Spicy Maple Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

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Got plans this weekend to get that pumpkin carved for Halloween? Or if you have, are you looking for a good way to turn those pumpkin seeds into an awesome snack the whole family can enjoy?

We are down to the wire. Halloween less than a week away! If you haven’t carved that jack-o-lantern yet, most likely that is the plan for the weekend. And if you’ve already done your due holiday diligence and got that jack-o-lantern glowing happily outside, I hope you saved those seeds! Either way, I’ve got a sweet pumpkin seeds recipe that’s so good it’s scary!

This recipe is a wonderful combination of sweet and spicy. I was taking my cues from one of my favorite childhood candies, Red Hots. It’s got natural sweeteners with a spicy kick. Now, you can adjust the spice to either be barely noticeable or crank it up until you cry joyful tears. But either way you go, this recipe will become a family favorite. You might even consider carving another pumpkin just for the excuse to make more.

Or better yet, grab a few (or many) pie pumpkins and make your own pumpkin puree for all those pumpkin pies you plan to make for the holidays. Then you’ll be sitting on plenty of seeds to do with as you will (while tapping your fingers in a mad scientist way).

Tips for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

If you’ve been keeping up with me over the past month, you know I’ve been going pumpkin crazy. So in that process, I’ve been sitting on caches of seeds to experiment around with. See what works and what doesn’t. And boy, have I learned a lot!

If you’ve roasted pumpkin seeds before, you know it is all pretty straightforward: scoop out seeds, wash, dry, roast with seasonings, and you’re done! But before you break out the colander and water, there are a few tweaks I’ve found that differ from most pumpkin seeds recipes. I’ve found the results are much better.

To start with, don’t wash your seeds.

Now, I know you probably are looking at your screen like I just told you the world was flat but just hear me out. You really don’t need to wash those seeds for a couple of reasons. One, it’s pumpkin so it’s completely edible and that pumpkin mess actually adds some flavor. It’s like comparing white and dark meat. Second, if you don’t wash them, you cut out that drying time so you can roast them right away. Seriously, who wants to have to wait a day anyway?

The other change I’ve found that really makes for the best-roasted pumpkin seeds is to bake them at a lower temperature. 250F to be exact for about an hour with only some oil and salt (if desired). This will give your seeds a wonderful toasted flavor with a pleasant crunch. The lower temperature won’t scorch or burn them in the process. It does almost double your roasting time but trust me, all good things to those who wait.

Once this roasting time is done you can leave them as they are, a simple salty snack, if you choose. Or if you want to add some seasonings just adjust your oven to 350F, toss your seeds with your seasonings, and bake for 5-10 minutes. That’s it. Pretty easy, right?

However, if you’re a complete newbie to roasting pumpkin seeds, I’ve got a post that goes over this process in detail that might help. Plus, you’ll get a savory pumpkin seeds recipe to try out as well for a change of pace.

Spice, Sweet, or No?

There are a couple of quick notes about this sweet pumpkin seeds recipe I thought it’d be important to mention. This recipe is wonderful whether you choose to spice it up with cayenne or not. The amounts that I have in this recipe should give you candied seeds with a kick of heat.

Depending on your heat tolerance, you can adjust this recipe to suit your taste. But I’d advise adding (or subtracting) the cayenne in increments of 1/8 or 1/4 tsp. until you find your sweet (or spice) spot. The pun was intended. Likewise, you can also adjust your coconut sugar in the same way. If you don’t have coconut sugar, you can substitute with brown sugar at a 1:1 ratio.

Concerning the oil, I have found that coconut oil really works the best especially for sweet seasonings. However if you don’t keep coconut oil in your kitchen any light oil will do. Just make sure it that can stand temperatures up to 350F. I’d suggest either avocado oil or refined almond oil.

I think that about covers it! Now, let’s get roasting!

Spicy Maple Pumpkin Seeds

Here is a simple spicy and sweet pumpkin seeds recipe that is completely plant-based. It is easy to make and a nice way to use up those seeds from your jack-o-lantern. These roasted pumpkin seeds are great on their own or in a trail mix.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fall foods, fall recipes, oven roasted, pumpkin seeds
Servings: 4 1/4 cup serving
Author: Tina


  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Quarter or Half- Sized baking tray
  • Spoon or Spatula
  • Mixing Bowl


  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds shells on and unwashed
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
  • ½ tsp. coconut sugar
  • tsp. cayenne, ground


Roasting Basic Pumpkin Seeds

  • Preheat oven to 250F or 121C.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add seed and oil. Mix thoroughly.
  • Spread coated seeds out in a single layer on the baking tray.
  • Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours or until a light brown.

Spicy Maple Pumpkin Seeds

  • Turn the oven up to 350F or 177C.
  • Transfer seeds back to the mixing bowl.
  • Add maple, salt, sugar, and cayenne and stir well.
  • Spread seeds back out in a single layer on the baking sheet with or without a silicone mat.
  • Bake for 10 mins.
  • Immediately transfer to a plate, tray, or cooling rack (if using a silicone mat) to cool. Once completely cool the clumps should break apart.
  • Store in a sealed container. Will keep up to a week maybe longer.


Can replace coconut sugar with brown sugar at the same amount.

Did you give this recipe a try?

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Happy Roasting! And Happy Halloween!

13 thoughts on “Spicy Maple Pumpkin Seeds Recipe”

  • 5 stars
    I’m so loving your recipes. This I’m doing tonight. Maple syrup is great any time of the year, but there’s something special about it during the fall season. And I do love pumpkin seeds. And adding the cayenne to the season makes it this sweet, salty, spicy takes. Great work!

    • Thanks, JB!

      I really am trying to avoid too much sugar but I just couldn’t help myself with doing a sweet pumpkin seeds recipe. And I’ve had so many pumpkin seeds to roast this month! In fact, it gave me another idea I’m going to have to work on. If you have any questions about it please let me know.

      Thanks again! It’s always a pleasure to talk with you.

  • 5 stars
    wow im bookmarking your site ive been a profesional cook for over 6 years and i love trying new recipes and i like them more on the spice side

    • Hi Mario! Thanks so much for visiting!

      I really hope you like the recipe. If you have any questions, please let me know. Also, I’ve got another pumpkin recipe that’s on the savory side if you are interested. You could easily add cayenne or chili powder to that one. Thanks again!


    • Hi, Rick! Thanks so much for visiting!

      I’m glad I could give you something completely new to try. I hope you enjoy it! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Also, if you do give a try, I would really appreciate any feedback and a star rating. Thanks again!


  • Oh yum, I adore pumpkin seeds and this post came at just the right time for me as I have just had my organic veg box delivery and guess what? It has a great big pumpkin in it! So I have been wondering what to do with it and thought about making a soup. I normally would have just thrown the seeds out (naughty I know) but now I have come across your post I ma going to roast them as you suggested.
    Just one question though, when you eat them do you eat the whole thing or do you have to take them out of that hard outer shell? We are not used to eating pumpkin seeds in their shells here in the UK. ha ha

    • Hi, Stefanie! Thanks for visiting!

      I absolutely loved my time in the UK when I was there for school!

      That’s funny you don’t eat the outer shell but it makes sense. I didn’t even know that pepitas were the pumpkin seeds without the shell until very recently. My family and friends just always ate them in the shell at Halloween (pretty much a tradition) so I’ve never seen it done another way. But yes with this recipe they are meant to be eaten with the shell.

      I really hope you try this recipe out! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’m here to help! Even better, I would love to hear what you think of them in the shell! 🙂

      Thanks again!

    • Oh Stefanie! One thing I forgot to mention. My very next post is planned to be a pumpkin soup recipe. If you haven’t cut up that pumpkin yet, you might find this recipe helpful. Check back in a couple of days and it should be up. Thanks so much!

  • I never knew you could make chips out of pumpkin seeds. It looks delicious. I will have to try them. I usually just skim and not comment on recipes I see online, but I have to make an exception with this one. It is just too good to pass up.

    I do have a question though. Are there any variations on this recipe to make it even more delicious? I like to have variety in my life. Could I sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on my Saturday morning pancakes? That sounds like a great idea. Lol!

    Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

    • Hi Alex! And thanks so much for visiting!

      I’m unsure what you mean when you say chips. If you are thinking chips like potato chips, I’m sure pepitas can be since they make chips out of black beans and chickpeas now. But this recipe is just the pumpkin seeds in the shell roasted with seasonings. As far as other ways to eat them, these would be awesome in a trail mix! I think you’ve just given me an idea that I will have to work on very soon.

      If you pepitas on hand, I bet that would be awesome on some pumpkin pancakes. Again, now I’ve got another idea. You have just given me all sorts of inspiration!

      Thanks again! Tina

  • Great article! I used to roast pumpkin seeds when the kids were small. Now, I only carve pumpkins at work ( I work in a school ). I don’t generally bring those seeds home….. After reading your article, it made me want to carve my own pumpkin….like I used to (when my own kids were small).
    I never thought about spicing them up with cayenne pepper. What a great idea! One of my kids ( she’s all grown up now ) really likes spicy treats. I think she would love spicy roasted pumpkin seeds! Thanks for the great idea!
    Take Care

    • Hi Angela! Thanks so much for visiting!

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the post. I love the whole family tradition of carving the pumpkin for Halloween. While my brother and I did that, our mother was roasting the seeds up. She never really did much more than add a little salt but still just a great memory.

      I hope you or your daughter give this recipe a try! If you or she has any questions, please let me know. I’m here to help.

      Thanks again! Tina

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