Sweet New Mexico Red Chile Pumpkin Seeds – I am New Mexico

Sweet New Mexico Red Chile Pumpkin Seeds

(October 28, 2015)—If you come from a traditional New Mexican family, then you probably have a few people in your family that love to cook? We New Mexican’s also don’t like to waste food and Halloween time is no different. Of all the wonderful things that you can make with a pumpkin , you usually see and eat the same stuff each year. Some people throw the seeds away after cleaning the pumpkin, but I like to salt and roast them, which led me into creating the following recipe. They’re an amazing snack! Sweet with a kick. Think Mexican candy New Mexico style.

Sweet New Mexico Red Chile Pumpkin Seeds


  • 1 Medium Sized Pumpkin
  • 2 Tablespoons Hatch Red Chile Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon 100% Pure Local New Mexico Honey
  • 1/4 Teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Butter

To Prepare:

If you’ve salted and roasted pumpkin seeds before, then you know that it’s difficult to make the salt stick evenly, so I like to soak the pumpkin seeds in a salt brine for 24 hours. Just take out the large pieces of pumpkin that are attached to the seeds and set in refrigerator over night. This also helps the salt flavor penetrate the thick shell.

Pumpkin Seeds Soaking in a Salt Brine

Pumpkin Seeds Soaking in Salt Brine

Take the seeds out of the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Seeds Being Strained

Pumpkin Seeds Being Strained

Once you have soaked the pumpkin seeds overnight, you may then strain the salt brine from the pumpkin seeds. Make sure you get rid of as much moisture as possible, but make sure to keep the outer shell slightly moist.

Pumpkin Seeds, Hatch Chile Powder, Lemon Zest, and Honey Mixture.

Pumpkin Seeds, Hatch Red Chile Powder, Lemon Zest, Butter and Honey Mixture.

Now you’re ready to add all the ingredients. I like to put the lemon zest first, that way it can marinate the outer shell a little better while adding the other ingredients, you might even put a squeeze of lemon (optional). Add partially melted butter,  then add the Hatch Red Chile powder and the Honey.


100% Pure New Mexico Honey

Mix the ingredients vigorously. I like to use my hands, it seems to get better coverage. But remember the New Mexico chile rule, don’t touch your eyes and it’s advised to use the restroom before this process, if you know what I mean.


I like to use a cast iron skillet to roast the seeds because they heat very evenly. Make sure to keep an eye out on them at an even temperature for about 20 minutes, stirring very frequently to keep from burning. You will smell the aromatic red chile and honey in your sinuses, the roasting of red or green chile is a fond thing for most New Mexicans. A convection oven also works very well to roast the pumpkin seeds. (Instructions Below)

Baking Instructions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown; stir occasionally.

Sweet New Mexico Red Chile Pumpkin Seeds

Sweet New Mexico Red Chile Pumpkin Seeds

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Recipe: Will Barnes Photos: Will Barnes