We finally got around to carving our pumpkins last weekend, so I got to make my favorite fall treat! Carving pumpkins is fun, but the roasted pumpkin seeds are by far my favorite part. Roasted pumpkin seeds are so crunchy, delicious, and addictive, and I look forward to them every year!
And if you’ve already discarded your pumpkin seeds from this year, don’t worry! You can use this same technique for the seeds from other winter squash, like acorn, delicata, butternut, and spaghetti squash. So as you enjoy your seasonal squash over the next few months, make sure to enjoy the seeds as well!
Can You Eat the Shell?
You may be familiar with pepitas, which are the tender green inner portion of the pumpkin seed. When you remove the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin, they still have their outer white shell (or hull). While this outer shell is very tough and fibrous, it is edible. It takes a bit of chewing, so if you have difficulty chewing or a delicate stomach, you may want to pass on roasted pumpkin seeds.
What Do Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Taste Like?
Roasted pumpkin seeds have a deliciously nutty flavor and aroma that is kind of similar to fresh popcorn. The flavor is fairly neutral and pairs well with both sweet and savory spices.
How to Flavor Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
The fun thing about roasted pumpkin seeds is that you can flavor them with just about anything you like! I used some Cajun seasoning salt in the recipe below because it’s an easy one-stop-shop for salting and seasoning, but you have so many options. Here are some other great ideas for seasoning your roasted pumpkin seeds:
- Curry powder
- Garlic Herb Seasoning
- Taco Seasoning
- Ranch seasoning (if this contains buttermilk powder, toss the seeds in melted butter and the seasoning after roasting)
- Cinnamon and sugar (toss seeds in melted butter, cinnamon, and sugar after roasting)
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- Italian seasoning
Make sure to check to see if your seasoning blend contains salt. If it does not contain salt, you will want to add salt in addition to the spice blend.
How to Store Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
After roasting the pumpkin seeds, allow them to cool completely to room temperature. Keep the cooled pumpkin seeds in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2-3 weeks. No need to refrigerate, unless they’ve been tossed in butter after roasting.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 2.5 cups fresh pumpkin seeds
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil*
- 1 tsp Tony Cachere's Cajun Seasoning*
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Rinse the pumpkin seeds in a colander and remove any remaining pumpkin flesh that may be attached to the seeds. Place the washed pumpkin seeds in a lint-free dishcloth and pat dry (the seeds have a slippery coating and may not feel totally dry).
- Place the washed and dried pumpkin seeds in a bowl and add the cooking oil and seasoning. Stir until the seeds are well coated. Pour the seasoned pumpkin seeds out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and spread them into a single layer.
- Roast the pumpkin seeds in the preheated oven, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until they are golden brown and have a nutty aroma. Total roasting time will vary depending on the size of the seeds and their moisture level. Allow the pumpkin seeds to cool, then enjoy!
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How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. This is what your pumpkin seeds will probably look like right after they’re scraped out of your pumpkin. The extra bits of pumpkin are a lot easier to separate from the seeds while they’re in water, so let’s give them a rinse first.
Place the pumpkin seeds in a colander and rinse with cool water. Remove the extra bits of pumpkin flesh as you rinse the seeds. Let them drain well then place them in a lint-free towel and pat dry. This helps them get really crispy. The seeds do have a sort of slippery coating, so they may not feel 100% dry.
After cleaning and drying, I had about 2.5 cups of pumpkin seeds (from two pumpkins). Place the seeds in a bowl and add your seasoning. I’m using a Cajun seasoning that contains a lot of salt, so I only needed to add the one ingredient (1 tsp). Use your favorite seasoning and don’t forget to make sure it has some salt, or add some separately.
Spread the seasoned pumpkin seeds out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Transfer to the preheated 350ºF oven.
Roast the pumpkin seeds in the oven for about 25 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes (I stirred at 10 minutes, and 20 minutes, then roasted for a final 5 minutes). The total roasting time will vary depending on the size of your pumpkin seeds and their moisture content. You’ll know they’re done when they are golden brown and smell nutty, kind of like popcorn.
Allow the pumpkin seeds to cool, then enjoy! Or store in an air-tight container for 2-3 weeks.