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Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds must be completely dried out in the oven before combining with spices. Whether for cooking or carving, choose an unblemished pumpkin that feels heavy for its size; it will store well, uncarved, at room temperature, for up to a month.

  • Yield: Makes 1 cup
Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seeds


  • 1 medium pumpkin
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin open from the bottom, removing seeds with a long-handled spoon. Separate flesh from seeds, and reserve the flesh for another use (see Pumpkin Pie). Pumpkin should yield 1 cup seeds. Spread seeds on parchment in an even layer. Bake until dry, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Let cool.

  2. In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook until sugar melts and pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer to bowl with spices, and stir well to coat. Let cool. These may be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Reviews (13)

  • EnFuego4719 4 Jan, 2014

    Deeeee-lish!!! I've made these probably 10 times since I first saw her make them on her 1/2 hour show 10-12 years ago. Love!! Hubby and I practically fight over them!

  • cheftb 24 Nov, 2013

    We loved these. Only used a pinch of cayenne- kids present. Served them in a small bowl that I placed in a hollowed out small pumpkin. Cute and tasty snack.

  • VirtualSpooky 1 Nov, 2010

    The most DANK pumpkin seeds out there. I slightly altered it by adding lemon zest and substituting brown sugar in the dry rub, and frying with almond oil. Seriously the most amazing way to use those pumpkin left overs!

  • nicolekiddo 11 Nov, 2009

    These were soooo good! They didn't last ten minutes at game night!

  • aspmom 25 Oct, 2009

    I was BEGGED by my children to make these!!! No problem!!! So good and healthy as anything sweet can be!!!

  • maryleegrady 14 Oct, 2009

    I'm trying to find the recipe Martha had on the sow today... October 14, 2009. Can't seem to find it on the website.. help?

  • QueenofBling 26 Oct, 2008

    I did this with packaged seeds and left out the salt. It turned out pretty good. I think I will try finding unsalted seeds next time.

  • MamaAcorn 22 Oct, 2008

    Oh, my goodness! These are so good that I can't stop eating them! Yum!

  • ariansdreams 11 Oct, 2008

    I used plain vegetable oil with these, and they still tasted excellent. I also reduced the oil to 1 tbsp.

  • ayelene 6 Oct, 2008

    I've been making these for a few years now, and they are always a hit. So delicious and addictive! (I cut back on the oil as well.)

  • ppalmeri 5 Oct, 2008

    How can this be done using the already toasted, salted and packaged store brand seeds?

  • shari_r 21 Nov, 2007

    These are amazing! Definitely worth making.
    A note: I did reduce the oil to 1 tbs, and it worked perfectly.

  • iheartbsb 19 Nov, 2007

    I made this a few years ago and it was a huge success! I lost the recipe though...Now I can't wait to make it again!

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