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.

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

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. And 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? Originally published October 19, 2014.Renee Schettler Rossi

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (about 5 ounces) raw pumpkin seeds (hulled or unhulled)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or mild vegetable oil, plus more for the baking sheet
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (any variety you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.
  • 2. In a bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds, oil, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper if using, and mix well. Spread the seeds on the baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until aromatic and golden brown at the edges. Transfer the seeds to a plate or a sheet of parchment paper to cool. Store in an airtight container.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

HOLY cow. Thank you for introducing me to my latest addiction. This simple roasty recipe just changed everything. I'm obsessed with nutty, savory snacks and this is my new favorite. 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 crisp, I found the spice to be subtle, which is a good thing. 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. 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 chili 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. These spiced pumpkin seeds would be brilliant sprinkled over butternut squash soup or tossed on salads. 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. 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. These made a great accent to posole, adding a smoky character, although I could also see them sprinkled on cinnamon or vanilla ice cream.

I wouldn't change a thing with this simple spiced pumpkin seeds recipe for roasted spicy pumpkin seeds. I’d just bought a small pie pumpkin to make a homemade pumpkin pie so I was automatically drawn to this tasty recipe. I used a smoky chipotle chile powder. The results of the cumin, salt, chile powder, and cayenne pepper blend were just spicy enough and made these roasted pumpkin seeds quite addictive. It’s impossible to just eat one handful! I served them as a snack before dinner, but I could see these being a nice addition to a salad for a bit of spice and crunch or on top of pumpkin soup, perhaps? In terms of cooking time, I cooked them for 25 minutes and they were just right; once I began to smell their spices coming from the oven about that time, I checked on them and they were lightly toasted and smelled divine. My husband said he normally doesn’t like roasted pumpkin seeds, but these he totally loved! A quick and lovely fall recipe that I will be hanging onto.

These spiced pumpkin seeds make a zesty snack or garnish for soup. They continue cooking after they leave the oven, so I wouldn’t recommend going beyond the 25 minute mark, unless your oven runs cold. I knew these were done because I could smell the spices. As the pumpkin seeds cooled on the parchment paper, I could still hear them crackling, and I couldn’t resist snacking—and snacking some more—on them. (Warning: They’re a bit addictive.) The chili powder I used was Penzey’s medium hot and I did add a pinch of cayenne.) After I finished snacking on them, the rest were a garnish for curried pumpkin and lentil soup.

This was an awesome project to do with both my daughters this past weekend as we were carving pumpkins for Halloween. We ended up with about 3 cups seeds, so I tripled the recipe. This was so incredibly easy to do that my 6-year-old could have done it without me. Within 30 minutes we had a great snack that is healthy and tasty, not crazy spicy (which is perfect for a family with kids), easy enough, and a perfect recipe to use as a base to start creating your own flavors. This is definitely a recipe I'll be making more often.

These spiced pumpkin seeds are as easy to make as they are to eat. Mix everything in a single bowl, pour it onto a sheet pan, and bake. After 5 minutes in the oven, the pumpkin seeds began to make a popping sound. I checked on them but they looked fine. I was concerned that they might get too dark being in the oven for almost 30 minutes. I started checking them every 10 minutes, just to make sure that they were okay. I also stirred them every time I checked on them. They were in the oven for 30 minutes total and were done nicely. I think that these would be great with certain soups. A pumpkin or butternut squash soup comes to mind. They would also be very good with tortilla soup. I can see having a bowl of these on the table along with a taco, guacamole, and salsa set-up. The problem is that these are very addictive to eat. I would have to make them at the last minute or make them and hide them from myself if I expected them to last for a meal. They disappear very quickly. I used ancho chili powder as well as the optional cayenne pepper. Next time I will add a larger “pinch” of cayenne.

This spiced pumpkin seeds recipe is exactly what it purports to be. The seeds come out tasting exactly like tasty little chile-covered pumpkin seeds. What we really liked is that the spices (we used ancho and cayenne, which weren't spicy to my palate) adds flavor without overwhelming the pumpkin seed taste. The recipe is foolproof. However, we only needed to put ours in the oven for 22 minutes for them to be sufficiently cooked. YUM!

These spiced pumpkin seeds were fabulous—so easy to make and so versatile in terms of what you can do with them once they are made.

These spiced pumpkin seeds were a big hit two nights in a row at two different potluck-type evening meetings! Today, a week after one of these meetings, I received this request from my wonderful colleague Ana: "Our family loves your spiced pumpkin seeds! Are you willing to share the recipe?" She's waiting patiently for her turn to make this tasty autumnal snack. At her house, we used them as a soup garnish, although they were also eaten out of hand. I think they'd be great on a salad, adding a nice bit of crunch and flavor, especially if tossed atop at the last minute. One of my go-to appetizers is to have several varieties of roasted and flavored nuts and nut mixes, each with a different personality and all lovely served as a complementary or contrasting duo or trio. Mix and match for a delightful appetizer at upscale or casual events! I made two batches, the first without cayenne and a baking time of 25 minutes. I was concerned they'd baked a bit too long, and I was seeking a bit more oomph!, so my second batch added a pinch of cayenne pepper and baked for 20 minutes. Additionally, I stirred the seeds more frequently while baking the second batch. Then I mixed them together. I think they definitely benefited from the addition of that pinch of cayenne. I used a not hot chile powder, so I might have felt differently if I'd started with something hotter. I knew they were done because they were golden in color and they also puffed up: each cup of seeds grew from one cup raw to one and a quarter cups after roasting.

Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

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