You can find pepitas for this recipe at the grocery store — or inside your pumpkin when you get ready to carve it into a jack-o’-lantern. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Pumpkin-flavored food might be popular at your house this time of year. Maybe you have sampled pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup or even pumpkin pancakes.

But the flesh of the pumpkin isn’t the only part to enjoy. The seeds, called pepitas in Mexico, are tasty, too. If you have tried them plain, here’s another option: Shell them and bake them with cinnamon and sugar. The crunchy snack is not only delicious but also more likely to get an okay from Mom or Dad instead of your plea for one more piece of Halloween candy.

Cinnamony Pepitas

You’ll find pepitas at the grocery store and in the Halloween pumpkin your family carves. Check out directions for roasting your homemade ones at

(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Make ahead: The pepitas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Adult help: Yes

Total time: 20 minutes

Makes: Four 1 / 4-cup servings

Kitchen gear:

Bowl, measuring spoons, measuring cup, rimmed baking sheet, wooden spoon or a spatula


1 teaspoon canola oil

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup hulled, unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)


Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 325 degrees. Have a rimmed baking sheet at hand.

Whisk together the oil, light brown sugar, kosher salt and cinnamon in medium bowl until well combined, then add the pepitas and stir to coat evenly.

Spread the coated pepitas on the baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until they are golden brown but not burnt; use a long-handled spoon or spatula to stir them every 5 minutes or so. This should take 13 to 15 minutes total.

Cool completely before serving or storing.

Nutrition | Per serving: 200 calories, 8 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 125 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar

Recipe tested by Toni L. Sandys; e-mail questions to

Try this: Spicy seeds

If you like spicy food, try this variation of pumpkin seeds with the shells on. Whisk together 3 / 4 teaspoon canola or olive oil, 1 / 2 teaspoon salt and 1 / 4 teaspoon chili powder in bowl. Add raw seeds and stir. Spread onto baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown. Use the spatula to turn them every 10 minutes.

ChopChop is a cooking magazine for kids that is published four times each year. For subscriptions, a parent can go to