Looking for papaya recipes? Or how to cut or eat papaya? You’ve come to the right place! Here are the tastiest ways to enjoy this tropical fruit. Try a Hawaiian papaya boat for an easy, healthy, and tasty breakfast. 

A beautiful overhead photo of three papaya halves on a marble countertop. From top right: papaya with lime, papaya boat with yogurt and granola, and papaya with seeds.

On a recent trip to the Kahala Hotel in Honolulu, I enjoyed a papaya boat filled with yogurt and berries. It reminded me how much I love tropical and exotic fruit, especially on vacation. Our posts all about how to eat Pitaya (Dragon Fruit) and How to Cut a Pineapple and Avocados have been appreciated by many, so today we are sharing how to cut and eat papaya. 

If you haven’t tried this fruit before, you may be wondering what to do with the seeds, how to make papaya tastier, and what else you can do with it. There are several types of papaya, but today we are using Hawaiian papaya. Let’s take a look! 

A green and yellow Hawaiian papaya sits on a wooden cutting board.

A slightly underripe Hawaiian papaya.

How to Tell if a Papaya is Ripe

Papaya is often picked green before it’s ripe to prevent bruising during shipping. Much like pears or avocados, you’ll want to wait until the fruit is ripe but not soft. Unless you have local papayas, you may need to wait a day or two for your fruit to ripen. 

  • Perfectly ripe papaya should have skin that has turned golden in color. Some green patches will remain. 
  • When gently pressed, there should be a slight give, like with a just-ripe avocado or pear, but not soft. 
  • The flesh should be the texture of a pear – neither crunchy nor mushy. 

Half a papaya with seeds sits on a marble countertop.

How to Cut Papaya 3 Ways 

Like most fruits, papaya is great to prep ahead and keep in the fridge or take to school or work. Most often I go with the simplest method of cutting the fruit in half, removing the seeds, and eating straight out of the skin with a spoon. 

You can also cut the papaya into cubes or balls and keep for a day or two in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Squeeze lime over the fruit to help preserve it and add flavor. 

  • Boats. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard or save them for later – yes they are edible! You now have papaya halves or boats. 
  • Slices. Peel the papaya with a vegetable peeler and discard the skin. Cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, then cut into cubes or slices. 
  • Balls. Cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, then use a melon baller to make balls. 

An overhead photo of half a Hawaiian papaya filled with plain yogurt, granola, fresh berries, and chia seeds.

How to Eat Payapa + Best Recipes 

Papaya tastes best to me with some acid – a squeeze of lime is perfect. The tanginess of plain yogurt is also nice, which is why these papaya boats are so great for breakfast. If you’d like even more recipes and ideas for how to eat papaya, here are some favorites. 

Yield: Serves 2

How to Cut & Eat Papaya

Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes

Papaya is a nutritious tropical fruit that's versatile and delicious. Here's how to eat and cut papaya three different ways, plus how to make a Hawaiian papaya boat.

How to Cut & Eat Papaya


Plain Cut Papaya

  • 1 ripe papaya
  • 1 lime wedge

Hawaiian Papaya Boats

  • 5 oz. plain Greek style yogurt
  • 1/3 cup fresh berries
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds


  1. Wash your papaya and place it on a cutting board. Cut about ½ inch off of the stem end. Then cut the papaya in half lengthwise. A knife cuts a papaya in half.
  2. For halves, use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of the papaya. Discard, or save for later, as they are edible. Squeeze lime over and eat right out of the skin, or use a melon baller to make balls. A spoon scoops the seeds out of a Hawaiian papaya.
  3. For slices, cut the fruit in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Set cut-side-down on a cutting board. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the fruit. A green vegetable peeler is used to peel a papaya.
  4. Cut the papaya into slices or cubes and squeeze lime over. Hawaiian papaya has been peeled and cut into slices on a cutting board.
  5. To make Hawaiian Papaya Boats, fill halves with seeds removed with yogurt. Top with granola, berries, and chia seeds and enjoy right away. A papaya boat filled with yogurt, granola, and berries in a stone bowl with a silver spoon.


Cut papaya will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Your papaya is ripe when it's turned from green to golden yellow in some places. It will still have some green patches. It should also give just slightly when squeezed.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Trans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 66mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 6gSugar: 21gProtein: 7g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.