Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: 5 Easy Steps to the Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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NOTE: This recipe was updated on October 22, 2023 to include additional seasoning ideas and air fryer instructions.

Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you’re feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with pumpkin seasoning blends.

Here’s my 5 easy steps to roasting pumpkin seeds perfectly.

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Two photo collage with "5 easy steps to perfect pumpkin seeds" text overlay. Top photo shows close up of roasted pumpkin seeds, bottom photo shows roasted pumpkin seeds in a silb=ver measuring up on white background.

In our house we have a tradition, every Halloween, when the kids carve their pumpkins they BEG me to roast pumpkin seeds for them. I whine about how long it takes, but eventually oblige them. Suffice it to say, I have been working on creating the recipe for the perfect roasted pumpkin seeds over the past 12 years. I have to admit that there have been some definite misses (as in I burned the absolute crap out of them the first few times I tried to make them). But with those misses have come some lessons learned.

5 Easy Steps to the Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends. #halloween #pumpkin #recipe

How do you make crispy roasted pumpkin seeds?

I’ll let you in on a secret…. the perfect crispy roasted pumpkin seeds is not in the baking, instead it’s in the steps you take before the baking. Baking them slowly, and paying attention to them while they bake is also an important step, but these other steps can also make or break your seeds.

5 Easy Steps to the Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends. #halloween #pumpkin #recipe
5 Easy Steps to the Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you’re feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends. #halloween #pumpkin #recipe

Step 1. Wash your seeds well

You really want to wash your pumpkin seeds well and discard of any and all pumpkin fibres. Over the years, there’s been a time or two when I got lazy and didn’t clean the seeds well enough, trust me, they really don’t turn out as well. So, grab your colander and clean them…and then clean them again and again.

Sorting pumpkin seeds - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends.

Step 2. Soak your pumpkin seeds

This step allows any remaining pumpkin on the seeds to sink and the seeds to float, it’s like magic!

Pumpkin Seeds Soaking in Water in a Clear Bowl - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends.

Step 3. Boil your pumpkin seeds for 10 minutes in salt water.

In my opinion, this is what helps make the pumpkin seeds easier to digest and produces the crispy outer shell during roasting. This also helps cook the insides of your pumpkin seeds so when you go to roast them you will get perfect pumpkins seeds crunch insuring the insides are cooked. Boiling with salt allows the salt to permeate your seeds but if you are short on time, you can skip this step and they will still turn out delicious.

Step 4. Season your pumpkin seeds

Salting Pumpkin Seeds on a Cookie Sheet before Baking - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends.

My preference is to season my seeds with olive oil, sea salt and a touch of garlic using McCormick’s Sea Salt Garlic Grinder, but there are many other ways you can season your seeds, such as:

  1. Classic Salted: Toss the seeds with olive oil and sea salt for a simple, satisfying flavor.
  2. Sweet and Spicy: Combine honey, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon for a delightful blend of sweet and spicy.
  3. Garlic Parmesan: Mix the seeds with garlic powder and grated Parmesan cheese for a savory, cheesy twist.
  4. Pumpkin Spice: Create a fall-inspired flavor by using pumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves) along with a touch of brown sugar.
  5. Herb-Infused: Blend fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano with the seeds for an aromatic, earthy taste.
  6. Curry-Coated: Go for an exotic twist with curry powder, turmeric, and a hint of coconut oil.
  7. Lemon Zest: Add a burst of freshness by grating lemon zest over your roasted seeds.

Remember to experiment and find the flavor combinations that you and your family enjoy the most.

Step 5. Watch your pumpkin seeds while you bake them

Salted Pumpkin Seeds on a cookie sheet - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends.

Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C), then watch them as they roast. I’m really bad at getting sidetracked, so I set my kitchen timer for 10 minutes. This way, it will alert me and I can go in and move the pumpkin seeds around on the baking sheet. I repeat this every 8-10 minutes until they are done (about 20-30 minutes). I’m very serious about using the timer — there have been times when I didn’t do it and sure enough, I let them burn. Once they’re done, remove the roasted pumpkin seeds from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet. This will help them crisp up further as they cool.

Air Fryer Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If an air fryer more of your thing, then you can pop the seeds in the air fryer after seasoning them at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Start checking the seeds after 10 minutes to ensure they don’t burn and stir them a few times. When they appear ready, remove the basket from the air fryer and let the seeds cool slightly before eating. If they’re not crispy enough, just air fry them for another few minutes.

Enjoy your roasted pumpkin seeds as a healthy snack or use them as toppings for salads or soups. Remember, these times and temperatures are approximate, so you can adjust them slightly based on your preferences and your oven’s behavior. Happy roasting!

For the full list of ingredients, and the printable recipe, be sure to check out the recipe card below.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds on a Cookie Sheet - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends.

Frequently asked questions about roasting pumpkin seeds:

Can you eat pumpkin seed shells?

Yes! Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, can be eaten with or without their shells. That said, people with digestive disorders should probably avoid pumpkin seed shells.

Are pumpkin seeds healthy?

Yes! The shells are chock-full of fiber. They’re almost always eaten seasoned and roasted. While they technically can be eaten raw, most people opt to cook them.

How long do roasted pumpkin seeds last?

At room temperature in an airtight container the seeds will last for up to three months but up to 12 months if you store them in an airtight container in the fridge. 

What is the ideal temperature and time for roasting pumpkin seeds?

300°F (150°C) is the ideal temperature and the ideal time is 20-30 minutes.

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5 Easy Steps to the Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends. #halloween #pumpkin #recipe

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ready to turn those leftover pumpkin seeds into a crispy, addictive snack? Here's how to roast pumpkin seeds so that they are perfectly crispy, and tasty. It all comes down to 5 easy steps!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Scrape out and remove seeds from your pumpkins. Wash and clean your seeds from your pumpkin, making sure you remove any unwanted pumpkin rinds or deformed seeds. Wash in a colander and once again remove any unwanted items.
  2. Soak the clean seeds in a bowl full of water for 1/2 hour on kitchen counter or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the seeds, discarding the water.
  3. Preheat oven to 325F.
  4. Fill a pot with water and a dash of salt (enough water so that it will cover the seeds). Bring the water to a boil. Place seeds into the boiling water and boil gently for about 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat and drain the seeds and place back into your empty bowl. Toss seeds with olive oil and sea salt. Lay out seeds in thin layer onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Roast seeds in your oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Roast for another 8-10 minutes (keep checking your seeds because the bake time can vary a lot depending on your oven!). During the last 5 minutes of roasting, remove a few seeds and crack open to make sure the inner seeds are not burning (you don’t want the inner seed brown). Cool a couple and pop them into your mouth to test. They are ready when the shell is super crispy and easy to bite through. The inner seed should have only a hint of golden tinge to it. They should not be brown.
  7. Season with additional salt if desired. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place into a clean mason jar. Enjoy!

Notes

Roasted Pumpkin Seed Seasoning Ideas

My preference is to season my seeds with olive oil, sea salt and a touch of garlic using McCormick’s Sea Salt Garlic Grinder, but there are many other ways you can season your seeds, such as:

  1. Classic Salted: Toss the seeds with olive oil and sea salt for a simple, satisfying flavor.
  2. Sweet and Spicy: Combine honey, cayenne pepper, and a pinch of cinnamon for a delightful blend of sweet and spicy.
  3. Garlic Parmesan: Mix the seeds with garlic powder and grated Parmesan cheese for a savory, cheesy twist.
  4. Pumpkin Spice: Create a fall-inspired flavor by using pumpkin spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves) along with a touch of brown sugar.
  5. Herb-Infused: Blend fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, thyme, and oregano with the seeds for an aromatic, earthy taste.
  6. Curry-Coated: Go for an exotic twist with curry powder, turmeric, and a hint of coconut oil.
  7. Lemon Zest: Add a burst of freshness by grating lemon zest over your roasted seeds.

Remember to experiment and find the flavor combinations that you and your family enjoy the most.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds in an Air Fryer:

If an air fryer more of your thing, then you can pop the seeds in the air fryer after seasoning them at 350°F (175°C) for about 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Start checking the seeds often after 10 minutes to ensure that they don’t burn and stir them a few times. When they appear ready, remove the basket from the air fryer and let the seeds cool slightly before eating. If they’re not crispy enough, just air fry them for another few minutes.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 5 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 32mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

The provided nutrition information is an estimate and it does not take brands into account. I use an automatic API to calculate this information.

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What’s your favourite seasoning for pumpkin seeds?


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How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds 1 1 scaled - Next time you carve pumpkins or cook fresh pumpkins don't throw out the pumpkin seeds. They make great snacks that are rich in fiber and kids love them. Purists will want only salt as a seasoning, but if you're feeling adventurous, experiment and have fun with seasoning blends.

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6 Comments

  1. Silly question, but I will ask anyway.😁 you eat them in the shell? In the store, they are sold without. So I always thought you had to remove the shell and thought it would be too much work. You may have opened up a whole new world for me.😃

    1. Janice - Salads for Lunch says:

      Yes! Pumpkin seed shells are safe for most people to eat. In fact, they add to the seeds’ distinctive crunch and provide more nutrients.

  2. Sanjay Tiles says:

    Great article. It is very useful and informative. Thanks a lot for sharing this post.

  3. Bozhidar Karailiev says:

    Really interesting. I’ve never heard about boiling pumpkin seeds. Do you have a clue how long can they last before they start to turn bad (talking about after being cooked)? I really want to make a lot and eat them for a month or two. Thanks.

    1. Janice - Salads for Lunch says:

      At room temperature in an airtight container the seeds will last for up to three months but up to 12 months if you store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

  4. Deborah @ Confessions of mother runner says:

    I love roasted pumpkin seeds never knew about boiling them!