24 Pomegranate Recipes You'll Be Making All Fall


When the days begin to shorten, and we are all in need of bright flavors, cooking with pomegranate can add a bit of sparkle to meals. In fact, the seeds of a pomegranate are often described in jewelers' terms: rubies, garnets, glowing gems. And it's no wonder; they lend a vibrant pop of color, texture and flavor to side dishes, salads and desserts.

Pomegranates, thought to have originated in Persia, are a feature of many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, where the seeds are added to rice dishes and other grains, salads, and the juice is boiled down to make a sweet-sour molasses. Pomegranates are beloved in other cultures as well; especially Mediterranean ones, where the fruit adds distinctive flavor to sauces and meats, even drinks. The classic, bright red cocktail mixer, Grenadine, was named by the French for the fruit from which it was originally derived. In the markets of Rome, pomegranates are pressed with oranges for a sunrise-hued drink full of potassium and vitamin C.

The seeds are called arils and getting the dozens of arils out of a tough-skinned pomegranate may seem an impossible task but it's actually quite simple: Score the pomegranate around the perimeter. With your hands, pry the fruit open in half. Next, flip it over so the seed side is down facing a bowl. Then hit the pomegranate with the back of a spoon to release all the seeds. Discard the white membranes and any pith. This method is the easiest and fastest way to the delicious seeds, whether you need them for drinks or hors d'oeuvres. You can also break the halves open, in a bowl of water, picking out the seeds while they're submerged to avoid splatters and red-stained hands.

Look for pomegranates between September and January. Choose deeply colored fruits that feel heavy for their size, which means they're loaded with plenty of juicy seeds. The leathery skin should be shiny and tight; avoid any fruit that is cracked or has soft spots. When kept in the refrigerator, whole pomegranates will keep for a month or more. Pomegranate seeds should be refrigerated and used within a few days, or, if packed tightly, can be frozen for up to three months; to use, scatter directly into dishes without defrosting first.

01 of 25

Cardamom-Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Pomegranate

Yunhee Kim

A topping of pomegranate seeds, sliced mandarins, and toasted coconut makes this cardamom-spiced buttermilk panna cotta versatile enough for breakfast and dessert.

02 of 25

Eggplant, Pistachio, and Pomegranate Pizza

Roland Bello

Pomegranate as a pizza topping? You bet! The colorful, crunchy seeds make a lovely foil for eggplant, pistachios, feta, and cilantro.

03 of 25

Braised Fennel with Pomegranate

Yunhee Kim

Pomegranate pulls double duty in this veggie dish—the juice goes in the braising liquid, and the seeds are scattered over the top.

04 of 25

Pomegranate-Braised Short Ribs

Johnny Miller

Pomegranate juice and red wine compose a rich ruby-red sauce for tender beef short ribs. Garnish with jewel-like pomegranate seeds just before serving—they give tang and color and make the dish look fancy in a flash.

05 of 25

Homemade Pomegranate Molasses

Peter Ardito

Look at that color! Whipping up this brightly flavored syrup is a cinch. Just simmer pomegranate juice and sugar, then stir in lime juice.

06 of 25

Herbed Rice with Dates and Pomegranate

Marcus Nilsson

A fragrant, colorful pilaf of basmati rice, dates, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios makes a tasty side dish. Here it's served with Spice-Rubbed Lamb.

07 of 25

Fall Sangria

Aaron Dyer

Gussy up white or rose wine with pomegranate, apples, and honey for a party-perfect (and Rosh Hashanah-friendly!) autumn sangria.

08 of 25

Fennel-and-Endive Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Walnuts

Jonathan Lovekin

Pair cool, crisp leaves of faintly bitter endive with sweet fennel, crunchy walnuts, and tart pomegranate seeds for a masterpiece of a special-occasion salad.

09 of 25

Raw Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Toasted Walnuts

Bryan Gardner

A winter salad for the ages! Kale is simply dressed with fresh ginger, lime juice, and olive oil, and pomegranate, red onion, and toasted walnuts add brightness and crunch.

10 of 25

Sweet Potatoes with Coconut, Pomegranate, and Lime


Add tropical flavor to a nutrient-rich sweet potato by topping it with cilantro, coconut flakes, and pomegranate seeds.

11 of 25

Pomegranate Roasted Chicken


Reduce pomegranate juice until it's thick and syrupy to create a burnished glaze for roast chicken, then decorate with ruby-red pomegranate seeds and thyme sprigs for serving.

12 of 25

Pomegranate-Bulgur Salad


Golden raisins, parsley leaves, and ruby-red pomegranate seeds add color to this fiber-rich bulgur salad.

13 of 25

Red-Pepper and Walnut Dip with Pomegranate

Johnny Miller

Charred bell peppers, pitted dates, and toasted walnuts topped with juicy pomegranate seeds make a savory dip, perfect for whole-wheat pita bread.

14 of 25

Chicken Salad with Apple, Pomegranate, and Beet

Anson Smart

Add some color to a gray day with the brilliant red hues of pomegranates, beets, and apples in this main-course salad.

15 of 25

Steel-Cut Oats with Orange, Pomegranate Seeds, Pepitas, and Maple Syrup


Sweet-tart fruits add jolts of flavor to chewy steel-cut oatmeal.

16 of 25

Roasted Vegetables with Pomegranate Vinaigrette


Cauliflower (both regular and Romanesco), sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts are roasted until sweet and tender. Just before serving, the vegetables are drizzled with a sweet vinaigrette of pomegranate juice and olive oil, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

17 of 25

Cranberry-Pomegranate Relish


Pomegranate seeds and juice add a touch of seasonal freshness to traditional cranberry sauce.

18 of 25

Pomegranate with Pears and Goat Cheese

Ryan Liebe

Upend your snack routine with this sophisticated little number. Ripe pears are filled with fresh goat cheese, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

19 of 25

Freekeh with Caramelized Shallots, Chickpeas, Pomegranate, and Yogurt

John von Pamer

Pomegranate seeds add bright pops of flavor to this hearty grain bowl. Meaty chickpeas and tangy Greek yogurt complete the dish.

20 of 25

Celery and Parsley Salad with Pomegranate


Ordinary celery becomes a scene-stealing salad when you toss it with fresh parsley, sherry vinaigrette, and gemlike pomegranate seeds.

21 of 25

Pomegranate Skirt-Steak Kebabs

kebabs pomegranate steak
Bobbi Lin

Looking for a gorgeous fall dinner recipe? This is it! Garnished with bright pomegranate seeds and parsley, it's the perfect, delicious meal for a special occasion.

22 of 25

Pomegranate Relish

pomegranate relish
Louise Hagger

This festive relish could double as a Christmas centerpiece with its bright red and green colors. Serve on a rich piece of meat, like beef, or something a little gamier such as duck.

23 of 25

Pomegranate Fontina Rice Balls


Often called arancini, these crumb-coated risotto balls are a popular Italian appetizer. Here, juicy little pomegranate seeds offset the richness of the risotto's Parmesan and fontina cheeses.

24 of 25

Pomegranate-Coconut Trifle

pomegranate coconut trifle with whipped cream
Ryan Liebe

A one-bowl stunner that feeds your entire family. Layers of coconut custard, lady fingers, and pomegranate gelatin pile up high in this delicious fall dessert. Save time when the big holidays roll around by making this trifle up to three days in advance (it gives the flavors time to mix and mingle!).

25 of 25

Easy Way to Open Pomegranate

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