pumpkin seed pesto

Life is just better with pumpkins! I love anything that has to do with pumpkins and I become completely obsessed with the fall.  I’m one of those people who is ready for cold weather right after the 4th of July.  What is it about the fall that is so fun?? It always reminds me of going to school, getting to sweaters and boots, apples, donuts, cider, pumpkin flavored everything, and football season.  What’s not to love about it I guess! Being in Los Angeles in the fall is not as much fun as being in Michigan where I grew up.  It’s actually really warm here in the fall months and all I want to do is wear a sweater and drink something warm, BUT no matter what I still act like I’m living in that beautiful crisp air with the leaves changing by eating FALL FOOD!!

This pumpkin seed pesto is a great way to start out the fall.  I add this pesto to everything from toast to pizza to pasta! Roasting the pumpkin (or pepita) seeds brings out a rich nutty flavor.  The fresh parsley and fresh lemon juice brighten up the pesto while the chili and cinnamon add layers of warmth and spice.  To me this is comfort food!

maria provenzano lauren conrad
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Pumpkin Seed Pesto

A perfect recipe for the fall months.


  • 3 cups raw hulled pumpkin seeds, pepitas
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground chili pepper; I like Ancho Chili; start with one teaspoon and add more if you like
  • 1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place the seeds on the baking sheet.
  • Bake until fragrant and slightly starting to brown, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool.
  • Place the garlic in the food processor and process until the pieces are fine.
  • Add the seeds, parsley, chili pepper, and cinnamon. Pulse to combine.
  • With the processor running slowly, add the lemon juice and olive oil in a steady stream until combined.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Author: Maria Provenzano
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

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You can scoop any left over pesto into an ice tray and freeze it.  Once frozen…. transfer to a freezer bag and label with the date for future use.