What is your preference? Sweet or spicy? Either way, I’m sure you will love these pepitas that pack a punch of flavour for the perfect healthy snack.

What are Pepitas?

Pepitas is the Mexican/Spanish word for pumpkin seeds, usually referring to the seeds once the shell has been removed. Recipes can easily be found online for either version, in the shell or hulled. Pumpkin seeds are our everyday superfood of the month for March because they are packed with nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, fibre and protein.

In the fall, when pumpkins are in season and the Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated, you can make a snack of fresh pepitas simply by roasting them in the oven and adding some spices. If you are looking to make pepitas at this time of year you will have to look for hulled seeds in the bulk section of your grocery store. Some stores have better selections than others. For instance, I only found roasted/salted pumpkin seeds at one store, but at another there were three different versions; raw, roasted/salted, and roasted/spicy. The raw seeds were about half the price of the roasted ones.

Pepitas have many uses

Although eating pepitas as a snack is the most common way to enjoy them, they can also be used to make granola, trail mix or energy bites. They also work well as a garnish for soups and salads, or breads and muffins, and can be made into pesto.

Pepitas are easy to make

Here are two easy recipes for pepitas, one is sweet and the other is spicy. Enjoy!

Tell Me: How do you like your pepitas, sweet or spicy?

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Sweet or Spicy Pepitas
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
4 servings


Sweet Pepitas

1 cup (250 ml) pepitas (roasted/salted)
1 tbsp (15 ml) melted butter
1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2 ml) nutmeg

Spicy Pepitas

1 cup (250 ml) pepitas (roasted/salted)
1 tbsp (15 ml) melted butter
1 tsp (5 ml) red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp (2 ml) smoked paprika
1/4 tsp (1 ml) cayenne pepper


  1. Toast in a frying pan for 6-8 minutes until golden brown and aromatic; stir frequently.
  2. Adjust spices to suit your personal preferences. Serve hot or cold.
  3. Each recipe makes 4 – 1/4 cup (60 ml) servings.
  4. If using raw pepitas, toast with butter and a little salt, then add your spices.


Read more by: Colinda
Colinda is a registered dietitian and nutrition educator with Dairy Farmers of Canada. She likes cooking best when it’s quick and easy, which fits with her philosophy that nutritious food doesn’t have to be complicated. Colinda enjoys preparing food for her family but also appreciates it when her husband does the cooking!

Alberta Milk, as a member of Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), supports, collaborates and relies on the four Alberta-based DFC registered dietitians to deliver and develop nutrition resources, programs and communications to promote health and wellness. As registered dietitians we are credible, balanced and science-based. We belong to the College of Dietitians of Alberta and follow their Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics. Our job is to translate the complex science of nutrition into practical advice for the general population. It is our view that milk and milk products are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet based on the four food groups, which is supported by health organizations such as Health Canada and Dietitians of Canada.

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College of Dietitians of Alberta
Dietitians of Canada