Learn how to cut a papaya, how to choose a ripe one, and ways to eat and store it. These tips and tricks will ensure you can get the most out of this delicious tropical fruit! 

A halved papaya with black seeds in the center.

How to Choose a Ripe Papaya

If you’ve never had a papaya, it can be difficult to know how to choose one that’s ready to eat. The first thing to look at is the fruit’s skin. An unripe papaya will be pale green and hard to the touch.

As papayas ripen, they slowly turn from green to yellow or bright orange. When a papaya is ripe, it will be yellow and just a little soft to the touch. In addition, it will have black seeds when you slice into it. That’s when you know it’s ready to eat! 

You’ll know you’ve waited too long if your papaya begins to feel mushy, the skin becomes discolored, and the flesh (or part you eat) is bland and mealy. 

How to Cut a Papaya

While it may seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before, cutting papayas is actually really easy! All you need is a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a vegetable peeler before you begin. 

  1. Use a sharp knife to trim both ends of the fruit, cutting off the top and bottom
  2. Slice the papaya in half lengthwise
  3. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp in the center. Just be careful not to dig too deep and scoop out the flesh!
  4. Use a vegetable peeler or a knife to peel off the skin.  
  5. Cut each half of the fruit lengthwise into long strips. 
  6. Rotate the papaya, and slice again width-wise to create bite-sized cubes. 
  7. Enjoy! 
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03/13/2024 04:29 pm GMT

How to Serve Papaya

The most popular way to serve papaya is with a splash of lime juice. This helps remove any smell and enhances the sweetness of the fruit. However, it’s also great to add to fruit medleys, fruit salad, salads, salsas, or smoothies! 

How to Store 

  • You can store ripe, uncut papayas in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
  • Once cut, you can transfer papaya cubes to an airtight container, and store them in the fridge for up to three days.

Can I Freeze Cut Papaya? 

  • Yes, you can freeze-cut papaya for up to eight months. 
  • To do so, arrange the pieces on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and place them in the freezer until solid. Then, transfer the fruit to a sealable bag until you’re ready to use it. 

Common Questions About How to Cut a Papaya

What does papaya taste like? 

The texture and flavor of the fruit can vary depending on the variety, ripeness, and where it was grown. However, in general, papaya is described as being a refreshing tropical fruit that tastes like a cross between a sweet melon and mango or peaches. 

Is it okay to eat papaya seeds? 

Technically, the seeds are edible. However, we recommend discarding them as they tend to be hard, bitter, and not very pleasant to eat. 

Should I peel the papaya before cutting? 

Yes, we recommend removing the skin before slicing the papaya into cubes. This makes it much easier to remove. 

Do you eat papaya skin?

No, papaya skin contains latex and is generally not safe to eat.

Is it okay to eat raw papaya?

Yes! Raw papaya is not only delicious but nutritious, too. For example, papaya is rich in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

In addition, papaya contains an enzyme called papain that can help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and ease muscle soreness. As a result, you can find a plethora of papaya recipes online.

What happens when you eat papaya first thing in the morning?

Papaya can help regulate digestion and can prevent stomach discomfort throughout the day.

Papaya cubes on a cutting board.

More Kitchen Guides

Pieces of papaya on a cutting board.

How to Cut a Papaya

No ratings yet
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Learn how to cut a papaya, how to choose a ripe one, how to keep it fresh, and the best ways to enjoy this sweet, tropical fruit!


  • 1 papaya


  • Use a sharp knife to trim both ends off the fruit.
    1 papaya
  • Slice the papaya in half lengthwise.
    A hand slicing a papaya in half.
  • Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp in the center.
    A spoon scooping out the black seeds of a papaya half.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
    A vegetable peeler being used to remove the skin of a papaya.
  • Cut each half of the fruit lengthwise into long strips.
    A papaya being cut into long strips.
  • Rotate the papaya, and slice again width wise to create bite-sized cubes.
    Papaya strips being cut into cubes.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
    Pieces of papaya on a cutting board.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 722IU | Vitamin C: 46mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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