By Carl Hanson

Fresh pomegranate seeds are the perfect addition to savory holiday recipes. Beautiful and vibrant, ruby red pomegranate seeds dedazzle dishes with a touch of seasonally appropriate color (bonus points for pairing them with something green like spinach or chile peppers). Bite into these juicy jewels, and you're rewarded with a wee burst of sweet flavor tempered with a mild bite of tartness. And that tasty juice also packs a big nutritional punch: pomegranate seeds are antioxidants, high in vitamin C. Check out our collection of top-rated pomegranate recipes for festive holiday dinners.

1. Chiles en Nogada (Mexican Stuffed Poblano Peppers in Walnut Sauce)

You'll stuff poblano chiles with a flavorful ground pork mixture, cover in a creamy walnut sauce, and garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley. "This traditional Mexican dish is from the area of Puebla," says mega2408. "The long list of ingredients is deceiving -- this make-ahead dish is quite easy once you have all your ingredients!"

Photo by Crema

2. Middle Eastern Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate

"This rice pilaf with pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and saffron tastes great with grilled fish or meat, especially lamb," says Afiyet_olson. "Make sure the rice does not get sticky. It is supposed to be light and fluffy."

Photo by fabeveryday

3. Christmas Pomegranate Salad

Pomegranate seeds are a colorful contrast to leafy greens. "This salad is not only tasty, it is full of great nutrients and antioxidants from the pomegranate seeds," says Karyn Ulriksen. "I love mixing up cheese and fruit in salads!"

Photo by France C

4. Lamb Braised in Pomegranate

A tangy pomegranate sauce pairs wonderfuly with succulent lamb. Chef John says, "This pomegranate braised lamb shoulder is about as seasonally appropriate as it gets, and one of the best things I've tasted in a long time."

Photo by Chef John

5. Moroccan Chicken Thigh Sheet Pan Dinner

"Perfect for quick weeknight dinners or laid-back dinner parties, this Moroccan-inspired sheet pan dinner is packed with bold sweet and savory flavors and palate-pleasing textures," says France C. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, parsley, and pistachios. "Ras el hanout is a North African seasoning available in specialty grocery stores." You can also make your own Ras el hanout.

Photo by France C

6. Spinach Pomegranate Salad

Get your greens -- and your ruby reds! -- with a healthy spinach salad garnished with pomegranate seeds, walnuts, red onions, and feta cheese. Dress it up with a little balsamic vinaigrette. "This was a huge hit a Christmas," says Lisa Brown. "It looks lovely and tastes divine."

Photo by Amanda

7. Gabe's Coffee-Crusted Hanger Steak with Apple, Fennel, and Herb Salad

"This smoky, sweet, spicy rub adds amazing flavor and color to just about any type of steak or pork tenderloin," says Gabe Kennedy. "Great for grilling and pan-searing." Arrange slices of steak on top of the salad and scatter roasted shallots, pomegranate seeds, and hazelnuts on top.

Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

8. Pear and Pomegranate Salad

"A fall and winter favorite," says JPMJ. "I am always eager for pomegranates to come in season so I can make this again. I make my own pomegranate juice by pressing the seeds against a metal sieve."

Photo by Annafur

9. Persimmon, Pomegranate, and Massaged Kale Salad

Maple-roasted macadamia nuts add sweet crunch to this kale, persimmon salad topped with pomegranate seeds and a simple olive oil dressing. "A beautiful winter celebration salad to kick off a happy and super healthy holiday season!" says VeggieCravings. "Add cooked quinoa if desired."

Photo by VeggieCravings

10. Chef John's Butternut Bisque

Snipped chives and pomegranate seeds add a festive touch to butternut bisque. "For a winter special occasion or just a weekday meal, this butternut bisque makes a perfect, warming starter course," says Chef John. "You can also garnish with crumbled bacon and a swirl of crème fraiche."

Photo by Chef John

11. Herbed Pomegranate Salsa

This bright, flavorful salsa combines mint, cilantro, Italian flat leaf parsley, red onion, pomegranate seeds with lime juice, lime zest, jalapeno and serrano peppers, tomato, and olive oil. "A delightfully different salsa for the true salsa lover, this bittersweet salsa is often found in Mexican cuisine as well as Persian," says DRAGONSBANE.

Photo by Julie Castro

12. Pomegranate Dip

Cream cheese and pomegranate seeds create a quick dip for holiday gatherings. "So simple with just two ingredients, but whenever I've brought it to a party, I'm always asked for the recipe, as though there must be a lot to it," says busymomof4. "Scrumptious! Serve with your favorite crackers!"

Photo by lutzflcat

Check out our collection of Christmas Recipes.