Pumpkin season is here, so that means lots of edible treats like pumpkin seeds. Learn how to roast pumpkin seeds with ease, thanks to these easy steps. Before you know it, you’ll be making your own spice blend and feeling inspired to use the seeds on anything — well, not everything.
Did you know that there are some major health benefits of pumpkin seeds? They’re high in Vitamin K, iron, magnesium, zinc, copper, and manganese, great for heart health, and are an excellent source of plant-based fiber.
While we’re basking in the orange glow of these scrumptious fruits, check out Trader Joe’s pumpkin products to get your fall fix and of course your pumpkin spice latte. Since Halloween is right around the corner, KCL has all you need to tackle fall with our Halloween deals and coupons.
Text HACKS to 57299 for more savings hacks and smart shopping tips.
Here’s your step-by-step guide on how to roast pumpkin seeds like a pro!
Pumpkin seeds 101: pepitas vs pumpkin seeds
Before you get your roast on, let’s do a quick cooking school lesson on the difference between pepitas and pumpkin seeds. These names are often used interchangeably.
Pepitas are green, oval-shaped seeds without a shell. The entire seed is edible and can be eaten raw or roasted. They’re a type of raw pumpkin seed that grows (shell-free) in a hull-free Styrian (from Austria) or Oilseed pumpkin. Styrian pumpkins are orange with distinctive green vertical lines. Fun fact: the word pepita is Spanish for “little seed of squash.”
Pumpkin seeds are white, oval-shaped seeds with a shell. You’ll find them in your garden-variety orange pumpkins. Generally, it’s safe to eat raw pumpkin seeds, but they taste better roasted.
To add more confusion (and fun food facts), sunflower seeds aren’t even seeds. They’re fruits of the sunflower.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Step 1: Carve pumpkin and remove seeds from pulp.
You can always buy pumpkin seeds from the store, but if you bought pumpkins for your fall decorations, save the seeds before you compost or trash them. Fresh is best here.
Wash your pumpkin first to remove any debris. Before carving, choose a large space to collect the mess. Newspaper, a garbage bag, paper towels, or kitchen towels are great to lay the pumpkin on, and a big bowl can store the seeds and pulp. It’s not a bad idea to have a bowl of water handy too.
Use a cutting board and a sharp knife to cut around the top of the pumpkin just round the stem. Once you have a “lid,” you have two options to collect the seeds — insert your hand or use a large spoon to dig out the seeds, or carefully slice the pumpkin in half so that you can see all of the contents.
Step 2: Separate and clean the seeds.
Once you’ve scraped the seeds and pulp, it’s time to get your hands messy by separating them. Water is your friend here. Manually separate the seeds by adding water to your collection bowl and picking out the seeds.
Toss the seeds in a bowl of clean water or a colander for additional water rinsing. Rinse well, then pat dry thoroughly. It’s essential to dry them thoroughly before roasting so they can actually roast and not steam (due to excess moisture).
Don’t fret if you can’t remove all of the fibrous strands.
Step 3: Get ready to roast.
With your rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds, it’s go time, baby! Once you learn how to roast pumpkin seeds, teach your friends on TikTok (don’t forget to shout out KCL or visit the KCL TikTok page).
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and grab a large baking sheet. Add the seeds to a new bowl and choose a neutral-flavored oil like olive oil or melted butter. For two cups of seeds, use three tablespoons of fat and one tablespoon of seasoning.
As for seasonings, you could go the basic route of salt and pepper. Or choose to roast with just the fat. Or how about trying one of these flavorful combos?
- Pumpkin spice (brown sugar and pumpkin spice seasoning)
- Taco seasoning
- Spicy (cumin, paprika, cayenne)
- Mocha (cocoa powder, sugar, and an egg white)
- Barbecue seasoning
- Ranch seasoning
- Everything bagel seasoning
Add your desired seasonings to the bowl and spread in a single layer on your baking sheet. Adding parchment paper or aluminum foil can help with cleanup. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes. Check on them halfway through to avoid any burning (those pesky oven hot spots!). A longer roasting time may be necessary depending on your oven or crisp preference.
If roasting isn’t an option or a thing for you, use your stovetop to cook the seeds in a dry skillet for about five minutes. Transfer them to a baking sheet (with oil and seasonings) to crisp up at 325 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes. You can also boil them in salted water for 10 minutes, drain, then roast them for five to 10 minutes.
How to eat and store your freshly roasted pumpkin seeds.
As your seeds cool, they’ll become crispier. Personally, I like a little bit of a chew. Store your roasted pumpkin seeds in an airtight container for up to three months. No refrigeration is necessary.
Now that you’ve learned how to roast pumpkin seeds, what are you going to do with all of them? Here are some of our favorite ideas:
- Add them to granola or trail mix
- Chop them and garnish your favorite fall soup
- Use them in salads
- Fold into homemade protein balls
- Mix into hummus
- Sprinkle on homemade pumpkin bread
- Snack on them as is
Who shouldn’t eat pumpkin seeds?
- Given their high fiber content, folks with gastro or digestive issues should eat pumpkin seeds in moderation or not all.
- If you have esophageal issues, reconsider this snack because poorly chewed seeds may irritate your throat.
- Absolutely do not give pumpkin seeds to infants or young children or those with any seed allergies.