This Halloween make sure you save your pumpkin seeds.
You’ve got to try this super easy recipe for spicy Mexican roasted pepitas, you’ll love them!
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Save Pumpkin Seeds from Halloween Pumpkins
Right now that pumpkins are all over the place it’s the perfect time to enjoy fresh pumpkin seeds.
This year when your carve your jack-o-lanterns make sure to save the pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin seeds make a great, healthy snack and in my house this is how we like to eat them.
How to Roast Raw Pumpkin Seeds in Their Shell
Roasting fresh raw pumpkin seeds right in their shell is super easy!
When you’re carving pumpkins for Halloween or using other pumpkins for soups, make sure to save the seeds.
All you need to do is remove them from the pumpkin. Try to pull of as much of the stringy bits as possible. Then rinse them under cool water to remove any remaining pumpkin flesh bits.
The seeds should be allowed to dry off a bit before you season them. Some people will let them air dry overnight or even for a few days. This is up to you, but you can also roast them straight away.
Once dried the pumpkin seeds still in their shells can be seasoned before roasting. Additionally oil is sometimes added, or for a healthier alternative there are plenty of roasted pumpkin seeds without oil recipes.
Pumpkin Seeds are Called Pepitas in Mexico
Pumpkin seeds are a very popular food in Mexico. They are called pepitas.
They’re eaten as a snack, used as a topping, or even blended into sauces and salsas.
When pepitas are sold as snacks, most times you’ll find them sold salted and spiced. Usually still in their shell. But you’ll also find them seasoned with salt or chile out of their shell.
Roasting Mexican pepitas is super easy!
How to Roast Mexican Pepitas
Roasting pepitas is quite similar to roasted regular pumpkin seeds.
Again they’re cleaned and dried as previously mentioned. But the main difference here is the seasoning.
So to roast pepitas you remove them from the pumpkin, clean off stringy pumpkin bits, rinse and dry. Then you season them.
Pepitas are super delicious if you add salt, lime and chili powder!
After seasoning the Mexican pumpkin seeds can now be roasted. Roasting time will depend on how many you have.
Enjoy the short video, Happy Halloween! Now dig into those Mexican roasted pepita or pumpkin seeds!
Recipe for Easy Mexican Roasted Pepitas
Easy Mexican Roasted Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
- cookie sheet
- pumpkin seeds from 1 pumpkin
- olive oil (or sub with vegetable oil)
- 1 small lime
- salt (I used pink salt but regular is fine)
- ground red chile powder or cayenne (any spicy chile powder will do)
- Save the seeds from a carved pumpkin. Remove any stringy pumpkin bits. Rinse thoroughly then pat dry with paper towels. Allow to air dry for 10 minutes. In the meantime preheat your oven to 350F and have a cookie sheet ready to use.
- Spread the cleaned and dry pumpkin seeds onto a large plate. Drizzle about 1 to 1.5 Tablespoons of olive oil then stir until all of the seeds are well coated. Squeeze one small lime over the pumpkin seeds and stir well. Sprinkle in the salt and again mix well. Next add the ground chile powder — the amount it up to you. I used like half a Tablespoons. Mix until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- Spread the pumpkin seeds onto a baking sheet. Try to create just one layer, don’t crowd them too much. Place in center of oven and roast for 10 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven then give them a good stir. Place back in the oven and roast for another 8 minutes. Again take them out to stir and check their texture. You’ll need to repeat these steps until your pumpkin seeds are crispy — keep a close eye on them because they’ll burn quickly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool down in a cool and dry place. Serve pepitas or store in an airtight container.
More Pumpkin & Fun Halloween Recipes to Try
Check out these Mexican pumpkin recipes as well as our fun American and Halloween recipes.
- Calabaza en Tacha or Candied Mexican Pumpkin
- Baked Jalapeño Popper Mummies
- Spooky Halloween Severed Fingers
- Homemade pumpkin puree
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…