Experience the best of fall flavor with a few of our favorite recipes featuring pepitas straight from the jack-o-lantern.
Candied pepitasSauté pumpkin seeds in butter with cumin, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and a little honey for a sweet, delicately spiced topping to a tossed salad. Substitute them in for your usual nut or seed topping and enjoy the refreshing bite of flavor the pepitas bring.
Roasted Delicata Squash with Honey, Pomegranate Seeds, and PepitasChef-owner Mateo Granados, Mateo's Cocina Latina, Healdsburg, CA: "When I make Thanksgiving dinner, I prepare traditional ingredients like turkey or squash with my own Yucatecan twist."
Sauvignon Blanc-Poached Pears with Spicy PepitasThe natural acidity of dry Sauvignon Blanc adds a tang that brightens up the sweet syrup on these pears.
Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed BrittlePack away the peanuts and make a lightly spiced pumpkin seed brittle instead this fall. Serve it in large pieces for guests to munch on, or use smaller sections to decorate a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. Start with toasted pumpkin seeds or, if you'd rather toast them at home, bake then until they start to pop.
Spiced Pumpkin SeedsScoop seeds fresh from the pumpkin (no need to rinse) and bake them for an hour until they're dried, then toss them in a skillet with olive oil, celery salt, and ground cumin until lightly toasted. For a sweeter treat, one user suggested adding brown sugar to the mix. Serve as an appetizer or snack during a fall gathering.
Grilled Steak and Nopales SaladAdd crunch to any salad by tossing roasted pepitas with vinaigrette.
Roasted Squash Salad with Bacon and Pumpkin SeedsPick up a container of toasted unsalted pumpkin seed kernels and use them to add crunch to dishes throughout the fall. Add a handful on top of a salad drizzled with a homemade bacon-Dijon vinaigrette.
Pepita-Roasted Tomatillo DipDip your chips into a creamy dip that's dairy-free–the smooth texture comes from puréed tomatillos. The tart, faintly sweet flavor of the tomatillos is complemented by fresh cilantro, garlic, and toasted pumpkin seeds. Blend the ingredients and serve in a hollowed gourd or pumpkin.
Fruit-and-Nut Breakfast BarsMake a hearty breakfast bar that calls for raw pumpkin seeds, dates, almonds, apricots, plums, and sunflower seeds. Bake the bars for about eight minutes on each side, turning when the nuts are lightly toasted but before the fruit begins to brown. The result is a chewy, nutty breakfast solution that keeps for about four days.
Spinach and Pumpkin SaladRoast your own pumpkin seeds or buy the store-bought, salted variety to add a bright crunch to this zesty spinach salad. A dressing made from pomegranate juice and red wine vinegar gets an extra punch of fall flavor thanks to the toasted pumpkin-seed oil. If you don't have pumpkin-seed oil, you can substitute extra-virgin olive oil.
Pumpkin Soup with Candied Pumpkin SeedsA generous garnish of candied pumpkin seeds brings out the sweetness of the Vidalia onion in this harvest-season soup. Use a blender to get the soup rich and smooth, then serve in hollowed pumpkins or gourds and top with the sugared pumpkin seeds.
Sourdough-Pumpkin StrataTake this make-ahead strata to a potluck this fall or, as a user suggested, serve it as a main-dish meatless alternative to the turkey on Thanksgiving. The pumpkin seeds in this recipe are optional, but they add a fun texture to the dish and a nice crunch as they brown in the oven, so don't skip them.
Lanny's Salad With Candied Pumpkin SeedsCandied pumpkin seeds, seasoned with paprika, orange juice, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, bring out the zesty flavor of this salad's bright Citrus-Cumin dressing. Toss the seeds and lettuce with dressing and top the salad with crumbled queso fresco before serving.