Maybe you carved a pumpkin and don't want to waste all those seeds you gutted out. Or you purchased a big pumpkin to roast (bless you), and you want to do something seedy (ahem) and fun. Then, there's always that time you spotted the little pepitas at the grocery store, cooed over how cute they were, and bought a bunch on a whim. Well, here's your answer, and it's quite appetizing. See, not every one of your spur-of-the-moment decisions ends in tragedy.
If you want to acquire pepitas on purpose, you can buy raw or roasted pumpkin seeds at many grocery stores. If not your store, you'll find them at health food stores or Whole Foods. If you're stuck with a bunch of seeds (and vegetable guts) when you roast a squash, rinse them in a strainer to remove the pulp, and thoroughly pat them dry. They may take a few minutes longer in the oven, depending on how fresh they are.
Use pumpkin seeds to coat a ball of soft cheese, to garnish soup, and add them into chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies. And you can always roast those pepitas and spice them any which way. Here are a few of our ways to play with pumpkin seeds:
1. Roasted Delicata Squash Salad
You'll need 1/3 cup of roasted, salted pumpkin seeds for this pretty salad of squash slices, spinach, and ricotta salata, a semi-hard Italian cheese. Get our Roasted Delicata Squash Salad recipe.
2. Creole-Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds
Really, this hardly needs a recipe because it only involves pumpkin seeds, Creole seasoning, and vegetable oil. But you could still mess it up, so here goes: Get our Creole-Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds recipe.
3. Honey-Nut Brittle
A reliable candy thermometer is a necessity for this one — and a whole lotta nuts and seeds, like almonds, pumpkin, and sunflower. These are truly honey-roasted almonds in this case. Get our Honey-Nut Brittle recipe.
4. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
The recipe here says pumpkin seeds are an optional garnish for the soup, but no. A seedless soup is not an option for you. You must get our Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe. And follow the directions to the fullest extent of the letter.
5. Chocolate-Toffee-Pumpkin-Seed Bark
Here's one of the coolest things about this bark, besides the presence of both chocolate and toffee: it can be made almost as quickly as it’s devoured. This one has a little bit of a kick too. Get our Chocolate-Toffee-Pumpkin-Seed Bark recipe.
Amy Sowder is a New York City-based food and fitness writer who's also on Chowhound's editorial staff. She loves cheesy things, especially toasties and puns. She's trying to like mushrooms. Ice cream is a strong motivation for her running habit. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, What Do I Eat Now. Learn more at AmySowder.com.