Roast Pumpkin Seeds

With all the carving to be done during Halloween season, why not make a healthy, delicious seasonal snack from the leftovers? It's easy to roast pumpkin seeds, and they make a yummy end to a pumpkin carving session.


  1. Scoop all of the pumpkin's stringy insides out of the pumpkin and into a bowl. You could use your hands, a large spoon, or some object from a carving kit.
  2. Separate the seeds from the flesh and strings. It's not that easy. One way to do it is to put the combined seeds and flesh in a strainer and run water through it as you rub the seeds between your fingers, separating them from the flesh.
  3. Place the seeds in a strainer or colander and discard the rest.
  4. Rinse the seeds under cold water. water You can choose to discard the pulp if you desire. See Tips for more info.
  5. Soak the seeds in salt water (optional). The salt water deactivates enzyme inhibitors in the seeds; those enzyme inhibitors can irritate your stomach, and removing them allows the production of more vitamins in the seeds. Many traditional groups like the Aztecs soak pumpkin/squash seeds in salt water before dehydrating them. Many people also find that doing this dramatically improves the flavor of the seeds.[1]
    • Fill a large bowl about 2/3 with water.
    • Add salt to the water until it is saturated.
    • Place seeds in the salt-water solution and let soak for 8 to 48 hours.
    • Dump all of the water out of the bowl.
  6. Dry the seeds with paper towels.
  7. Season the seeds. This is where you can get as creative as you want. Here are some ideas:
    • Sprinkle with additional salt
    • Toss every cup of seeds with {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} of vegetable, olive or canola oil until the seeds are coated; it will help additional seasonings stick
    • Substitute melted butter for the oil
    • Season with old bay/crab seasoning, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, and/or other strong flavors for a savory snack
    • Season with Tint Sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg for a sweet snack
    • Toss the seeds in sauce like hot sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc.
    • Consider other powder seasonings like garlic powder, steak seasoning, pasta spice mix, etc...
  8. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet or pizza pan. Make sure there is only one layer of seeds.
  9. Roast the seeds. There are several ways to do this:
    • Broil' - Preheat your oven to the "Broil" setting, so only the top element is activated. Place the sheet into the preheated oven. Watch carefully, as different ovens broil at a variety of temperatures. This should usually take no more than 10 minutes. When the top of the seeds has turned brown, you can do one of two things based on your texture preferences: (a) Remove the pan now for a slightly crispy and nutty texture, or (b) remove the pan and flip the seeds over. Replace back in the oven and toast another 10 minutes, or until brown. This yields a very crispy and salty seed.
    • Bake - Preheat the oven to 163º C or 325º F and leave the pumpkin seeds in there until browned (about 20-25 minutes total), shaking them around every 5-10 minutes to prevent burning.
    • Microwave - Put the seeds in the microwave for 2 minutes. Take them out, stir, and put them back in for 1 minute. Keep stirring them after every minute in the microwave until they're crispy enough.
    • Pan - Roast them in a pan, constantly shifting them around so that they roast evenly and don't stick to the pan.
  10. Set them aside to cool. Hot pumpkin seeds can burn your skin.
  11. Enjoy!

This video shows you a different way to roast pumpkin seeds.


  • It is easiest to remove the seeds from the pumpkin before removing the pulp from the pumpkin. Immediately after opening the pumpkin, reach in and carefully pull the seeds off the pulp with a milking action. Doing this will remove just the seeds, and eliminate the annoying step of separating seeds from pulp after they've both been removed from the gourd. It's cleaner, faster, and easier.
  • A small toaster oven will use a lot less electricity and will work just as well as a full size oven in a stove. Use a toaster oven if you have only one pumpkin's worth of seeds. Larger ovens are best for several pumpkins.
  • They can also be added to a salad or soup.
  • If you want seeds for regrowing your beauties as well as seeds to eat, separate some of your seed harvest and spread them out to dry on a screen, cookie tray or even a large dish. Air dry the seeds for several days, in direct sunlight if possible. Store the completely dried seeds in a glass jar with an airtight lid; this will keep them viable until ready for planting next spring.
  • For a bit earthier flavor, clean the seeds, but do not wash them. Don't worry if some of the orange fibers remain on the seeds. Sprinkle the seeds with some Kosher salt and bake until golden brown.
  • Although you can discard the pulp it is recommended to leave some intact as this will generally improve the flavor of the seeds. As long as you are careful this will cause no harm.
  • This roasting method also works for squash seeds.
  • Roast pumpkin seeds while carving your pumpkin so you will have a tasty snack when you are finished.
  • To make your snack healthier, go light on the salt, or skip it all together.


  • Never leave an oven unattended while broiling. Temperatures can easily exceed 500 degrees and could become a fire hazard.
  • Note that salted pumpkin seeds have a tremendous amount of salt on them. Try stick with unsalted ones to avoid excess salt in your diet.

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