chili roasted pumpkin seeds

Chili Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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
Serves: 1 cup of spicy 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

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


  1. says

    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:

    Thanks so much! Linds

  2. jane says

    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!

  3. Mike says

    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.

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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!

  6. says

    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.

  7. Sherron says

    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.

  8. says

    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 says

      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.

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