If you carve a pumpkin or two this Halloween, save those seeds for a tasty, savory snack! Roasting pumpkin seeds is as simple as it is delicious. We will show you how to roast pumpkin seeds and share with you a few tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Carving pumpkins for Halloween? Don’t throw out those pumpkin seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious, nutritious, and crunchy snack both kids and adults can enjoy. I remember enjoying roasted pumpkin seeds from carved pumpkins from the time I was very little. Our mom would do a simple pumpkin seed recipe with just a little oil and salt (like the recipe below). To this day, that is my favorite way to enjoy them. We’ll even share some scrumptious seasoning variations below so you can enjoy any flavor you are craving.
Ways to Use Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
You can use these versatile seeds in so many different ways and over all kinds of fall-flavored dishes. Try adding a scoop to:
- Trail Mixes
- Granola Bars
- Avocado Toast
- Charcuterie Boards
- Blended into smoothes (raw seeds)
Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds
Not only are pumpkin seeds a great, tasty (gluten free) treat, they are also chock full of nutritional value. According to WebMd they are “…a rich source of protein, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals that reduce risk factors of chronic disease, including cancer.” They are a great source of antioxidants and dietary fiber which can reduce inflammation. They are also high in magnesium, which is important to have in your diet but sometimes difficult to find. Diets high in magnesium are associated with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and risk of stroke. Pumpkin seeds are also high in nutrients such as Zinc, Iron, Copper, maleness, amino acids, Phosphorus, Vitamin K, plant-based Omega-3s, and Omega 6 .
Tips for Cleaning Pumpkin Seeds
Getting the fiberous strands or pulp (aka “goop”, “gunk”, or “guts”) off of the seeds is definitely the most frustrating part of roasting pumpkin seeds. Here are some tips to make it easier:
- Get a large bowl and put everything from inside the pumpkin in it, pulp and all.
- Cover it all with water so the seeds float to the top, it helps if you agitate the water with your hands to release the seeds from the fibers. Keep agitating the water until all the seeds float to the top.
- Remove the seeds from the bowl using your hands, a metal spoon, or a slotted spoon. I like using a spoon because those little seeds are so slippery, they slide right through my fingers.
- Place the seeds in a sieve or colander and rinse thoroughly, picking out any little pieces that may have stuck to the seeds.
Soak (or Boil) Your Pumpkin Seeds Before Roasting
Soaking or boiling your seeds can soften them, help with even roasting, and also help flavor them. Simply place your seeds in a bowl with 3-4 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt cover, and soak overnight. If you want to hurry the process, you can place everything in a sauce pan and boil for 10 minutes.
Tip: Use a Sieve To Dry
Before roasting your seeds, you will want to make sure they are nice and dry. This makes it so the oil can stick to the seeds better. Drying them on paper towels or a kitchen towel will get messy. Pumpkin seeds will STICK EVERYWHERE. Instead, put your seeds in a single layer on a sieve and let them air-dry over a bowl or towel or you can pat them dry while they are in the sieve.
Seasoning Pumpkin Seeds
This is the fun part. I love seasoning my pumpkin seeds and making up different flavor combinations. Sometimes I like them plain, sometimes I like them a little sweet, or sometimes I like to add a little spice or give them an unexpected pop of flavor. You really can’t go wrong with seasonings. Get creative and have fun with it! Here are a few ideas:
- Sweet and Spicy: A little sweet and a little savory with a little kick! Get the full recipe here.
- Southwest Style: Add a little taco seasoning and toss with a few drops of lime
- Buffalo Style: Toss with some ranch powder and buffalo-style wing sauce to taste
- Cinnamon-Sugar: Stir seeds into some melted butter and toss with a little cinnamon and sugar
- Parmesan: Give your seeds an Italian flair with a little garlic powder and grated parmesan cheese
- Ranch-flavored: Toss with ranch dressing powder
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds in the Air Fryer
Did you know you can roast your seeds in an air fryer? It’s so easy! Simply prepare the seeds as you would if you were going to roast them in the oven. After tossing them with a little oil and salt (or whatever seasonings you choose), place them on a single layer in your air fryer. Set your air fryer to 350-degrees for 10 minutes, shaking the basket half-way through. If they aren’t completely done after 10 minutes, put them back in for 2-3 minutes at a time until perfectly crispy and golden.
Yes, here is some good information on eating them raw vs roasted.
A pepita is a type of pumpkin seed that comes from Styrian or Oil Seed pumpkins. Pepitas don’t need to be shelled and are more tender than other kinds of seeds.
More Tasty Pumpkin Recipes
- Place seeds in a large bowl of water and "swish" with your hands to release seeds from fibers. The seeds should float to the top. Remove seeds from the bowl using a spoon or your hand. Rinse pumpkin seeds, removing any remaining fiberous strands.
- Place seeds in a bowl with 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir to combine. Cover and soak seeds overnight at room temperature. If you want to speed up the process you can boil the seeds in the water and salt for 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Remove seeds from water and dry in a sieve or pat dry.
- When seeds are dry, toss with olive oil and a little salt (to taste) and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, moving seeds around and flipping them over every 5 minutes until they are crispy and very lightly golden brown. Depending on the size of your seeds this may not take the full 20 minutes so watch them closely.
- Remove from oven and try one of the seeds and add more seasoning if necessary. Serve warm or allow to cool