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Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

When you're carving your Halloween pumpkins, don't throw away the seeds!

Toasted and salted, pumpkin seeds have a nutty flavor. They're even better flavored with sweet and savory spices.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

1.  Rinse pumpkin seeds under cold water and pick out the pulp and strings. (This is easiest just after you've removed the seeds from the pumpkin, before the pulp has dried.)

2.  Place the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet, stirring to coat. If you prefer, omit the oil and coat with non-stick cooking spray.

3.  Sprinkle with salt and bake at 325 degrees F until toasted, about 25 minutes, checking and stirring after 10 minutes.

4.   Let cool and store in an air-tight container.

Why Carve Pumpkins?

The story of the Jack o'Lantern comes from Irish folklore. Jack was a crafty farmer who tricked the Devil into climbing a tall tree. When the Devil reached the highest branch, Jack carved a large cross in the trunk, making it impossible for the Devil to climb down.

In exchange for help getting out of the tree, the Devil promised never to tempt Jack with evil again. When Jack died, he was turned away from Heaven for his sins and turned away from Hell because of his trickery. Condemned to wander the earth without rest, Jack carved out one of his turnips, took an ember from the devil, and used it for a lantern to light his way. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern."

See our complete collection of Halloween Recipes.

Oct. 8, 2009 12:52 pm
Acorn and Butternut squash seeds are tasty also and can be toasted the same way as pumpkin seeds. Helen P.
Oct. 8, 2009 5:51 pm
yum! haven't had these in years. I'm excited to make them soon! Thanks for the recipe. :)
Oct. 10, 2009 4:30 pm
How do you remove the hulls?
Oct. 11, 2009 1:24 pm
I like to soak mine in salt water for a day, then let them dry for a day before I coat them with oil and salt and bake them. The other way I do it is to soak them in sugar water, dry them out and then coat with oil and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
Oct. 13, 2009 4:20 pm
So I let mine dry for a day after washing. Coated half of them with a tuscan flavored olive oil and a bunch of spices (cumin, chili powder,pepper and seasoning salt). I coated the other half with veg oil, brown sugar and cinnamon and some pumpkin pie type spices to make the sweet version thanks to Catjohn's comments. Very Yummy!
Oct. 14, 2009 10:25 am
Has anyone tried this with store-bought pumpkin seeds? I wonder if they're too dry to roast.
Oct. 15, 2009 12:44 pm
I've tried to roast pumpkin seeds for about 5 years now and they never get hard enough.. what am i doing wrong?
Oct. 15, 2009 12:45 pm
I've never thought about roasting butternut squash seeds they sound very good:)
Lendy Patterson 
Oct. 16, 2009 8:00 am
I am going to try this tonight!! Thanks for the information.
Oct. 17, 2009 12:03 pm
I soak mine over night in salt water then roast them with a small amount of olive oil and seasoning salt over them. Soo good! I have been doing it every year of my life (my cooking life)
Oct. 18, 2009 7:30 pm
This is for Stephanie, about roasting pumpkin seeds, if you let them dry on some newspaper for about 5 days before you bake them, that might help them to become crisper,then keep in an air tight bag or container. Hope this helps you!
Oct. 19, 2009 6:23 pm
I founf that if you wash them, then let them dry for about 1 and 1/2 days. Then mix 4 tablespoons of butter 2 teaspoons of season salt and 2 teaspoons worcestershire scauce in a bowl then add the seeds stir, set for about 5 min. lay them out on a cookie sheet and place in your oven at 300 for about 17 min they are just perfect. Its what im famous for in the family around this time.
Oct. 21, 2009 2:49 am
When I was a kid my mom used to make these all the time after we carved our pumpkin it was a tradition when I was a kid, I must of forgot about it until I found these reciepes about the different types of roasting seeds, I am going to try them this weekend, I really like the one with using pie spice that sounds different but good.
Oct. 22, 2009 2:07 pm
Pumkin seeds can be roasted without the oil. I like the seeds on the edge of the pan - crunchier, my wife likes the seeds in the middle, less crunchy.
Oct. 23, 2009 12:04 pm
It is not necessary to use any butter, oil or cooking spray with pumpkin seeds. Clean your seeds and then place in a saucepan and cover with a couple inches of water. Add a good amount of seasoning of your choice (I like Montreal Steak seasoning) to the water and simmer the seeds until the shell turns translucent (looks waterlogged). Drain and place on cookie sheet in a 250 degree oven until crisp.
Oct. 23, 2009 12:52 pm
Im so excited to carve our pumpkins and roast the seeds. My hubby and I will be carving them together for the first time in 5 yrs!!!!
Oct. 23, 2009 1:41 pm
I've been roasting pumpkin seeds for some time now. We found that the seeds from sugar pumpkins are the best. Plan on trying butternut squash seeds next.
Oct. 25, 2009 4:44 pm
How are you suppose to eat pumpkin seeds? Like do you crack the shell like sunflower seeds, or what do you do. If you can PLZ!!!!! tell me.
Oct. 26, 2009 9:17 am
"Dirt15"- You can eat the whole seed. You do not need to crack the shell like sunflower seeds. If you do crack the shell, I believe the inside part is referred to as a "pepita" and is used in mexican cuisine. I like to coat my (whole) seeds with olive oil, then add some Old Bay seasoning, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper before roasting.
Oct. 27, 2009 1:35 pm
To Dirt15- I think it's just about preference. I crack mine open like sunflower seeds only eat the inside.
Oct. 29, 2009 11:51 pm
If your seeds are not getting dry and crisp enough, make sure to bake them long - it can take over 30 minutes - and then leave the tray in the warm oven even longer. I sprinkle popcorn salt on mine while wet, then bake until edges are starting to get light brown. Hope this helps.
Oct. 30, 2009 6:33 pm
I used the Club House popcorn seasonings this year on my seeds and they are really good! I rinsed the seeds, added them to a salt brine for a few hours then laid them on paper towels to dry for about an hour. Then sprinkled them with the popcorn seasoning and put them in the oven for about 40 minutes @ 325 and they are wonderful!
Oct. 30, 2009 7:40 pm
I agree with the peeps regarding NO BUTTER, OIL or SPRAY. They are nice and cruchy without and less fattening.
Oct. 31, 2009 11:22 am
the story you listed is a recent tale of the carving of pumpkins. The fact that the devil is in makes it a Christian re-telling. The Christians ursurpsed this holiday from the Druids and added there non sensical stories on top of the real deal in order to try and make it a Christian holiday. It's not. The carving of the pumpkin is to keep the evil spirits away from you on the night when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest. Oct 31st.
Oct. 31, 2009 11:45 am
Worked perfectly! Thanks for the sage advice. :)
Valerie Islas 
Nov. 24, 2009 3:52 pm
I am baking my first pumpkin for pumpkin bars, and am planning to prepare pumpkin seeds for my first time also. So thank you everyone for your comments and advise with recipes included.
Stoop Dogg 
Nov. 28, 2009 8:44 pm
I found that if you use a spoon with a wide edge, it will remove the seeds without cutting out the stringy stuff. After that, I use a spoon with a sharp or thin edge to cut out and remove the stringy stuff.
Aug. 15, 2010 12:09 pm
Use a lower temp when roasting. It may take longer for them to crisp up but the lower temp acts as a dehydrator.
Aug. 29, 2010 3:24 pm
Thanks for the bit of irish folk lore it was nice to know.
Sep. 11, 2010 4:14 pm
Am very anxious to try them, I grew my own pumpkins this year and my husband is IRISH so I loved the story and enjoyed sharing it with our family! Thanks, Oh yes and my birthday is on Halloween-so it is all fun!!
Sep. 25, 2010 8:32 am
You can roast any type of squash seeds... we always do this and they are yummy! I like the acorn squash seeds. As it is a small quantity, I just cook them, without oils, after cleaning, rinsing and patting to a damp dry on paper towel, coat them using lots of Half-Salt, on parchment paper in my toaster oven. I use the light toast setting, making sure they are spread out, toast them on the lighter toast setting repeatedly, stirring them and spreading them out again til done to the crispness we like. As for not being dry enough, you don't have to dry them out for days... I just put them in my oven or toaster oven on a lower heat setting, being careful to spread them so they can be evenly dried out and roasted. They can be left for 10 min at first, then stirred and re-levelled and then left another 10 minutes. Then repeat this every 5 min or so... once they are dried with no sofness, you can turn the heat up and brown them if you like- we like them just starting to brown a tiny bi
Oct. 10, 2010 1:52 pm
I coat mine in extra virgin olive oil, spread them on the pan and sprinkle Tony Chachere's on them. Cajun pumpkin seeds! :)
Oct. 12, 2010 4:49 pm
These are so good! We made these for the first time yesterday and we were impressed. Instead of salt, we used Cajun seasoning. Yum!
Oct. 18, 2010 9:29 pm
I just roasted raw pepitas I bought from the store. Have not had a chance to carve the pumpkin but this is great. The great taste before I actually get to the actual pumpkin seeds. Now I can have them year round!!
Oct. 19, 2010 4:46 pm
I believe that the amount of moisture in the seeds has an affect on the roasting time. A really dry seed will roast faster than one that has been soaked in a brine solution. Start to watch the seeds every 10 to 15 minutes and give them a stir once in a while. Remove them from the oven when the edges start to brown.
Oct. 22, 2010 7:46 am
@TomatoKate & Dirt 15: A pepita (from Mexican Spanish: pepita de calabaza, "little seed of squash") or pumpkin seed is an edible seed of a pumpkin or other cultivar of squash (genus Cucurbita), typically rather flat and asymmetrically oval, and light green in color inside a white hull. The word can refer either to the hulled kernel or unhulled whole seed, and most commonly refers to the roasted end product. The pressed oil of the roasted seeds of a specific pumpkin variety is also used in Central and Eastern European cuisine (see Pumpkin seed oil).[citation needed] Pepitas are a popular ingredient in Mexican cuisine and are also roasted and served as a snack.[1] Marinated and roasted, they are an autumn seasonal favorite in the rural United States, as well as a commercially produced and distributed packaged snack, like sunflower seeds, available year-round.
Oct. 23, 2010 12:10 pm
Of course you don't NEED any type of fat to roast anything. I'm sure everyone here, on a cooking site, is aware of that. Also: not eating fat does not make you superior to others. And the only likely reason to "correct" this recipe is to flaunt your superiority to us oil using plebes. Oil adds flavor, enhances crunch and lets you absorb the nutrients. By the way, if you have any interest in *nourishing* your body with seeds, you'll want to add fat. Fat doesn't just taste good, it is necessary for absorption of all phyto-nutrients and several key vitamins including E and beta carotene. You know what healthy eating is? Eating a variety of foods over time. Eat mostly when you feel hungry and stop when you feel full. The occasional delicious honeycrisp apple or slice of brie when your stomach isn't growling won't kill you. There's no magic diet, if there were humans would be extinct instead of thriving omnivores concocting recipes here. :)
Oct. 24, 2010 5:17 pm
Dont wash the Pumpkin juice off, just remove the strings. It gives it a wonderful flavor!!
Linda Pressey 
Oct. 26, 2010 7:55 pm
After washing and drying the seeds, I tossed a small amount of oil on the seed in a bowl until lightly coated. Place single layer on cookie sheet and lightly sprinkle season salt on the seeds. Bake at 350 for about 20 min turning seeds half way through the roasting. Check often. Take out of oven when golden, not to brown. Yumm. I took the seeds to work and was told they were the best they ever had.
Oct. 29, 2010 12:18 pm
Melodee - Check your true oven temp. with an oven thermometer. The seeds will not burn at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. SuzyQ? RIGHT ON! Butter and Olive Oil is so much better for you than all of the manipulated margerines. Everything in moderation!
Oct. 30, 2010 11:32 am
Substitute with Pepitas! Terrific with lentils in a grilled vegetable burrito or in salads.
Meg from New York 
Oct. 30, 2010 4:34 pm
I cleaned and dried pumpkin seeds and added them to Chex Mix along with the traditional ingredients, plus Bugels to make a "Halloween Chex Mix" for our Halloween party. I used the seasoning in the Chex Mix, of course, which flavored the seeds well and was a nice variation on the traditional mix I think! Once the mix was cooled, I added candy corn to make it festive. Try it! We liked it!
Oct. 30, 2010 7:15 pm
Thank you'all for your tips. I think I will experiment with the simplest of roasting. The seeds are so lovely and fresh like slimy earth pennies. The very wonderful blessing that the pumpkin is beautiful in its growing, as a festive ornament (for good twixt christian or pagan) and yields such tasy nutrition and familial connection makes this brief time of year all the more lovely and liveable.
Oct. 31, 2010 10:17 am
i changed up flavors for the seeds, i made salt and pepper seeds and dill flavour everybody loved them
Oct. 31, 2010 6:27 pm
I roasted pumpkin seeds as a kid with my mom and brother. I roasted pumpkin seeds with my preschool children, they all loved the taste of the roasted seeds!
Nov. 1, 2010 6:21 pm
How do I add to my recepe book?
Nov. 18, 2010 2:05 pm
Don't rinse the seeds! The pumpkin pulp flavor is delicious.
Nov. 20, 2010 6:21 pm
Beat egg whites until frothy.Coat seeds or raw nuts. Drain excess and toss with salt or sugar and spices.Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 until well roasted. Yum
Nov. 21, 2010 11:51 am
You do not need to let them dry at all. Just roast them at a lower temp for a longer time. I lightly spray mine with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast in a 275* oven until crisp, but keep in mind that all ovens are different, and your geographic location/altitude/current humidity will play a role in how long you must roast them. What may take me 2 hours may take you 40 minutes!!
Nov. 25, 2010 2:38 am
hmmm...325 degrees? a bit high, i think. i like to dry the seeds overnight and roast (nothing added) for 20 min at about 165 degrees. this way you avoid destroying the healthy oils.
Dec. 10, 2010 8:40 pm
I never cared for store bought roasted pumpkin seeds, then had them at my cousins that she roasted from her pumpkins WOW what a difference. Going to follow your recipes this weekend.
Dec. 16, 2010 9:34 pm
I boil the seeds in salt water for about 30 minutes. Drain well and while still warm drizzle with a small amount of melted butter. Then, place on a foil covered cookie sheet. Cook at 375 for about an hour, turning every 20 minutes. The shells should be crisp enough to eat. Cook longer if they are not crisp. The shells provide fiber and taste great.
Apr. 11, 2011 8:34 am
I soak mine in salt water for a day or two, then I sprinkle with garlic powder onion powder and seasoning salt and they are a hit with everyone. I also bake mine lower and slower 200 degrees for about 2 hours until they are a light brown. You don't have to shell them. They are so tasty you just shove them in your mouth!
May 2, 2011 9:16 pm
Thanks to all who told how to cook the seeds, i am going to try it this fall.
Phyllis Gross 
Jul. 13, 2011 2:04 pm
Tried this last fall! Awesome job!! I lost my recipe and have been trying to rack my brain for a few years now. Thanks a million because these are as good if not better than my original recipe!!!!
Sep. 17, 2011 11:26 am
Last year I sprayed my baking sheet with olive spray (PAM) and then added the pumpkin seeds, season, and then spray the seeds themselves with spray. This is better, I find, than using oil, as they become to oily for me. The spray is perfect though! Just crunchy enough for me and the kids to enjoy!
Sep. 26, 2011 1:13 pm
Made these earlier today, tossed em with cinnamon and clove and roasted them. After they were done, drizzled them with honey and put em back in the oven (which I had turned off by now) and let them continue for another 5 minutes or so. They turned out amazingly and will go very well with the roast pumpkin I plan on making tonight.
Sep. 28, 2011 12:18 am
Looking forward to trying this its a great way to use whats left of the carved pumpkin instead of being wasteful and throwing everything out :)
Oct. 7, 2011 8:02 am
Thank you Travelmel, the first story didn't make sense to me! I've also heard the Christmas tree came from the Druids also, is this true? I'll be pondering this while roasting all the seeds I can get my hands on...our garden did well this year! Thanks all for the plethora of knowledge!
Oct. 7, 2011 1:19 pm
I can't wait to roast pumpkin seeds again this year- it's been one of my favorite Halloween traditions since I was a little kid! Now I'll have to try the acorn squash seeds too though, I've never thought about trying that- Thanks for the suggestions! I also very much appreciated the non-christianized version of the jack o' lantern story : )It's the truth.
Oct. 22, 2011 9:00 am
No need for drying or oil. Boil seeds in well salted water until they appear transparent, drain and roast on a sheet pan in a single layer stirring often until browned and crispy.
Oct. 23, 2011 6:59 pm
The boyfriend roasted our pumpkin seeds while I carved the pumpkin. He did them with cajun seasoning, and added some extra garlic and a pinch of cayenne. Fan-freakin-tastic!
Oct. 25, 2011 10:44 am
will try this out with the pumpkin seeds from our pumpkin we just carved. I will try the garlic as mentioned above.
Oct. 25, 2011 10:29 pm
Mine just came out perfect!
Oct. 30, 2011 4:18 pm
I brine them in salt water, dry them on a baking sheet, brush on some olive oil, add celery salt, a pinch of cayenne and white pepper and roast them on lower heat (150*-180*) till they are light brown (stirring every 10 minutes or so)
Nov. 8, 2011 8:46 am
I have an abundance of pumpkin seeds. I would like not to roast them all at once. What is the best way of saving them so they do not get moldy. Can I roast them later?
Nov. 8, 2011 8:47 am
I have an abundance of pumpkin seeds. I would like not to roast them all at once. Is there a way of storing them to roast later without them getting rancid or moldy?
margie's recipes 
Nov. 18, 2011 5:50 pm
any idea how to "save to recipe box"?
Dec. 2, 2011 1:32 pm
I made these after we carved out Halloween pumpkins this year. We tried alittle cayanne pepper to some of them. Very good.
Dec. 13, 2011 9:11 pm
very very perfectly yummy!!
Sep. 11, 2012 9:03 pm
I boil the pumpkin seeds in salt & crab boil (same as I do peanuts)It is easy and yummy!
Sep. 25, 2012 11:08 am
I want to roast pumpkins seeds again. I have only done it once and had never had them before to compare the taste. The texture was very stemmy. Did I not cook then long enough. The taste was good just a bad texture. I have since eaten them and know their not suppose to have this texture. Can anyone advise????
Oct. 22, 2012 12:29 pm
I tried Hidden Valley Ranch dip seasoning packet as my seasoning this year ... delicious ranch pumpkin seeds!!
Oct. 27, 2012 11:23 am
We have also roasted them with cinnamon and sugar. The sugar caramelizes and is very tasty. We used this method last year and actually got another pumpkin because they were so delicious!
Nov. 16, 2012 5:21 pm
best pumpkin seeds ever! so crispy and salty. makes my mouth water!
Nov. 20, 2012 10:53 am
This year, I roasted my pumpkins whole (for pies). Separating the pulp from the seeds was the easiest it's ever been.
Dec. 27, 2012 10:28 pm
Sally, the Christmas tree tradition came from Germany. Although, they worshiped the evergreen (also a pagan rite), I just enjoy looking at a lovely decorated tree.
Karl Hegbloom 
Sep. 14, 2013 6:38 am
I grew "naked seed" pumpkins this season. They have seeds that don't have a hard shell on them. The seeds are delicious!
Oct. 2, 2013 8:27 am
Is there a way to have others save the seeds for me to rinse and use later? We won't have enough pumpkins to roast many seeds. lots of coworkers and friends who still have little ones at home carving pumpkins. If they are just going to throw the seeds out, could they put them, pulp and all into a baggie and bring them to me the next day, or the next monday for me to rinse and dry? should they put a tiny bit of water in with them? refrigerate? Don't refrigerate? Anyone tried anything like this?
Nov. 1, 2013 10:57 pm
We just threw the seeds (with pulp) into an uncovered bowl and refrigerated overnight. I then rinsed and baked the following evening. They were absolutely perfect. I used a cooking spray and sea salt. We also added some truffle oil to some, which were very delicious.
Sep. 21, 2014 2:38 pm
In my oven 25 minutes was a little too long, so make sure you keep an eye on them!
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