Spicy Peanuts and Pumpkin Seeds

Chili-spiced peanuts and pumpkin seeds make a great fall snackPhotographed by Fred ConradChili-spiced peanuts and pumpkin seeds make a great fall snack

Rick Bayless, chef at the upscale Mexican restaurant Frontera Grill in Chicago, uses pumpkins to add a spicy, nutty kick to everything from salad to risotto to flan. When cooking with this autumn gourd, make sure you buy a pie pumpkin (available at grocery stores or farmers’ markets), he says, not a jack-o’-lantern. Try this spicy pumpkin snack:


  • 2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus arbol chili powder if you like it spicy
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hulled pumpkin seeds

    How to make it 

  • 1

    Toss peanuts with lime juice until all are moistened. Sprinkle with chili powder; toss until nuts are evenly coated. Spread nuts in a shallow layer on baking sheet; bake at 250°F until chili powder forms a light crust on nuts, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven; sprinkle generously with salt.

  • 2

    In large skillet over medium heat, toast pumpkin seeds. When one pops stir constantly until all have popped from flat to round, about 5 minutes. Toss with peanuts, then scoop into a serving bowl. Makes 3 cups.

For more pumpkin recipes from Rick Bayless, check out:
Smoky Braised Mexican Pumpkin
Avocado-Mango Salad with Fresh (or Blue) Cheese, Bacon and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Chicken in Pueblan Green Pumpkin Seed Sauce

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