After you’ve exhausted your jack-o’-lantern-making energy and have carved enough spooky gourds to scare the entire neighborhood, you're definitely going to be in need of a nosh. What's more, you're going to need some way to use the pile of pumpkin scraps leftover from your carving marathon—and these chips are the perfect, no-waste solution. Pumpkins are packed with loads of health benefits, too, including tons of anti-inflammatory antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, and even more potassium than a banana (yeah, that’s right!).
How to make pumpkin chips with your leftover carving scraps
According to Kirbie’s Cravings, the key to making perfectly crispy homemade pumpkin chips—which, by the way, only requires pumpkin and salt—is making sure your pumpkin pieces are sliced super thin. To achieve that ideal chip thickness and consistency, all you need is a handheld mandoline slicer, like this OXO Good Grips Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer.
Using the mandoline (very carefully!), slice the pumpkin into thin pieces using one of the thinnest settings. Next—though this part is purely optional—you can use a small cookie cutter to cut round shapes out of the pumpkin slices for a traditional potato chip look. Keep in mind that you’ll want your raw chip rounds to be about twice as big as you intend them to be once cooked, as they’ll shrink due to moisture loss by the time they’re done baking.
Then comes the fun part: cooking your pumpkin slices to crispy perfection. There are a few ways to achieve this chip-like texture, including deep frying, air frying, dehydrating, or baking. With the last three options, be sure to cook your pumpkin slices low and slow to draw out all of the moisture without burning them.
How to make pumpkin chips in the oven or dehydrator
If baking them in the oven, cook the pumpkin slices at 220°F for 25 to 30 minutes with some oil, then turn off the oven and let them continue to roast for another 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the chip. You can also make them in a dehydrator, though it’ll require a little more patience (roughly two hours at 145°F and then an additional eight to 10 hours at 110°F).
How to make pumpkin chips in an air fryer
As for the air fryer, you’ll want to toss the chips with a bit of oil and cook them at 365°F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy, making sure to toss them every few minutes.
How to make pumpkin chips in a deep fryer
Finally, if you choose to deep fry them, you’ll want to fry the pumpkin rounds in a Dutch oven filled with oil at about 375°F for about three minutes, or until crisp, and pull them out just as they begin to turn golden to prevent them from overcooking.
Regardless of your chosen method, season your chips while still hot with salt and pepper (and a hint of cayenne for extra kick) for a savory snack or pumpkin spice for a sweeter, spicier one. And don't forget to serve them with your favorite anti-inflammatory dips for the perfect party treat.
Easy two-ingredient baked pumpkin chips recipe
Yields 2 servings
1/2 sugar pumpkin
Salt, to taste
Ground cinnamon (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 220°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut pumpkin into large slices that will fit your mandoline slicer, skin removed. Using the thinnest setting, make pumpkin slices with your mandoline slicer.
2. If desired, cut circle shapes with a biscuit or cookie cutter. Make sure your raw chips are about two times bigger than you want your final ones to be because they will shrink. Place onto a baking sheet.
3. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes (time will vary depending on your chip sizes), or until pumpkin chips begin to curl, edges feel crisp to the touch, and are starting to brown. Turn off the oven and let pumpkin chips remain in there until it completely cools. This will further remove the remaining moisture from the chips.
4. After 20 to 30 minutes (and when the oven is no longer warm), pumpkin chips should be completely crunchy. Sprinkle chips with salt and cinnamon if desired. The chips will lose some of their crunch and become more soft and chewy after the first day. You can crisp them up again in the oven. Store in an airtight container.
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