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jack-o-lantern pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

One of my favorite things about Halloween is toasting and eating the pumpkin seeds once the family is done carving their Jack-O-Lanterns. Each year, I try a different seasoning, this year it’s southwest.  I used the Mexican Lime Olive Oil from our wonderful Queen Creek Olive Mill, but regular extra virgin olive oil is fine too.  And instead of the chili powder, you find at the grocery store, I love the Ground Ancho Chili Pepper from Penzey’s Spices, but again regular will work as well. One of the important steps is to be sure the seeds are well dried after they are rinsed and cleaned. If they are not dry, the oil will not coat them as well and they will not crisp up. I find it easiest to just toast them in a dry skillet for a couple of minutes before seasoning and placing them in the oven.

Hope you saved your seeds!  P.S. Happy Halloween Marissa and Connor, miss and love you both!

Southwest Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 cup raw whole pumpkin seeds, cleaned and dried on paper towels
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 tablespoon Queen Creek Mexican Lime olive oil or unflavored extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat or parchment paper.

Mexican Lime Olive Oil, Ground Ancho Chili, oregano and whole cumin in grinder, and dry pumpkin seeds in skillet on silpat lined pan

(Mexican Lime Olive Oil, Ground Ancho Chili, oregano, and whole cumin in grinder, and dry pumpkin seeds in skillet on Silpat lined pan)

Place pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet and stir over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes to completely dry out the seeds. Pour the seeds out of the skillet onto a dry paper towel.

In a mini-food processor or a coffee grinder, devoted to only spices, process the cumin seed and oregano until finely ground.

Pour cumin mixture into the empty skillet, add ancho chili powder, salt, and olive oil, stir to combine, add seed back to the pan and stir until seeds are completely coated with the oil-spice mixture.

Spread the seeds in a single layer on the lined baking sheet and bake for about 35 minutes or until golden brown; stirring every 12 minutes. Remove from the pan and spread out on a plate or piece of foil to cool completely. The seeds will crisp up even more as they cool. Serve or store in an airtight jar for up to 1 week at room temperature or for up to 6 months in the freezer.

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