How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t toss those seeds! With a few simple steps, you can make a crunchy snack that can double as a tasty addition to fall dishes.

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The fun in pumpkin carving doesn’t stop once you’ve made the final touches on your jack-o’-lantern. There’s an entire project in saving the seeds – and it’s an easy, hands-on activity your kids are totally going to eat up. 

The final product is a batch of crunchy seeds that make a fun lunchbox snack, are an easy way to add texture to dishes (like this Pesto, Kale and Sweet Potato Pizza) or can even be used a dessert topping (check out these Seeds and Chocolate Pastry Wedges).  

STEP ONE: SCOOP 

When you carve your pumpkins, scoop out all the seeds and gunk inside. (Here's a tip from our test kitchens: Use an ice cream scoop!) Let the kids squish the gooey “guts” to separate the seeds from the stringy, slimy innards. (We told you – kids love this.)

Bowl of pumpkin gunk and a pie plate with pumpkin seeds

STEP TWO: MAKE

There are two options here: bake or microwave. 

Microwave: Toss the seeds with a little salt. Place them in a single layer in a glass pie plate. Microwave them for about 2 minutes and then stir. Microwave again for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring after each minute, until the seeds are lightly browned and crunchy. 

Bake: Heat the oven to 300°F. Coat the seeds with olive oil or melted butter (about 1 tablespoon for 1 cup of seeds); sprinkle with a little salt. Put the seeds on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and crunchy, stirring every 5 minutes or so.

Pie plate of pumpkin seeds

STEP THREE: SEASON

The seeds don’t need to be seasoned with anything more than salt to taste, but you can customize them any way you like. Mix them with Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, taco seasoning, curry powder ... the possibilities are endless. Or skip the salt and go sweet by sprinkling them with sugar, pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon. Or better yet, combine both using this Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seed Nut Mix.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Seed Nut Mix