7 Excellent Pepita Substitutes

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Pepitas’ nutty flavor makes them a fantastic snack as well as a complement to your sauce or salad. Pepitas seeds may be eaten raw, but they have a deeper flavor and texture when roasted or fried.

Pepitas are the edible seeds of a certain variety of pumpkin. They have been used since the 14th century, when the ancient Mesoamericans ate all parts of the squash save the shell. The squash seeds are packaged in a white shell that must be removed to expose the green seeds.

Although utilizing pepitas in Mexican cuisine is popular, these seeds may not always be available; consequently, pepitas replacements are your next choice. This article discusses many pepita replacements that will improve the flavor of your food.

Substitutes for Pepitas

1. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds should be your first visit when looking for fantastic pepitas replacements. While native to America, it is popular in Asia and Southern Europe, where it is used in a variety of cuisines and other preparations.

Since sunflower seeds are tiny and have a similar flavor to pepitas, they may simply be substituted. They have a greater nutritional value than pepitas and may be preferred in certain recipes. Remove the hull and measure the same amount as you would for pepitas if you wish to use them.

2. Whole Pumpkin seeds

Since they are made from pumpkin, they are excellent pepitas alternatives. Unlike pepitas, which are derived from the Calabaza pumpkin, they are derived from a common pumpkin in Mexico. Both have a similar look and go through comparable steps when it comes to eliminating the hulk.

Both have a similar flavor, and you may not detect a difference when using them in various meals. As a consequence, you use the correct measurements while utilizing pepitas. The sole difference is that its yellowish husk is more difficult to remove than pepitas, which is stressful.

3. Pine Nuts

If you’re acquainted with pine nuts, you should know they’re excellent pepita alternatives. These are not pumpkin seeds, but rather Pinaceae seeds from Europe.

Despite this, the flavors are comparable, while pine nuts have deeper undertones that make them perfect in a variety of cuisines. You may include them into baked goods or veggies. You shouldn’t be concerned about their health impacts since they have high mineral contents.

4. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds should be one of the possibilities when looking for healthy pepitas replacements. The seeds originate in Central America, where they were an important element of the Aztec diet. They are popular in many regions of the globe since they complement most meals.

Apart from being a terrific alternative, you’ll appreciate these seeds’ nutritious content. These seeds are high in fiber, protein, Vitamin C, and anti-aging properties. Use these seeds with your morning cereal for a healthy energy boost.

5. Wild Rice

Wild rice is another excellent pepitas replacement that is high in nutritional value. Wild rice grows mostly in the Great Lakes area of the United States, where it has long been a staple crop of Native Americans. Yet, the majority of the wild rice we eat is a cultivated variety produced mostly in California.

This pepitas replacement has more vitamins, fiber, and minerals than most salad or soup components! You may also make your favorite meal more unique by adding some Wild Riced Veggies. It tastes well when used with tomatoes to create distinctive festive recipes.

6. Hemp Seeds

If you’re on a diet and want to cut down on salt, hemp seeds are a great alternative for pepitas. Hemp was first reported in China about 2800 BCE and was widely employed in Christian-era Mediterranean nations. It spread over the remainder of Europe throughout the Middle Ages.

In comparison to pepitas, hemp seeds have a distinct flavor. They provide a delightful twist to cookies and muffins while still providing various nutrients. Hemp seeds also include beneficial fats, which lower cholesterol and improve heart health.

7. Quinoa 

Quinoa is an excellent pepitas alternative for your favorite meals. The plant is native to South America’s Andes highlands, where it has long been a staple crop. Quinoa is now farmed in various countries, the majority of which being Peru and Bolivia.

It is abundant in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, and it adds a great taste to foods. These seeds are very delicious raw and offer extra advantages such as inhibiting cancer cell development. Nevertheless, it is preferable to boil them first to ensure that you obtain all of the nutrients.


You may cook that delicious meal now that you have wonderful alternatives to pepitas. Choose any of these pepitas substitutes depending on your diet and health needs.


Can you substitute walnuts for pepitas?

Pepitas may be substituted with walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts, or pine nuts. Select something you like or have readily accessible.

Can I substitute pine nuts for pepitas?

Pepita Seed Substitute: Although it is feasible to make a replacement in a recipe that calls for these delectable tiny seeds, the general rule is that while pepitas may always be substituted for ordinary pumpkin seeds, it is better not to. It’s both a texture and a taste issue. Pine nuts would be a better replacement.

What’s the difference between pumpkin seeds and pepitas?

Pepitas and pumpkin seeds seem so similar that you can mistake them for the same thing. Yet, although they are not identical, they are closely related. Pepitas are shell-less pumpkin seeds, while pumpkin seeds are complete seeds with their shells still on.

Who should not eat pepitas?

A. Individuals who are allergic to pumpkin seeds should avoid eating them. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies, and those suffering from hypoglycemia or hypotension should avoid consuming pumpkin seeds. Also, if you are on a low-calorie diet, you should restrict your intake since it is heavy in calories.

What can I use in place of pepitas?

For those seeking for an alternative to conventional pepitas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds are all acceptable possibilities. Each of these alternatives has a distinct taste, texture, and nutritional profile that adds an additional layer of nutrition and flavor to any dish.

What can I substitute for pepitas in a recipe?

You may undoubtedly change one for the other, but there is a rule: You can always substitute pepitas for pumpkin seeds, but only in recipes that call for pepitas as a garnish.

Why are pepitas so expensive?

This is partly owing to a persistent problem with onlookers. As you may know, spectators in China own vast quantities of pumpkin seeds and may therefore determine market prices. This has had an effect on exports as well, since prices continue to rise, which is unsustainable.

Are pepitas the inside of pumpkin seeds?

Pepitas are a form of pumpkin seed, but they aren’t found in just any pumpkin. These are not, contrary to popular belief, the interior of every pumpkin seed. Pepitas, on the other hand, grow shell-free exclusively in Styrian or oil seed pumpkins.

Do pepitas and pumpkin seeds taste the same?

No, not exactly. Pepitas and pumpkin seeds have a crunchy bite and a nutty, somewhat sweet taste in common, but they are not the same thing. Although both are made from pumpkins, pepitas are made from a single cultivar and have a distinct look and feel.

Do pepitas raise testosterone?

Pumpkin seeds include leucine as well as minerals that aid in the production of testosterone. This is advantageous since it boosts energy, endurance, libido, and strength. Both men and women need testosterone for good health.

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