Kiwi recipes make the most of this luscious, juicy fruit in season. These fuzzy beauties shine during the winter months, where they can fill the gap when all the summer fruits are long gone. Whether large, fuzzy and brown, or smooth, green and grape-sized, the kiwi fruit is a sweet and juicy find, excellent in a number of culinary creations.
Although many think the kiwi fruit (Actinidia spp.) originated from New Zealand, it actually stemmed from southwestern China. For this reason, it was known as the Chinese gooseberry for years.
The kiwifruit plant was brought to Europe, New Zealand and the United States in the early 1900s and the fruit was eventually renamed the kiwifruit.
There are many varieties of kiwi, including Actinidia chinensis and Actinidia deliciosa which come from the warmer climates of China. There are also cold weather varieties.
The Hardy Kiwi (Actinidia arguta) and Arctic Kiwi (Actinidia kolomikta) are native to northern China as well as Japan and the Korean peninsula. Hardy kiwis are called so because they are hardy to negative 40 degrees! These varieties lack the fuzzy brown coating of other varieties, instead producing smooth grape-sized fruits in shades of green and red.
Growing hardy kiwi is actually quite simple. These viney kiwi plants simply require a wall, fence or strong trellis to grow along. These plants climb by twining along other objects. And unlike hairy kiwi varieties, no peeling is necessary.
While fuzzy varieties only grow in USDA zones 8 – 10, these hardier varieties can thrive in zones 3 – 8.
Choosing the Best Kiwi
The varieties of kiwi you are most likely to find in the supermarket are the deliciosa variety which are brown and fuzzy, particularly the Hayward.
Wondering when and how to harvest kiwi? Kiwis are considered a winter fruit. Although your kiwis may reach full size in August, they likely won’t be mature enough to harvest until late October or early November. At this point, the seeds should have darkened and the sugar content will rise.
Luckily, kiwis do continue to ripen off the vine if picked early. Harvesting ripe kiwi will produce the best flavor, but these ripened fruits won’t keep as long. Select fruits that are not hard, and are free of bruises, spots and other damage. Ripe fruit should give with gentle pressure.
When picking kiwis, simply break the steam at the base of the fruit. Not sure if your kiwis are ready? Slice one open – if you see black seeds they are perfect for picking.
If kiwis don’t grow in your area, you should be able to pick some up in your local produce section from October through May. You may be able to find hardy or arctic kiwis at specialty food stores, sometimes sold under the name kiwiberry.
Kiwis should be stored in your refrigerator whether ripe or slightly underripe. If underripe fruit is picked, a kiwi can be ripened by being left out at room temperature for 2 to 3 days (preferably in a paper bag, out of direct heat or sunlight). Once ripened, it should be refrigerated until ready to use.
Ripe kiwis keep at best quality for 5 to 10 days when refrigerated. Firmer, underripe kiwis can be stored for up to one month.
Be sure to wash kiwis prior to eating – especially supermarket varieties. The peel is edible and can be left on if desired. If the texture is bothersome to you, the skin should peel easily off of ripe fruit.
Describing the flavor of a kiwi to someone who’s never tried one is difficult. Some describe the taste as a blend between strawberry, pineapple and banana. The flavor is sweet, with a hint of tang and slightly tropical – the texture is fleshy and juicy with small black seeds.
Kiwis are a popular addition to fruit salads, salsa, drinks and desserts. They can be used in a marinade to tenderize meat, reduced into a syrup for cocktails or even dried into chips. Read on for dozens of fabulous culinary ideas spanning from breakfast to late-night snacks.
Fresh Kiwi Recipes
Fresh and vibrant kiwis make wondrous additions to salads, soups and tarts alike. Try a light kiwi, lime and strawberry salad for a crisp and simple lunch, or opt for a heart-healthy kiwi and cucumber salad tossed with walnuts and fresh mint leaves in a honey-lime vinaigrette. More flavor-packed salad options include kiwis with tomatoes and avocado, pecans with honey-yogurt dressing or pistachios with zesty orange dressing.
Vivacious fruit salads also benefit from some sliced kiwis. Combine kiwi with tropical pineapple, coconut and lime dressing, or craft a winter fruit salad with mandarin orange and pomegranate. More fruit-filled options include chilled kiwi and mango soup in addition to a variety of tarts. Try kiwi with lime-infused custard, miniature kiwi cream tarts or an open-faced kiwi and honey galette.
- Kiwi, Lime & Strawberry Salad
- Kiwi Cucumber Salad with Walnuts and Fresh Mint
- Kiwi Salad with Tomato and Avocado
- Honey-Pecan Kiwi Salad
- Kiwi Herb Salad with Pistachios and Orange Dressing
- Pineapple Kiwi Salad
- Winter Fruit Salad
- Chilled Kiwi Mango Soup
- Easy Kiwi Tart
- Kiwi Honey Galette
Kiwi Breakfast Recipes
Being that kiwis are high in vitamin C, they add powerful immune-boosting benefits to breakfast recipes. Add kiwi to chia breakfast pudding, yogurt parfait, breakfast bowls and overnight oats for a sensational morning experience. Additionally, oatmeal, quinoa and granola are spectacular breakfast pairings for this sweet and flavorful fruit.
Try an inventive take on the banana split turned breakfast in which yogurt is subbed for ice cream. Kiwi-topped pancakes and cream cheese-spread breakfast toast make filling and flavorful morning meals as well. For breakfast fare that lasts all week, consider kiwi muffins and kiwi breakfast cake. Short on time? A kiwi smoothie will surely suffice.
- Kiwi Chia Dream
- Greek Yogurt Parfait
- Super Healthy Breakfast Bowl
- Kiwi Coconut Overnight Oats
- Kiwi-Banana-Blueberry Protein Oatmeal
- Mango Kiwi Breakfast Quinoa
- Kiwi-Granola Breakfast Banana Split
- Kiwi Pancakes
- Open-Faced Kiwi Lime Breakfast Toast
- Kiwi Muffins
- Kiwi Fruit Breakfast Cake
- Kiwi & Oat Breakfast Smoothie
Kiwi Savory Main Courses
Did you think kiwis were just for dessert and fruit bowls? False! Kiwis can be used in a variety of protein-packed dinner recipes whether used in a salsa for topping chicken and fish or a marinade. For inspiration, consider a kiwi salsa of onion, kiwi, cilantro, lime juice and peppers for topping fish tacos or roasted salmon. Use this fleshy fruit to make kiwi relish, kiwi sauce or kiwi salad for fish and other seafood (like crab cake sliders with avocado and kiwi salsa).
Chicken is another opportunity for kiwi salsa. Consider grilled chicken with kiwi salsa and coconut rice for a sizable dinnertime dish. Other options include kiwi with baked and grilled chicken, kiwi jerk chicken, orange chicken with kiwi and stir-fried kiwi chicken. Kiwi with duck confit, chicken brochettes or balsamic chicken and kiwi kebabs are also appealing options.
Beef can also pair extremely well with the sweet flavor of kiwi. Sample kiwi beef kabobs paired with kiwi quinoa for a full plate or test out grilled steak with a smoky kiwi salsa. Kiwi can also tenderize and marinate meat. Whip up a quick kiwi marinade for beef or lamb with soy sauce, minced cloves, and chopped kiwi with tomato and Worcestershire sauce.
Fish and Seafood
- Easy Fish Tacos with Kiwi Salsa
- Roasted or Grilled Salmon with Kiwi Salsa
- Marinated Salmon with Mango-Kiwi Relish
- Orange Roughy with Kiwi-Basil Orange Sauce and Walnuts
- Thai Shrimp & Kiwi Salad
- Sautéed Shrimp with Tropical Fruit Salsa
- Crab Cake Sliders With Guacamole And Kiwi Salsa
Duck and Chicken
- Kiwi and Baked Lime Chicken
- Grilled Chicken with Kiwi Ginger Sauce
- Kiwi Jerk Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
- Chicken with Kiwi in Orange Sauce
- Stir-Fried Kiwi Chicken
- Duck Confit and Kiwifruit Timbale
- Chicken Brochettes with Kiwi and Mango Sauce
Beef and Lamb
- Kiwi Beef Kabobs with Herbed Kiwi Quinoa
- Korean-Style Beef and Kiwi Skewers
- Grilled Steak with Smoky Kiwi Salsa
- Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Kiwifruit Salsa
- Quick Kiwi Marinade
Kiwi Drink Recipes
Looking to hydrate with kiwi? Use either a juicer or blender to make healthy kiwi juice for sipping or blend kiwis with lime juice and mineral water for a kid-friendly punch. Mash kiwis for fresh kiwi lemonade or cube and puree for kiwi soda. A simple kiwi syrup can be brewed from just three ingredients, perfect for adding to all manner of beverages, mocktails and cocktails.
Blend or muddle fresh kiwis into mojitos, margaritas, gin cocktails and tequila concoctions for refreshing and colorful results. Looking for a cool beverage for a sweltering afternoon? Try a green goddess kiwi cocktail made from gin, elderflower liqueur, simple syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice and muddled kiwi.
- Easy & Healthy Kiwi Juice
- Kid-Friendly Kiwi Punch
- Fresh & Sweet Kiwi Lemonade
- Kiwi Soda
- Kiwi Syrup
- Kiwi Mojito Mocktail
- Kiwi Margarita
- Kiwi Gin Cocktail
- Tequila Kiwi Cocktail
Kiwi Snack Recipes
Looking for recipes to tide over the family until the next meal? Consider a quick kiwi and avocado salsa with jalapeno and pomegranate seeds for tacos, or ginger and kiwi salsa for lettuce cups. Use an air fryer to make sweet and snackable kiwi chips for snacking or serve fresh chopped kiwi and pineapple atop cheesy crackers.
Kiwis can be made grazable served on mascarpone-coated bread, wrapped in tortilla rolls or simply dolloped with mango balls. Make chilled kiwi treats in the form of two-ingredient kiwi sorbet, bite-sized frozen kiwi pops or kiwi popsicles paired with coconut or watermelon. Kiwi fruit leather is another tasty treat for little ones to enjoy. Strawberry-kiwi fruit leather in particular is a healthy and nutritious choice.
- Kiwi and Avocado Salsa
- Air Fryer Kiwi Chips
- Refreshing Kiwi and Pineapple Bites
- Kiwi Sandwich Snack
- Kiwi Wraps or Rolls
- Kiwi with Mango Balls
- Easy Kiwi Sorbet
- Frozen Kiwi Pops
- Coconut Kiwi Popsicle
- Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles
- Kiwi Fruit Leather
Kiwi Dessert Recipes
Kiwi fruits are a spectacular component of many desserts. Use sliced kiwis to decorate delicate puff pastries or top cheesecakes and crumbles. Buttery kiwi cookies, vanilla-kiwi cupcakes topped with kiwi buttercream and kiwi cake are more devourable options to contemplate.
An easy kiwi compote can be assembled in minutes with just sugar, lemon juice and kiwis. Use it to top everything from yogurt to pavlova, kiwi lime pie and pound cake. More dessert ideas include mango and kiwi mousse, kiwi lemon posset or simple kiwi ice cream, doable with or without an ice cream maker!
- Puff Pastry Dessert With Kiwi
- No-Bake Kiwi Cheesecake (Vegan)
- Kiwifruit Crumble
- Buttery Kiwi Cookies
- Kiwi Cupcakes
- Golden Kiwi Cake
- Lemon Pound Cake with Strawberry-Kiwi Sauce
- Classic Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Kiwi
- Mango Kiwi Mousse
- 5-Ingredient Golden Kiwi Lemon Posset
- Kiwi Ice Cream
- No Churn Kiwi Ice Cream
On the occasion you find yourself with too much kiwi, preservation is a necessary task. Two of the best ways to preserve kiwis are by freezing and drying. You can freeze kiwis by slicing the fruit and freezing them on a baking sheet, then moving to a freezer bag for storage. The Oregon State University Extension Service recommends adding sugar when freezing to keep the fruit firm.
You can make a liquid syrup pack using 3 cups sugar to 4 cups water or create a dry pack for coating kiwi slices using a ratio of 1 cup sugar to 1 quart sliced kiwi.
Drying is another method for preserving kiwi. Dehydrating kiwi can be done either in the oven or via a dehydrator. Dried kiwi slices can then be stored in an airtight container for up to a year when kept in a cool and dark environment.
Still have leftover kiwi fruit about to go bad? Consider making kiwi jam or kiwi chutney for canning. Combine with other fruits like strawberry, apple, pineapple and pear for exciting flavor combinations.
Cultured & Fermented Kiwi
Kiwi can be added to several fermented and cultured recipes. You can try your hand at making homemade fruit wine with kiwi with a basic wine recipe or try a cider or sparkling wine yeast for a fizzier result. Melomel or fruited honey wine is another option.
For quicker ferments you can add kiwi to fruit kvass or kombucha – both have lovely probiotic benefits. Fermented jalapeno sauce with kiwi is another option. The flavor possesses a light tropical heat great for topping fish tacos, pad thai and more. You can even add a little kiwi to kimchi, great for noodle dishes and pork bulgogi.