Pepita-Serrano Crema

Rich and creamy with a hummus-like texture, Sandra A. Gutierrez’s crema recipe is great as a dip for chips or slathered on tacos. Fresh herbs and toasted pepitas make this crema a fresh addition to any Mexican-inspired meal. Double the cilantro if fresh espazote, an aromatic Mexican herb, is not available.

Peptia-Serrano Crema
Photo: Victor Protasio
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
2 cups


  • 1 1/4 cups hulled raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

  • 4 scallions, cleaned and trimmed

  • 2 medium serrano chiles

  • 1 large unpeeled garlic clove

  • 1 cup Mexican crema

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems

  • 8 fresh epazote leaves (about 2 tablespoons)

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Toast pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium, stirring constantly, until they begin to puff and turn golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, and transfer to a plate. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  2. Return skillet to heat over medium-high. Add scallions, chiles, and garlic, and cook, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from skillet, and cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  3. Coarsely chop scallions. Remove and discard stems from chiles; remove and discard seeds and veins, if desired. Peel garlic, and discard skin. Place pumpkin seeds, scallions, chiles, garlic, Mexican crema, and 1/4 cup water in a blender. Process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add cilantro, epazote, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth and crema is the consistency of hummus, about 15 seconds.

Related Articles