Make a batch of crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds this fall! This delicious snack is so simple to make and can be seasoned with your favorite spices ... it's the perfect healthy (yet totally addictive) 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, and they're so easy to make. Plus, they're a tasty snack that both kids and adults will love.
We always seasoned the seeds with basic salt and pepper, but these days, I prefer to get creative. Check out my pumpkin seed seasoning ideas before the recipe for some fun tips.
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 you need so few ingredients. No trip to the store needed for this yummy fall treat!
Here's what you'll need:
- Raw Pumpkin Seeds
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper (I use Kosher salt.)
- Your Choice of Seasonings
- Baking Sheet
For this recipe, you can use seeds from a jack-o'-lantern or from a smaller sugar / pie pumpkin. I used a pie pumpkin to make this recipe.
Flavor-wise, this recipe is super versatile! You can choose to season the season it simply with salt and pepper or 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.
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it's vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, low carb, dairy free ... all that good stuff. Which means the seeds are super healthy, and anyone can eat them!
Tip: You can also roast seeds from other winter squash, so don't be afraid to experiment the next time you make your favorite seasonal recipe.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Okay, now that you've gathered the ingredients, let's get cooking. This recipe couldn't be easier, but I'm breaking it down step-by-step so you can get the best—and most important: crunchiest—results.
One note before you get started: I've sized this recipe for one cup of pumpkin seeds, which is about how much you'll get from a medium pie pumpkin. It's super easy to size the recipe up, if needed ... just double or triple the oil and add more seasoning.
Removing and Cleaning the Seeds
The first thing you need to do is separate the seeds from the pulp. This was always my least favorite part as a kid. Ha!
Here's the easy way to do it. 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.
It's a messy job, but as long as you have a little patience, it shouldn't take that long. 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.
Tip: Some recipes tell you to rinse the seeds after removing the pulp, but it's not necessary. As long as you've removed the big chunks, it's totally fine to roast any bits that are left.
Drying 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.
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.
I've seen a few recipes that recommend letting the seeds sit overnight. While that may cut down on roasting time, it's not necessary. As an impatient cook, I usually only wait about 30 minutes ... or just until the exterior isn't visibly sticky anymore.
Seasoning + Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
Next, you're going to 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!
After you've seasoned the seeds, spread them on the baking sheet in a single layer. If you're making an especially big batch, consider use a couple sheet pans ... ... you want to give them plenty of room to roast.
Then, roast the pumpkin seeds at 350 degrees, stirring every 5 minutes. Don't skip the stirring ... this helps them cook evenly, ensuring that they get crunchy!
You'll cook the pumpkin seeds for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're golden brown and crisp. The timing really depends on their size, plus how dried out they were when you started. Tasting a few seeds as they cook is the best way to check that they're crispy throughout and finished cooking.
There are a million ways to season pumpkin seeds, from super basic to totally creative. 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.
Here are some ideas to inspire you:
- 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 - Add a little kick by stirring in ¼ to ½ teaspoon of Cayenne or a few dashes of hot sauce (this Secret Aardvark Sauce is my fave!) along with the olive oil.
- Spicy Buffalo - Love all things Buffalo sauce? Stir a teaspoon or two of Frank's Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce and a few dashes of Garlic Powder into the seeds about halfway through baking.
- 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.
- Old Bay - I can't think of many things Old Bay doesn't taste delicious on, toasted Pumpkin Seeds included! Mix about a teaspoon in before baking. Just keep in mind that Old Bay contains salt, so probably no need to add extra.
- Garlic - Love garlic? Stir in a half teaspoon of Garlic Powder before baking. Want to use fresh garlic? Mix it in about 5 minutes before the seeds are finished cooking so it doesn't burn.
- 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.
- Pumpkin Spice - Go all in on that fall vibe! Combine one tablespoon sugar and one teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice in a bowl, then toss with the seeds once they're finished roasting.
- Cinnamon Sugar - This is another delicious fall combination, and it's as easy as mixing the seeds with Cinnamon Sugar once they're done cooking.
- Ranch - Can't get enough of all things Ranch? Toss the seeds with a tablespoon of Ranch Dressing Mix (the dried kind) once they've finished roasted.
- BBQ - Spice up your snack by mixing it with a teaspoon or two of BBQ Rub before baking.
How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds
Roasted 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 my 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!
Storing Roasted Seeds
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.
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:
Should pumpkin seeds be soaked before roasting?
Some recipes call for soaking pumpkin seeds before roasting to make them easier to digest. Unless they upset your stomach though, it's not necessary.
Are roasted pumpkin seeds good for you?
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.
How do you eat pumpkin seeds?
While pumpkin seeds can 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.
What is the fastest way to clean pumpkin seeds?
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.
Why are my roasted pumpkin seeds chewy?
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.
How long can pumpkin seeds sit out before cooking?
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.
What do pumpkin seeds taste like?
Pumpkin Seeds have mild, slightly nutty flavor. Their neutral taste means that they will take on the flavor of whatever you season them with.
What's the difference between pumpkin seeds and pepitas?
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.
Not carving any pumpkins this year, but still want to make this recipe? Try making my Roasted Pumpkin Salad, Pumpkin Risotto, or Pumpkin Curry ... all of which are delightful ways to use fresh pumpkin.
Craving more seasonal recipes? You can find all my pumpkin recipes here!
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 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!