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Chili Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

spicy chili roasted toasted pumpkin seeds recipe

Paleo pepitas will delight your little ghosts and goblins.

Looking for a delicious Halloween snack? Spicy pumpkin seeds tossed in chili powder, olive oil and a touch of salt are a healthy treat during this junk food filled time of year.

These heavily spiced seeds are also great for the change in seasons when everyone seems to be coming down with a cold or sore throat, as chili powder is full of both anti-inflammatory and anti-infectious agents, as well as antioxidants.

If your little ones like chili powder as much as mine (he puts it on everything), they’ll enjoy this quick and easy gluten free snack.

Chili Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (this is a lot, feel free to adjust to your taste)
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt (adjust to your taste, I like things salty)
  1. Place pumpkin seeds in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat
  2. Stir frequently, for 3-5 minutes, until seeds make a crackling noise, some will even pop
  3. Remove pan from heat and stir in olive oil, then chili powder and salt
  4. Cool and serve

Makes 1 cup of spicy pumpkin seeds

With a bounty of squash and pumpkin this time of year, it is wonderful to harvest the seeds and roast them, which we often do here in my kitchen. This recipe however, uses shelled pumpkin seeds, which I purchased at the health food store. I’m sharing this with you as it is my favorite recipe for spicy roasted pumpkin seeds.

While many people toast pumpkin seeds in the oven, this recipe calls for a cast iron skillet on the stove top. If you don’t have (or want to use a skillet) feel free to experiment and let us know how it goes. As I often say, if you are making changes to a recipe, the only way for me (or you) to find out if your changes work is to actually test them (I don’t have a magic substitution ball at home, I just test a recipe dozens of times until it is exactly the way I want it to be). So don’t be shy, get in the kitchen and experiment!

How do you like to roast your pumpkin seeds? With the shell on? Shell off? What spices do you add when you cook up a roasted pumpkin seed recipe?

More healthy recipes with pumpkin seeds:
-Cranberry Almond Loaf
-Multi “Grain” Crackers

posted on October 19, 2011, 27 comments

  1. Those look wonderful. I love roasting pumpkin and squash seeds in the shell after soaking them in water with sea salt. Funny thing is, we never eat those afterward. The only ones we eat are those we buy shelled and toss in a pan or in the oven to toast.

    I’ll try this version soon. Love the simplicity.

    Also, if you ever come across some of those substitution crystal balls, I’d love to hear where.


    • QueenJellyBean

      Thanks Pamela for bringing up –soaking– seeds (and nuts). Does anyone have a good link or can comment on the health benefits of soaking (and perhaps sprouting after the soak?)???

      I looked at Elana’s recipe carefully to see if she soaks or sprouts seeds before toasting or eating. I didn’t see it mentioned, so thanks for bringing up the soaking in sea salt subject.

      I started soaking nuts overnight, and soaking then sprouting beans 5 years ago after my coworkers who read “The Maker’s Diet” did this. They related to me that enzymes needed to digest the bean or seed are activated only after soaking and sprouting.

      I’ve never read a good reference on this, but I’d like to know why I do this. I find soaked nuts and sprouted beans much more digestable. I’d love to know more about this.

    • jane

      Can I do the same with all types of squash seeds?

  2. Jaclyn @ Justins Nut Butter @ Justinsnutbutter.com

    Wow what a great treat for kids! Love it!

  3. Sherron

    I love simple recipes like this. Thank you for the post! I prefer my pumpkin seeds without the shell. I really want to try these- they sound perfect for the cool weather.

  4. Yum, these sounds so tasty! Thanks for the idea :) I’ll deff be trying these soon!

  5. These look delicious Elana. I didn’t know about those health benefits of chili powder either. Great news since I love it! I just made some butternut squash soup and these pumpkin seeds look like a perfect garnish. Thanks for the great idea.

  6. Lori @ RecipeGirl @ RecipeGirl.com

    Love this simple and healthy way to spice up pepitas!

  7. Heather

    I just made these now. Yum. Thanks for the recipe.

  8. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com @ kirantarun.com/food

    I love snacking on pumpkin seeds – gotta make some soon! And just the sight of chili, makes me drool :)

  9. Perfect! I’ll probably go for the shelled seeds, too. But this will be a great way to use some of our home grown dried chilis. Thanks for the recipe, Elana!

  10. Primal Toad @ primalsmoothies.com

    Yum! I never eat pumpkin seeds but I’m going back to Michigan in a week where pumpkins rock right now… I may have to buy one and make these!

  11. These sounds great, real adult snacks.

  12. Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com @ healthymamainfo.com

    Pumpkin seeds are not on my list of favorite food, but this recipe makes me change my mind!

  13. Beth @ Tasty Yummies @ tasty-yummies.com

    These look super tasty! I love buying already shelled pumpkin seeds for granola, this is a great idea to make something savory with them.

  14. Paula

    I am trying to figure out ways to lower my cholesterol and pumpkin is such a great choice! This is a spicier way to enjoy pumpkin seeds though than I used to do.


  15. Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes @ naturallysweetrecipes.blogspot.com

    Yum, those look excellent. What a great idea, thanks!

  16. What an amazing recipe! I was prepared to make these with pumpkin seeds, but realized that I had run out. I substituted sunflower seeds and they were delicious. Rather than serving as a snack, I used them as a garnish for a non-dairy potato leek soup. So good!

    It’s nice to have healthy alternatives in this candy filled time of year. Thanks so much for sharing and keep the fabulous recipes coming!

  17. Mike

    After trying several variations, we ended up tweaking this by adding some garlic powder and cinammon, and a little less chili powder. The kids were very pleased with that combination.

  18. Scout Lappe

    Those were the best pumpkin seeds I have EVER had!

  19. jane

    I just made these, along with the Pumpkin bread. My hubby loved the seeds so much that he ate the entire batch before they had time to cool!

  20. Fabulous, easy recipe! I had a whole bag of pepitas leftover from another recipe just waiting to be used, so I made this recipe for a finger food last weekend! They went over awesome! I shared your recipe on my blog: http://wp.me/p2zSoO-fv

    Thanks so much! Linds

  21. Tash

    just wondering how long these would keep for?

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top