Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Spiced pumpkin seeds are a spicy snack made with pepitas and chili powder and not a lot of effort. Simple and satisfying and curiously addictive.

A layer of toasted, spiced pumpkin seeds

These spiced pumpkin seeds make a curious nibble to set out at cocktail parties as well as a satisfying nosh to grab by the handful or sprinkle over salads or creamy puréed soups. We’re not the only ones to think so. Folks are calling these “quite addictive” and “divine” and “healthy and tasty” and “super easy” and “definitely a recipe I’ll be making more often.” Sorta makes you wanna try your hand at a batch, eh?–Renee Schettler Rossi

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 10 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes about 1 cup
5/5 - 4 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper and slick it with olive oil.

In a bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds, oil, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper if using, and mix well.

Spread the seeds in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until aromatic and golden brown at the edges.

Tester tip: The seeds may start to make a popping sound after a few minutes in the oven. Don’t be alarmed!

Immediately slide the sheet of parchment and the pumpkin seeds off the baking sheet to cool. If you have any leftover spiced pumpkin seeds, store in an airtight container. Originally published October 19, 2014.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

HOLY cow. Thank you for introducing me to my latest addiction. This simple roasty spiced pumpkin seeds recipe just changed everything. I'm obsessed with nutty, savory snacks and this is my new favorite. The little seeds were perfectly seasoned with just a tad of heat, of which I might add more next time. I can't stop thinking about using them in a salad of charred corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime, but for now, I'll just munch on them alongside my beer, thank you.

After adding the chili powder and cumin, I thought that the pepitas were going to be really spicy (they were totally coated with chili powder). However, after roasting them to a nice crispness, I found the spice to be subtle, which is a good thing.

For the record, a run-of-the-mill McCormick "chili powder" works just fine. It's tricky to know when they're done. The darkened color lends a clue, but the seeds were pretty dark even after 15 minutes, so you've no choice but to take out a few seeds, wait 2 minutes, and test. After 25 minutes of roasting, the seeds were smoking the slightest bit, so I had a strong feeling they were done. I was right—25 minutes was perfect timing.

This is a super easy way to dress up pumpkin seeds for a soup garnish or snacking. I made the recipe using equal parts chipotle chile pepper and a mild chil powder, which yielded a pretty bright spiciness. If you plan on using this as a garnish, this adds a nice smokiness and serious heat in small doses. If you plan on making this as a snack, you might want to use Ancho or another mild New Mexico red pepper.

I use parchment paper for these sorts of jobs and it makes cleanup a snap. Don’t wander off too far—at just over 20 minutes in the oven, the pumpkin seeds were taking on some nice brown color, and you don’t want to char the batch.

This 1 cup recipe will spread over a half-sheet pan, so plan accordingly if you’re thinking of doubling it as a party recipe.

These made a great accent to posole, adding a smoky character, although I could also see them sprinkled on cinnamon or vanilla ice cream. These spiced pumpkin seeds would be brilliant sprinkled over butternut squash soup or tossed on salads.


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  1. Oh. My. These are highly addictive and oh so good. I used pepitas and chipotle chili powder, because let’s be honest, it makes everything taste better. (Seriously, try it in brownies. Popcorn. You name it.) I have a lovely spicy pumpkin soup I make for Thanksgiving and this will be the topper, for sure! Would love a wine recommendation for noshing on just the spiced pepitas, though. I can see setting these out every time I have company!

    1. Kristen, right?! Love this and love what the way you slipped in some chipotle. As for wine, I’m thinking Chenin blanc or a really dry riesling if white, maybe carmenere or a not-too-spicy garnacha or syrah if red? But you tell me…!

  2. Very tasty! My seeds never did turn a golden brown but I left them in the oven longer and they were a lovely light and dry texture, not chewy.

  3. When the recipe calls for hulled or unhulled pumpkin seeds, does that mean pepitas as hulled pumpkin seeds?

  4. These spiced pumpkin seeds are not only good with soup, but also sprinkled on salads and just to nibble on. I found that 25 minutes was about the right time in the oven. As soon as they start making a slight popping sound, I watched them very carefully, because I know at this point they could very easily burn. I used standard chili powder at first and they were very good. I then tried a New Mexico chili powder, curry powder and smoked paprika. While all were good, I think the version with the regular chili powder with a dash of cumin and cayenne was the best. I will make these over and over again!

  5. Addictive.

    When I made a second batch, I accidentally grabbed the jar of half-sharp Hungarian Paprika instead of chili powder. Just as addictive, maybe more so.

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