Toasted Pumpkin Seed Dip, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Toasted Pumpkin Seed Dip

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Toasted pumpkin seed dip! A delicious alternative to guacamole for your next party or family get together.

Pumpkin seeds and the fall just go hand in hand. One of the tastiest recipes I enjoy preparing is a toasted pumpkin seed dip. It's very much like the popular hummus dip, minus the chickpeas. Pumpkin seeds or pepitas are inexpensive and readily found in most grocery stores. This pumpkin seed dip is adapted from the popular dip and spread sikal pak, originating from the Maya community in the Yucatan. It is most often served with raw vegetables and sometimes tortilla chips. It's a great alternative to guacamole, but I must admit that I love a fresh guacamole garnish with toasted, salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds). The flavors of the Yucatan come through with the sweet tart orange and lime combination, with just the right amount of heat from the habanero pepper.


  • 1/2 white onion sliced thick
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced in half
  • 1 habanero pepper stem removed
  • 2 cups toasted pumpkin seeds, pepitas with no shells
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • salt to taste


  1. Place the onion, tomatoes and habanero on a foil lined comal or skillet and heat to medium. The foil is simply for easy clean up after you are done dry roasting the fresh ingredients. Cook and dry roast for about 15-20 minutes, turning as needed.
  2. Transfer dry roasted ingredients to the blender. Add the pumpkin seeds (pepitas), orange juice, lime juice and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth. Add half of the cilantro and half of the sesame seeds and pulse just until blended.
  3. Transfer to serving dish. Garnish with remaining cilantro and sesame seeds. Serve with chips or fresh cucumbers and jicama.

Chef Notes

Pepitas can be found already toasted and salted or raw. To toast raw pepitas, simply place in a skillet and heat to medium. As they begin to toast they will pop slightly. Stir often and cook just until lightly golden.

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