How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds (plus three tasty variations)

This Saturday is family pumpkin carving day. I adore pumpkin carving day. Anything that makes me feel like I’m back in school, happily lost in creating my own little spin on the latest art project, is a-ok by me.

I can never bring myself to do just a plain o’lantern. I have to create a spider o’lantern or an alien or Barbara Manatee or a squatty little owl. And then I take way too much pride in lighting it and displaying it – just right – on the porch come trick or treating time.

I’m a dork. But hey, it’s the little things, right?

Another thing to love about pumpkin carving is the snacks we get out of it. The snacks we literally get out of it – right out of the pumpkin. Grab those seeds, season them just right, and roast the pumpkin seeds in your oven to get all perfectly crunchy and toasty brown while you’re working on your orange masterpiece.

Here’s how to roast pumpkin seeds, along with three delicious ways we love to make them: kettle corn style; sweet, spicy, & savory; and basic salt & black pepper.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Kitchen Treaty
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 2 cups
Delicious, healthy pumpkin seeds are the perfect pumpkin-carving snack. Whether you’re pureeing your own pumpkin or creating your jack o’masterpiece, don’t let these little gems go to waste! They’re easy to roast to crunchy perfection. Here’s how to roast pumpkin seeds.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds (unshelled)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • Other seasonings/flavorings as desired (see below for three variations)
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. As you’re pulling the guts and seeds out of the pumpkin, place them in a large bowl.
  3. Lay three or four dish towels on the counter. Fill the bowl with water and, with your hands, work the seeds off of the innards, removing the innards. The pumpkin seeds will float. Skim the seeds off of the top of the water and place on the layer of towels.
  4. Allow seeds to dry for about an hour.
  5. In a medium bowl, toss the seeds, oil, salt, and other seasonings/flavorings as desired.
  6. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 25 minutes. Starting at about 15 minutes, stir the seeds every five minutes and keep a close eye on them until they begin turn light golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Serve.
  9. Pumpkin seeds will keep in a zippered bag at room temperature for about a week.

Three tasty roasted pumpkin seed recipes

Kettle-Corn Style Pumpkin Seeds

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, unshelled
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the seeds, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt. Toss until the seeds are well-coated.
  3. Spread on a well-greased cookie sheet (you may want to cover it with foil and grease the foil so clean-up will be less of a chore).
  4. Bake at for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the sugar and some of the pumpkin seeds have browned.
  5. Remove from the oven and let sit for about 10 minutes (they will be very, very hot!). After the initial 10 minutes, immediately remove from the cookie sheet and spread on a sheet of parchment paper, separating the seeds from one another as much as possible. Some of the seeds will stay stuck together.
  6. Sprinkle with a touch more salt, to taste.
  7. Cool completely and serve.

Sweet, Spicy, & Savory Pumpkin Seeds

Makes 2 cups || Inspired by the Spiced Herbed Nuts recipe on Epicurious

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, unshelled
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and then stir in the brown sugar, salt, rosemary, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
  3. Stir for 2 – 3 minutes until the sugar has mostly melted.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in the pumpkin seeds.
  5. Spread on a well-greased cookie sheet. You can also opt to line it with foil for easier clean-up, but it’s a little difficult to get the pumpkin seeds off of the foil (but doable).
  6. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until light golden brown, stirring 2 – 3 times during baking.

Salt & Pepper Pumpkin Seeds

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds, unshelled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss the seeds, oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Lay in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes. Starting at about 15 minutes, stir the seeds every five minutes and keep a close eye on them until they begin turn light golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Serve.

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10 Responses to “How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds (plus three tasty variations)”

  1. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies posted on October 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    I want to attempt to carve a Domokun pumpkin, but I know it would be a big failure. Oh well. Hey, pumpkin seeds! The kettle corn ones sound so tasty. Usually I default to savory, but sweet would be delicious!

    • Kare replied on October 25th, 2012 on 8:08 am

      Oh, but a Domokun pumpkin would be so terrific! You could use pasta – or jicama! – for the teeth. :)

  2. Deb Cochrane posted on October 25, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Hi,
    I always told my children that there is no such thing as a stupid question, so here goes.
    Pumpkin is a squash so do people eat other types of squash seeds too and the big question, how do you eat the seeds. The whole thing or is there a tasty bit in the middle like a sunflower seed? I have never had one. I like ‘pumpkin’ foods but the whole Jack-O-Lantern thing is not for me. My pumpkin puree usually come out of a can but I freeze a couple of bushels of pepper squash puree every year so I have lots of seeds.
    Thank you.

    • Kare replied on October 25th, 2012 on 8:13 am

      Hey Deb! I think you gave your children excellent advice. :) I’m no squash seed effort but what I do know is you can eat the roasted, unhulled seeds of all kinds of winter squash – butternut, spaghetti – you name it. Just prepare them the same way. I’ve never heard of pepper squash but I am very intrigued!

      Some folks prefer them shelled (the green pepitas you find in the store are shelled pumpkin seeds) but when it comes to roasting them this way and eating them as a crunchy snack, I prefer to eat them with the shell on.

      • Kare replied on October 25th, 2012 on 8:14 am

        *Expert*. That is supposed to say I’m no squash seed expert. Need more coffee. :)

        • Deb Cochrane replied on October 27th, 2012 on 1:41 am

          Thanks Kare,
          I always need more coffee too. Thanks for the advice. I live in Canada and the squash I call “Pepper” are the smallish green ones with the deep ribs. I think they are also called “Acorn”. They are always cooked with the peels on. Some people like them with sugar or maple syrup but I just cut them in half, spread them with butter and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper and roast. So good. To cook for freezing I split, seed and them set them back together, the split lets the steam out, and bake on a shallow pan. After they cool I scoop the squash out of the shells and mash it into a smooth puree. Measure it into plastic freezer tubs, label and into the freezer it goes. Enough for a full year.
          Thank you for the work you do here. I enjoy it.

  3. Angie@Angie's Recipes posted on October 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I usually just dry the seeds and remove the kernels out for the baking. Thank you for sharing the tasty variations.

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  6. Kathleen posted on November 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    I give these toasted pumpkin seeds five stars…. I remove them from the pumpkin and remove any clumps , put them in single layer on foil and let dry overnight. (DO NOT RINSE) Next day remove from foil and put on cookie sheet in single layer, dot with butter put in a 350 degree oven for maybe 10-15 min. until butter is melted. Stir seeds, sprinkle on garlic salt and pepper and return to oven, add butter if more is needed. Keep watch so as not to burn, stirring as needed until a dark golden brown, which is how we love them. Let cool and enjoy. They are addictive..Kathy

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