Oven-roasted pepitas make a delicious, savory snack that you can season any way you like! I recommend using Porchetta seasoning to make these a bold, Italian flavored crunchy pepita snack.
I love all manner of nuts, seeds, and grains. Currently, pepitas is enjoying some serious playtime in my kitchen. Pepitas appear in this Bodacious Broccoli Salad and are featured in this Pesto made with Pepitas. But they can also star as a delicious snack on their own, as Roasted Pepitas, seasoned up however you'd like. Though here I'm going to go ahead and recommend Iron Range Porchetta seasoning 🙂
Because I’m dedicated to finding new and creative ways to get more porchetta seasoned goodness in my life. And what better way than through crunchy oven-baked pepitas!
My friends concurred. I made a double batch the other day, sealed them in a sandwich bag, and let them hang out on the counter. I knew they would be curious... one friend was like, ‘What’s in here?’ After explaining she was like, ‘You so FAN-cy!’ and ‘Can you adopt me?’ And the other friend curiously handled the bag, opened it, took a big whiff, gave ‘em a try, and said ‘Holy shit, these are [email protected]#%in’ good!’
So. If you want to impress your friends with your creative culinary snacking prowess, make these porchetta seasoned roasted pepitas.
What are pepitas?
You may have heard pepitas referred to as pumpkin seeds or hulled pumpkin seeds, but that's incorrect. Actually, pepitas come from specific hull-less pumpkin varieties, known as Styrian or Oil Seed pumpkins. The more you know!
How do you roast pepitas?
You only need a few ingredients for this roasted pepita recipe.
- 1 cup raw pepitas
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon porchetta seasoning
- salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat over to 325 degrees F. Add porchetta seasoning to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Grind until you achieve a fine powder. The goal is to grind down the bigger spices like the rosemary and fennel so they stick to the pepitas.
Combine pepitas, olive oil, and ground porchetta seasoning to a bowl. Stir pepitas until well coated.
Spread the pepitas in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and pepper (if necessary).
Bake for 15-20 minutes, giving the baking sheet a good shake halfway through.
Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. They will pop and crackle for a minute or two. Eat and enjoy!
Top Tips for Seasoned Roasted Pepitas
This recipe took a little trial and error to get just right. For success:
- You gotta bake the pepitas at no more than 325 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15 to 20 minutes. Low(ish) and slow is the way to go.
- Grind the porchetta spices or they won’t stick to the pepitas. Why did I think a fennel seed would magically stick to a pepita? What was I thinking?
- Season before roasting, not after. Heat activates the flavor. Same idea as pan toasting spices before use.
What is porchetta seasoning?
Porchetta (or porketta) seasoning is a bold Italian spice blend typically applied to pork roast. It's incredible! Porchetta seasoning isn’t just for meat - much like Frank’s Red Hot, you can put that $&!# on everything.
I was first introduced to porchetta seasoning at a grocery store on the Iron Range called Zupp’s. The ingredients they list include fennel, parsley, oregano, crosscut celery (I know you all totally have that in your spice rack), rosemary, basil, and “spice”.
I have since developed my own Iron Range Porchetta Seasoning. Go give it a try!
What other seasonings can I use?
Your imagination is the limit here! Oven-roasted pepitas would also be fantastic seasoned with:
- Ranch seasoning
- Adobo seasoning
- Taco seasoning
- Garlic and herb seasoning
Store oven-roasted pepitas in a lidded container or Ziploc plastic bag for up to 5 days.
- Preheat over to 325 degrees F. Add porchetta seasoning to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Grind until you achieve a fine powder. The goal is to grind down the bigger spices like the rosemary and fennel so they stick to the pepitas.
- Combine pepitas, olive oil, and ground porchetta seasoning to a bowl. Stir until the pepitas are well coated.
- Spread the pepitas in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and pepper (if necessary).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, giving the baking sheet a good shake halfway through.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. They will pop and crackle for a minute or two. Eat and enjoy!