Sonny's Spicy Roasted Pepitas

While most kids look forward to carving pumpkins for the resulting scary decoration, Sonny is all about the roasted seeds. Dom and Nic plan out the jack-o-lantern designs and Sonny formulates the perfect spice mixture for his annual batch of pepitas.

Pepitas are sold all over Mexico from carts on the street and bags in the store. Unlike sunflower seeds with an outer shell you must remove before eating, you can just pop ‘em in your mouth and eat ‘em whole. Pumpkin seeds have long been valued as a source of the mineral zinc. To maximize zinc consumption, it is best to eat the seeds unshelled.

  • Fresh pumpkins seeds 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper, ground
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Pinch ground allspice

As you gut the pumpkin, keep all the seeds in a bowl. Toss seeds in a colander and rinse them under cold water, pulling away any chunks of pulp as you go. Spread the rinsed seeds out on a baking sheet. Don’t use paper towels or the seeds will stick.

Allow the seeds to dry several hours or overnight. When they are nicely dried, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Toss the dried seeds with olive oil and spice mix and spread them back out in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Toast them in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the seeds are a light golden brown.  Pepitas should be stored in an airtight container if they last beyond the first day.