what to do with pumpkin seeds (how to use pumpkin seeds)

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. It’s so easy to get swept up in general fall fever. However you came by them, though, the question remains: what to do with them, exactly? Well, here are several answers, and they’re all 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 for an autumnal appetizer, sprinkle some on soup to garnish, and add them into chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies, or a hearty loaf of seeded apple bread. And you can always roast those pepitas and spice them any which way for snacking (or before adding them to other dishes). Here are a few of our favorite ways to play with pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

Chowhound

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.

Creole-Seasoned Pumpkin Seeds

Chowhound

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.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta

Pumpkin Seed Pesto Pasta

This Savory Vegan

Pesto pasta transitions into fall thanks to pumpkin seeds. For an even greener (and healthier) bite, add kale to the mix. If you prefer parsley, you can also use pumpkin seeds to make chimichurri, and you can use any of these sauces on lots of things, from sandwiches to roasted veggies. Get the recipe.

Pumpkin Seed Mole

Pumpkin Seed Mole Verde

Leite’s Culinaria

Mexican mole usually triggers thoughts of deep, dark, spicy, chocolate-inflected sauce, but there are actually seven traditional types of mole, and this lighter green version with fresh herbs and pumpkin seeds is one of them. Use it over any kind of meat, fish, or veggies, or over enchiladas, of course. Get the recipe.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Chowhound

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.

Pumpkin Seed Milk

Raw Pumpkin Seed Milk

The Blender Girl

Could this be the next oat milk? Maybe not, but it’s worth a try at least once, when you have a surplus of pumpkin seeds. Sweetened with a little vanilla, it’s just the thing for a pumpkin pie smoothie. Get the recipe.

Chocolate-Toffee-Pumpkin-Seed Bark

Chowhound

Don’t think we forgot about dessert—which you can make with an entire pumpkin if you’re so inclined (well, except for the stem). But 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.

Honey-Nut Brittle

Chowhound

A reliable candy thermometer is a necessity for this sweet snack—as are a whole lotta nuts and seeds, like almonds, pumpkin, and sunflower. These are truly honey-roasted treats. Get our Honey-Nut Brittle recipe.

Check out all the best of pumpkins on Chowhound.

Related Video: How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Amy Sowder is a writer and editor based in NYC, covering food and wellness in publications such as Bon Appétit, Women's Health, Eat This, Not That!, Upworthy/GOOD, Brooklyn Magazine, and Westchester Magazine. She loves to run races, but her favorite finish lines are gelato shops. Learn more at AmySowder.com.
Jen is an associate content producer at Chowhound and hails from Baltimore, Maryland, but has lived in Portland (Oregon) for so long it feels like home. She enjoys the rain, reads, writes, eats, and cooks voraciously, and stops to pet every stray cat she sees. Continually working on building her Gourmet magazine collection, she will never get over its cancellation. Read more of her work here.
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