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Cooking with Pomegranates

September 6, 2012 | by Sharon Matten

My all-time favorite and delicious pomegranate recipes. Perfect for Rosh Hashanah.

One of the ubiquitous symbols of Rosh Hashanah is the pomegranate. On the second night of Rosh Hashanah, Jews eat a “new” fruit that they haven’t eaten in 30 days. One of the most popular is the pomegranate. The pomegranate is a fruit of Israel and is said to have 613 seeds – compared to the 613 mitzvot in the Torah. On Rosh Hashana besides the new fruit “shehechiyanu” blessing, we say an extra blessing on the pomegranate of “sheyirbu zechuyoseynu k’rimon” – may our merits be many like the seeds of the pomegranate. With a great blessing like that I would think that we would want to use as many pomegranates on the holiday as possible! I’m sharing with you some of my all-time favorite, delicious and fabulous pomegranate recipes. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

Pomegranate Cranberry Star-fruit Chicken

Pomegranate Cranberry Star-fruit ChickenThis recipe is a great way to use two “shechiyanu” fruits in a single sweet and tangy recipe. Your Yom Tov guests will ooh and ahh at this unique and gorgeous chicken dish! Make sure to use only ripe star-fruit or they will be sour.

  • 4 cups pomegranate-cranberry juice blend, no sugar added (I use POM brand)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 chicken breast halves, tenders removed
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 ripe star-fruit, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups dried pomegranate infused cranberries
  • (you can use standard dried cranberries if infused ones are not available)
  • nonstick vegetable spray.

Additional sauce (optional)

  • 2 cups pomegranate-cranberry juice blend, cold or room temp (I use Langers)
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

In a medium saucepan, combine pomegranate-cranberry juice with the sugar and lemon juice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 75 minutes until reduced and thickened. (Can be made a few days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.)

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.

Add the ½ cup of honey and the star-fruit to the syrup. Simmer 10 minutes. Add the dried pomegranate infused cranberries.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown chicken on both sides, then place on prepared baking sheet. Evenly spoon the syrup mixture over the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes, basting with the sauce every 15 minutes. Serve topped with oven juices, star-fruit and cranberries.

For additional sauce:

Combine the pomegranate-cranberry juice blend and corn starch in a small saucepan, making sure to dissolve all the starch. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Serve warm sauce over chicken.

Pomegranate Syrup Chicken

Pomegranate Syrup ChickenMade using thick pomegranate “drink syrup” that can be found in the liquor section of grocery stores and real unsweetened pomegranate juice, this chicken packs a ton of “pomegranety” flavor!!

  • 2 3.25 pound chickens, cut into 8ths, skin removed (it’s healthier!)
  • 2 cups pomegranate syrup
  • 1 cup pure pomegranate juice
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
  • non-stick vegetable spray
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)

Combine the pomegranate syrup, pomegranate juice, honey, garlic, pepper, and thyme in a medium bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. Place chicken bone side up in a large casserole, or in an extra large ziplock bag. Pour marinade over chicken. Cover with plastic wrap, or seal bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375° F or 350° F convection.

Cover a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, then spray with non-stick vegetable spray. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving remaining marinade. Place chicken bone side up on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon a small amount of marinade over the chicken, reserving the remaining marinade. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Turn chicken bone side down, and bake for an additional 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

While chicken is baking, place marinade in a 4 quart saucepan. Add the corn starch and stir until starch is completely dissolved with no remaining lumps. Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens, around 20 minutes.

Place baked chicken on a serving platter and garnish with pomegranate seeds. Serve warm.

For more information about this recipe go to

Pomegranate Rice

Pomegranate RiceFor a bigger pomegranate flavor use 3 cups of pomegranate-cranberry juice blend and 1 cup of vegetable stock. If you can’t find pomegranate infused dried cranberries, you can use traditional dried cranberries instead.

  • 1 large white onion, finely diced (around 2 ½ cups)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 cups pomegranate-cranberry juice blend (I use Langers)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups pomegranate infused dried cranberries

Heat the canola oil in a large stock pot. Sauté the onion in the oil until slightly browned. Add the rice, juice and vegetable stock to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until rice is cooked through. Allow the rice to sit for 10 minutes, then stir in the salt and dried cranberries. Serve warm.

No-Bake Fruity Pomegranate Mousse Pie

No-Bake Fruity Pomegranate Mousse Pie(makes two 9” pies)

This is the perfect light and creamy ending to your huge Yom Tov meal. It’s quick to make, and doesn’t require precious oven time to prepare. Using ready-made graham cracker crusts also speeds up prep time so you have more time to spend with your family and guests!

  • 2 9” ready-made graham cracker crust
  • .3 ounce package Double Berry Jel Dessert (I use Kojel)
  • ½ cup Pomegranate Cranberry Juice Blend, cold or room temp (I use Langers)
  • 4 cups whipping cream, divided
  • Dried cranberries and/or fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish

Combine dessert jel and juice in a small bowl. Fill a small saucepan with 1 ½ inches of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a very low simmer. Set the small bowl in the saucepan and stir until mix is completely dissolved in the juice and warm to the touch (not hot). Remove from the water and set aside.

Whip 2 cups of whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Add the Jel/juice mixture to the whipped cream and re-whip until stiff. Spoon into the ready-made graham cracker crusts. Smooth the top using an offset spatula.

Whip the remaining 2 cups of whipping cream. Spread or pipe decoratively on the top of the filling. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Slice and serve garnished with dried cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds. Can be made in advance and frozen. Defrost slightly before serving.

Note: For an even bigger pomegranate flavor, add 2 teaspoons of pomegranate extract flavoring to the mousse.

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