Fall is in full swing which means people are decorating and cooking all things pumpkin! This roasted pumpkin seeds recipe is the perfect way to use all of the seeds from your pumpkin carving, or from making Homemade Pumpkin Puree.
Whatever you do, do NOT throw the seeds out and miss the opportunity to bake them for a delicious bonus snack.
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Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe
My mom has a pumpkin patch and we always look forward to dishes we can make from the homegrown pumpkins, like Pumpkin Waffles or Pumpkin Pie, but we especially love the seeds! Crisp, baked seeds are perfect to snack on from a bowl or toss into a beautiful autumn salad like our Roasted Sweet Potato Salad or a warm Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.
We have perfected this recipe over the years to achieve the perfect pumpkin shells that pop right open and don’t crumble or break the seed inside. The shells are lightly salted and make a great snack to have on your buffet or charcuterie board.
Cleaning out a pumpkin can be ewwy gooey, get the kiddos involved and let them reach in and scoop out the seeds.
The key to making roasted pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, is to have clean, dry seeds before roasting. More on that process below…
- Pumpkins – obviously, but this recipe also works great with acorn, butternut, delicata, and other winter squash seeds
- Water – to boil the seeds before roasting, which will help them roast evenly, and for some folks who struggle with digesting whole seeds, helps the digestion process
- Olive Oil – for roasting, holds the salt or seasoning onto the seeds
- Salt – fine salt, for flavor
Pumpkin seeds have such a mild flavor so they are easily elevated with a few teaspoons of your favorite seasoning. If you want to kick up the flavor, before roasting, just sprinkle your pumpkin seeds with:
- chili powder
- curry powder
- ranch seasoning
- cajun seasoning
- cinnamon and sugar
- pumpkin spice
- garlic powder and parmesan
- wasabi powder
- Maple syrup and cinnamon
A few teaspoons should do the trick, but add them to taste.
How to Remove Pumpkin Seeds
- Prepare and Carve– Preheat your oven to 300°F. Using a sharp knife, cut into your pumpkin to retrieve the seeds. If you are using small sugar pumpkins, slice the pumpkin in half. If you are carving a large pumpkin, cut the top off around the stem creating a lid for your jack-o-lantern.
- Scoop and rinse – Remove the seeds and pulpy strings from your pumpkin using a large metal spoon or scraper. Put the fresh pumpkin seeds into a large bowl and submerge the seeds in water. Remove any debris and then drain in a colander, giving them a good rinse to remove any leftover stringy pumpkin guts.
Roast Pumpkin Seeds
- Boil and dry – In a large saucepan, add the water, salt, and clean pumpkin seeds. Bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 10 minutes, then drain. Lay the clean seeds on a kitchen towel and pat dry with a second towel, removing as much excess water as possible.
- Season and Bake – Drizzle a rimmed baking sheet with extra virgin olive oil. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir to coat in oil. Spread the seeds in a single layer and sprinkle with salt or your preferred seasoning. Place the seeds in the oven to bake and stir every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven when they are barely golden and have reached your desired crispness.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to make this recipe less messy. After cooling, lift the paper and use it like a funnel to pour the seeds right into your airtight container for storage.
For a more golden tint, broil for a few minutes, but remember pumpkin seeds can burn crazy fast so stir them after a minute and check on them often!
Yes. Get them as clean and dry as possible before putting them into the oven to roast. The extra moisture from the pumpkin guts will prevent the hulls from getting super crisp.
Your seeds might be a little bit chewy right out of the oven. As they cool they will become even crispier. If they are still soft after fully cooling, pop them back in the oven for 5-10 minutes. The seeds from sugar pumpkins will roast faster than large carving pumpkins, or maybe the seeds were not fully dry when they went into the oven.
You sure can! Prepare your seeds and put them into your air fryer basket instead of the oven. Bake at 350°F for 10-15 minutes, being sure to stir the seeds halfway through.
Shells on or off is a matter of personal preference. Like sunflower seeds, the shells can be eaten. Peeling each shell is a lot of effort, and with the shells on, you get more of the yummy seasonings.
Once the pumpkin seeds have cooled to room temperature, store your roasted pumpkin seeds in an airtight container or jar at room temperature for several weeks or refrigerate them for up to two months.
Pumpkin seeds are not only a tasty treat, but they are often considered a superfood packed with fiber, iron, magnesium, antioxidants, zinc, and more. They are a great alternative for a crispy snack if for those with nut allergies. There’s so much nutritious goodness packed into these little seeds.
More Great Snack Recipes
If you love this Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe, then consider adding these easy recipes to your holiday Charcuterie Board.