Here's the best way to cut a papaya, plus ideas for using it in recipes.

Advertisement
cut papaya cubes
Credit: Joy Howard

A tropical fruit with sweet, deep-orange flesh, papaya has a mild and musky flavor similar to cantaloupe, and a pleasantly buttery texture reminiscent of mango. It's a common ingredient in many Asian and Caribbean cuisines and makes a great addition to dishes—both sweet and savory. (Think smoothies, salads or even stir-fries!) In addition to being delicious, papaya is packed with vitamins and nutrients including vitamins A and C, folate and fiber.

Related: Check out all of our healthy papaya recipes.

papaya, knife and peeler on cutting board
Credit: Joy Howard

You'll most likely find fresh papayas at your local international food market, but they've become more commonplace in conventional grocery stores—especially when they're in season during summer and fall. When choosing your fruit, look for ones that have some yellow tones in their skin and give slightly when pressed. Your papaya will be ready to cut once it's become more soft and yellow.

How to Cut a Papaya

Cutting the fruit is quite easy and requires just a few tools and steps. Here's how you do it:

1. Use a sharp knife to trim the ends off the fruit.

cutting papaya ends off
Credit: Joy Howard

2. Halve the fruit lengthwise.

cutting papaya in half
Credit: Joy Howard

3. Use a spoon to scrape away the seeds and pulp from each half. Be careful not to scoop too deeply into the fruit or you'll lose some of the flesh.

scooping seeds from a papaya with a spoon
Credit: Joy Howard

4. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. (See our picks for the best vegetable peelers.)

Peeling papaya with a vegetable peeler
Credit: Joy Howard

5. Cut each half lengthwise into long strips. 

cutting papaya
Credit: Joy Howard

6. Chop into bite-size cubes and enjoy!

cutting papaya into cubes
Credit: Joy Howard

To brighten its flavor, sprinkle the papaya with a bit of lime juice before eating. You can enjoy the fruit on its own, or add it to a fruit smoothie or anywhere you might use a melon or mango. It's also delicious simply topped with toasted coconut.

cubed papaya with coconut flakes
Credit: Joy Howard