Wait, How the Heck Do You Cut a Papaya?

Papayas are a sweet, tasty tropical fruit. Harvested consistently in the great state of Florida—and in countries like India, Brazil and Mexico—papayas are available to enjoy year-round and can be found in grocery stores across the U.S.

They're also packed with nutrients. "A one-cup serving of papaya is low in calories and a good vitamin C source while delivering vitamin A, fiber and potassium," says Melanie Marcus, RD. "Papaya also contains an enzyme called papain, which can act as a natural meat tenderizer and aid in digestion."

Although papaya is available precut, there's nothing like slicing into the orange oblong fruit and eating it fresh. If you've never tried that before, or want to learn the best way to do so, here are some expert tips for how to cut a papaya.

Related: 14 Best Low-Calorie Fruits, According to Nutritionists

How to Cut a Papaya

Cutting papaya is easy to do. All you need is a cutting board and a knife. "A serrated or non-serrated kitchen knife should work just fine, but make sure it is sharp—dull knives take more effort and can bruise the papaya," says Marcus.

Here's how to cut papaya:

Step 1: Wash the papaya. Gently wash the outside of the papaya with cold water to clean off the skin.

Step 2: Cut off the ends of the papaya. Holding the fruit firmly with one hand, slice off each end of the papaya.

Cutting a papaya<p>iStock</p>
Cutting a papaya


Step 3. Cut the papaya in half. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise, slicing all the way through.

Step 4. Scoop out the seeds. Remove the papaya seeds with a spoon. "You can also use a spoon to remove any fibrous white parts," says Marcus.

Scooping our papaya seeds<p>iStock</p>
Scooping our papaya seeds


Step 5: Peel the papaya. Gently peel the papaya using a vegetable peeler or knife.

Step 6. Cut the papaya into smaller pieces. Once you've peeled the papaya, you have a few options. Many people the fruit into slices or cubes, but you can also leave the peel on and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.

Cut & cubed papaya<p>iStock</p>
Cut & cubed papaya


Can You Eat Papaya Seeds?

"While papaya seeds are edible, they can have a peppery and slightly bitter taste," explains Marcus. If you'd like to give them a try while cutting open papaya, remove them with a spoon and enjoy.

Can You Eat Papaya Skin?

Papaya skin can also be consumed, but it's typically discarded because it also has a bitter taste. "If you plan on consuming the skin, be sure to wash thoroughly to remove any residue from the growing process," says Marcus.

Related: 150+ Foods You Can Enjoy on a Plant-Based Diet, From Red Wine to Pistachios

How to Store Papaya Fruit

According to Marcus, after you cut open papaya, it's best to wrap the rest tightly in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When stored properly, papaya will remain fresh in the fridge for five to seven days.

How to Eat a Papaya

Once you've peeled and prepped the papaya, it can be enjoyed as is. To brighten the flavor, squeeze a little bit of lemon or lime juice on it for an added pop. Papaya also works well in smoothies and as a yogurt topping and pairs perfectly with toasted coconut.

Our Best Papaya Recipes

If you're looking for some fun ways to use papaya, we have some thoughts.