Dancing Pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds)

Total Time
Prep 1 min
Cook 3 mins

Mom used to make a less spicy (no cayenne) version of these for all my teen parties, but she called them cockroach crunchies as they do resemble the critters (great Halloween snack). They are lighter than air and you can season with absolutely anything you like. I stole the title from Melinda Lee (http://melindalee.com/recipearchive.html?action=124&item_id=223) but the ingredients and method are what I have used and grew up with.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 clove garlic, slightly smashed
  • 12 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds, raw and shelled)
  • 12 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • 12 teaspoon ground cumin, to taste
  • 12 teaspoon paprika, to taste
  • 12 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)


  1. Heat a cast iron skillet.
  2. Add oil and garlic, and use the garlic to spread the oil.
  3. Remove the garlic as it begins to color and discard (or mash with butter to spread on bread).
  4. Add the pepitas and stir or shake the pan to coat with the oil.
  5. They will soon begin to pop and"dance".
  6. When they are mostly popped (this takes only a minute or so), turn off heat and sprinkle with the seasonings and toss to coat.
  7. As these are rather messy to eat with your fingers, serve in tiny muffin cups that hold about a tablespoon so you can just pour them into your mouth.
Most Helpful

Really good and crunchy! Loved the flavor.

Hazeleyes October 10, 2011

Loved these. We like spicy, so I definitely included the cayenne pepper. Thanks for posting!

GaylaJ February 10, 2007