Skip to Content

Dragon Fruit: The Ultimate Guide to Storing, Cutting, Serving & Keeping It Fresh

Dragon Fruit: The Ultimate Guide to Storing, Cutting, Serving & Keeping It Fresh

If you’re a fruit lover like me, you’ll be delighted to learn all about how to store dragon fruit, plus how to cut, serve, and keep dragon fruit fresh for as long as possible.

Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a vibrant, exotic fruit that is not only visually stunning but also packed with nutrients. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll provide you with step-by-step instructions to help you make the most of this colorful, mildly sweet fruit.

Storing Dragon Fruit:

1. Choose ripe dragon fruit: Look for fruits that have bright, even-colored skin (the “scales” should be firm and not too dry-looking) without any blemishes, mold, or very soft spots. A ripe dragon fruit should give slightly when gently pressed.

  • For whole, uncut dragon fruit: Refrigerate, but don’t wash it first. Place the whole fruit in a plastic bag or container and store it in the refrigerator. If you have a humidity controlled produce drawer, whole fruit doesn’t need covered at all. Some say whole dragon fruit can be stored for up to 5 days, but I have found that ripe fruit may still be good after 10 days.
  • For cut, cold dragon fruit, as long as it’s been KEPT COLD and covered, it may stay fresh and good to eat for up for a week. Looks for signs of spoiling like mushy flesh, mold, or stinky smell and don’t eat that.

2. Freezing dragon fruit: If you have an abundance of dragon fruit, you can freeze it for later use. Simply peel and cut the fruit into cubes or slices, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pieces down with about an inch of space between them. Lay flat and freeze until solid. Then place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Cutting Dragon Fruit:

  1. Prepare your tools: You’ll need a sharp knife and a cutting board.
  2. Slice off the ends: Start by cutting off both ends of the dragon fruit.
  3. Make a lengthwise cut: With the fruit standing upright, carefully slice it in half from top to bottom.
  4. Scoop out the flesh: Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the flesh from each half OR cut the flesh into cubes or slices for serving on a fruit tray or to top yogurt bowls. The flesh should easily detach from the skin.
  5. Note: If adding the fruit to a blender for smoothies, don’t include the skin.

Serving Dragon Fruit:

  • Fresh and chilled: Dragon fruit is best enjoyed fresh and chilled. Serve it as is or combine it with other tropical fruits for a refreshing fruit salad.
  • Smoothies and juices: Blend the dragon fruit flesh with your favorite fruits to create vibrant and nutritious smoothies and juices.
  • Dragon fruit bowls: Create a colorful and Instagram-worthy dragon fruit bowl by topping the fruit with granola, nuts, seeds, and a drizzle of honey. Or top your favorite yogurt with diced dragon fruit, chia, goji berries, and sliced almonds.
  • Desserts and pastries: Add diced dragon fruit to your favorite desserts, such as cakes, tarts, or even ice cream, for a burst of flavor and a stunning presentation.

For even more recipe ideas, I’ve got you covered there too.

Keeping Dragon Fruit Fresh:

  • Store leftovers properly: If you have leftover dragon fruit, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness.
  • Avoid exposure to air: When storing cut dragon fruit, make sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap or place it in a sealed container to minimize exposure to air.
  • Use clean utensils for cutting it and serving it.

Fun Fact: The dragon fruit plant is technically a cactus!

There’s a lot going on with dragon fruits, what with those gnarly looking stem and leaves that look like scales. You’ll see dark pink or yellow skin on dragon fruit (don’t eat the skin, by the way), but when you cut into it, you might get deep purple seeded flesh or fruit that’s pure white with dark seeds. There’s even a pink flesh in hybrids now. The ones with red flesh are much more expensive, but often are sweeter, and the nutrient count is higher, particularly with antioxidants. Even though it has black seeds inside, they are similar in texture to strawberry seeds and are easily eaten with the rest of the fruit.

Something I noticed about the dragon fruits we’ve processed and eaten in the Chew kitchen is that it’s a LOT of fruit for the money. Once you start cutting into one, you may notice you can add the fruit to six yogurt bowls and everyone still gets a ton of fruit and there’s some leftover. So I’ve found we get a lot for our money.

Buyer Beware: If you see “marked down” or “sale” dragon fruit for $2 per fruit, particularly at farmers markets, claiming to be red, it’s probably white inside. The red-skinned dragon fruit with white flesh are the most commonly found here in the States, and are generally less expensive than ones with red flesh.

The bottom line

Dragon fruit is a juicy, mildly sweet fruit (mmm, yummy cactus!) that comes in a deep pink color or white on the inside with pink or yellow skin on the outside. It has black seeds that are easy to eat like strawberries have. It’s great cubed and served cold by itself or in yogurt bowls. Add it to smoothies, too. 

Whether you’re eating it fresh, blending it into smoothies, or incorporating it into desserts, these tips will help you make the most of this tropical delight. So go ahead, indulge in the exotic flavors of dragon fruit and let your taste buds soar!

More About Dragon Fruit