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Caramelised spiced pumpkin seeds recipe

Caramelised spiced pumpkin seeds recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Vegetable
  • Squash
  • Pumpkin

The perfect sweet and spicy snack, whilst on the go. You can also sprinkle them over salads or soups.

219 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 130g raw whole pumpkin seeds, washed and dried
  • cooking spray or oil for greasing
  • 2 teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:25min ›Extra time:35min › Ready in:1hr10min

  1. Preheat oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of sugar, the cumin, cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper; set aside.
  3. Place the pumpkin seeds on the prepared baking tray, spray them with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake the seeds in the preheated oven until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds along with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook and stir the seeds until the sugar forms a coating on the seeds, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the caramelised seeds into the bowl of sugar-spice mixture, toss to coat and let cool.


Caramelised spiced pumpkin seeds

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(222)

Reviews in English (168)

I love this recipe so much that I don't even want to try any other roasted pumpkin seed recipe! Don't know if that is good or bad... This is the perfect combination of sweet, salty and spicy!!! Great for a snack or to sprinkle over your pumpkin soup as a garnish!-06 Oct 2011

Absolutely delicious. It's such a waste to throw the seeds away when you're only doing a carving for the front door. It tastes somewhere between honey roast peanuts and popcorn.-30 Oct 2013

Not sure if I made this correctly or not but I wasn't crazy about the flavours. I cooked the seeds until they started popping so perhaps my mistake. Very sweet and I just didn't like the overall taste. Next time I'll play around with the spices. All that said, they still got eaten!-16 Nov 2016


2 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (about 1 pound) unsalted shelled nuts


1. Heat the oven to 450°F. Grease a baking sheet with the oil. Put a large skillet over high heat and add 2 cups water and the sugar. Bring to a boil and stir in the garam masala, cayenne, salt, and nuts. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced to a syrup, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Turn the heat to low. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon, letting the excess syrup drain off a bit and spread the nuts on the baking sheet. Be sure to turn off the burner when you’ve finished.

3. Roast the nuts for 10 minutes, tossing once or twice with a spatula. Remove from the oven and let cool—the sugar coating will be very hot, so resist sampling for a few minutes! The sugar coating will harden as the nuts cool. Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.

Fiery Caramelized Nuts
Substitute a tablespoon or more finely chopped canned chipotle chile with the adobo sauce for the garam masala.

Rosemary Caramelized Nuts
Substitute 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary for the garam masala.

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Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds

There is so much to love about fall… the fresh, brisk air, snuggling up inside a big warm sweater, the crunch of crisp leaves under your boots, and of course… digging your whole forearm into a giant orange squash, grabbing the guts of it, and making ‘em into a delicious snack!

Pumpkin carving is a great fun fall tradition and toasting up the pumpkin seeds with new flavors is the best part! Because what’s a better way to admire your newly carved masterpiece than by stuffing your face with it’s insides?

For these scrumptious seeds (which pup liked too), I combined my love of sweet and salty by making a buttery salted caramel mixed with cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. If I could bathe in those spices, I tell ya…

If you’ve got some seeds leftover, give these a whirl! They taste totally decadent and make your home smell amazing!

Caramelized Pumpkin Seeds

First, wash the pumpkin seeds (removing all the pumpkin pulp) and lay out on a towel to dry.
Lay the dry pumpkin seeds out on a parchment lined cookie sheet and spray with Pam. Sprinkle with salt. Cook at 350 for 25 minutes
Meanwhile, in a bowl mix the following:

  • 3 TAB Sugar
  • 1/8 teas cumin (optional)
  • 1/4+ teas cinnamon
  • 1/4 teas ginger
  • pinch or 2 cayenne pepper

Dump toasted seeds into sugar and mix well to coat and form a caramelized coating
Scoop caramelized seeds into spice mixture, toss, and allow to cool.

Enjoy your Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds!

Related Video

So simple & so flavorful. Would make as a table snack, part of a trail mix, or to sprinkle on salad.

Delicious as a snack or added to the salad. Glad I made extra.

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Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

  • Quick Glance
  • (4)
  • 10 M
  • 45 M
  • Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients US Metric

  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (hulled or unhulled) (5 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or mild vegetable oil, plus more for the baking sheet
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder (any variety you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper and slick it with olive oil.

In a bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds, oil, chili powder, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper if using, and mix well.

Spread the seeds in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until aromatic and golden brown at the edges.

Immediately slide the sheet of parchment and the pumpkin seeds off the baking sheet to cool. If you have any leftover spiced pumpkin seeds, store in an airtight container. Originally published October 19, 2014.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Alexandra M.

HOLY cow. Thank you for introducing me to my latest addiction. This simple roasty spiced pumpkin seeds recipe just changed everything. I'm obsessed with nutty, savory snacks and this is my new favorite. The little seeds were perfectly seasoned with just a tad of heat, of which I might add more next time. I can't stop thinking about using them in a salad of charred corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and lime, but for now, I'll just munch on them alongside my beer, thank you.

After adding the chili powder and cumin, I thought that the pepitas were going to be really spicy (they were totally coated with chili powder). However, after roasting them to a nice crispness, I found the spice to be subtle, which is a good thing.

For the record, a run-of-the-mill McCormick "chili powder" works just fine. It's tricky to know when they're done. The darkened color lends a clue, but the seeds were pretty dark even after 15 minutes, so you've no choice but to take out a few seeds, wait 2 minutes, and test. After 25 minutes of roasting, the seeds were smoking the slightest bit, so I had a strong feeling they were done. I was right—25 minutes was perfect timing.

Irene Seales

This is a super easy way to dress up pumpkin seeds for a soup garnish or snacking. I made the recipe using equal parts chipotle chile pepper and a mild chil powder, which yielded a pretty bright spiciness. If you plan on using this as a garnish, this adds a nice smokiness and serious heat in small doses. If you plan on making this as a snack, you might want to use Ancho or another mild New Mexico red pepper.

I use parchment paper for these sorts of jobs and it makes cleanup a snap. Don’t wander off too far—at just over 20 minutes in the oven, the pumpkin seeds were taking on some nice brown color, and you don’t want to char the batch.

This 1 cup recipe will spread over a half-sheet pan, so plan accordingly if you’re thinking of doubling it as a party recipe.

These made a great accent to posole, adding a smoky character, although I could also see them sprinkled on cinnamon or vanilla ice cream. These spiced pumpkin seeds would be brilliant sprinkled over butternut squash soup or tossed on salads.

Anna Scott

It’s impossible to just eat one handful! I wouldn't change a thing with this simple spiced pumpkin seeds recipe. I’d just bought a small pie pumpkin to make a homemade pumpkin pie so I was automatically drawn to this tasty recipe. My husband said he normally doesn’t like roasted pumpkin seeds, but these he totally loved! The results of the cumin, salt, chile powder, and cayenne pepper blend were just spicy enough and made these roasted pumpkin seeds quite addictive.

In terms of roasting time, I baked them for 25 minutes and they were just right once I began to smell their spices coming from the oven about that time, I checked on them and they were lightly toasted and smelled divine. I used a smoky chipotle chile powder.

I served them as a snack before dinner, but I could see these being a nice addition to a salad for a bit of spice and crunch or on top of pumpkin soup, perhaps? A quick and lovely fall recipe that I will be hanging onto.

Pat Francis

As the pumpkin seeds cooled on the parchment paper, I could still hear them crackling, and I couldn’t resist snacking—and snacking some more—on them. (Warning: They’re a bit addictive.)

They continue cooking after they leave the oven, so I wouldn’t recommend going beyond the 25-minute mark, unless your oven runs cold. I knew these were done because I could smell the spices. These spiced pumpkin seeds make a zesty snack or garnish for soup.

The chili powder I used was Penzey’s medium hot and I did add a pinch of cayenne. After I finished snacking on them, the rest were a garnish for curried pumpkin and lentil soup.

Sofia Reino

This was an awesome project to do with both my daughters this past weekend as we were carving pumpkins for Halloween. This was so incredibly easy to do that my 6-year-old could have done it without me. Within 30 minutes, we had a great snack that is healthy and tasty, not crazy spicy (which is perfect for a family with kids), easy enough, and a perfect recipe to use as a base to start creating your own flavors.

This is definitely a recipe I'll be making more often. We ended up with about 3 cups seeds so I tripled the recipe.

Jackie Gorman

These spiced pumpkin seeds are as easy to make as they are to eat. Mix everything in a single bowl, pour it onto a sheet pan, and bake. After 5 minutes in the oven, the pumpkin seeds began to make a popping sound. I checked on them but they looked fine. I was concerned that they might get too dark. I started checking them every 10 minutes, just to make sure that they were okay. I also stirred them every time I checked on them. They were in the oven for 30 minutes total and were done nicely.

I think that these would be great with certain soups. A pumpkin or butternut squash soup comes to mind. They would also be very good with tortilla soup. I can see having a bowl of these on the table along with a taco, guacamole, and salsa set-up. The problem is that these are very addictive to eat. I would have to make them at the last minute or make them and hide them from myself if I expected them to last for a meal. They disappear very quickly. I used ancho chili powder as well as the optional cayenne pepper. Next time I will add a larger “pinch” of cayenne.

Martha T.

YUM! This spiced pumpkin seeds recipe is exactly what it purports to be. The seeds come out tasting exactly like tasty little chile-covered pumpkin seeds. What we really liked is that the spices (we used ancho and cayenne, which weren't spicy to my palate) adds flavor without overwhelming the pumpkin seed taste.

Mardi Michels

These spiced pumpkin seeds were fabulous—so easy to make and so versatile in terms of what you can do with them once they are made.

Elsa M. Jacobson

These spiced pumpkin seeds were a big hit two nights in a row at two different potluck-type evening meetings! Today, a week after one of these meetings, I received this request from my wonderful colleague Ana: "Our family loves your spiced pumpkin seeds! Are you willing to share the recipe?" She's waiting patiently for her turn to make this tasty autumnal snack.

At her house, we used them as a soup garnish, although they were also eaten out of hand. I think they'd be great on a salad, adding a nice bit of crunch and flavor, especially if tossed atop at the last minute. One of my go-to appetizers is to have several varieties of roasted and flavored nuts and nut mixes, each with a different personality and all lovely served as a complementary or contrasting duo or trio. Mix and match for a delightful appetizer at upscale or casual events!

I made two batches, the first without cayenne and a baking time of 25 minutes. I was concerned they'd baked a bit too long, and I was seeking a bit more oomph!, so my second batch added a pinch of cayenne pepper and baked for 20 minutes. Additionally, I stirred the seeds more frequently while baking the second batch. Then I mixed them together. I think they definitely benefited from the addition of that pinch of cayenne. I used a not hot chile powder, so I might have felt differently if I'd started with something hotter. I knew they were done because they were golden in color and they also puffed up each cup of seeds grew from one cup raw to one and a quarter cups after roasting.


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


Oh. My. These are highly addictive and oh so good. I used pepitas and chipotle chili powder, because let’s be honest, it makes everything taste better. (Seriously, try it in brownies. Popcorn. You name it.) I have a lovely spicy pumpkin soup I make for Thanksgiving and this will be the topper, for sure! Would love a wine recommendation for noshing on just the spiced pepitas, though. I can see setting these out every time I have company!

Kristen, right?! Love this and love what the way you slipped in some chipotle. As for wine, I’m thinking Chenin blanc or a really dry riesling if white, maybe carmenere or a not-too-spicy garnacha or syrah if red? But you tell me…!

Very tasty! My seeds never did turn a golden brown but I left them in the oven longer and they were a lovely light and dry texture, not chewy.

Easy Chipotle Spiced Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)

Spiced Pumpkin Seeds make a healthy snack for a tailgate party, an addition to a cheese platter, or a garnish for soup or salad. Love spicy pepitas? These are mildly salty with a kick from chipotle peppers!

Every salad needs some crunch. Every bowl of soup needs a garnish. These Spiced Pumpkin Seeds made tasty toppings for our bowls of Carrot-Ginger Soup and Butternut Squash Shiitake Salad this week. It's the season for my favourite fall foods: homemade soup, cornbread, roasted root vegetables everything apple, and of course, pumpkin!

These spicy pepitas are quick and easy to make. I tossed them with a little melted butter, ground coriander, chipotle and coarse sea salt and roasted them in the oven until they just began to crackle and pop. They're great as a garnish and they're delicious by the handful, too.

Pumpkin seeds (or their Spanish culinary name, pepitas) are packed with protein and are rich in vitamins and minerals. In less than ten minutes, you can have a bowl of nutritious, spiced pumpkin seeds, ready to use

Enjoy! And if you love pumpkin seeds, try this Salted Dark Chocolate Bark with Pumpkin Seeds.

Pumpkin Pie–Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

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All the flavor and spice of pumpkin pie coats these roasted seeds for a healthier take on the classic dessert.

What to buy: We used raw pumpkin seeds (a.k.a. pepitas) for this recipe. You can also use the seeds left over from carving a pumpkin or roasting squash. Just collect the seeds, 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.

Game plan: The seeds are best fresh from the oven but will last up to 5 days stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

This recipe was featured as part of our 10 Ways to Spice Up Pumpkin Seeds photo gallery.

The Difference Between Pepitas and Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds that many Americans are used to seeing when they cut a pie pumpkin or carve a Jack O&rsquoLantern have hulls, or fibrous coverings that protect the seeds inside.

Pepitas come from pumpkins that produce seeds without these hulls or &ldquoshells.&rdquo

For me, there&rsquos no contest. Pepitas are always the way to go.

But if you like the tough outer shells of regular pumpkin seeds, you can cook those the same way as you do these pepitas.

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Although this may not be a traditional dish to bring to your Thanksgiving celebration, I figured there's plenty of inspiration out there on the blogosphere right now, I would rather give you something unique and special. Like these pumpkin pie spiced pumpkin seeds.

If you're a canned pumpkin type of person, that's okay, but when you're whipping up your pumpkin pie this year I highly recommend switching gears and going with fresh pumpkin instead. Why? Not only does fresh pumpkin elevate the flavor and texture of your pumpkin pie, it's full of fabulously healthy and delicious seeds.

I know they throw some people off, but those guts inside your pumpkin might just be the best part. They feel totally disgusting, but pumpkin seeds are actually super easy to clean, and once roasted, they taste simply divine. Plus, pumpkin seeds are crazy healthy – low-calorie, high in fiber, and full of protein – so they're a perfect snack. Especially for Thanksgiving.

This recipe celebrates my love for pumpkin pie, but in a healthy and nutritious way. I could snack on these Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds all year round, but they are a perfect pre- or post-Thanksgiving dinner treat. In two days time, we're going to be stuffing ourselves to the brim, with delicious, but decadent food. So why not sprinkle in some nutrients, and bring these Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds with you? They'll be gobbled up in no time.

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