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How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Updated April 23, 2020
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Behold: our no-fail method for cleaning, prepping and roasting pumpkin seeds, plus five super-simple seasonings you’ve got to try.
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When carving a pumpkin, it’s easy to overlook all the amazing stuff that you scoop out en route to jack-o-lantern status. The goopy pulp and seeds just seem like they belong in the garbage can. But trust us—you’ll never toss out those seeds again once you roast them up into a tasty seasonal snack. Roasted pumpkin seeds are a great source of potassium and high in protein—in addition to being super delicious. Let us show you how we transform them from “weird seeds inside a pumpkin” to “crunchy, salty, totally irresistible super-snack” status.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

How to Clean + Prepare Pumpkin Seeds

Start with the pumpkin! Any pumpkin you can get your hands on will do the trick. Pie Pumpkins, also called Sugar Pumpkins, will have more flesh if you’re planning to eat the pumpkin too. (Of course you are.) Some say they have crisper seeds than carving pumpkins, but we enjoy both equally.

Harvesting the seeds may be the only complicated part of the whole process, and it’s not that bad (promise!).

What You’ll Need

  • a sharp knife
  • an ice cream scoop (a large, sturdy spoon will work too)
  • a colander or strainer
  • a towel

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: If you’ll be carving your pumpkin for Halloween, cut a hole about 6 inches in diameter in the top of your pumpkin. Use the ice cream scoop or your hands to scrape out the pumpkin guts. Try to separate the flesh from the seeds as much as possible before collecting the seeds in your strainer. It’s a messy job, but it’s worth it.

Step 2: If you’re planning to roast your pumpkin, simply cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds from the flesh with a sturdy serving spoon or ice cream scoop.

Raw pumpkin seeds in a colander

Step 3: Thoroughly rinse your seeds under cold running water. You can even set your colander in a bowl of water and most of the seeds will float to the top. Either way, you’ll need to get your hands in there to further separate rest of the pumpkin bits. Spread the clean seeds on a towel and pat dry.

Do you need to pre-boil pumpkin seeds?

Some people do a quick boil in salt water before roasting for extra crispiness, but we don’t always have time for that so our recipe takes the seeds straight to the oven.

What’s the difference between a pepita and a pumpkin seed from a “regular” pumpkin?

Pepita is the Spanish word for pumpkin seed, and you’ll see pepitas on just about every chef-driven restaurant menu these days. It’s a pretty trendy ingredient, to say the least. However, if you’ve ever had one of those delicious little pepitas, you’ll know that they are very different from what comes out of your jack-o-lantern. They’re tender, greenish and don’t have hard white shells like regular pumpkin seeds do. And you can’t just remove the shells off of a pumpkin seed and get a pepita — they actually come from certain types of pumpkins (thin-skinned Styrian or oilseed pumpkins) that have shell-free seeds.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Our foolproof method for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds requires only three ingredients and 15 minutes of prep time (and just over 30 minutes total time!). Now that you know how to clean and prepare the seeds, let’s break down the rest of the recipe.

What You’ll Need

  • 15x10x1-inch baking pan
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds from fresh pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Heat oven to 350°F. Clean and prepare seeds (as instructed above), then spread seeds in an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Toss with melted butter until coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 2: Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown and crisp, stirring once during baking.

Pumpkin seeds on a sheet pan

Step 3: Cool in baking pan 10 minutes or until completely cooled before serving.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds in the Microwave

If you’re really in a rush, you can “roast” your pumpkin seeds in the microwave. 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 dry and crunchy.

How to Season Pumpkin Seeds

A simple sprinkle of salt and drizzle of olive oil or melted butter always do the trick, but there are so many seasonings that bring out the best in pumpkin seeds. You can keep it basic, go sweet or even spicy. Try a couple of our favorites twists on your next batch before you toss them in the oven!

For each cup of raw seeds, evenly coat with…

Italian

2 tablespoons melted butter + 1/4 cup grated Parmesan + 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Sweet

2 tablespoons melted butter + 1 tablespoon brown sugar + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Savory

2 tablespoons melted butter + 1 teaspoon seasoned salt + 1 teaspoon white vinegar (Note: Add the vinegar after roasting.)

Spicy

2 tablespoons olive oil + 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning + 1/2 teaspoon fresh lime zest (Note: Add the zest after roasting.)

How to Serve Pumpkin Seeds

You can eat pumpkin seeds on salads, soups, in desserts or (most likely) straight from the roasting pan into your mouth.

Can you eat pumpkin seed shells?
Yep! You eat the whole shebang. Once cooked, the outer hull is just as edible as the seed inside — and is a good source of zinc.

Need some ideas for the actual pumpkin? We’ve got so many great options.



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