How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds (with 3 Recipes!)
If you’re carving pumpkins, save those seeds that get scraped out and make these delicious crunchy roasted pumpkin seeds. This is an easy, basic recipe for learning how to roast pumpkin seeds, along with three seasoning blends to try… use any of them of your favorite combination of spices! An awesome fall treat!
Growing up, the night that our family carved pumpkins was almost as exciting as the night we went trick or treating. After visiting a local pumpkin patch and carefully picking out our favorites, my parents would cover the kitchen table in newspapers. My mom would cut the top off of the pumpkins and go to work scraping out all of the pulp and seeds. Once she was finished, my dad would let my sister and I draw our designs on our pumpkins, and then he would working carving. While we were busy at the table, my mom would pull all of the pumpkin seeds out of the pulp, rinse and dry them, season them, and put them in the oven. By the time we were finished carving our pumpkins, we were more than ready to start snacking on fresh roasted pumpkin seeds.
I haven’t carved a pumpkin in years, but every October around this time, I start to crave those fresh roasted pumpkin seeds my mom would make. I finally made my own roasted pumpkin seeds this year, and used three different spice blends.
Did you (or do you) have pumpkin carving traditions? If you roast pumpkin seeds, what are some of your favorite flavors to use?
Prepping the seeds for roasting
The very first thing you need to do is get the seeds out of the pumpkin and get them separated from the pulp. The easiest way to do this is to transfer the seeds to a colander as you work, and then run water over the seeds, using your fingers to rinse them around. They may still feel a bit slimy from the pulp, but that’s okay!
Shake off the excess water, then spread them out on a baking sheet to dry.
You would ideally allow the seeds to dry overnight to make sure there is no extra moisture, but sometimes that’s unrealistic, so try to blot them dry as best you can if you want to power through on the same night!
Optional: soaking in salt water
Soaking the pumpkin seeds in a bit of salt water can help them turn out super crunchy. While it sounds counterintuitive, this same method is popular for homemade French fries and it really works!
If you decide to go this route, transfer the pumpkin seeds from the colander into a medium or large bowl and cover with fresh water and a bit of salt (about 1 teaspoon per 4 cups of water). Allow to soak overnight, then drain and dry as directed above.
Basic seasonings + other options
My mom would use a simple salt and garlic powder seasoning on her pumpkin seeds, and you could certainly use something just as simple. If you like to play around with some different flavors, I think you’ll like at least one of the combinations below:
- Ginger-Soy – This is a balance of sweet and a bit of a bite from the ginger.
- Brown Sugar Spice – Combines dark brown sugar, with some spices and cayenne pepper. This one definitely has a kick to it, but you can omit the spice and use cinnamon instead for a sugar-cinnamon spin!
- Maple Chipotle – Maple syrup is combined with chipotle chile powder and cumin, which gives the seeds a sweet and smokey flavor; not really spicy like the previous blend.
Storage and shelf life
- Storing Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Once the pumpkin seeds have cooled, transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- Freezing Unroasted and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Once the unroasted seeds have been thoroughly dried, you can transfer them to an airtight container or freezer ziplock bag for up to 12 months before roasting.
- Freezing Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – Once the seeds have been roasted and cooled completely, you can freeze them as directed above
More recipes using seeds and nuts!
- Pumpkin Seed Brittle
- Cinnamon-Sugar Candied Pecans
- Spicy Honey Roasted Peanuts
- Italian Sesame Seed Cookies (Giuggiulena)
I would absolutely love it if you gave these roasted pumpkin seeds a try; if you do, please stop back and leave a rating and let me know how you liked it! ENJOY! 😍
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
- 2 cups (128 g) pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Your choice of seasoning blend below
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) ground ginger
Brown Sugar Spice:
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1½ teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds with the olive oil. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for whichever spice blend you are using, then pour over the pumpkin seeds and stir to combine and evenly coat all of the seeds.
- Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake until the seeds are golden and crunchy, about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow the seeds to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
- Recipe adapted from Everyday Food
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
[Photography by Ari of Well Seasoned]
I tried roasting them and they tasted bitter. The outer shell was tasty but the seed inside was bitter. I didn’t boil them. Maybe that would make a difference. This fall I will try again.
These turned out so good! I seasoned them with the ginger soy blend. I did, however, have to roast them twice as long.
I discovered a great way to clean the seeds without water. I drag a paper towel through the seeds and rub them with it. All the pumpkin scraps stick to the paper towel like glue. It’s amazing.
Strange but true – toasted pumpkin seeds are WAY better if not rinsed. Just pull out the fiber goo, season, and spread them out to roast. I don’t remember who it was on Food Network, but it was a great improvement.
Ooooh interesting! I know for sure my mom never soaked hers but I do think she rinsed. Now I’m going to have to try it this way :)
I made 3 different kinds today! I made the regular, the ginger Soy and the Brown Sugar Spice – these are soooooo good! My husband is going to love them!
Thanks for sharing this I’m following you on Pinterest
Other great combinations include wasabi powder and soy sauce, Cajun, Old Bay seasoning, taco seasoning – hot, mild, add extra cumin, chipotle or ancho powder, cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves/sugar . . . . . Use your imagination and your taste buds.
If you want to try a variety of flavors, use small bread pans or large muffin pans – you might need to cook them a little slower and need to stir them to cook them evenly.
Made the maple syrup, chipotle chile powder version. Outstanding!
I like Spicy and Cheesy pumpkin seeds they are made with cayenne pepper, garlic powder, soy sauce and Parmesan cheese. They are a treat for me this time of year
My dad just carved the best pumpkins and I posted about them on my blog. He did Hello Kitty and Dory from Finding Memo. Adorable! I’ll have to get him to do some more so I can roast the seeds!
We tried the Brown Sugar Spice (reminds me of jerk seasoning) and kind of made the Maple Chipotle. We didn’t have Chipotle so we used cayenne and they were still uh-may-zing!!! Thanks for the lovely post!!!
You know, it never once occurred to me that I could buy pumpkin seeds to roast. I have always only ever roasted them after carving my halloween pumpkins. I used to pick through the pulp with a fine-tooth comb lest I missed one. Now, the possibilities of year-round pumpkin seeds has my head spinning…
I haven’t done this with pumpkin seeds in years. Need to whip up a batch. Thanks for the inspiration!!!! :-)
Hey Michelle, Great story. Sounds like my childhood too. I still grow my own pumpkins and carve them and then toss the seeds with garlic, cumin, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce. Yum!
I love carving pumpkins and it’s something that I just have to do every year. I even did it when I lived by myself one year :) Pumpkin seeds are the carving bonus! Love your flavor options.
LOVE LOVE LOVE roasted pumpkin seeds – my dad always ate them and got me addicted to them, also :)
I always save my pumpkin seeds even if it takes me a long time to do and very sticky messy hands! Loving all these options!
Love how you tried them three ways… my mom used to do just the cinnamon and sugar version :)
I only discovered toasted pumpkin seeds last year, they’re delicious! Can’t wait to try out these variations!
I have made pumpkin seeds for years and experiment with many different spice blends each year. Whatever I have in the spice cabinet and appeals to me at the time combined with evoa, soy, or Worcestershire. This year my favorite is EVOA, sage, and rosemary. Thank you for some new ideas! Happy Holidays!
My teenage daughter keeps pushing to let her carve pumpkins…I keep telling her that it is too early…looks as though I am wrong and she is right! Time to carve pumpkins!!! These seed recipes all look to yummy to wait!
I have made roasted pumpkin seeds before, but I did it very differently. I cooked mine in a cast iron skillet with butter, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and sugar over medium to low heat. I guess it only took a few minutes for them to be ready. They would kind of pop and turn yellowish green. It had a really yummy sweet and salty taste, plus the autumn spices. I will try this way too, however. I bet it’s even better :)
I would like to try your recipe. It sounds yummy! Could you send me your recipe?
I love the idea of a maple chipotle pumpkin seed! All of these ideas are fabulous! :)
Yum! The brown sugar spice blend sounds amazing! Spicy + sweet. Definitely trying this when I carve my pumpkin next week!
Great photos. I have been searching for some inspiration of what to do with the seeds of all the pumpkins I have been roasting.
Ooh I think maple chipotle for me!
I am a huge pumpkin seed lover!! All the flavor sounds amazing! I especially love the chipotle!
I just bought pumpkins yesterday at Soergel’s… time for a roasting day! During Fall I’m obsessed with all things pumpkin and maple, so I’ll have to give this a shot. Looks delicious!
Michelle, we share the same fond memories from childhood…carving pumpkins over a newspaper-lined kitchen table. Each year, The Big Lug and I continue the same tradition and the smell of a freshly carved pumpkins always sends me back. LOVE these flavor combos. Definitely not our momma’s pumpkin seeds! Thanks for sharing, girl. Pinning!
Thank you for this recipe – i have plenty of pumpkin’s seeds and I didn’t know what to do with them. Now I know how to shell them and going to try soya-ginger way. :)
Keep warm, Malwina
I want to inhale a big bowl of these right now. Such great flavors – especially the Brown Sugar Spice and the Maple Chipotle. Sweet with some heat! Pinned!
These all sound amazing! I think the third sounds most intriguing to me… xo