How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds in 5 Simple Steps
Everything to know about roasting pumpkin seeds, from recipes to the best way to separate them from the stringy pulp.
Pumpkins are among the best value propositions at grocery stores and farmers markets. Edible and adorable, almost every inch of them can be turned into satisfying meals and snacks or festive decorations. Whether you carve yours into a jack-o'-lantern or roast seasoned pumpkin halves until fork-tender, save the seeds. Roasting pumpkin seeds is easy and produces crunchy results that you can sprinkle over soups or salads or eat by the handful. They’re packed with protein, too; check out this article on the health benefits of pumpkin seeds for all the details. Learn how to roast pumpkin seeds, the best ways to season them and how long they last with this step-by-step guide.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds, Step-By-Step
Step One: Remove the Seeds
Using a spoon, scrape the pulp and seeds out of your pumpkin and into a bowl. If you happen to have a serrated grapefruit spoon, that’s the very best tool you can use here. If not, a regular spoon will do. If you’re having difficulty pulling the seeds off the sides of the pumpkin, use kitchen shears or a paring knife to (carefully) cut fibers loose.
Step Two: Separate Pumpkin Seeds from Pulp
Set a colander in the sink or on a dish towel. Extract the seeds from the stringy pulp by picking out the seeds and place them in the colander.
Step Three: Wash the Pumpkin Seeds
Rinse the seeds in the colander under cold water, rubbing them with your hands to remove more pulp. It’s okay if some pumpkin guts still cling to the seeds. Shake the seeds dry, but don't blot them with paper towels — the seeds will stick. Pumpkin seeds have two parts: a crunchy white hull and green seeds. Both are edible.
Step Four: How Long to Cook Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Spread the seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet (or line it with parchment paper) and roast 30 minutes. This will dry them out and make them crunchy.
Step Five: Flavor the Pumpkin Seeds
To season, toss the seeds with olive oil and salt. Return them to the oven and bake until crisp and golden, about 20 more minutes.
Or get creative with your favorite flavors. Toss the seeds in olive oil and salt, then toss them again in one of the spice combinations below.
For sweet pumpkin seeds: Cut the salt down to just a pinch and toss the seeds with ground cinnamon and sugar.
For spicy pumpkin seeds: Toss with cayenne and smoked paprika.
For pumpkin pie-inspired flavors: Coat the seeds with cinnamon, ground mace, ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice.
For chocolate pumpkin seeds: Toss in a mixture of cocoa powder, orange zest and powdered sugar.
For Indian-inspired flavors: Toss with garam masala. After roasting, mix them with dried currants.
For Spanish-inspired flavors: Toss with smoked paprika and, after roasting, mix in slivered almonds.
For Italian-inspired flavors: Toss with grated Parmesan and dried oregano.
For barbecue-flavored pumpkin seeds: Toss with olive oil, salt, brown sugar, chili powder and cumin.
Can You Eat Pumpkin Seeds Raw?
No, but it’s understandable why people are confused about eating raw pumpkin seeds. Many supermarkets sell pumpkin seeds and other seeds and nuts labeled “raw.” In this context, raw means the seeds or nuts have been cleaned and oven-dried or dehydrated. They aren’t, however, scooped directly out of the pumpkin and into packaging. We don’t suggest eating pumpkin seeds without cleaning and drying or roasting them first.
Should You Boil Pumpkin Seeds Before Roasting?
You don't have to boil the pumpkin seeds before roasting, but some find that it helps them cook more evenly. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add raw pumpkin seeds. Boil, undisturbed, for 10 minutes, then drain the water through a colander and spread the pumpkin seeds onto an oiled baking sheet, as in step four (above), and follow remaining steps.
Benefits of Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted pumpkin seeds are a satisfying snack or garnish and have an array of nutritional benefits. “One ounce of whole roasted pumpkin seeds (about 85 pieces) has 126 calories, 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein,” Toby Amidor, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., writes in an article for Food Network's Healthy Eats, “Why We Love Pumpkin Seeds. “They are also a good source of magnesium and zinc, providing 19% of your daily dose of both these minerals. Copper, potassium and iron are other nutrients you’ll find in [pumpkin seeds]."
How to Store Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Cool roasted pumpkin seeds completely, then store in an airtight container. They’ll last up to two weeks at room temperature or up to two months in the refrigerator.
Recipes for Pumpkin Seeds
Curious about how to use roasted pumpkin seeds? Add them whole or roughly chopped to soups, salads and roasted vegetables for flavor and texture. Or season them to eat as all sorts of snacks, as in these recipes.
If you have an air fryer, you can have crispy, salty pumpkin seeds ready in just 30 minutes.
This tasty snack is flavored with Parmesan, tomato, garlic and oregano.
These seeds are double baked to help the everything bagel seasoning stick. The results are fully coated and extra crispy.
This very autumnal flavor combination features generous doses of bourbon and maple syrup.