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A jar of candied pumpkin seeds.

3-Ingredient Candied Pepitas (Salty-Sweet Pumpkin Seeds)

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5 from 8 reviews


Three ingredients, 10 minutes of work, a salty-sweet treat to snack on all winter — what’s not to love? These are great on a cheese board and excellent in a salad, this one in particular.


For really tightly bound clusters, cook your sugar longer; for looser clusters, cook your sugar less. This will take a bit of trial and error to get right.

Also, the seeds will remain mostly in clusters but will eventually break into small, individual pieces. There’s no avoiding this. I like to save the clusters for cheese boards and use the small pieces for salads.


  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (also called pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt such as Maldon or 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, toast the pepitas until they turn light brown, begin to pop, and smell fragrant. Stir frequently as the seeds toast. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  2. In the same skillet melt the sugar without stirring — shake the pan if necessary to distribute the sugar in an even layer. When it turns evenly golden or amber, turn off the heat, add the toasted pepitas and sea salt, and stir to combine with a heatproof spatula. When the pepitas all clump together, transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, break into pieces. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for weeks.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American