You all know the deal; whenever you carve your Halloween pumpkins, you inevitably end up with cups and cups of pumpkin seeds that you don’t know what to do with. Roasting them with plain salt is a classic method, but with so many flavor possibilities, why not branch out? Try something more interesting this year by adding some spice to your life (and your diet!) with these delicious, exciting variations on roasted pumpkin seeds.
* For all of these recipes, you’ll practice the same basic method. First, clean your seeds, toss them in 1 teaspoon oil, spread them out in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Remove them from your oven, add suggested ingredients, then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Stir them occasionally, and remove them from the oven when they’re sufficiently crispy. Be careful with the recipes involving corn syrup, honey, or maple syrup; you may be tempted to bake them for longer, but try your best to resist the urge as the sugars will harden when they cool.
1. Honey vanilla: In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons honey, 1 teaspoon canola or coconut oil, and ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Microwave for 30 seconds, then add your pre-baked seeds. Roast as directed above, then sprinkle with a touch of salt while still hot. Greek yogurt + honey + these honey vanilla roasted pumpkin seeds = your new favorite breakfast.
2. Chili lime: Combine 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon chili powder, ½ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Add your seeds, stir to coat, and roast. Once finished, add 1-2 teaspoons of lime zest, and toss one last time for some extra zing. These are fabulous mixed with roasted nuts, or, instead of peanuts, try adding these as a garnish for Pad Thai. Just remember, you heard it here first.
3. Chocolate Mocha: Mix 2 tablespoons cane sugar syrup or corn syrup with 1 teaspoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules. Add in seeds, toss to coat, and roast. How does a coffee ice cream sundae with hot sauce and chocolate mocha roasted pumpkin seeds sound? Trust us, you’ll love it.
4. Honey Sriracha: Stir together 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon canola oil, ½ – 1 tablespoon sriracha (depending on how much heat you can handle) and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Add your seeds, toss to coat, and bake. Sprinkling these on top of buffalo wings or honey sriracha wings will add both incredible flavor and texture to an already delicious appetizer.
5. Cinnamon sugar: In a bowl, drizzle your seeds with 1 tablespoon oil, then toss with 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bake as directed, and eat plain or use as a topping for anything sweet; waffles, cold cereal, oatmeal, yogurt…you name it, it’ll probably be delicious on it.
6. Maple bacon: Throw your pre-baked seeds in a bowl with 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 1 teaspoon canola oil, a pinch of salt, and 2 slices of diced, uncooked bacon, and bake until crispy. We literally can’t think of anything that these couldn’t be eaten with, but we especially love them combined with roasted peanuts for a fabulous cocktail hour snack. Just be sure to make multiple batches – they’ll go quick!
7. Salted rosemary: 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, and ½ teaspoon of salt will turn your pumpkin seeds into a wonderfully fragrant, savory snack. Also consider chopping these up and adding them as a garnish to roasted sweet potatoes; the sweet and savory combination will surely be a hit.
8. Buffalo ranch: Coat your pumpkin seeds in a combination of 2 teaspoons melted butter, 2 teaspoons buffalo sauce, and 1 teaspoon ranch seasoning mix. Bake until golden and crisp, and finish with a touch of sea salt. Eat them by themselves, add to the top of buffalo chicken dip, or sprinkle on a salad with ranch dressing for a meal altering crunch factor.
9. Sesame soy: In a bowl, combine ½ tablespoon canola oil, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 cup of your pre-baked seeds together, and toss to coat. Bake as usual, but in the last 5 minutes, kick them up a notch with 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds – watch them closely, as sesame seeds have a tendency to burn. Sprinkle these on top of your favorite Asian dish for an incredible boost of flavor and texture.
10. Maple Pumpkin spice: Add 1 teaspoon canola oil, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice to a bowl with your cleaned seeds. Toss to coat, and bake until perfectly golden. Our favorite way to enjoy these? On top of pumpkin pie (with lots of whipped cream) of course.
We guarantee that by making any of these recipes this season, your love for pumpkin seeds will reach an all-time high. Let us know how much you enjoyed these variations by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook Page; we’d love to hear from you! Or, if you have your own tried and true recipe, tell us about it!
Photo by Megan Bush