RECIPE: Baked Stuffed Papaya

April 15, 2015, 12:15 PM HST (Updated April 15, 2015, 12:17 PM)


This dish is a delectable and unusual main course, with the sweetness of the papaya mingling with the savory flavors of meat and spices. Serve with a salad and rice pilaf for a complete meal.

Serves six.





1 medium onion, chopped


1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1/2 pound ground pork

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

2 Tablespoons of tomato paste

2 Tablespoons of flat parsley, chopped

1 Hawaiian chili pepper, seeded and minced (or 1/2 tsp of dried red pepper)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Salt and pepper

3 papayas (about 1 pound each) cut in half and seeded

Salt and pepper

1/2 – 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (shredded cheeses and/or crumbled feta)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute onion in oil in a large skillet until onion is translucent.
  3. Add beef, pork and garlic, breaking up meat and cooking until browned.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper and cinnamon; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates.
  6. Place papaya in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  7. Spoon meat mixture into papaya halves.
  8. Pour hot water into baking dish to a depth of 1 inch.
  9. Bake until papaya is tender, about 50 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

This post has been a contribution by Kristin Frost Albrecht on behalf of The Food Basket, Hawai’i Island’s Food Bank.



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