Bold Italian flavors meet crunchy baked pepitas for a delicious, savory snack. Porchetta seasoned pepitas.
That’s where my mind went upon contemplating what to do with the pepitas I had leftover from making Not Your (Grand)Mother’s Broccoli Salad. And because I LOVE porchetta. Porchetta seasoning isn’t just for meat – traditionally it’s applied to pork roast (and is delicious on poultry and bovine meats as well), but, much like Frank’s Red Hot, you can put that $&!# on everything.
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 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 crunchy baked porchetta seasoned 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!
This recipe took a little trial and error to get just right. Lessons learned after multiple iterations:
- 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, 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 that is typically applied to pork roast. When I don’t purchase it pre-mixed, I tend to follow this porchetta recipe:
- 1 tsp onion salt
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp basil
- 2 tsp rosemary
- 2 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp dried parsley
I can’t recall where I got this recipe from, but if I ever figure it out, I will definitely update.
The porchetta seasoning I’m using came from a grocery store on the Iron Range called Zupp’s. The ingredients they list include fennel, parsley, oregano, crosscut celery (whatever that is, because I know you all totally have that in your spice rack), rosemary, basil, and “spice”. I bought it along with a mix of black pepper, salt, and onion salt, which is meant to be used in conjunction. This is done so the salt and pepper don’t just sink to the bottom of the mix and get lost.
Without further ado, the recipe for crunchy porchetta seasoned pepitas. Make, eat, repeat.
If you like this, you might also enjoy:
Crunchy Porchetta Seasoned Pepitas
- 1 cup raw pepitas
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp porchetta seasoning
- salt and pepper, to taste (only if your porchetta seasoning doesn’t already include salt and pepper)
- 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!