Pepitas are pumpkin seeds. Sometimes the word refers to the inside kernel of the pumpkin seed but can also be the entire un-hulled seed. Pepitas are popular in Mexico and they are typically toasted and eaten as a snack. They are also the key ingredient in "pipian" a type of mole [moh-LAY].

Article by: Barbara Bowman

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Pepitas have been eaten in Mexico dating back to ancient Aztec times. As with most foods, every part of the squash was eaten (except the shell). The blossoms were fried and used in soups, the flesh was cooked and eaten and the seeds were eaten raw or used in sauces.


Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are harvested from a variety of pumpkin types and are available in several common forms.

Whole shell-on (or un-hulled) pepitas - available salted or unsalted. Can be toasted whole and salted or flavored with chile and lime. Eat as a snack.

Shelled (or hulled) pepitas - can be found raw or toasted, salted or unsalted. As a snack the seeds are usually toasted and flavored with salt, chile, and lime. Use in salads, salad dressings, or in pipian, a type of mole.

Ground pepita kernels - use in mole, cookies, breads. Although you may find ground seeds in the markets it is best to grind your own right before use.

Buy And Store

Pepitas can be found in most Mexican markets or local health food stores. If possible purchase the Mexican varieties and help support an ancient industry.

Store: As with most seeds and nuts pepitas have a high oil content so they will go rancid quickly. Purchase in amounts you will use within a week or so. Store in a tightly sealed plastic bag. Pepitas can be placed in freezer proof bags and frozen for up to 6 months or more.

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Pepita Recipes

Pepitas Nutrition

1/4 cup raw kernels
Total fat (g)16
Saturated fat (g)3
Monounsaturated fat (g)0
Polyunsaturated fat (g)0
Dietary fiber (g)1
Protein (g)8
Carbohydrate (g)6
Cholesterol (mg)0
Sodium (mg)6
Potassium (mg)