If you’re a fan of last week’s Green Mole sauce (Pipian Verde) then you can easily transfer those flavors over to a lightning quick pepita dip.
Sure, it works great when surrounded by crispy tortilla chips, but pepitas are nutrtitional powerhouses so you might find yourself turning it into some tasty on-the-fly meals.
Pepita Dip (and Spread) Recipe
You’ll frequently see Pumpkinseed Dip referred to as Sikil P’ak, derived from the Mayan words for pumpkinseed and tomato.
Pumpkinseeds, tomatoes, and habaneros are a time-tested combo that you’ll come across in the Yucatan region of Mexico. We have a recipe for that combo here and it’s worth trying it out at some point.
But the version we’re making today omits the tomatoes and relies on a lime-cilantro flavor to fill the void. You’ll end up with a lighter, brighter spread that lies somewhere between hummus and pesto, but with a flavor that might be new to you.
As usual, it’s best to start by roasting the pepitas to release some additional flavors. Add 1 cup of pepitas to a dry skillet over medium heat.
Stir frequently until they start to pop and turn golden brown (approx. 4-6 minutes).
Add the pepitas to a blender or food processor along with:
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
pinch of cumin
Give it a whirl, but I usually leave the pumpkinseeds a bit chunky.
Take a taste; you’ll get a quick snapshot of the core flavor in the dip.
Lightly saute 1/2 onion and 1-2 jalapenos in some oil over medium heat. I usually make this dip ultra fiery by using two jalapenos but feel free to dial back for a milder version. (Note: you can chop everything roughly as it will all go in the blender eventually.)
Toss in 3 cloves of minced garlic and saute briefly.
Add all of this to the pepita mixture in the blender, along with:
10-12 sprigs cilantro
handful of spinach (optional)
juice of 2 limes (approx. 3-4 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons olive oil
splash of water
I like it best when the final product is chunky, so we’ll add as little water as possible. Of course, that makes it kind of hard to combine it all together.
I usually give it a whirl, then scrape down the sides and add another small splash of water. Do that a couple times and eventually it will combine into some spreadable goodness.
Be sure to take a final taste for seasoning. I added another generous pinch to this batch (so that is approx. 3/4 teaspoon total).
And keep some extra limes on hand — a final burst of acidity can really brighten it up.
In the States you’ll frequently see this served with tortilla chips to complete the Mexican picture, but it’s worth trying it out on bagels, veggies, etc. to see if your palate can find some other uses for it. (We used a batch of baked tortilla chips for this version.)
I’ll put the recipe box with all the details below, and you can find the recipe box for the tomato-based version here.
Easy Pepita Dip (and Spread)
- 1 cup pepitas (pumpkinseeds)
- 1/2 onion
- 1-2 jalapenos
- 3 garlic cloves
- 10-12 sprigs cilantro
- handful of spinach (optional)
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- pinch of cumin
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- splash of water (plus more to combine)
- Add 1 cup of pepitas to a dry skillet over mediumish heat. Let them roast until they are popping and turning golden brown, 4-6 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the pepitas to a blender or food processor along with 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and a pinch of cumin. Combine well.
- Lightly saute 1/2 onion and 1-2 jalapenos in some oil over medium heat until softened. I use 2 jalapenos but feel free to use less for a milder version. (You can chop roughly as all of this is going in the blender eventually.)
- Add 3 cloves of minced garlic to the skillet and saute briefly alongside the onion and jalapeno, then toss it all in the blender with the pepita mixture. Add the remaining ingredients to the blender: 10-12 sprigs of cilantro, a handful of spinach (optional), the juice of 2 limes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a splash of water.
- Combine well. You'll probably need to add a little more water to get it to combine. I like to keep it chunky, so I add as little water as possible, scraping down the sides and adding small splashes of water as needed.
- Take a final taste for seasoning. I added another generous pinch to this batch (so that is close to 3/4 teaspoon total.)
- Serve next to tortilla chips, or on your choice of veggies, bagels, etc.
- Keep some lime close by as a final burst of acidity really brightens it up. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.
Got leftover pepitas? How about a batch of Spicy Roasted Pepitas?