Pepitas are the name for hulled pumpkin seeds—they’re just pumpkin seeds with the shell removed! And they’re tasty and nutritious, so you’re going to want to try some of these paleo-friendly recipes using those perfect little green gems.
1. Fully Loaded Guacamole
Well, obviously. Just look how stuffed it is with all that goodness! Make this amazing guacamole with avocado, garlic, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, black pepper, tomato, bacon, roasted pumpkin seeds, and shishito peppers. This is the perfect snack with some plantain chips.
2. Beef Jerky and Cherry Trail mix
This trail mix is the perfect snack to take on a camping trip, hike, or even a long afternoon playing with the kids at the park. It’s full of protein and energy, and it’s tasty—sweet and savory! You’ll need beef jerky, dried cherries, almonds, cashews, and pepitas.
3. Maple Sriracha Roasted Pepitas
I love, love, LOVE snacking on roasted nuts and seeds, and making my own flavors is practically a hobby by now. It’s also healthier than buying pre-seasoned ones at the store. This amazing recipe uses raw pepitas, pure maple syrup, olive oil, cinnamon, sriracha, and black pepper.
4. Paleo Granola
There’s no denying that granola is a delicious and easy breakfast that you can’t beat for convenience. But usually it’s made with oats, making it a paleo no-no. This grain-free version, however, is made with pepitas, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, chopped pecans, dates, coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla.
5. Dark Chocolate Beauty Bark With Chia Seeds, Pepitas, and Goji Berries
While I wouldn’t credit this chocolate bar for changing your looks, I’ll say it does contain vitamins and anti-oxidants that are essential for healthy and clear skin, so you don’t have to feel guilty about an occasional indulgence. It has simple, easy toppings, too!
6. Strawberry Peach Crisp With Hazelnut Pepita Crumble
Strawberries and peaches are a sweet and summery combination that’s one of my favorites for crisps and crumbles. This crisp is sweetened further with maple syrup and topped with a delicious mixture of pepitas, hazelnut flour, almond flour, and butter.
7. Pumpkin Seed Nut Bread
Sometimes you just need bread. This simple and yummy paleo-friendly bread would be perfect for breakfast—just slather it with some softened butter or ghee and you’re good to go. Make it with pecans, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, honey, coconut oil, and more.
8. Paleo Snack Bars
These snack bars remind me a bit of Kind Bars, so if you like those, you’re in for a homemade treat. They’re both crunchy and chewy with only real-food ingredients like toasted coconut, toasted almonds, pecans, sesame seeds, pepitas, flax seeds, honey, and kosher salt.
9. Paleo Pumpkin Pie in a Pumpkin Seed Crust
Why not just go all pumpkin, all the way? If you’re making a pumpkin pie, try this paleo-friendly pie with a crust made from pumpkin seeds and coconut palm sugar and a luscious, silky filling that’s creamy with almond milk and spicy with pumpkin pie spice and vanilla.
10. Kale and Cranberry Toss
After that pie, you’re going to be craving a light and refreshing salad. This one, made with kale, shallot, pepitas, and cranberries, is bound to hit the spot. My favorite part is the light and lovely dressing with orange juice, zest, and white wine vinegar.
11. Cinnamon Raisin Spice Paleo Granola
Try granola, take two! This version is bursting with cinnamon flavor and I would love a big bowl of it with several splashes of homemade vanilla almond milk. I especially love the chewy little raisin bites and crunchy pumpkin seeds with pumpkin pie spice and extra cinnamon.
12. Lemon, Mint, and Pineapple Kale Salad
Almost all salads are better when you add fruit to them. This one has pineapple added, which is the great partner for the fresh mint, green onion, and pumpkin seeds since pineapple loves both sweet and savory flavors. Lemon zest and juice really make this salad bright and cheery.
13. Cacao-Coconut Plantain Rice Balls With Pepitas
These simple little “rice” balls are a sweet treat that’s part cookie, part cake, part bliss ball, all awesome. And it has a much simpler ingredient list than you’d guess, with just plantain, medjool dates, cacao powder, roasted/salted pepitas, and coconut flakes.
14. Spinach and Pepita Pesto
Pepitas work well as a replacement for nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pine nuts in pesto. They have a different flavor but they’re still versatile, and they offer their own unique mix of vitamins and minerals. This simple pesto can be made with or without cheese, by using nutritional yeast.
15. Pecan Coconut Truffles
I’ve waxed poetic before about how easy it is to make paleo truffles, and…I’ll do it again. These take only 10-15 minutes to make, and they’re just a delicious mixture of maple syrup, crushed nuts and seeds, cinnamon, ground vanilla bean, coconut oil, and shredded coconut.
16. The Perfect Summer Salad
Nothing screams “summer” like watermelon, and this refreshing salad knows just how to make that sweet and juicy goodness work for a savory dish. You’ll need watercress, cubed watermelon, grapeseed oil, lime juice, sea salt, chopped cilantro (or basil), maple syrup, and half a lime.
17. Banana Smoothie With Nuts and Seeds
I love putting nuts and seeds in my smoothies, because they make it so much healthier while adding a bit of flavor and body that still doesn’t overpower the base ingredients. In this case, you end up with an awesome banana shake with almond butter, honey, vanilla, and more.
18. Pumpkin Pie Pepitas
Here’s another roasted pepita recipe, and this one plays with the pumpkin theme well using maple syrup, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice. That’s really all you need, plus less than ten minutes to let the maple caramelized onto the nuts and turn them crispy and delicious.
19. Loaded Sweet Potatoes
Loaded with what, you might ask? And to that I’d answer: everything good. These puppies feature chorizo sausage, caramelized onion, bell pepper, pumpkin seeds, honey, chipotle powder, cinnamon, chopped cilantro, and chopped avocado. So good.
20. Winter Grapefruit Salad
This salad may have just four ingredients for the base, but it’s the light and lovely dressing that really makes it great. You’ll top those grapefruits, cilantro, roasted pepitas, and pomegranate seeds with a blend of orange juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime zest, chili powder and sea salt.
21. Grain Free Paleo Pumpkin Muffins
These moist and delicious pumpkin muffins are made with melted butter, honey, vanilla, almond flour, and pumpkin puree and they’re studded with pepitas and dark chocolate chips—but just enough to give them a burst of chocolately sweetness. I’d still eat them for breakfast!
22. Instant Chia Pumpkin Pudding
When you’re having a pumpkin pie craving but can’t be bothered to make an actual pie, try this nearly-instant chia pudding made from medjool dates, pumpkin puree, almond milk, chia seeds, pumpkin spice, and extra cinnamon (the spices are optional but delicious additions).
23. Grilled Peach and Mizuna Salad
Grilled peaches take on a new flavor profile with sweetly caramelized sugars and a soft, gooey texture. You’re going to love this salad with its grilled peaches, spicy fennel and mizuna, deliciously savory basil, and crunchy pepitas. Dressing with olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt.
24. Vegan Pumpkin Granola Cookies
These delicious granola cookies are one of my favorite treats to take camping and hiking because they’re a bit sweet but not too much, and they are packed with energy-fueling nuts and seeds. This version uses pepitas, maple syrup, pumpkin, walnuts, and more.
25. Raspberry Spinach Salad With Caramlized Garam Masala Pepitas
Raspberry and avocado go really well together because one is really bright, sweet, juicy, and a bit tart while the other is cool and creamy. Also, they just look so pretty together! So put ’em on a bed of spinach and dress with white balsamic vinaigrette and delicious flavored seeds.
26. Pumpkin Seed Cupcakes With Chocolate Ganache
Did you know pumpkin seeds work as a flour just like other nuts and seeds? This cupcake recipe uses pumpkin seed meal as the only flour, along with honey, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and a sweet chocolate ganache made from coconut milk and dark chocolate chips.
27. The Best Salad Ever
I agree with this recipe’s title. After all, how could a salad that has gnocchi in it not be the best salad ever? This one’s got onions, leafy greens, butter oil, sweet potato gnocchi, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries (you can leave the goat cheese out of it).
28. Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Bites
Whether you call them bliss bites, energy balls, or truffles, the concept is the same: these chewy little balls for real food and nutrients are delicious, and this carrot cake version can’t be beat. It’s stuffed with pepitas, shredded coconut, molasses, cinnamon, actual carrots, and more.
29. Raw Protein Bars
These protein bars are full of the good stuff and don’t need to be baked. Just max them up, press into a pan, and allow them to chill before cutting into squares. They’re made with pumpkin seeds, cashews, date paste, sea salt, vanilla, sesame seeds, coconut oil, and chocolate chips.
30. Spiced Pumpkin Seed Milk
Nut and seed milks are super fun to make once you get the hang of them, and you can easily make fun flavors for recipes or drinking plain. This spiced pumpkin seed milk uses pepitas, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, maple syrup, and optional chocolate.
31. Raw Pumpkin Seed Pate
With pumpkin seeds, toasted sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, garlic powder, and sundried tomatoes, you know this simple pate is going to hit the spot with paleo crackers, plantain chips, or even sliced rounds of cucumbers or bell pepper sticks.