When you scoop out the innards of your jack-o’-lantern, you get a mass of mushy, stringy goop full of seeds. But that right there is a treasure trove of crunchy, snackable goodness. Roasted or toasted pumpkin seeds are wonderful.
But pepitas are just plain delicious.
Pepitas are hull-less seeds only found in specific pumpkin varieties. They’re packed with nutrients and low in calories, and you’ll find them next to the nuts in your supermarket.
Two main ways to enjoy them are roasted and salted whole, or ground up to release the creamy texture and earthiness that forms a backbone for all kinds of sauces. Here are a few of our favorite ways to get more pepitas in our lives.
Curried Pumpkin Seeds, above. I’d happily dive into a bowl of salted, roasted pumpkin seeds, but adding a bit of tamari and curry powder to the mix makes for an upgraded snack. They’re smoky, funky and, of course, crispy! Don’t only think of these as a snack, though — you can toss these atop a bowl of yogurt for a savory breakfast or into a salad for crunch.
Roasted Acorn Squash With Pumpkin Seeds and Pomegranate. Creamy meets crunchy in this squash-on-squash dish. The mild, soft flesh of an acorn squash gets a textural boost from fried pumpkin seeds and bright pops of pomegranate.
Marinated Turnips With Orange and Pumpkin Seeds. If you’re looking for a side dish for an upcoming dinner party or holiday meal, this one is an elegant, cooling interlude between hot dishes. A whole half-cup of pumpkin seeds on top complements the sweet and tangy notes with salty crunch.
Pumpkin-Seed-Crusted Tempeh. Blitzing up seeds is a wonderful way to make a breading even more flavorful. Tempeh soaks up a bold marinade, then gets nice and crispy when fried.
Pumpkin Seed Salsa. This salsa is creamy, rich and powerfully spiced (though not too spicy). Keep it on hand to amp up sandwiches, quesadillas, your breakfast eggs — you’ll be amazed how many ways this salsa comes in handy.
Pappardelle With Arugula Pumpkin Seed Pesto. If you blanch at the sight of pine nut prices, fear not. Pumpkin seeds are the answer! They help create a creamy foundation for whatever herbs you use to flavor your pesto. This recipe swaps basil for arugula and parsley.
Pumpkin Tortilla Soup. This might just be your new favorite pumpkin soup. It’s creamy and balanced with no dairy whatsoever, and pumpkin seeds add a little textural contrast in each serving as a garnish.
Creamy Lima Beans With Ancho Chile-Pepitas Pesto. Lima beans make a soothing and simple soupy dish, which begs for this punchy, spicy chile-pepitas pesto. You’ll want to bookmark this pesto combination for other uses, too.
Roasted Squash With Pumpkin Seed Mole. This one has a fairly long list of ingredients, but then you’ll have mole! You’ll impress yourself and others by whipping together this gorgeous sauce, which pairs so well with fluffy kabocha squash.
More from Voraciously: