How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Publish Date September 27, 2023

It’s that time of year again: shorter days, falling leaves and the arrival of pumpkins! Carving jack-o’-lanterns is such a fun tradition, and the resulting glowing eyes and spooky smiles is a sure way to delight both the young and young at heart.

Yet, even though carving pumpking is an undeniably delighful activity, there’s one step that can get messy: scooping out the stringy, slimy innards and slippery pumpkin seeds. The great news, however, is that you don’t have to toss those seeds in the trash. Instead, you can easily transform them into a delectable and nutritious snack! Join us as we guide you through the process step by step, or watch our informative video for a hands-on lesson in roasting pumpkin seeds with fun and delicious flavors.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds, Step by Step

When it comes to roasting pumpkin seeds, there are different schools of thought on the best method, but as long as you have an oven, a sheet pan, butter or oil, and kosher or sea salt, you’ve got everything you’ll need. We recommend using seeds from a medium-sized pumpkin as the seeds tend to get tougher the larger the pumpkin is.

  1. Scrape out the insides of a pumpkin. Place pulp and seeds in a colander.
  2. Rinse the seeds to remove most of the pulp, using the sink sprayer or your hands while running water over the seeds. (Note: You don’t need to worry about getting every last bit of pulp off the seeds.) Discard or compost the pulp, or use it to make a cooking stock.
  3. Place the seeds on a clean towel and let them dry completely, at least one hour; otherwise, they’ll steam and won’t crisp up. Optional: Some recipes call for boiling the seeds for 10 minutes in salted water before drying them. This may be advisable for people who can’t easily digest seeds.
  4. Once dry, place the seeds on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  6. Toss seeds with a few tablespoons of olive oil or melted butter, making sure they’re all well coated.
  7. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Add additional herbs or spices, if desired (see below for suggestions). Stir/toss well again to make sure all seeds are coated.
  8. Spread seeds in a single layer to ensure even browning. Roast seeds until just lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes, watching carefully. Since all ovens are different, your seeds might be ready sooner or may need more time. Stir the seeds or shake the pan halfway through roasting (or more often) to check for doneness, making sure they’re still in a single layer.
  9. Allow to cool. Pumpkin seeds will get crispier as they cool.
Store pumpkin seeds in a jar or other tightly covered container for up to a week, or refrigerate and eat within 2 months.
Pumpkin Seed Recipe

How to Season Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds can be seasoned with sweet, savory or spicy ingredients. It’s fun to experiment and find your favorites. Just add your seasonings along with salt before roasting. Here are some tasty flavor combos to get you started:

  • Chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper, brown sugar and black pepper
  • Garam masala, chili powder and turmeric
  • Parmesan cheese, oregano, basil and garlic powder
  • Garlic powder, dill and black pepper
  • Cinnamon and brown sugar

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition Facts

Halloween isn’t typically synonymous with healthy eating. However, by roasting the seeds from your jack-o’-lanterns, you can easily sneak some serious nutrients, plus healthy fiber, into the festivities. Pumpkin seeds are full of magnesium, zinc, iron, potassium and protein. They even contain tryptophan, a natural chemical that can help promote good sleep. And on Halloween night, many little ones could use some help settling down.

Of course, roasted pumpkin seeds aren’t just for Halloween. You can make them any time pumpkins are available. Or if you can’t find a pumpkin, you can roast the seeds from winter squashes such as acorn, butternut, delicata or kabocha by following the directions above for pumpkin seeds. For more ideas on how to use your pumpkin seeds, check out the recipes below, or find more fall inspiration at our Fall Shop.

Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Pumpkin seeds are great for cooking and baking, too, lending a delightful crunch and nutty flavor to a wide range of recipes.