Showstopping Fresh Pomegranate Recipes That Will Instantly Elevate Any Meal

Cornmeal Butter Cake with Pomegranate Sauce
Photo: Andy Lyons

Pomegranate arils (aka pomegranate seeds) with their juicy, tart sweetness are a seasonal secret weapon. They make every dish they grace look magazine-perfect with a simple sprinkling. With this list of fresh pomegranate recipes you'll quickly realize the versatility pomegranate arils offer. (You'll find ideas for meat, salads, drinks, and desserts.) While pomegranates are in season from October through January, you absolutely must give these pomegranate seed recipes a try.

01 of 19

Wilted Chicken Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

Wilted Chicken Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
Andy Lyons

Take sizzling chicken salad to new flavor heights by adding red onions that have been simmered in pomegranate juice and red wine vinegar. Pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds lend crunchy texture to this healthy dinner salad recipe with 27 grams of protein.

02 of 19

Pomegranate Pot Roast

Pomegranate Pot Roast
Blaine Moats

If a slow-simmered Sunday dinner is what you're looking for, add this pot roast to your list. Hearty beef and carrots meld with the flavors of pomegranate juice, beef broth, and plenty of fresh herbs while in the oven for 90 minutes. Then finish everything off with a pomegranate drizzle, and, of course, fresh pomegranate arils.

Buy It: Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Juice ($4, Target)

03 of 19

Cornmeal Butter Cake with Pomegranate Sauce

Cornmeal Butter Cake with Pomegranate Sauce
Andy Lyons

Here's a gorgeous idea when you're wondering what to do with pomegranate arils. Add intense color and texture contrast to a bundt cake (or any cake, honestly) with a sprinkling of the seeds. Here, we added more developed pomegranate flavor with the use of a pomegranate syrup, too.

04 of 19

Red Cabbage and Radicchio Slaw

Red Cabbage and Radicchio Slaw
Blaine Moats

Make a side dish that'll catch everyone's eye by sticking to a monochromatic theme. Red onion, red cabbage, radicchio, and pomegranate seeds all contribute their bold color to this side dish slaw that'll look perfect on your Thanksgiving table (or your Tuesday night table).

05 of 19

Lemon-Dill Bulgur Salad with Salmon

Lemon-Dill Bulgar Salad with Salmon
Jason Donnelly

Talk about a heart-healthy dinner! Omega-3 packed baked salmon, whole-grain bulgur, nutrient-packed leafy greens, and anti-oxidant-rich pomegranate arils make this a recipe that truly satisfies with 10 grams of fiber and 19 grams of protein.

06 of 19

Pomegranate Pavlova with Pistachios & Honey

Pomegranate Pavlova with Pistachios and Honey
Kritsada Panichgul

The red and green color combo of this stunning dessert makes it ideal for a holiday dessert when you can't handle even one more Christmas cookie. To create this masterpiece, whip up a fluffy egg white meringue, simmer a pomegranate syrup, then top with whipped cream, the aforementioned syrup, and a sprinkling of pistachios. The end result is a fluffy, creamy, crunchy, juicy, and nutty dessert fit for a party.

07 of 19

Sweet Potato-Pomegranate Slaw

Sweet Potato-Pomegranate Slaw
Andy Lyons

Combine two best-loved seasonal ingredients in one side dish—pomegranate seeds and sweet potatoes both star here. This is an excellent use of pomegranate seeds for those who find the crunch from the seed at the center of an aril surprising because there's a sprinkling of pistachios lending crunch too. The crunch will be expected and the juicy bursts of pomegranate a wonderful addition.

08 of 19

Banana-Clementine Wacky Cake with Pomegranate Sauce

Banana-Clementine Wacky Cake with Pomegranate Sauce
Jason Donnelly

Tart pomegranate sauce takes our wacky cake over the top. This glossy fruit glaze, made with jelly, crunchy pomegranate seeds, and fresh clementine juice, pairs beautifully with moist banana cake.

09 of 19

Persimmon, Blood Orange & Pomegranate Salad

Persimmon, Blood Orange, and Pomegranate Salad
Andy Lyons

Speed up the prep work of this pomegranate salad recipe by purchasing pomegranate arils already removed from the fruit (look for them in the refrigerated area of the produce department). Or, follow the recipe directions to harvest the seeds. Fuyo persimmons add a burst of tang to this colorful fruit salad. If you can't find persimmons at your local grocery store, use papayas or mangoes instead.

10 of 19

Spiced Rice with Pickled Quince and Pomegranate

Spiced Rice with Pickled Quince and Pomegranate
Blaine Moats

"Spiced" certainly earned its prominence in this recipe's name. The pickling liquid for the quince includes cinnamon, allspice, and cardamom spices. The rice has cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, and cloves all adding big flavor. Never again will you think of rice as a bland side.

11 of 19

Seared Scallops & Baby Spinach with Spiced Pomegranate Glaze

Seared Scallops Baby Spinach Spiced Pomegranate Glaze
Scott Little

The secret to our sweet and savory scallops lies in the rich pomegranate glaze featuring hits of honey, cinnamon, and coriander. Serve on a bed of baby spinach for a dish that makes any meal a special occasion.

12 of 19

Papaya-Pomegranate Guacamole

Papaya-Pomegranate Guacamole
Blaine Moats

Just look at it, this is definitely not your usual guacamole recipe. Our 30-minute appetizer recipe features the usual fresh veggies and herbs but adds pomegranate seeds and papaya for a colorful, fruity twist you won't want to quit noshing.

13 of 19

Mediterranean Chicken-Pomegranate Stir-Fry

Mediterranean Chicken-Pomegranate Stir-Fry
Blaine Moats

That's right, even weeknight chicken skillet dinners can be dressed up with pomegranate seeds to be something special. Our pomegranate chicken recipe starts with veggies then adds well-seasoned chicken before adding pomegranate seeds for the last couple minutes of cook time. It's a one-pan meal ready in under 30 minutes.

14 of 19

Pomegranate Fizzes

Pomegranate Fizzes
Scott Little

With a cocktail garnish of pomegranate arils and fresh mint leaves, this drink recipe looks like one prepared by a mixologist. But it only takes four ingredients (and some ice) to mix up a 10-serving batch of the pomegranate cocktail recipe.

15 of 19

Pomegranate Green Salad

Pomegranate Green Salad
Kritsada Panichgul

Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and mashed pomegranate seeds make a classy dressing for any bed of greens. Sprinkle with Manchego or Parmesan cheese for a sharp flavor contrast, then toss in a few honey-roasted nuts for some additional crunch beyond what you get from the pomegranate arils.

16 of 19

Cherry-Pomegranate Chutney

Cherry-Pomegranate Chutney
Andy Lyons

A plethora of spices—including cinnamon, ginger, and allspice—infuses our sweet fruit chutney with rich, spiced flavor. Serve atop crackers along with blue cheese or Gouda for a holiday appetizer recipe that's simple and delicious. Or add it to sandwiches for a unique spread.

17 of 19

Pomegranate Rice

Pomegranate Rice
Andy Lyons

Add surprising bright fresh flavors to a rice side dish by including pomegranate arils and lemon zest. Cooking the rice with chicken broth and shallots adds a rich savory flavor to compliment the fruit flavors for a starchy side that won't weigh you down.

18 of 19

Pomegranate Cheesecake

Pomegranate Cheesecake
James Carriere

Sink your teeth into cool, creamy vanilla cheesecake this holiday season (aka pomegranate season). While the lemon- and pomegranate-studded filling of the baked cheesecake chills, make a ruby-hued drizzle using pomegranate syrup.

19 of 19

Priscilla's Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad

Priscilla's Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad
Reed Davis

Both persimmons and pomegranates are at their peak availability October through December (into January, if you're lucky) so they seem destined to be paired together in dishes like this one. This healthy side dish is a little sweet and a little spicy to appeal to many palates.

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