Save the seeds from your Jack-O-Lanterns this year, and learn How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds for a nutritious snack with 2 flavor options. Follow these step-by-step instructions for an irresistible flavor, and prep your seeds ahead of time for easy on-the-go snacking!
The Best Pumpkin Snack
Whether you’re carving pumpkins for Halloween or making pumpkin purée for Bourbon Chocolate Pumpkin Pie, don’t forget to save the seeds for a healthy snack! Did you grow up carving jack-o-lanterns every year? Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of Halloween and all the scary things. However, I am up for all the pumpkin-flavored treats like Vegan Pumpkin Bread with Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Stuffed Dough Balls! In fact, I look forward to them every year and not so patiently wait for the return of fall.
Yet, as a result of making all these goodies, I find myself left with tons of pumpkin seeds every year. Not wanting to be wasteful, I always try to find creative ways to use them, and what’s better than roasted pumpkin seeds?
Note: Before you can roast pumpkin seeds, you have to pick the perfect pumpkin using several guidelines. First, you want to make sure your pumpkin is bright orange and has a green stem. Second, you want it to feel heavy for its size and sound hollow when knocked on. Finally, make sure it is free from any openings or damage and feels firm to the touch, and you should have yourself the perfect pumpkin for all your jack-o-lantern and seed roasting needs!
Super nutritious and crunchy, they’re one of my favorite snacks. In all honesty, they’re tasty on their own with just a drizzle of oil and pinch of salt, but I wanted to go all out this year and blow you away with unique flavors!
So, using inspiration from some of my favorite roasted nuts, I came up with not 1 but 2 options I know you’re going to love. Whether you want to learn how to roast pumpkin seeds, looking for nutrition tips, looking for new ways to eat them, and more, I’ve got you covered!
How to Remove Pumpkin Seeds
First things first, before we can focus on how to roast pumpkin seeds, we have to remove them from the pumpkin! To start, cut the top off your pumpkin, and scoop out all of the seeds using a spoon and your hands. Then, add the seeds to a colander, and rinse them with water to remove any pulp that might be lingering. To finish, add the seeds to a baking tray or parchment paper, and pat them dry with a paper towel. Or, leave them out to dry overnight to create extra crispy seeds!
Pro-Tip: The easiest way to remove the pulp from the seeds is to rub them together in your hands while running warm water over them.
Ingredients for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds (Sweet, Spicy, & Savory!)
There are many ways to roast pumpkin seeds depending on what you’re in the mood to snack on. So, to help satisfy everyone’s needs, we decided to roast a variety! Take a look at what you’ll need for each version below to find your favorite!
Basic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Ingredients
- Raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas
- Butter or olive oil
- Ground mustard
- Garlic powder
- Smoked paprika
- Onion powder
- Chili powder
The flavor options are virtually endless! For instance, you could create sweet pumpkin seeds by tossing them in cinnamon and sugar or drizzling them with honey. For a Mexican-inspired taste, try tossing them in taco seasoning.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
- Once the seeds have been removed and are dry, the process of roasting pumpkin seeds is super easy!
- Combine the pumpkin seeds, butter, and seasonings in a small bowl making sure they are evenly coated.
- Then, place them on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or lightly greased, and spread them out in a single layer.
Let them bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring every 5-6 minutes. Then, let them cool completely, and enjoy!
See the difference between pumpkin seeds and pepitas?
Speaking of that….
Are Pepitas Pumpkin Seeds?
Technically, pumpkin seeds and pepitas are the same things. However, pumpkin seeds have a shell, and pepitas do not. Pepitas are found in hull-less, thinner-skinned pumpkin varieties such as Lady Godiva and Naked Bear pumpkins. Both pumpkin seeds and pepitas are a nutritious addition to your diet!
Fun Fact: Pepitas are an ancient food and have been eaten in Mexico in civilizations dating as far back as the Aztecs who ate them raw or added them to sauces.
Are Pumpkin Seeds Good for You?
Pumpkin seeds are loaded with nutrients! A single serving contains high amounts of a wide variety of vitamins and antioxidants including iron, zinc, and magnesium, vitamin K, phosphorus, and manganese. They’re also an excellent source of omega-6 fatty acids! As a result, consuming pumpkin seeds can help reduce the risk of cancer, regulate blood pressure levels, improve heart health, and more.
How to Use Pumpkin Seeds in Recipes
I love to eat pumpkin seeds on their own as a crunchy snack. However, there are so many ways you can use them in all your favorite recipes from pumpkin seed butter, to toppings for bread, additions to salads, and more! Some of my favorite ways to include roasted pumpkin see are:
- Sprinkled over Greek Cauliflower Salad Bowls
- Added to Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Persimmon
- On top of Paleo Nut and Seed Bread
If you plan to eat your roasted pumpkin seeds right away, they will stay fresh in an airtight container or sealable bag for a few days. However, if you want to keep them longer, I recommend storing them in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or, store them in the freezer for up to 12 months!
Note: To thaw frozen pumpkin seeds, simply place them on a counter. Or, pop them in the oven for 1-2 minutes to help them crisp back up.
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to pumpkin season every year, and I’m always looking for new recipes and inspiration! Do you have any tips on how to roast pumpkin seeds or favorite flavor combinations I should try? Let me know in the comments below!