Salt & Cocoa Pumpkin Seeds

seeds2Ah! Sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before; I love pumpkin seeds, and make them every time I crack open a pumpkin. I love chocolate. And everyone knows that I’m a certified saltaholic.  But somehow it’s never before occured to me to combine my three loves into one gorgeous, salty-sweet snack.  Maybe it’s because I am making my pumpkin & kale mole for dinner with Amy tonight and I had pumpkin and chocolate on the brain, but I am sooooooo glad I finally thought “Hey, why not make a salty-chocolaty pumpkin seed this time?”

Every woman who has ever suffered through a bout of PMS, one hand in the M&Ms and the other in a bag of chips, knows well the value of Salt and Chocolate Therapy.  I may have just discovered my new go-to Sweet n’ Salty Remedy recipe. Bonus points: it couldn’t be simpler. Toss pumpkin seeds with cocoa, raw sugar and coarse salt, roast for 20 minutes, and suddenly… you’re in Heaven.


Salt & Cocoa Pumpkin Seeds


  • seeds from one, 3-lb sugar pumpkin, cleaned of stringy pumpkin innards, but not rinsed (about 1 to 2 cups)
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (I like Dagoba Organic)
  • 1 tbsp coarse sea salt or Kosher salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the salt, sugar and cocoa until well blended.  Add to the unrinsed pumpkin seeds. Mix just until the cocoa powder disappears (overmixing will result in a chocolate syrup forming that will clump and not coat as well).
  3. Spread evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet that has been coated with a spritz of olive oil spray.  Try to spread the seeds out to a single layer.
  4. Roast in a preheated 350 degree F oven until the cocoa becomes very fragrant and you start to hear some of the seeds popping, about 20 – 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer the pan to a cooling rack. Loosen the seeds from the bottom of the pan, using a thin spatula, before they are cooled, but allow them to cool on the pan. They will crisp as they cool.  Enjoy!

Yields not nearly enough.


  1. I like to leave the pumpkin seeds unrinsed as the pumpkin juice carmelizes as the seeds roast and adds a lovely, sweet flavor.  If you feel you must rinse them off, use a tiny bit of olive oil or egg white in order to help make the cocoa-sugar-salt coating stick.


You think you’ll store these?  Ha!  I’m trying not to eat them all before Amy gets here.  Ahem… they should last at room temp for at least a few days, if for some reason someone in your house is allergic to chocolate.  Or pumpkin. Or has their jaw wired shut.  If it is damp weather the seeds may lose some crispness; you can recrisp them in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.


Fall through winter.


  1. Important tip: Use the best cocoa you can find. Because I made last night’s batch with some Hershey’s that Tai had brought home (silly man) and they weren’t nearly as good. I mean, edible, sure, but I’m not singing ditties from Young Frankenstein.

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