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How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

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Can you tell we are excited for pumpkin season? We love all the pumpkins: Sugar pumpkins, Oilseed pumpkins, pie pumpkins, Styrian pumpkins- you name it we'll try it! We love making our own pumpkin puree, pies, and all the fall season rolls. Want to find a good use for the insides of your pumpkin? See How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds (sometimes called pepitas- the Spanish word for the shelled seeds) to avoid wasting a large portion of your whole pumpkins! I have always been one to dislike wasting food- but what can you do with a large, gooey mess of pumpkin seeds? Pumpkin seeds have amazing health benefits. These edible seeds abound in the average pumpkin and are a perfect crunchy snack in the fall season.  See how to make raw pumpkin seeds taste amazing with this pumpkin seed recipe! Let's get ready so that next time you have a carving pumpkin you can clear out that pumpkin pulp and save those large seeds and even the small seeds. It may seem like a lot of work but you can get the most out of your pumpkin and use this foolproof method to keep from wasting. You will see how simple it can be without taking too much time. 

Why Roast Pumpkin Seeds?

One of my favorite Halloween traditions is pumpkin carving. As a kid, I thought it was so much fun, and as an adult, I realize how much harder it is than it looks!

Now that I'm a parent I've found it actually pretty fun to carve a pumpkin with the kids. Some of them are very interested in the whole pumpkin seeds- and some of them have pretty strong reactions! I will never forget how grossed out my little ones were the first few times we carved a pumpkin. Eventually, they all ran off– not wanting to see all those gooey seeds and stringy pulp! Of course they were back when the pumpkin was nice and clean, and ready to be carved.

If you haven't planned out what to do with pumpkin seeds ahead of time, chances are they will go in the trash. I've done both. Being totally honest, sometimes you don't have time to save the pumpkin seeds to make snacks. However, a large pumpkin you may find at the store or the pumpkin patch can yield a very large amount of seeds– which make delicious and vitamin-packed fall crunchy snack with a yummy nutty flavor!

According to the American Heart Association Eating the pumpkin seed shells only adds to the seeds' high fiber content, dietary fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease and obesity and helping digestive issues. Whole, roasted pumpkin seeds in their hard white shells contain about 5.2 grams of fiber per serving, while seeds without the outer shell contain just 1.8 grams which is not too much fiber. They are also full of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and essential nutrients . These are just some of the benefits of pumpkin seeds. So let's enjoy some perfect pumpkin seeds and their important role in heart health. 

Store-bought pumpkin seeds may be easier but they are higher in sodium and lack the extra nutrients that make them a healthier treat when they come from the source instead of the grocery store. Making your own can help you control the salt content and variety. Kosher salt is a great choice for seasoning and you just need a little. 

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

How to Prepare Pumpkin Seeds

Before we know how to eat roasted pumpkin seeds we must learn how to prepare them.

To get started, be sure to have a clean place to put your pumpkin seeds as you scoop them out of the pumpkin. A large bowl works well. Some pumpkins yield more seeds than others, so if you're working with a very large pumpkin (or more than a single pumpkin), be prepared with a good sized mixing bowl you should be able to collect a few cups of seeds. It also helps to cover the counter with a kitchen towel, parchment, or something else to keep the mess to a minimum. It's important to start with clean seeds.

Tip: Use an ice cream scoop to help empty out your pumpkins.

You can allow your pumpkin seeds to remain at room temperature while you're carving the pumpkin, but as any other food will, they can mold if left out too long. If you're not able to start on your pumpkin seeds immediately you can cover in a sealed container and refrigerate until you're ready to use them– ideally within the next 24 hours or so. They will soften over time and won't have the best texture if not dried out and washed with cold water soon. Dry seeds are not the same as fresh wet ones. 

When you're ready to get started with the roasting process, fill a large bowl with  several cups of water (some folks like to use salt water) and add your pumpkin seeds. This process is very messy so I do it all in the sink. Plus it's easy access to run the water if needed. You will rinse and separate and discard the pulp as you go. I like to have a separate bowl by the sink to collect the discarded pulp in since it's messy. This keeps it contained a little better.

After you separate most of the largest sections of pulp, empty your bowl of most of the water and do a repeat rinse. At this point there are mostly smaller strings and sections of pulp left. Slowly work your way through, separating the strings from seeds using your hands. When most of that is gone, you can take a colander and empty your seeds into it. Do a final cleaning/separating pulp from seeds under running water. This helps with the “sliminess”! There is no need to boil pumpkin seeds. 

Drying and Seasoning Pumpkin Seeds

Once you have clean pumpkin seeds, you can dry the pumpkin seeds on the counter or in the oven. It actually can take up to a couple days to dry them on the counter, so I opt to use my oven with a baking sheet as I feel this is the best way to speed the process up. You can also use a food dehydrator if you have one (I do not). You want the heat low, just a 275° f oven will do the trick! Using low temperatures will turn your oven into one big dehydrator. You can use parchment paper, but I have never needed it. How to eat roasted pumpkin seeds can depend on your preferences and personal tastes.

Lay them out in a thin layer on a prepared cookie tray or sheet pan with edges and allow to dry for a while on the counter. Most of the water will evaporate within 1-2 hours. If not just dab them with some paper towelsWhile they are drying you can mix up the spice mix in a separate bowl. For this recipe I used a basic mix of garlic salt, Worcestershire sauce, and butter- these seasonings are the best part of our favorite snack mix! You can definitely get creative and use whatever spices you prefer here.

We do like spicy snacks, so adding a pinch of Cayenne pepper or Red Pepper Flakes is a tasty option. If you aren't crazy about the garlic, you can substitute the Garlic Salt or Garlic powder and Worcestershire and just switch it out for some olive oil and Cajun Seasoning. Chili powder & black pepper is another good one. I would go with 1-2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and then add more if needed. You don't want to have them saturated with your mixture. It should be a nice, thin coating so the seeds will brown and crisp, and not just burn up. Or if you don't like spices just use some sea salt.

Gently coat the pumpkin seeds with your spice mixture in the bowl or right on the cookie sheet. To roast, spread the seeds out in a nice single layer and roast in the oven. You can gently stir them around with a spatula about half way through the cooking time to ensure they are browned evenly. Roasted seeds should have a crispy texture and browned edges without being burned. Basically bake them till they are golden brown. Cooking times may vary with how much water is left in the seeds and a few other factors, so be sure to keep an eye on them, as they roast. Make sure you store them in an airtight container. You can eat them buy them selves, mix with sunflower seed or add a cup to some trail mix. How to eat roasted pumpkin seeds is up to you!

Once you're done with seeds you can use that pumpkin to make all kinds of delicious things like pumpkin pie or homemade pumpkin puree. We hope you enjoyed this pumpkin seeds recipe and you now know that pumpkin seeds can be a delicious snack. Let us know in the comments below on what you like to put on your pumpkin seedsWe'd love to hear from you, did you already know how to eat roasted pumpkin seeds or do you know how to make pumpkin seed oil? How did it go the first time you tried to roast these tasty white seeds? This is a great way to use every last bit of your fall pumpkin! 

Yield: 2 cups

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds

Don't waste all those pumpkin seeds! If you don't want to throw away the insides of your pumpkins, see this easy way to turn them into a savory snack.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 1 second
Additional Time 2 hours 1 second
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes 2 seconds

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds

Instructions

Remove seeds from pumpkin and place in a large bowl.

Under running water, rinse pumpkin seeds well. This is easiest to do by hand. The seeds are attached to the pulp, so just start separating sections of the pulp and discarding the pulp as you go. A second "trash" bowl on the counter next to the sink works well. You can remove seeds easier under the water in the bowl, but the process does take some time. Empty water and repeat rinse until most of the pulp has been separated from the seeds.

With a colander, rinse seeds under running water and remove any more strings you don't want. It's ok if some of the pulp remains on the seeds! It will fall off while they roast.

Prepare a large jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides) covered with parchment. You may need two pans if you have a lot of seeds to roast.

Place seeds in 1 layer across the surface of the pan and allow to dry. I let them dry at room temp 1-2 hours.

While they are drying, In a large bowl mix together the melted butter, salt and Worcestershire sauce. Carefully add the pumpkin seeds and toss them around. You can stir with a spatula to gently mix.

Place the seeds back on your prepared baking sheet lined it with foil or parchment and bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour or until dried and turning slightly brown. Store in a sealed container.

Enjoy!

Notes

You can add other spices and additional salt if necessary. Some ideas are:

  • Substitute Cajun Seasoning for the Garlic Salt; Add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil in place of Worcestershire Sauce.
  • Use Seasoned Salt in place of the Garlic Salt.
  • Add a pinch of Cayenne Pepper, Red Peppers, Louisiana Hot Sauce, or Tabasco for an extra kick!

Nutrition Information

Yield

6

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 156Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 15mgSodium 425mgCarbohydrates 14gFiber 4gSugar 1gProtein 4g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment if you love this recipe!

Be sure to stick around and see some more fun fall posts from Consumer Queen!

Here are some of our Favorite Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Pecan Bread is one of the most delicious parts of fall! The fact that it’s also one of the easiest, well, that’s just a most delightful bonus!

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake is a beautiful dessert for fall. See this from-scratch recipe here!

These Pumpkin Dipped Pretzels make for an easy party snack.

If fall had a taste, this would be it!  These Pumpkin Spice Donuts are perfect with a cup of coffee on a chilly fall morning.  Give these donuts a try today!

If you like this Pumpkin Seeds Recipe, Check out this next Fall Recipe:

Pumpkin Patch Trail Mix is easy to throw together and great for Halloween clearance candy! Check it out!

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