6 Recipes Using Pomegranate Seeds to Make Vibrant, Delicious Dishes

Pomegranate isn’t the easiest fruit to eat, but it is one of the prettiest. The pop of color that pomegranate seeds provide can easily transform the aesthetic appeal of a dish, and their sweet taste can also transform its flavor. That pretty red hue couldn’t be more seasonally appropriate, and will surely get all of your guests in the holiday spirit.

We’ve highlighting six recipes that especially benefit from the inclusion of pomegranate seeds in their ingredient lists. Some of these food formulas are savory, while others are sweet, but all should be under consideration to be served at your next holiday gathering. ‘Tis the season for seeds and pretty party food.

Source: iStock

1. Pomegranate Guacamole

First up is this Pomegranate Guacamole from Cookie and Kate. The holiday season means it’s time to party, and this recipe elevates our favorite party food, guacamole. The juxtaposition of the sweet seeds and salty dip will keep everyone coming back for more.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium ripe avocados, pitted and diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ medium red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, mostly leaves, chopped
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños (or 1 serrano pepper), seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium pomegranate, deseeded

Directions: With a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the lime juice, garlic, and salt. Mash together the ingredients with a large fork or potato masher. Rinse the chopped onion under running water. Pat the onion dry with a paper towel. Add the onion, chopped cilantro, and jalapeño to the bowl and mix well. Gently stir in ½ of the pomegranate arils. For extra presentation points, transfer the guacamole to an appropriately sized serving bowl. Sprinkle remaining pomegranate arils over the guacamole, along with some feta, if you’d like. Serve immediately.

Source: iStock

2. Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce

The holiday season is just about the only time that Americans indulge in sweet sauces like that of the cranberry variety, so make this Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce, highlighted on My Recipes and developed by Sunset, while you still can. Ditch the canned stuff this year — this red dish will look beautiful on your dinner table.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces cranberries
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
  • 3 small sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds

Directions: In a medium saucepan, bring cranberries, sugar, molasses, and thyme to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Boil, stirring often, until most cranberries pop, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in pomegranate seeds. Discard thyme.

Source: iStock

3. Roasted Kabocha Squash With Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Pomegranate

Here’s a salad idea from Pom Wonderful that will delight all your eaters. Squash is in season, pom seeds make the dish pretty, and you can never go wrong with goat cheese. This salad’s sweet and savory flavors meld together perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 small kabocha squash
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 head hearts of romaine, chopped
  • 1 head endive, chopped
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • ⅓ cup goat cheese
  • ¼ cup aged sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Prepare fresh pomegranate arils. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel kabocha squash, remove seeds, slice into wedges, and toss with ¼ cup olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and dried thyme. Roast for approximately an hour, until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Chop and clean lettuce greens. Toss lettuce mixture with shallots, squash, goat cheese, sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Plate and top with arils.

Source: iStock

4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pomegranates and Hazelnuts

Here’s another healthy green-and-red dish that is perfect to serve at holiday parties and potlucks. This recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pomegranate and Hazelnuts from Food Network couldn’t be easier. The side dish is packed with crunch and flavor, and serves a crowd.

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the Brussels sprouts in a medium roasting pan; toss with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until light golden brown and a knife inserted into the centers goes in without any resistance, about 45 minutes.

Transfer the sprouts to a large bowl and add the pomegranate molasses, pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts, and lime and orange zests. Season with salt as needed.

Source: iStock

5. White Chocolate Pomegranate Tarts

You’re going to need some sweets to serve at your party, as well, and that’s where these White Chocolate Pomegranate Tarts come in. They’re both pretty to look at and easy to eat, and because they’re single serving, your guests won’t even have to share. Follow this formula from Overtime Cook.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup whipped topping
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 30 mini phyllo tart shells
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils

Directions: In a small pot, heat the nondairy whipped topping until it just begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add white chocolate chips. Stir until chips melt and mixture is smooth. To ensure the smoothest filling, strain the mixture through a sieve. Add vanilla to the white chocolate mixture and set aside to cool. Once cooled, add the sour cream and stir until combined. Spoon the mixture into the tart shells, then top with the pomegranate seeds.

Source: iStock

6. Greek Yogurt Cheesecake With Pomegranate Syrup

Last but not least is this Greek Yogurt Cheesecake decorated with pomegranate syrup. Was there ever a more aesthetically appealing dessert? The bright pink syrup perfectly  contrasts the sweet white cheesecake, making this sweet treat one that you’ll feel badly about slicing into. Bon Appétit makes it easy with this recipe.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1½ cups fine graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup sugar

Filling

  • 2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 1½ pounds cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1½ cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Pomegranate syrup

  • 2 cups flash-pasteurized pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • Pomegranate seeds

Directions: Coat bottom and sides of pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom with a parchment paper round. Using your fingertips, mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl until mixture holds together when pinched tightly. Pack onto bottom of pan in an even layer (using the bottom of a flat measuring cup works well). Chill until firm, at least 1 hour or up to a day.

For filling — Place gelatin and 1½ tablespoon cold water in a heatproof bowl. Let stand until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Pulse cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a food processor, scraping down sides as needed, until completely smooth. Pour water to a depth of ½ inch into a small skillet over medium heat. Place bowl with gelatin in skillet; stir until gelatin dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove bowl from skillet. With processor running, drizzle gelatin into cream cheese mixture; mix until well blended. Pour into prepared crust. Tap pan firmly on the counter to break up any big air bubbles. Smooth top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours before serving.

For pomegranate syrup — Bring first three ingredients to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; simmer, whisking occasionally, until syrup is thickened, shiny, and measures a generous ½ cup, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool.

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