How to Cut and Eat a Papaya

drizzle papaya with lime

The Spruce / Leah Maroney

Papaya is a tropical fruit with orange-colored, sweet flesh and edible seeds that have a pepper-like flavor. Often you can find it used in Asian, Thai, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines, either raw or cooked.

Papayas come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, the Hawaiian variety is smaller and pear-shaped, while the Caribbean and Asian papayas are large. All types are delicious, though, brimming with vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

Besides being found in a variety of different cuisines due to its wonderful flavor, papaya is especially wonderful for anyone with a sensitive stomach, irritable bowel syndrome, or poor digestion. It contains a special digestive enzyme called papain, which is why the fruit is revered as a powerful digestive aid.

So, with all of these wonderful aspects, you might be wondering how do you even prepare it? Below we cover everything from selecting the ripest of papayas to how to cut and cube it.


Watch Now: How to Cut Papaya

  • 01 of 08

    Choose a Ripe Papaya

    How to cut a papaya

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    You know if you have ripe papaya if it has skin that is turning from green to yellow. If papaya is ripe, you should be able to press your thumb into the flesh. Papayas will ripen more quickly when put in a paper bag with ethylene-producing fruits, such as apples or bananas.

  • 02 of 08

    Cut the Papaya in Half

    How to cut papaya in half

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Place the papaya on a cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the papaya in half lengthwise.

  • 03 of 08

    Open the Papaya

    How to open a papaya

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Open ​the halved papaya and separate it into two sections.

  • 04 of 08

    Scrape out the Seeds With a Spoon

    Scrape papaya seeds out with a spoon

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Using a large spoon, scrape out the seeds. Try not to cut too deeply with your spoon or you might lose quite a bit of the fruit especially if it is overripe.

    Also, no need to toss the seeds. While most people throw them away, papaya seeds are not only edible, small amounts of them in your diet can be good for you. Although, they are not sweet. Quite the opposite. They have a strong flavor, which is more like a cross between mustard and black peppercorns.​

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Scoop out the Fruit and Eat as Is

    Scoop papaya out

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    You can enjoy the papaya fruit by digging into it with a spoon. Or create papaya "melon balls" with a melon ball scoop or an ice cream scoop.

    There are many ways to slice, present, and prepare papaya. 

  • 06 of 08

    Peel and Make Papaya Cubes or Wedges

    Cutting papaya

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    To peel the papaya, hold the fruit vertically and run your knife down along the skin in long slices. Again, try not to slice too deeply, or you will lose a lot of the fruit.

    If you are not comfortable using a knife, use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.

    Alternatively, you can cut the papaya into slices and use a knife to peel the skin off each slice.

  • 07 of 08

    Slice the Papaya Into Wedges

    Slicing papaya into wedges

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    Now turn the papaya over and simply slice into wedges as thick or thin as you like.  Keep cutting if you want cubes of fruit.

    Papaya wedges are a nice option to serve for breakfast. Their vibrant, rich orange color looks great alongside a plate of eggs and toast. 

  • 08 of 08

    Drizzle With Lime Juice and Enjoy Your Papaya

    Drizzle papaya with lime

    The Spruce / Leah Maroney

    A preparation tip: Squeeze a little lime juice over the papaya to take away any unattractive smells and enhance the flavor of the fruit. Or combine your fresh papaya with other fruit in a fresh fruit salad.