How To Section Citrus Fruit

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Citrus fruit is perfect all year ’round! Whether you’re making beverages, sauces, or fruit salad, there’s really no substitute for juicy, tangy citrus fruit that are always available and in season! 

To get the best out of these sensational fruit staples, I’ll show you how to quickly prep, peel and section oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes.

Sections of oranges on a cutting board for how to section citrus fruit

How to Peel Citrus Fruit (with a knife)

Have you ever noticed on cooking shows that chefs peel citrus with a knife, not their hands? That’s because it’s the quickest way to remove the bitter peel, spongy white inner peel, and tough membrane in one fell swoop. What’s left is the juicy, tender interior which can go straight into a juicer or fruit salad bowl.

Here’s how to do it.:

  1. Slice off the stem end and opposite end to create flat surfaces.
  2. Stand on one end, and slice down, following the contours and catching the inner membrane as you work your way around.

orange being cut with a knife on a cutting board

Be sure to start with a sharpened knife, and keep those fingers out of the path of the cutting edge!

I always like to zest the peel before cutting. Zest will keep in the fridge for several days, or in the freezer for up to six months. You could also make candied citrus peel for use in holiday fruit cake.

How to Section Fruit

  1. Once the peel is off, you can section the fruit using the same knife.
  2. Lay the fruit on its side. Working your way around carefully cut between the membrane in each section and lift out each wedge (image below).
  3. Squeeze out the juice that remains after removing the fruit.

Sections of orange being cut with a knife for how to section citrus fruit

What to use Citrus Fruit For

Oh my goodness, where do I begin? We always serve a big bowl of sectioned grapefruit for holidays. But there are so many other uses for them!

Beverages – Naturally sweet, refreshingly tangy and Vitamin C – rich citrus is the basis for so many delicious fruit juices or smoothies that you will want to fall back on during cold and flu season. We love using fresh citrus in our mango smoothie and Green Smoothie Recipe!

Sauces – Orange sauce is the perfect condiment for sliced pork tenderloin or chicken drumsticks or pork chops. Here’s a super simple one, courtesy of

Sparkling Punch – Combine equal parts pink grapefruit juice, orange juice and sparkling Moscato or other sweet wine for a fruity, festive aperitif. Add a splash of grenadine for color and flavor.

Citrus Vinaigrette – Give a simple tossed salad some zesty pizzazz with citrus vinaigrette. Combine zest and juice of one lemon with a teaspoon of minced garlic, a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and pepper, a pinch of sugar and ¾ cup olive oil. Place in a jar and shake to combine.

Storing Citrus Wedges

Store wedges in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to four days. Do not freeze. Keep plenty of citrus fruits on hand and you’ll always have the foundation for good eating!


orange being cut with a knife to show how to section citrus fruit
Orange being sectioned with a knife for how to section citrus fruit with a title
Sectioned citrus fruit on a cutting board and an orange with a knife and a title

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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