Here are the visual cues to help you tell at a glance if a pomegranate is ripe or not. Once you know what to look for, you'll be picking out the best ones like a produce pro.

Pomegranates and Seeds
Pomegranates and Seeds | Photo by Vanessa Greaves

What to Look For

1. Shape

The ripest pomegranates aren't shaped like balls. Look for flattened, angular sides rather than perfectly rounded spheres.

2. Skin Tone

Pomegranates vary in color from light to dark red. No matter what the color, the real clues to ripeness are the smoothness and firmness of its tough, leathery skin.

3. Weight

Pick it up. A ripe pomegranate should feel heavy for its size; an indication that the seeds are full and juicy.

Ripe Pomegranate
Ripe Pomegranate | Photo by Vanessa Greaves

Once you pick out a perfect pomegranate, here's how to deseed it just seconds.

Some of Our Favorite Recipes Featuring Pomegranates

Here's a healthy spinach salad with pomegranate seeds, walnuts, red onions, feta cheese, and a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. It's particularly nice at Christmas. "A taste sensation!" raves TommysMom. "I LOVE this salad! For Thanksgiving, I made candied walnuts and added them to the recipe, and it was even better! I love the different flavors together in this salad."

Spinach Pomegranate Salad
Photo by Allrecipes

The keys to this lamb chop recipe are getting a nice dark sear on the chops and de-glazing the pan with pomegranate juice and a splash of balsamic vinegar. You'll take the pan from stovetop to oven for a little flavor-building braising. The lamb comes out tender and succulent. Chef John "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."

lamb topped with pomegranate arils and chopped mint surrounded by golden rings of roasted squash
Photo by Chef John
| Credit: Chef John

"An easy fruit dessert made with fall fruit that can be served with a cheese selection," says misslisa.

Spiced Pears and Pomegranate
Photo by Jennica Reis

Check out more recipes using ripe Pomegranates.