Photo: Alison Miksch

This tropical fruit deserves the spotlight this season. 

Antara Sinha
April 30, 2018

As far as tropical fruits go, papaya is often forgotten, or relegated to basic, sad fruit salads—which is a shame. This mildly sweet, vibrant warm-weather fruit deserves a place at your table this whole season. From breakfast bowls to evening cocktails, to stunning seafood mains, here are seven of our favorite ways to serve up this sunny, versatile, summertime fruit.

1. Papaya-Blueberry-Cherry Breakfast Bowls

Papaya-Blueberry-Cherry Breakfast Bowls image

Photo: Alison Miksch


This breakfast bowl is a feast for both your eyes and your mouth, and gives us major island vacation vibes. Chia seeds add just the right amount of crunch, but it’s the colorful fruit that steals the show.

2. Glass Noodles with Green Papaya, Peanuts, and Chili Vinaigrette

Photo: Hector Sanchez Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas  


There’s a lot of flavors packed into this bowl—and they all meld beautifully. If you’ve got under-ripe, green papaya, it brings a crunch and fruity tang that’s difficult to replicate. Fragrant herbs, crunchy peanuts, and a little kick from chili make this a dish you’ll need seconds (and thirds) of.

3. Caribbean Ceviche

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas


Serve up this tangy-sweet starter with crispy tortilla chips and you’ve got a memorable appetizer, perfect for entertaining. The best part: It’s minimal fuss. Just let the fish marinate, mix in the fruit, herbs, and veggies, and it’s ready to take to the table.

4. Shrimp & Papaya Salad


We couldn’t come up with a dish more colorful or vibrant if we tried—it’s like summer in a bowl. Don’t skimp on the fresh herbs, though; fresh mint and earthy cilantro are what bring all of the sweet, sour, and savory elements together in this gorgeous appetizer.

5. Tropical Smoothie


With only six ingredients, this speedy smoothie makes a refreshing breakfast or midday snack that’s not too heavy (but is still satisfyingly sweet). Coconut milk adds just the right amount of creaminess and body.
 
6. DIY Chicken Papaya Spring Rolls

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kevin Crafts


This five-star recipe is fun and low-stress enough for family meal or a dinner for company. Just leave out the ingredients and let everyone help themselves in rolling their own spring rolls. The tang of the papaya pairs beautifully with the spicy peanut sauce.

7. Royal Orchid


Papaya juice gives this elegant cocktail just the beachy kick it needs. The gorgeous color and fruity, floral flavor makes this the kind of drink you need for sipping seaside—or at the very least, on a patio. You’ll want to mix this up all summer long.

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