Mayan Pumpkin-Seed Dip


This supereasy, thick pumpkin seed spread from the Yucatan, called sikil pak, might just be the new guacamole—it seems to be on Mexican menus all over the US. This orange zest-scented version comes from Bandalero in Washington, DC, owned by Top Chef finalist Mike Isabella. Slideshow: Amazing Party Dips 

Mayan Pumpkin-Seed Dip
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
25 mins
1 1/4 cups


  • 5 ounces raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds; about 1 cup)

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots

  • 1 large jalapeño—stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • Kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed parsley

  • 1/4 cup lightly packed cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

  • Tortilla chips, for serving


  1. In a large skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds over moderate heat, tossing occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor.

  2. In the skillet, heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the shallots, jalapeño, garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the food processor and let cool.

  3. Add the parsley, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, orange zest and 1/4 cup of water to the food processor and puree until nearly smooth. Season with salt. Transfer the sikil pak to a bowl and serve with tortilla chips.

Make Ahead

The sikil pak dip can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

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