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How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds



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Brimming with good-for-you nutrients and low in calories and fat, pumpkin seeds make a deliciously crunchy snack or salad topper. From extracting to seasoning the seeds, we show you how to achieve the perfectly roasted seeds.See more: Our Best Pumpkin Recipes
See more: Pumpkin Bread Recipes

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The Easiest Way to Roast Pumpkin Seeds — and 6 Delightful Recipes to Make With Them

Sweater weather, the turning of the leaves, pumpkin spice lattes. It's easy to see why so many of us fangirl over fall — it is America's favorite season after all, according to YouGov, a market research firm.

And with fall comes pumpkin, the "it" produce of the season, making its way into everything from pumpkin-spiced foods and drinks to holiday décor.

We're obviously fans of the veggie's nutritional benefits but we're big on pumpkin seeds, too. A one-ounce serving of pumpkin seeds offers five grams of fiber and five grams or protein. It's also an excellent source (providing more than 20 percent of the recommended daily amount) of zinc, magnesium and copper.

So if you find yourself with some leftover pumpkin seeds from this year's jack-o-lantern and aren't quite sure what to do with them, we've got you covered. Try these easy tricks on cleaning and roasting the seeds along with some recipes to enjoy.

Want more healthy recipes? Download the MyPlate app and get simple, tasty meals and snacks tailored to your nutrition goals.


You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make baked pumpkin seeds. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:

Raw pumpkin seeds: Clean them well, then wash and dry. Yes, it's tedious work, but I think it's well worth the tasty result! Don't go nuts about getting them completely dry, though - they will dry out in the oven.

Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead (although it won't be as flavorful). Melted butter is another tasty option.

Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should probably reduce the amount you use, or the seeds could end up too salty.

Spices: I use smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Make sure the spices you use are fresh - a stale spice can easily ruin a dish. Speaking from experience!


Michelle Arnold / EyeEm/Getty Images

You certainly don’t have to shell pumpkin seeds. The hull is delicious, nutritious, and totally safe to eat. That said, many people find the tough texture unappealing and others have trouble digesting them.

It’s nearly impossible to shell raw pumpkin seeds, but a quick 15-minute boil should loosen them up. Once you’ve drained and cooled them, you can pinch the seeds individually to easily remove the shells (fun fact: the soft, green seeds are called pepitas).

To shell in bulk, spread the seeds between two sheets of wax paper. Carefully roll a rolling pin over the top sheet or beat it with a mallet. Be firm enough to crack the shells, but gentle enough to keep the seeds intact.

For the purposes of this article, we left the pumpkin seeds whole𠅋ut you can find our recipe for roasted pepitas here.


Rinse pumpkin seeds. Use your fingers to remove all the pulp. Drain pumpkin seeds and discard pulp. Spread out on a cookie sheet to dry overnight.

Place butter or olive oil in a microwave-safe, rectangular baking dish. Heat in microwave on high for 30 seconds. Add pumpkin seeds and toss to coat. Spread seeds out evenly in the bottom of the dish.

Microwave on high about 7 to 8 minutes or until seeds are toasted a light golden color. Be sure to stir every 2 minutes as they are cooking. (Microwave temperatures vary, so keep an eye on them and stir often.)

When done, sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, or your choice of seasonings. Toss to coat.​


Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ½ cups 1 x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

This fun recipe yields perfect roasted pumpkin seeds, every time. You’ll also find tips on how to clean the seeds, plus flavor variations! Recipe yields about one medium pumpkin’s worth of seeds (1 ½ cups).*

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups fresh pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • Optional sweetener: 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt, to taste
  • Optional flavorings: Freshly ground black pepper, to taste, or 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice blend or ground cinnamon or curry powder

Instructions

  1. To clean your pumpkin seeds: Place the pumpkin seeds in a colander. Run water over the seeds and swish them around, removing any obvious bits of pumpkin flesh along the way. Drain off the excess water. Create a double layer of paper grocery bags (one inside the other). Place the seeds inside with a clean, lint-free tea towel or several paper towels. Fold the bag to close and shake it all around! They should be dry enough at this point.
  2. To toast your pumpkin seeds: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
  3. Place your rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds on the prepared baking sheet. Add the oil, sweetener (if using) and salt. Stir until all of the seeds are coated, then spread them in an even layer across the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until the seeds are fragrant and turning golden. Season them with additional salt, to taste. If desired, season with black pepper, to taste, or stir in the pumpkin spice blend or curry powder. Enjoy.
  5. Cooled, leftover pumpkin seeds will keep well in a bag at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

*Pumpkin seed quantity notes: If your pumpkin yields a bit over or under 1 ½ cups, you should be fine following these ingredients and instructions as written. If it yields significantly less, know that your seeds may finish baking a few minutes earlier, so keep an eye on them. I’m able to fit a maximum of 2 cups on my baking sheet at one time—don’t overcrowd them or they won’t get toasty.

Make it dairy free/vegan: For dairy-free pumpkin seeds, simply use olive oil instead of butter. For vegan seeds, use olive oil and don’t use honey (maple syrup is a great alternative, or skip the sweetener altogether).

Change it up: You can use this technique to roast other winter squash seeds, including butternut, acorn, delicata and spaghetti squash. Since these seeds are typically smaller than pumpkin seeds, they may roast more quickly, so keep an eye on them.


Have you ever picked something new at the grocery store that was too interesting to pass up, then after you got home, you thought, "Now how do I cook it?"

Last week, I couldn't resist buying a scoop of raw pumpkin seeds from the nearest foodie mart dry bulk bin section. (I always save money in that section.) It wasn't until I was ready to mix them into a batch of Fresh N Fruity Oatmeal Bread that I realized the seeds had to be toasted first. Uh, and at what temperature and for how long? I had to go blind on this one and just take a good guess. After 7 minutes in the oven, SUCCESS was MINE, ALL MINE! Bwa-Hahaha!

HERE'S ALL THERE'S TO IT
Heat the oven to 375ºF. Spread the raw pumpkin seeds flat on a cookie sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly golden. If the seeds start popping like popcorn, turn down the oven temperature by 25 degrees.

Their toasty taste doesn't ask for any seasonings, not even salt. I couldn't help eat a few handfuls before adding them into my bread dough. I thought they tasted better than sunflower seeds. And I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again just to have around for snacking. Give them a try and see what you think.


5 Easy Ways to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

You can find pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) in the snack or health-food section of your grocery store, but if you're carving jack-o'-lanterns or cooking fresh pumpkin this year, try roasting your own. Not only are they tasty, and useful in all sorts of pumpkin seed recipes, there are terrific health benefits in those little parcels. They're high in protein, iron, zinc, and magnesium, and they're also rich in ALA, an omega-3 fatty acid.

Here's how to roast pumpkin seeds:
Wash seeds off and spread them out in a single layer in a baking dish or pie plate bake in a low oven (250 degrees) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until well dried. Or try broiling them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Pumpkin seeds make great snacks and are delicious tossed in salads or as a soup topping. But there's a lot more you can do with them. Try these recipes and reap the benefits of this crunchy, healthy ingredient.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes / TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
SERVES: 16

2 c green pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp paprika or cayenne pepper

1. HEAT oven to 425°F.
2. TOSS all ingredients together in bowl until seeds are well-coated. Transfer seeds and any liquid to parchment-lined baking sheet. Pat into single layer. Toast until seeds are golden brown and aromatic, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Pepitas will keep in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes / TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
SERVES: 4

2 tsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 lg red bell pepper, chopped
1 potato, peeled and diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp oregano
4 c reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ c chopped roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1. HEAT oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell pepper, potato, garlic, and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add broth, pumpkin, salt, and pepper. Simmer 10 minutes or until potato is very tender.
2. TRANSFER soup to food processor fitted with metal blade or blender (in batches, if necessary). Process until smooth.
3. RETURN soup to pot. If necessary, add water to thin to desired consistency. Reheat if needed.
4. LADLE into 4 bowls and top each with 2 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds. Drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes / TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes
SERVES: 18

1 c honey
⅓ c canola or safflower oil
⅛ tsp salt
4 c old-fashioned rolled oats
1 c unsalted pumpkin seeds
½ c slivered almonds
½ c unsalted sunflower seed kernels
2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
1 c dried sweetened cranberries
1 c golden raisins

1. PUT oven rack in middle position and another just below. Heat oven to 300°F. Lightly oil 2 sheet pans.
2. COMBINE honey, oil, and salt in small saucepan. Set over medium heat and stir until hot and well blended, 2 minutes.
3. MIX oats, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds (if using) in large bowl. Stir honey mixture again. Drizzle over oat mixture while stirring. Continue stirring until oats are thoroughly coated.
4. SPREAD mixture on prepared baking sheets. Bake 15 minutes. Stir. Rotate pans top to bottom and front to back. Continue baking, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown, 10 to 18 more minutes. Watch closely to avoid burning.
5. COOL and stir in cranberries and raisins. Transfer to airtight storage containers.

PREP TIME: 15 minutes / TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
SERVES: 8

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 med zucchini, chopped
1 chayote squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1½ c cooked brown rice, chilled
1 c pumpkin seeds, toasted
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp freshly grated lime zest

1. HEAT oil over medium-high heat in large nonstick skillet. Cook onion, zucchini, squash, pepper, and cumin, stirring, 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add rice and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes, until lightly toasted.
2. STIR in pumpkin seeds and salt and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and lime zest.

PREP TIME: 10 minutes / TOTAL TIME: 65 minutes
SERVES: 10

2 c rolled oats
⅓ c pumpkin seeds
⅓ c chopped pecans
¼ c unsweetened shredded coconut
½ c dried cherries
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
¾ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
⅓ c honey
¼ c almond butter
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 8" x 8" baking pan with vegetable oil and line with parchment.
2. PLACE oats, pumpkin seeds, pecans, and coconut on large sheet pan and toast until fragrant, about 8 minutes, being careful not to let it burn. Leave oven on.
3. MIX cherries, hemp seeds, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. Add toasted oats, nuts, and seeds to bowl and mix together.
4. COMBINE honey, almond butter, melted coconut oil, and vanilla in small microwaveable bowl (here are 8 times you should never use coconut oil). Microwave 30 seconds to warm mixture, then stir well and pour over dry ingredients. Stir all ingredients together until uniformly coated with wet ingredients.
5. SPREAD mixture in baking pan and bake 20 minutes, or until bars are lightly golden on top.
6. COOL completely in pan, at least 30 minutes, then cut into 10 rectangular bars.


9 Roasted Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Some of us wait all year for an excuse to carve pumpkins into elaborate works of art. Others might be better categorized as reluctant bystanders. But no matter what camp you fall into, there's one thing that should be universally enjoyed: the pumpkin's heaping mass of seeds that, when properly prepared, make a crisp, golden-brown, delightfully salty snack.

You can read our step-by-step recipe for basic roasted pumpkin seeds to start, but the main thing you need to know is that your seeds should be as dry as possible and coated in oil or some other fat to ensure they cook evenly. While you certainly don't need more than salt and pepper to finish them off, pumpkin seeds can be elevated by a remarkably wide range of sweet and savory seasonings—think Thai chili and lemongrass, Spanish chorizo and smoked paprika, or brown butter and sage. Here are nine unique flavor combos to spice up the season.


How To Store Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Luckily, these seeds store extremely well and can be put to good use throughout the season. But make sure to let them completely cool before storing.

  • To store: if you’re planning to eat them within a month, just store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Anytime after that, store in the fridge for up to 3 months.
  • To freeze: store in a freezer safe bag or container for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to use, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Then pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.