Spiced Papaya Compote

Spiced papaya compote with whole papaya and cinnamon sticks

October 27, 2023

Thanks to a rainy winter, our papaya trees are blessing us with an abundance of fruit. We share them with family and co-workers. We even found that the puppies love them (we just have to be sure they don’t eat any of the seeds). Even after we enjoy the fruit ourselves, we still have an abundance. Something had to be done…

No more jam

Other than eating them fresh, one of the ways I use papayas is to make Papaya Ginger Jam. However, there is only so much jam we need to have on hand and we still have a few jars from a batch I made two years ago.

Papaya Ginger Jam
Many of our papayas are made into Papaya Ginger Jam

As I was looking at different recipes I came across fruit compotes and even papaya compotes. Since papayas stand up well to cooking – getting soft but not disintegrating completely – I thought a compote would work well.

Flavor components

I was not looking for anything too sweet and I liked the recipes that had an acidic component. When you order fresh papaya at breakfast, often times it will come with a wedge of lime that you can squeeze over the fruit. As a natural pairing, I decided to incorporate lime into my recipe.

The next thing I wanted were some spices to add complexity to the compote. I like using whole spices here – cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, cardamom pods – but you can also use ground spices.

Spiced papaya compote closeup

How to use the compote

This compote may be used in any number of ways:

  • Serve it warm or cold over ice cream or coconut rice pudding
  • Mix it into plain Greek yogurt
  • Spoon it over a simple slice of pound cake

No food waste

I am inspired by chefs Irene and Mei Li and their quest to reduce food waste. It’s because of them and their website Food Waste Feast that I’m always looking for ways to use the food we have in new and different ways. So if it wasn’t papayas, I would look at using mangos or maybe stone fruits like plums or apricots. Even cherries that are starting to soften would work well.

Look at what you have. Be creative. Eat well.

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Spiced papaya compote with whole papaya and cinnamon sticks

Spiced Papaya Compote

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This tropical fruit compote is perfect on ice cream or rice pudding. If you don’t have papaya try substituting with plums, apricots, or mango.



pounds papaya, peeled and seeded*

1 cup sugar

3 whole cloves (or ¼ teaspoon ground)

1 cinnamon stick (or ½ teaspoon ground)

1 whole cardamom pod, lightly smashed (or ¼ teaspoon ground)

¼ cup fresh lime juice


Place the papaya, sugar, spices, and lime juice into a pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat then reduce to a simmer.

Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the mixture is the consistency of a loose jam.

Cool and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Serve cold or warm over ice cream or rice pudding.


*Substitute with stone fruit (plums, apricots), mango, or other fruit.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Condiments
  • Cuisine: Hawaiian-American


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 136.78
  • Sugar: 31.74 g.
  • Sodium: 7.49 mg.
  • Fat: 0.35 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 0.07 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 35.3 g.
  • Fiber: 1.8 g.
  • Protein: 0.49 g.
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: papaya, lime, spices

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