Last updated November 23, 2018
Adding bacon makes everything better, especially these smoked bacon pumpkin seeds. They’re sweet, crunchy and salty – the perfect snack combo.
One of my favorite things about Halloween is pumpkin seeds. We always carved 3-5 pumpkins when I was growing up, so we had oodles and oodles of seeds to toast.
Back then, I used to toast them in the oven with a pinch of salt.
But this girl is all grown up!
I ditched the oven years ago for grills and smokers, and I gained a full-on appreciation of bacon as another food group.
By combining my love of smoking and bacon, this new Halloween treat was born, and now I enjoy them year round, especially on camping trips.
For this recipe, please use the raw pumpkin seeds you scrape out of the fresh pumpkin.
Don’t pick up the seeds at Trader Joes. One, that’s cheating, and two, those are already roasted.
Also, skip the seeds called pepitas. These are the small seeds inside the white shells, and again – already roasted.
You’ve got to get your hands dirty and scoop them out. Then, rinse them under cold water to remove the extra pulp. I usually use a colander, so they don’t slip down the drain.
Add your ingredients
The diced strips of bacon will add liquid gold (AKA bacon grease) and salt. The bacon will also amp up the smokey flavor.
The sugar will help the seeds caramelize while adding a touch of sweetness.
And the rub will add a little kick. You can choose a spicier rub, if you like heat, or a sweeter rub.
Spread everything out onto a foil-lined baking sheet and smoke at 375F degrees for 15 minutes.
You don’t have to use the foil, but it makes cleanup way easier.
After 15 minutes, give them a stir, and continue smoking for 5-10 more minutes.
Keep an eye on them. You want the bacon crispy, but not burnt.
Remove them from the smoker, sprinkle with a little salt while they’re still hot.
Let the smoked bacon pumpkin seeds cool, and enjoy.
This recipe is really adaptable. For every 1/4 cup of seeds, use 1 strip of bacon, 1 tsp of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of barbecue rub.
If you have extra raw seeds after carving pumpkins, you can also clean them and freeze them to make bacon pumpkin seeds a few weeks later. Just fully thaw them before smoking.
Smoked Bacon Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 4 slices bacon chopped
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp barbecue rub
- pinch kosher salt
Heat the smoker to 375F degrees, using maple or pecan wood.
Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin. Rinse with water to clean, removing the pumpkin pulp.
Toss together the clean seeds, bacon, brown sugar and rub.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Add the pumpkin seeds mixture in a single layer.
Place the baking sheet on the smoker over indirect heat. Smoke for 15 minutes.
Toss with a spatula. Smoke for 5-10 more minutes, until the bacon is crispy.
Remove from the smoker. Season with salt. Allow to cool.
You can also bake these in a 375F-degree oven.