Seasoned roasted pepitas are a crunchy, nutritious, and easy-to-make snack. Learn how to roast pepitas in the oven with salt, maple glaze, and more.
Roasted pepitas, also known as shelled pumpkin seeds, are not only a delicious and nutritious snack but also a versatile ingredient to add to various recipes. Although you can buy roasted pepitas at the store, they are much tastier homemade.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the entire process of roasting pepitas in the oven, from selecting the best raw seeds to seasoning and storage. Get ready to discover how to create the perfect batch of crispy, flavorful roasted pepitas for a healthy snack.
What Are Pepitas?
Before we dive into the roasting process, let’s start with the basics. Pepitas are the edible seeds found inside pumpkin or squash. These tiny seeds are packed with nutrition, making them a fantastic addition to your diet. They are a great source of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a popular choice for health-conscious individuals.
Why Roast Pepitas?
Roasting pepitas serves several purposes. Not only does it enhance their flavor, but it also transforms their texture, making them crispy and delightful to snack on. Furthermore, roasting pepitas extends their shelf life, allowing you to enjoy them for an extended period.
The versatility of roasted pepitas is another reason to consider roasting them. You can use them as toppings for salads, soups, or yogurt, or incorporate them into various recipes for added crunch and flavor.
Keep a bag of raw pepitas on hand (you can store them in the freezer) to use in seed bread and for roasting. Roasting pepitas in the oven is a quick and easy way to create a nutritious plant-based snack.
Essential Ingredients and Tools
Before we get into the roasting process, let’s ensure you have everything you need:
– Raw pepitas (high-quality, if possible). Many grocery stores have raw pepitas. I got mine at Sprouts.
– Olive oil or any preferred cooking oil
– Seasonings (we’ll explore these in detail later)
– Baking sheet or tray
– Parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
– Mixing bowl
– Spatula or wooden spoon
– Measuring cups and spoons
Now that you have your pepitas ready, let’s move on to the roasting process:
1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 325°F. While the oven is heating, line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
2. Season: In a mixing bowl, toss the dried pepitas with a light drizzle of olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons for every cup of pepitas). You can adjust the amount based on your preference. Season the pepitas with your choice of seasonings (we’ll explore seasoning ideas in the next section). Make sure the seeds are evenly coated.
3. Spread Evenly: Spread the seasoned pepitas in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. This ensures even roasting and crispiness.
4. Roasting Time: Roast the pepitas in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes total. Be sure to stir or shake them every 8-10 minutes to prevent uneven cooking.
One of the delights of roasting pepitas is the ability to experiment with flavors. Here are five seasoning ideas to get you started:
1. Classic Salted Pepitas: Season with a pinch of sea salt for a simple, savory snack.
2. Sweet Cinnamon and Sugar Pepitas: Toss them in a mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.
3. Spicy Chili-Lime Pepitas: Combine chili powder, lime zest, and a pinch of salt for a zesty and spicy twist.
4. Garlic and Herb Pepitas: Mix in minced garlic, dried herbs (such as rosemary or thyme), and a touch of salt for a savory aroma.
5. Everything Bagel Pepitas: Season with an “everything bagel” spice blend for a burst of flavor.
Feel free to adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. Raw pepitas are edible, so you can taste and adjust your seasonings before baking as well as immediately after.
Checking for Doneness
Knowing when your pepitas are ready is crucial. Look for the following signs:
– Golden Color: They should just be starting to turn a golden-brown-green hue when they are ready.
– Crisp Texture: They should be crisp after cooling for a minute, and easy to bite, not soft or chewy.
Be careful not to overcook them, as this can lead to bitterness. Keep in mind that the roasted pepitas might not be crispy right out of the oven, but they will be after about 5-10 minutes of cooling.
Cooling and Storage
Once your pepitas are perfectly roasted, it’s time to cool and store them:
1. Cooling: Allow the roasted pepitas to cool on the baking sheet. As they cool, they will become even crispier.
2. Storage: To maintain their freshness, store the cooled pepitas in an airtight container or resealable bag. Keep them in a cool, dry place. Properly stored roasted pepitas can last for up to 2 weeks at room temperature, or up to 2 months in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months.
Roasted pepitas are not just for snacking. Here are a few serving suggestions:
- Enjoy them as a stand-alone snack.
- Sprinkle them on top of salads for extra crunch.
- Add them to your morning yogurt or oatmeal.
- Use them as a garnish for soups or chili.
The possibilities are endless, so don’t hesitate to get creative with how you use your roasted pepitas.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Roasting pepitas can be a breeze, but there are a few common issues you might encounter. Here’s how to address them:
– Burned Pepitas: If they’re burnt, try lowering the roasting temperature and checking them more frequently during cooking.
– Undercooked Pepitas: If they’re undercooked, return them to the oven for a few more minutes until they reach the desired crispness.
Roasting your own pepitas is a simple and rewarding process. With the right seasoning and cooking techniques, you can enjoy a wholesome and delicious snack. Whether you’re new to roasting pepitas or have some experience, the joy of making your own crispy, flavorful pumpkin seeds is truly satisfying.
- 1 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
Maple Roasted Pepitas
- 1 cup raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
- 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Preheat the Oven: Preheat the oven to 325° F and position a rack in the center. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. If you prefer, you can lightly coat it with cooking spray or a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking.
- Prepare the Pepitas:
For the Salted Pepitas:
- In a mixing bowl, toss the raw pepitas with olive oil to coat them evenly. Add sea salt to taste, and mix well.
For the Maple-Glazed Pepitas:
- In a mixing bowl, combine raw pepitas, maple syrup, vanilla (if using), pumpkin pie spice, and a pinch of salt. Stir until the pepitas are thoroughly coated.
- Spread the Pepitas: Spread the seasoned pepitas evenly in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. It is okay if the pepitas are touching, but this helps ensure even roasting and a nice crunch.
- Roasting: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for 8 minutes. Stir and return to the oven to roast for another 5 minutes. When done, the pepitas will be sticky, but they will crisp up as they cool. Some will just be beginning to turn golden brown but I like to remove them from the oven while they are still somewhat green.
- Cooling and Storage: After roasting, remove pepitas from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet. As they cool, they will crisp up. Once completely cool, transfer them to an airtight container or resealable bag for storage.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 69mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.