer. Easy to grab whatever I need when I want them. I love pomegranates!

    • Reply
      December 1, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      The underwater method is the one I use, Jo, it’s really useful, especially when you’re de-seeding a lot of them! I love the idea of freezing the seeds, I’ve never tried that.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2016 at 5:05 am

    I make Jelly! It’s just the right amount of tart and sweet! Could be used as a Condiment! Another trick is to use the Vintage Manuel Citrus JUICER! Totally juices Pomegranate…Just cut in Half!

    • Reply
      October 17, 2016 at 7:44 am

      I need to try that Pamela 🙂

  • Reply
    October 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Mmm… I was thinking about and using pomegranates this week too! I did Sweet Potatoes with Pomegranates & Pecans. I love the idea of jazzing up my brussel sprouts with some pom seeds 🙂
    Thanks for the ideas Sue!

    • Reply
      October 13, 2015 at 4:22 pm

      You’re welcome — thanks for stopping by Amanda 🙂

  • Reply
    Rosemary Wolbert | Sprigs of Rosemary
    October 10, 2015 at 4:49 am

    I’ve only used pomegranate seeds on fruit salads. Love the idea of using them to sparkle up Brussels sprouts. Wonderful holiday idea especially.

  • Reply
    Laura (Tutti Dolci)
    October 9, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    i’ve got to try your grilled shrimp with pomegranate salsa, it looks beyond delicious!

  • Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    October 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Sue, I love pomegranates. And jeweled rice. And now I must try pomegranates with Brussels sprouts — I know it will be fabulous! Why have I never thought of that combination?!

  • Reply
    Toni | BoulderLocavore
    October 7, 2015 at 6:51 am

    I love pomegranates, they are so exotic looking ( the I love the texture of the arils). So many great ways to use them Sue!

  • Reply
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
    October 7, 2015 at 5:02 am

    Anything with pomegranate makes it better than before. 🙂 I love them!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Hey.,I liked it so much! I love the fruit selection in this. The mayonnaise was a little much, next time I’ll try cool whip like someone else said below. 🙂 Overall, I would serve it again 🙂

  • Reply
    [email protected] is How I Cook
    October 6, 2015 at 10:16 pm

    I have one with pale seeds in my fridge right now. You gave me some great ideas on how to finish it off!

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I love pomegranate but usually just eat it on its own. This is a fantastic roundup Sue!

    • Reply
      October 6, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      It’s funny, I love pomegranates too but rarely just eat them on their own!

  • Reply
    The Ninja Baker
    October 6, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Terrific tips, Sue! Thank you for all the grrrreat ideas. Love the looks of your pomegranate sorbet and rice pilaf and, and, and….=)

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 10:22 am

    My grandmother used to have a pomegranate tree in her backyard and we used to eat them like candy. Great post, love the gum drops.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 9:41 am

    I love pomegranates as well, they always remind me of the Arabian stories my grandma used to read to me as a child. In many of these stories people would open a pomegranate which was filled with jewels instead of the seeds. I have already cooked your Persian Jeweled Rice last winter and loved it. I think I would like to cook the chicken now. 🙂

  • Reply
    Vicki Bensinger
    October 6, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Wow Sue what a great spread. I have to try those gummy bears and the Brussel sprouts. The sorbet sounds great too! Thanks for sharing these.

  • Reply
    October 6, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Oh, boy, I’m suddenly craving pomegranates. I never knew that the pale arils were normal—what a revelation!!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    October 6, 2015 at 5:31 am

    So I’ve been a fan of pomegranates ever since 7th grade Roman Mythology class. That’s when I learned about Persephone eating the pomegranate seeds and that’s what causes winter to come each year. Maybe it’s not the most factual story, but nevertheless pomegranates have been one of my favorites ever since! Love this post…thanks for the ideas!!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks for this post Sue. I have high hopes of my little pomegranate tree. In the near future I will need lots of pomegranate ideas !!!

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    October 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    We love all of these recipes! And yes ! you have definitely inspired us to get some pomegranates!!
    Thanks Sue!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    There’s is something wrong with my computer. The section about pomegranate cocktails didn’t load (wink wink – insert smiley face here). GREG

  • Reply
    October 5, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    So many great ideas and your photos….amazing!

  • Reply
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    October 5, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    What stunning recipes Sue! We love them here and often eat them as is but I’ll be sure to save some to make some of these recipes! 😀

  • Reply
    Kristen @ The Endless Meal
    October 5, 2015 at 11:55 am

    I absolutely adore pomegranate and am so happy they’re coming back into season. The jeweled rice looks so beautiful!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Thanks Kristen, I’m glad they’re in season too, I’m looking at two sitting right here on my desk!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Oh, you forgot the best way to eat the little gems…with vanilla yogurt! So very simple (once you’ve gotten the little seeds (arils) separated from the pulp, your breakfast will simply sparkle! The taste of those two items is truly divine, and the nutritional value is amazing. Try it, you’ll like it!

    • Reply
      October 5, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Sounds yummy 🙂

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    October 5, 2015 at 10:12 am

    This is a gorgeous post Sue, the pictures are stunning. I was so much like you, didn’t have a clue as to how to pick or use a pom. Now we’re crazy about them and I think they add the most gorgeous touch (like jewels) to so many dishes which is quite obvious looking at your recipes today!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Washington
    October 5, 2015 at 8:10 am

    One of the things I miss about Texas are my pomegranate trees which did surprisingly well and produced ample amounts of fruit every other year. I bet they would do well in California as well. They aren’t messy the way some fruit trees can get. 🙂

    • Reply
      October 5, 2015 at 9:11 am

      Our kids would pick them and eat them in the back yard…now THAT was messy 😉

  • Reply
    October 5, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Sue….what an awesome bunch of ideas! I use them too…on salads and for decoration, have even tried the molasses (yum) but haven’t made a sorbet yet. Love that idea. The gumdrops would be fun as well.

    • Reply
      October 5, 2015 at 7:55 am

      Thanks Barbara — so it sounds like you didn’t need any convincing 🙂

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