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9 Best Substitutes for Pepitas That Taste Similar!

Using substitutes for pepitas is a good way to change the taste of conventional pumpkin seed meals.

That sounds good, but you need a replacement with the same health benefits, right?

We have 9 real healthy pepita substitutes for you in this blog post.

Pepitas are jammed with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. The seeds also improve your body’s calcium absorption, giving you stronger teeth and bones.

Luckily, some pumpkin seed substitutes have the same or better benefits. You can use whole pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and more.

Let’s get to the 9 best substitutes for the pepitas list.

Pepitas: Origin and Benefits

The Cucurbitaceae family, usually referred to as the gourd family or the family of cucurbits, includes pepitas, one of the earliest food crops in the Americas.

The pumpkin seeds, a favorite delicacy among many native American cultures, have been found in old storage vessels from Mexico dating back to 7000 BC. Year-round cultivation and global expansion (we source ours from Austria).


  • Due to their high nutrient content, pepitas are utilized in various culinary and therapeutic applications.
  • Pepitas are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3, dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and protein.
  • Contain a comprehensive spectrum of nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants (vitamins, minerals, and other plant compounds).
  • Pepitas are beneficial to heart health.

There’s no doubt that pepitas are one-of-a-kind, but sometimes you don’t have them at home, feeling lazy to go to the grocery store, or you’re maybe exploring other seed options to come up with the best taste.

We got you.

Look at some of the top pepitas substitutes given below.

Best Substitutes for Pepitas

If you’re looking for a great pepitas substitute, you should know that sunflower seeds are your answer.

1. Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds pepitas substitute
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Sunflower seeds, coming from North America, are a good substitute for pepitas because of the similarity of their taste. They are mainly used as toppings in salads and as main ingredients in dishes like Feta muffins.

  • Similar taste
  • High nutritional value (minerals and vitamins)
  • Same texture (dense and oily)

Same quantity as pepitas.

2. Flax Seeds

Flax Seeds in a bowl
Designed by Freepik

Like pepitas, flax seeds are a great source of antioxidants and are rich in fiber. Coming from Egypt, they are a perfect substitute for pumpkin seeds. One serving of flax seeds offers a good amount of protein, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids.

  • It tastes nutty, like pepitas
  • High in fiber and protein
  • Used as toppings

The suggested use amount is 1-2 tbsp of ground or toasted flaxseed.

3. Chia Seeds

chia seeds substitute
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Chia seeds, from Central America, come with amazing health benefits like effective weight management (high volume and low calorie meals) and anti-aging, making them a good pumpkin seeds substitute. It contains essential fiber, vitamins, energy-boosting minerals, and protein.

The nutritional value weighs similar to pepitas.

  • Used as a pepitas substitute in recipes.
  • Offer high nutritional value.
  • Controls weight.

The suggested use amount is 2 tbsp.

4. Whole Pumpkin Seeds

Whole Pumpkin Seeds
Designed by Freepik

Pepitas and whole pumpkin seeds substitute each other since they both have the same appearance and taste. They both come from the same origin, except whole pumpkin seeds originating from North Americas have a harder shell.

  • Authentic pepitas taste
  • Identical Amount process
  • Nutritional value is much the same

The exact amount you’d use for pepitas.

5. Pine Nuts

Pine Nuts
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Pine nuts make a good substitute for pepitas because of their pepitas-like flavor but mildly sweet taste. They are as nutty and oily as pumpkin seeds.

But pine nuts’ health benefits slightly differ from pepitas. Pine nuts, from the USA and Europe, offer a great percentage of magnesium, whereas pepitas are fiber-rich. However, both have similar health benefits.

  • Tastes good
  • Similar texture
  • Cover more manganese by 360%

2 tbsp (30 grams) of pine nuts.

6. Hemp Seeds

Hemp Seeds
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Hemp seeds from Central Asia are a great source of plant protein and are low in carbs, making them a superfood for health freaks. But, They have a mild pumpkin taste, making them a good pumpkin seeds substitute.

  • A mild nutty taste adds a unique flavor
  • High in protein to cover pepita’s low protein percentage
  • Slightly similar texture to pepitas when ground

2-3 tbsp for 11 grams of proteins.

7. Sesame Seeds

Sesame Seeds
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Sesame and pumpkin seeds have little in common, but they provide good benefits in terms of nutritional value. You can sprinkle sesame seeds, usually from Asia and East Africa, as a pumpkin seeds substitute. Using black or white sesame seeds makes no difference as they offer the same qualities.

  • Good with fiber, like pepitas
  • Go well with salads
  • Low cholesterol

2-3 tbsp or as much as you want.

8. Wild Rice

Wild Rice
Designed by Freepik

If we prioritize the nutritional benefits when looking for pumpkin seeds substitutes, wild rice originated from North America, fills you up with the nutrients of pepitas, or even better, for that matter. Wild Rice is rich in fiber content, so it covers the fiber content pepitas offer.

  • Rich in fiber
  • Used with pepita-friendly dishes
  • Delicious with veggies, salads, and proper meals

Portion size or 1-2 tbsp for side dish addition.

9. Quinoa

QuinoaDesigned by Freepik

Rooted in Peru, quinoa plants contain omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. You can eat them raw, like pumpkin seeds, as a healthy snack. You can also grind the quinoa into flour to use as dough.

  • It has the same value as fiber and is rich in protein
  • Friendly for weight management
  • Versatile and can be used in multiple ways

½-1 cup per for preparing meals, 1-2 tbsp as side dish addition.


Pepitas or pumpkin seeds are used in many salads, kinds of pasta, and other vegan meals. But, for people who eat pepitas quite often, the same taste can be boring.

No worries about it anymore, as we have shared nine possible pumpkin seed substitutes that you can use when pepitas are unavailable or in need of a new taste.

Try them with your regular meals, experiment with which ones turn out to be your favorites, and share the results with us in the comments. It’ll also help the rest of our community to make the best choice.

We’d love to read fun stories!

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