How to Cut a Papaya

How to open a papaya
Leah Maroney
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 3 to 5
Yield: 1 papaya
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
86 Calories
1g Fat
22g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 86
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 13mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 110mg 548%
Calcium 37mg 3%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 357mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.


How to Cut Papaya

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.

How to Choose a Ripe Papaya

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. If the papaya is still yellowish—even just in a few splotches here or there—it will require a few days at room temperature to ripen sufficiently.

How to Serve the Papaya

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.

Is It Okay To Eat Papaya Seeds?

Yes! There is no need to toss the seeds. While most people throw them away, papaya seeds are completely edible. However, papaya seed are not sweet and have a strong flavor, which is more like a cross between mustard and black peppercorns.​ It's best to chew them, or grind them in a food processor or mortar and pestle, as the harder outer shell of the seeds locks in the nutrients of their soft interior.


  • 1 papaya

Steps to Make It

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

    papaya being cut in half with knife

    Leah Maroney / The Spruce Eats

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

    papaya cut in half

    Leah Maroney / The Spruce Eats

  3. 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.

    Scrape papaya seeds out with a spoon

    Leah Maroney / The Spruce Eats

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

    papaya half scooped out with melon baller

    Leah Maroney / The Spruce Eats

  5. Alternatively, you can peel the papaya to slice or cube. To peel, 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.

    papaya half peeled with knife
    Leah Maroney
  6. Turn the peeled the papaya over and slice it into wedges as thick or thin as you like or cubes. 

    papaya sliced into wedges

    Leah Maroney / The Spruce Eats

How to Store Papaya

  • Store whole ripe papayas in the refrigerator until you're ready to use, which should be within 24 hours.
  • Cut papaya can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.