Sikil Pak

Recently I came across a name of a dip that was new to me. It’s called Sikil Pak, and it’s Mexican – more specifically, from the Yucatán. The dip has no beans in it. Instead, the base is ground pepitas, or pumpkin seeds.

The name doesn’t sound typically Mexican because the origin is Mayan. That civilization lived primarily on the Yucatán peninsula. Sikil and Pak actually translate to pumpkin seeds and tomatoes.

Although habanero chile peppers are listed in this recipe I found from Bon Appetit, I could only find ghost peppers at my store. I used two small chocolate-colored peppers and one red.

On YouTube, I discovered a slightly different version of Sikil pak made by chef Rick Bayless, a top expert of Mexican cuisine. He suggests a few shortcuts in his video, and also uses orange and lime juices. There’s most likely not only one recipe for sikil pak, but what I made was so good, I’ll never alter it!

Sikil Pak

1 cup pepitas
1 medium onion, cut in 1” pieces
2 habaneros, halved and de-seeded
1 pound tomatoes, quartered and squeezed slightly to remove seeds
3 garlic cloves, peeled
Sea salt, to taste
2 ounces extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Fresh cilantro
Reserved 2 tablespoons pepitas
Chips, for serving

Preheat the oven to a high roast setting. I like 375 degrees F convection.

Meanwhile, toast the pepitas in a skillet until golden brown. Let cool. Set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish.

Place the onion, habaneros, tomatoes and garlic to a baking dish and dry roast until somewhat charred.

Using a food processor, process the pepitas until almost smooth, then add the vegetables, salt, and the olive oil. Taste for salt.

Before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro.

Top with more cilantro leaves, and the 2 tablespoon pepitas.

Serve with chips.

By Published On: February 10th, 202360 Comments on Sikil Pak

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!


  1. Travel Gourmet February 10, 2023 at 6:10 AM - Reply

    That sounds delicious, Mimi, and so unusual using all those pumpkin seeds as a base.

    • Chef Mimi February 10, 2023 at 7:49 AM - Reply

      I know. I just had to make the recipe just for that reason!

  2. angiesrecipes February 10, 2023 at 6:41 AM - Reply

    I adore pepitas, so this is totally right up my alley!

    • Chef Mimi February 10, 2023 at 7:49 AM - Reply

      And it’s very tasty. Kind of addicting!

  3. sallybr February 10, 2023 at 6:45 AM - Reply

    very intriguing!!!!!! love the sound of it….

    • Chef Mimi February 10, 2023 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      It’s very good!

  4. Nigella Eats Everything February 10, 2023 at 7:11 AM - Reply

    Oooh this sounds wonderful, such a creative way of eating pepitas!

    • Chef Mimi February 10, 2023 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      So different and so good!

  5. Judee February 10, 2023 at 7:35 AM - Reply

    I love the look and sound of this dip, and I understand that pepitas are really healthy . Love your beautiful tablecloth – so festive !!

    • Chef Mimi February 10, 2023 at 7:48 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Judee! The dip is excellent!

  6. Bernadette February 10, 2023 at 7:49 AM - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this very different dip. I always have pepitas in my pantry. I like to top a bowl of soup or a salad with them. So, you know I will be making this.

    • Chef Mimi February 10, 2023 at 8:32 AM - Reply

      I love pepitas, too! I put them on salads, in pestos… They just so good, especially toasted.

  7. David @ Spiced February 10, 2023 at 8:28 AM - Reply

    Wow, this sounds fantastic, Mimi! Like you, I had never heard of Sikil Pak either. We do love a good dip around here, and the flavors of this one are screaming my name. I need to make a batch!

    • Chef Mimi February 10, 2023 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      It’s really good. And very addicting!

  8. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen February 10, 2023 at 8:43 AM - Reply

    This sounds delicious Mimi, and I must say I’ve never heard of it before so thank you for the information. However, I think it might be possible that this dish was originally Vulcan in origin.

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:38 PM - Reply

      Vulcan?!!! That’s funny.

  9. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons February 10, 2023 at 12:44 PM - Reply

    Sounds like a wonderful addition to the super bowl menu. Thanks.

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:37 PM - Reply

      It will be! You’ll love the dip.

  10. Katherine February 10, 2023 at 2:41 PM - Reply

    We’ve always got pepitas on hand, I add them to everything! I love the sounds of this dip, we can go through a lot of dip around here :) Perfect for upcoming Super Bowl!

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:37 PM - Reply

      I think you’ll really like the dip!!!

  11. Healthy World Cuisine February 10, 2023 at 6:04 PM - Reply

    Love this idea. Roasted pepitas are always on the menu here with a few in a salad or for snacking. Now as a dip- we are on it. Yum

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:37 PM - Reply

      I use them in some pestos as well. They’re a really versatile seed, but I’ve never used them like this!

  12. Tandy | Lavender and Lime February 10, 2023 at 10:21 PM - Reply

    This is new to me. I’ve also never heard of Sikil Pak but I am going to try this.

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:36 PM - Reply

      You should really love it!

  13. Sherry M February 10, 2023 at 10:57 PM - Reply

    how interesting New to me! and the name sounds a bit middle eastern doesn’t it? I like the sound of adding orange and lime juice I have to say :)

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:36 PM - Reply

      Yes, that version sounds very good as well. The name maybe sounds Thai to me?!!!

  14. Pauline February 11, 2023 at 12:14 AM - Reply

    I’ve never heard of this either Mimi, but I can tell by the ingredients it would be very morish. Your table setting is so colourful and appropriate.

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:35 PM - Reply

      Thanks, Pauline! It’s very very good!

  15. February 11, 2023 at 1:19 AM - Reply

    I’ve never made a dip using pumpkin seeds before. I can see this being tried in summer as a dip to accompany one of my BBQ’s!

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:34 PM - Reply

      You will love it!

  16. Jeff the Chef February 11, 2023 at 12:05 PM - Reply

    This sounds so exotic. I can only image what it must taste like. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Chef Mimi February 11, 2023 at 3:34 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome!

  17. Velva February 12, 2023 at 10:23 AM - Reply

    Chef Mimi, this looks delicious. Very unusual. Very healthy too. Love it!

    • Chef Mimi February 12, 2023 at 6:20 PM - Reply

      Thanks so much. It was really a good and unique dip.

  18. Mollie February 13, 2023 at 12:47 AM - Reply

    I am a huge lover of Mexican cuisine and I was surprised at the pumpkin seeds – but it immediately reminded me that they’re often used in Moles. This dip sounds amazing and I can’t wait to try it. With the habaneros – ghost peppers sound too scary to me, lol! Thanks for sharing it!


    • Chef Mimi February 13, 2023 at 1:44 PM - Reply

      I have one on my blog called pipian rojo, with pumpkinseeds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts! Such wonderful ingredients.

  19. popsiclesociety February 13, 2023 at 6:51 AM - Reply

    Wow! A very interesting dip! I love toasted pepitas!

    • Chef Mimi February 13, 2023 at 1:43 PM - Reply

      Thanks! It was very good!

  20. Anonymous February 13, 2023 at 3:33 PM - Reply

    Toasted pepitas! This sounds really interesting, very different. Have you tried bitchin’ sauce with chipotle, made with ground almonds?

    • Chef Mimi February 13, 2023 at 3:47 PM - Reply

      Is that the brand name?! I’ll have to look for it! Thanks!

  21. Raymund February 13, 2023 at 5:11 PM - Reply

    This recipe for Sikil Pak sounds like a delicious and unique dip, featuring the use of ground pepitas as its base. The fact that it originates from the Yucatán and has Mayan roots makes it even more interesting. The addition of habanero chiles and cilantro also adds depth of flavor to this dish.

    • Chef Mimi February 13, 2023 at 5:12 PM - Reply

      It has a very interesting flavor profile! It makes your mouth happy.

  22. Debra February 13, 2023 at 9:35 PM - Reply

    I’ve had the pleasure of a lot of Mexican food from a variety of regions but I have never come across this! Wow! I can’t wait to introduce this to my family. It simply sounds amazing!

    • Chef Mimi February 14, 2023 at 8:22 AM - Reply

      It’s very good, and very addicting!

  23. Caitlin February 13, 2023 at 10:59 PM - Reply

    This sounds delicious! I love the idea of using pumpkin seeds as a base– I don’t think I’ve tried anything like that before. It sounds very flavorful!

    • Chef Mimi February 14, 2023 at 8:22 AM - Reply

      It’s a surprising recipe!

  24. Max Ethan February 14, 2023 at 3:48 AM - Reply

    This looks delicious. Very unusual. Very healthy Love it!

    • Chef Mimi February 14, 2023 at 8:21 AM - Reply

      Definitely unique. Definitely delicious!

  25. Ronit February 14, 2023 at 11:53 AM - Reply

    This dip sounds so good! I often use pepitas as a base for pesto. They add such wonderful flavor. :)

    • Chef Mimi February 15, 2023 at 7:49 AM - Reply

      I do too! And sunflower seeds are great for pesto, too!

  26. Linger, Kristy Murray February 16, 2023 at 12:09 PM - Reply

    You have the most interesting recipes on your site with this one definitely making the list. What a great dip especially with the added spiciness of your ghost peppers. Thanks Chef Mimi for sharing.

    • Chef Mimi February 16, 2023 at 3:39 PM - Reply

      Aww, thanks! I really like trying new things, especially discovering a new food or ingredient.

  27. Valentina February 17, 2023 at 1:23 PM - Reply

    Mimi, this sounds amazing. What a delicious flavor combination and I love a thicker dip like this. I can also imagine it spread into a wrap or sandwich. I’m going to try it this weekend. :-) ~Valentina

    • Chef Mimi February 17, 2023 at 4:03 PM - Reply

      That’s a fabulous idea! I used to make white bean dip sandwiches for my husband and I when we did road trips. The car always smelled like garlic!

  28. Frank Fariello February 18, 2023 at 9:24 AM - Reply

    Sounds fantastic, Mimi! Definitely need to try this. And one of these days, get down to the Yucatan. They have some fascinating dishes.

    • Chef Mimi February 18, 2023 at 11:13 AM - Reply

      They do!!! And lots of sunshine!

  29. David Scott Allen February 18, 2023 at 10:32 AM - Reply

    Can’t wait to give this a whirl (pun intended). When I saw the title, I assumed it was Thai!

    • Chef Mimi February 18, 2023 at 4:59 PM - Reply

      Exactly! I looks Thai, not that I’m familiar with the language beyond recipe names!

  30. Sham Ram April 25, 2023 at 1:23 AM - Reply

    I have pepitas available now, and I include them in recipies! I’m excited to try this dip; we tend to consume a lot of dip in this household.

    • Chef Mimi April 25, 2023 at 7:50 AM - Reply

      You’ll love this! Make a double batch!

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