A whole pomegranate can be intimidating. You know those delicious arils must be in there somewhere, but how to get ’em all out? Here, I’m sharing what, in my experience, is the easiest method for cutting and deseeding a Wonderful pomegranate, the variety most often grown and found in America (yes, there are other varieties!)
But first, a bit about pomegranates …
Here in the U.S., pomegranates area a seasonal fruit generally available in late fall to early winter.
Packed with vitamins and other good stuff, pomegranate seeds, or “arils,” are juicy little bites of heaven. But here’s what you might be wondering …
Can you eat pomegranate seeds?
The quick answer is, of course! Pomegranate arils are comprised of an outer, sweet, juicy layer surrounding a small, white, hard seed. You can spit out the seed, but you don’t have to – most people eat the entire aril, seed and all. Whole pomegranate arils are a delightful combo of juicy and crunchy – so delicious!
BUT … they can be a tad daunting to get to. So please read on for my method for getting from this…
To this! (It’s easier than you might think!)
How to Cut and Deseed a Pomegranate
Selecting your pomegranate
Choose a pomegranate that is very heavy for its size – that indicates it has lots of perfectly juicy arils inside.
How to cut a pomegranate
First, you want to slice off the top – the end with the part that sticks up, the flower or the crown. To preserve as many seeds as possible, try to keep this slice as thin as possible. You want to be able to see the segments of the pomegranate, but not sacrifice too many of those delicious arils.
Then, make several slices, just piercing the outer layer. Score along the main segment lines for the most fuss-free deseeding experience.
How to deseed a pomegranate
Well, the obvious answer is to simply pull apart the sections of pomegranate and start removing the seeds with your thumbs.
But my favorite method for actually getting the seeds out is to place the pomegranate in a bowl of water. Why? Well, because all those annoying little pieces of white pith will come floating to the top. Then, just skim them off and discard. So easy!
Just place the pomegranate, cut side down in the bowl. Then separate the segments and nudge the seeds out with your hands under water. The seeds will sink to the bottom, and the white stuff (pith) will float to the top!
When the pith gets to be too much, just skim it off, discard, and keep going.
Strain and store your pomegranate seeds
Dump your seeds into a strainer over your sink and rinse. Picky out any remaining pieces of pith.
Aaaand, now we come to the best part. EAT!
Enjoy your pomegranate seeds on a salad, over roasted veggies, sprinkled on vanilla ice cream, or straight up.
Or on a salad. Or over vanilla ice cream. Or with roasted Brussels sprouts. Yum!
To store, refrigerate your pomegranate arils in an airtight container for up to five days. Then you can have a handful or sprinkle whenever you like!
How to Cut and Deseed a Pomegranate
- 1 pomegranate
- Sharp knife
- Medium bowl
- Slice off the top of the pomegranate (the end with the part that sticks up, the flower or the crown.)
- Make several slices, just piercing the outer layer. Try to score along the main segment lines for the most fuss-free deseeding experience.
- Pull apart the segments of the pomegranate and place them in a medium bowl of lukewarm water.
- Nudge the seeds out with your fingers, letting the seeds sink to the bottom of the bowl and the pith float to the top.
- Skim the pith off and discard.
- Transfer the arils to a wire-mesh strainer and rinse. Pick off any remaining bits of pith and discard.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Originally published November 6, 2009. Updated January 25, 2020.