Learn how to make the BEST Roasted Pumpkin Seeds! This crunchy, delicious fall snack is so easy to prepare and can be seasoned with your favorite spices ... it's the perfect healthy (yet totally crave-worthy) seasonal treat!
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I have such fond memories of carving pumpkins with my mom and sister, and we always, always saved the seeds. Once we were done carving our jack-o'-lanterns, we'd roast the seeds. It was one of my favorite autumn traditions, and I looked forward to it every year!
Crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are a quintessential fall treat, a tasty snack that both kids and adults love. They're so easy to make too, especially with my helpful tips and tricks.
You are going to love this simple, versatile recipe. Season the seeds with basic salt and pepper or get creative! You'll find lots of fun seasoning ideas below to inspire you.
Ready to get started? Then keep reading, because I'm going to show you exactly how to roast raw pumpkin seeds to crispy, crunchy perfection!
My favorite thing about this recipe is that it requires so few ingredients. Here's what you'll need:
- Raw Pumpkin Seeds - You can use seeds from a large jack-o'-lantern or from a smaller sugar / pie pumpkin. I used a pie pumpkin to make this recipe, but both work.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - A little oil helps makes the finished snack extra flavorful and crunchy.
- Seasonings - Flavor-wise, this recipe is super versatile! You can use basic, but delicious salt and pepper, or you can get more creative. I used a combination of Smoked Paprika and Garlic Powder here (so delish), but the sky's the limit, and I'm sharing lots of tasty suggestions below.
- Salt + Pepper - I recommend Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.
This recipe is naturally vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, low carb, dairy free ... all that good stuff. Which means the seeds are super healthy, and anyone can eat them!
Other Kinds of Squash Work, Too!
You can also roast other types of winter squash seeds, so don't be afraid to experiment the next time you make your favorite seasonal recipe.
You'll Also Need
To cut open the pumpkin, you'll need a sharp knife. You'll also need a sheet pan to dry and roast the seeds ... these sturdy baking sheets are my fave!
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Okay, now that you've gathered the ingredients, let's get cooking! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Remove and clean to the seeds. The first thing you need to do is separate the seeds from the pulp. Start with the low hanging fruit ... grab a small handful of pulp and brush off any large clumps of seeds. Next, gently squeeze the pulp. More should pop out. Finally, remove any large clumps of pulp that remains on the seeds. If you're really having a hard time, try filling a large bowl with water. Add the pulp, then rub it with your hands. The seeds should float to the top.
- Dry the seeds. Once you've separated the seeds from the pulp, spread them on a large baking sheet. Then, let them dry for at least 30 minutes, or up to a couple hours (or even overnight). The drier they are, the less time they'll need to spend roasting. Plus, a dry exterior means that the oil and seasonings will cling better. As an impatient cook, I usually only wait about 30 minutes ... or just until the outside isn't sticky anymore.
- Season the seeds. Next, you'll combine the seeds with olive oil, salt and pepper, plus whatever seasoning you choose to use. Check out my seasoning tips in the next section for creative ideas!
- Roast the seeds. After you've seasoned the seeds, spread them on the baking sheet in a single layer. If you're making an especially big batch, use two sheet pans. Then, bake the pumpkin seeds, stirring every 5 minutes, for about 20 to 25 minutes. Don't skip the stirring ... this helps them cook evenly, ensuring that they get crunchy! You'll know they're done when they're golden brown and crunchy ... tasting a few as they cook is the best way to check that they're crispy throughout and finished cooking.
And that's all there is to it ... your homemade Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are ready to eat! This really is the perfect fall snack, and if you're anything like me, you'll find yourself buying more pumpkin just so you can make more.
Tip: Some recipes tell you to rinse the seeds after removing the pulp, but unless there's tons of pulp stuck on them, it's not necessary. As long as you've removed the big chunks, it's totally fine to roast any bits of pulp that are left behind.
There are a million ways to season pumpkin seeds, ranging from super basic to totally creative! Try on of these flavored ideas next:
- Spicy Pumpkin Seeds - These irresistible hot and spicy seeds are flavored with a combo of chili powder, cayenne, and garlic.
- Garlic Pumpkin Seeds - Love garlic? Then you won't be able to resist this easy recipe!
- Garlic Parmesan Pumpkin Seeds - These gourmet seeds are a grown up take on this classic childhood treat. They won't last long.
- Old Bay Pumpkin Seeds - Savory Old Bay Seasoning gives this recipe a flavor you won't be able to resist.
- Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Seeds - You'll love these warm, cozy flavors.
- Ranch Pumpkin Seeds - Treat yourself to these ranch-flavored seeds. They are truly addictive!
- Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Seeds - These pumpkin flavored seeds are super tasty!
- Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds - This recipe is even faster and easier to make in your air fryer!
- Salt and Pepper - So simple, yet so delicious! If you're in a hurry or serving a picky crowd (kids, am I right?), stick to classic salt and pepper.
- Smokey - I used a combo of Smoked Paprika and Garlic Powder here, one of my favorite seasoning combos. It was so good, and they didn't last long! While I didn't measure, I'd guess that I used about ½ teaspoon of Smoked Paprika and a ¼ teaspoon of Garlic Powder.
- Truffle - Give this recipe a gourmet twist! Season lightly with salt and pepper before baking, then sprinkle with Truffle Salt to taste once they come out of the oven. Yum!
- Spicy Buffalo - Love all things Buffalo sauce? Season the seeds with a teaspoon or two of Frank's RedHot Seasoning Powder and a few dashes of Garlic Powder.
- Sweet & Spicy - There's nothing better than a sweet spicy treat ... it satisfies all the cravings! About five minutes before the seeds are done roasting, mix them with a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and few dashes of Cayenne.
- Cajun - Give your snack a Louisiana-style twist by stirring a teaspoon of Cajun Seasoning in before baking. Make sure to check the ingredients before adding any spice blend ... some are already salted.
- Herb - Brighten up this crunchy snack with a mixture of your favorite dried herbs. I'd recommend adding the herbs about halfway through cooking so they don't burn. A combination of garlic and herbs would also be tasty. If you'd like to use fresh herbs, stir them into about five minutes before they're done cooking.
- BBQ - Spice up your snack by mixing it with a teaspoon or two of BBQ Rub before baking.
Tip: I usually eyeball things when it comes to seasoning, but for one cup of seeds, you'll need about one to two teaspoons of spices.
How to Eat
Baked Pumpkin Seeds make a delightful seasonal snack, but there are many other delicious ways to eat them, too. Here are some ideas:
- Salad Topping - This easy recipe would add a tasty crunch to any fall salad. Try them on my Roasted Pumpkin Salad.
- Bowl Ingredient - Add a pop of flavor to your favorite grain or veggie bowl. They'd be delish in my Roasted Veggie Bowl.
- Soup Topper - Toasted Pumpkin Seeds are the perfect way to add textural contrast to a creamy soup. Sprinkle them over this Pumpkin Soup, Creamy Tomato Soup or this Roasted Carrot Soup.
- Granola / Trail Mix Add-In - Give your fave granola or trail mix recipe a scrumptious seasonal twist. Try stirring them into my easy Homemade Granola once it's finished baking.
- Baked Goods Finishing Touch - Top your favorite baked goods (like muffins or quick breads) with a sprinkle seeds before popping them in the oven.
- Sundae Sprinkle - Finish off your bowl of ice cream with a toasty crunch.
- Party Snack - Of course, this easy recipe would be welcome at any autumnal get together. Serve them at your next fall or Halloween party!
- Seasonal Flavor Boost - There are so many other ways to use up this yummy treat. Get creative the next time you make dinner!
The best thing about this recipe is that you can make a big batch, then enjoy it all fall long. Stored in an airtight container, the seeds will keep for weeks ... but I doubt if you'll be able to resist them for that long! If they do happen to get a little stale, just pop them back in the oven for a few minutes, and they'll get crunchy again.
Not carving any pumpkins this year, but still want to make this recipe? Make one of my savory pumpkin recipes, then save the seeds!
- Pumpkin Pizza
- Roasted Pumpkin Salad
- Pumpkin Risotto
- Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- Pumpkin Curry
- Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- Pumpkin Couscous Salad
- Pumpkin Lentil Curry
Craving more seasonal recipes? You can find all my pumpkin recipes here!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Still have questions about how to perfect this recipe? Leave me a comment below the recipe or check out this Q & A:
You do not need to soak pumpkin seeds before roasting. While some recipes say this makes them easier to digest, unless they upset your stomach it isn't necessary.
Pumpkin Seeds are one seasonal treat that's actually good for you. They contain protein, antioxidants, minerals, healthy fats, and have other benefits, too. Check out this article from Health magazine for more details.
While pumpkin seeds can technically be eaten raw, they are much tastier (and easier to eat) when roasted. Simply mix raw seeds with olive oil and seasonings, then bake at 350 degrees. Stir them every 5 minutes, cooking until toasted and crunchy.
The fastest way to clean pumpkin seeds is to work with a small piece of pulp at a time. Brush off any seeds hanging from the pulp, then gently squeeze the pulp to remove the remaining seeds.
If your pumpkin seeds are still chewy after roasting, you haven't cooked them for long enough. Return them to the oven, then continue cooking until they are crunchy.
Pumpkin seeds can sit out for a few hours before roasting. This will also dry the exterior of the seeds, which you need to do before baking them anyway. If you're not planning to cook the seeds within a couple hours, transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate.
Pumpkin Seeds have mild, slightly nutty flavor. Their neutral taste means that they will take on the flavor of whatever you season them with.
The pumpkin seeds that you remove from jack-o'-lanterns and the pepitas that you find in grocery stores are two separate things. While both are pumpkin seeds, pepitas come from specific types of pumpkins and they do not require hulling.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- other seasonings (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Separate pumpkin seeds from pulp, then transfer to a baking sheet. Let dry for at least 30 minutes.
- Drizzle seeds with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and other seasonings (if using) to taste. Mix well.
- Bake seeds, stirring every five minutes, until toasted and crisp (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- Let baked pumpkin seeds cool, then store in an airtight container until ready to eat. Enjoy!