Papaya Smoothie (Batida de Lechosa)

Bright orange papaya smoothie garnished with lime wedges

The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serving: 1 to 2 servings
Yield: 3 1/2 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
365 Calories
3g Fat
89g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 to 2
Amount per serving
Calories 365
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 89g 32%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Total Sugars 68g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 294mg 1,469%
Calcium 184mg 14%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 1051mg 22%
*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 popular fruit in the Dominican Republic (where it is referred to as lechosa) and is often made into a "milkshake," which is what we consider a smoothie in the States. The combination of papaya with milk, vanilla, and ice takes advantage of the fruit's fragrance and sweetness, similar to mango but not as tangy. A batida de lechosa will keep you nice and cool on a hot day, and may also become a favorite summer dessert.

The papaya needs to be peeled and seeded before being cubed and blended with the other ingredients. The seeds can be included as they are actually edible and won't harm you, but they'll detract from the recipe because they have a somewhat bitter taste. Thus, getting rid of them is worth the extra work.


Click Play to See This Sweet Papaya Smoothie Come Together

"A great way to enjoy papaya. I added an additional tablespoon totaling 1/4 cup lime juice—the juice from 2 average-sized limes. I also tried this smoothie a second time, substituting the milk with coconut milk and honey for the sugar; it was glorious. Suggesting these changes in the variations section was a good idea!" —Renae Wilson

Papaya Smoothie Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 large ripe papaya (about 4 cups chopped)

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup crushed ice

  • Lime wedges, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for papaya smoothie recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Peel the papaya using a knife or vegetable peeler.

    Papaya peeled with a vegetable peeler on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

    Papaya cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Coarsely chop the flesh.

    Diced papaya flesh on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Place the papaya chunks, milk, lime juice and zest, sugar, vanilla, and ice into a blender or food processor.

    Papaya cubes, ice, and milk added to blender

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Mix on high speed for 20 to 30 seconds until the mixture is smooth and thick.

    Smooth and thick papaya mixture in the blender

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Pour the smoothie into tall frosted glasses. Garnish with lime wedges and serve at once.

    Papaya smoothie garnished with a lemon wedge in a tall glass

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Papaya Selection and Storage

Papayas are native to Central America, but they also thrive in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Texas, and Florida. You can usually purchase them year-round, but they're at their best in early summer and in the fall. They can grow up to 20 inches long, but most of those you'll find for sale commercially are significantly smaller at about 7 inches. A ripe papaya's skin will be red-orange in color while unripe will have a yellow tint. The flesh should be bright orange, but it may contain some yellow or pink depending on the papaya's degree of ripeness.

Store ripe papayas in the refrigerator until you're ready to use, which should be within 24 hours. If they're still yellowish—even just in a few splotches here or there—they'll require a few days at room temperature to ripen sufficiently.

Recipe Variation

  • Add a sliced and peeled banana to the blender or food processor for added flavor, nutrition, and texture. In fact, you can include a bit of any favorite fruit to make this smoothie uniquely your own.
  • Try replacing the milk and sugar with coconut milk and honey for a delicious and dairy-free version.