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Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

In this recipe, we’ll show you exactly how to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and all the seasonings to put on them. That’s right, can you believe that you can take the insides of a pumpkin and turn them into a yummy snack?

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe

You may think about all the times you have cut a pumpkin open and thrown out the seeds. You won’t do that anymore when you see how to make them into a tasty treat instead!

When I was growing up my Dad and I used to take the seeds out of the pumpkins and dry them out, season them, and eat them. It was one of our favorite things to do together, and I learned never to waste the seeds when you eat a pumpkin!

So the next time that you cut open a pumpkin think twice about throwing out the seeds. It’s not too hard to wash them off and roast them and make them into a tasty snack. They are especially tasty and can be seasoned in so many ways like with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, just to name a few.

What Are Roasted Pumpkin Seeds?

Roasted pumpkin seeds are taking the seeds you find inside a pumpkin, and then flavoring them and baking them in the oven.

You probably just scoop them out of your pumpkin and throw them in the garbage, but as you are going to see in this recipe, they can instead be turned into a healthy, low calorie, no guilt snack!

What Do They Taste Like?

You may be wondering what roasted pumpkin seeds taste like. They will take on whatever flavors you season them with, but in general they are crunchy and salty, with almost a nutty flavor which makes them incredibly delicious and irresistible! 

When I eat them they resemble popcorn too. So instead of reaching for those high calorie chips to snack on, reach for your baked pumpkin seeds that you have made ahead and bagged.

What Are Pepitas?

You probably have seen or heard of Pepitas, which are sometimes put in different recipes, especially when you eat out. I always wondered what the difference was between pepitas and pumpkin seeds.

Simply put, Pepita is the Spanish word for pumpkin seed and they are greenish and don’t have hard white shells like regular pumpkin seeds do. The pepitas come from certain types of pumpkins called oilseed or thin skin styrian pumpkins which are different from your traditional American pumpkin or sugar pumpkin. 

So as a result the seeds are different but both types make wonderful and tasty snacks.

Is It Safe to Eat Roasted Pumpkin Seeds?

Cooking Pumpkin Seeds

Yes, it is safe to eat roasted pumpkin seeds, people do it all of the time.

You can season and roast them and then indulge, the same is also true of other winter squash seeds. So don’t throw them away…eat them because homemade pumpkin seeds are delicious!

What are the Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Seeds?

First of all, I hate to waste food. So to me it’s satisfying not throwing out the seeds when you are going to cut open a pumpkin. I feel good about not wasting them, both as far as cost and nutrition.

Like other fruits and vegetables are healthy, so are pumpkin seeds. They are rich in many minerals like potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, they have lots of fiber and antioxidants, and are high in protein. So if you are like me and are looking for a snack that is low in carbs and has beneficial effects then it’s a match with pumpkin seeds.

I like the Healthline article about the benefits of baking pumpkin seeds, so take a few minutes and read through it. You’ll probably run right out, buy a pumpkin and roast some seeds!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds vs Raw

Best Baked Pumpkin Seeds

Anytime you cook vegetables or fruit, they lose some of their nutritional value compared with eating them raw. After all the fruits and vegetables from the earth were all originally intended to be eaten raw, and that’s the way our bodies best absorb the nutrients.

Cooking pumpkin seeds however gives them a much better flavor vs eating them raw and they are enhanced seasoning and roasting them then adding them to cooked dishes with spices…etc. 

Roasting something is far more nutritious than “wet”cooking like steaming or boiling. Roasting at low temperatures does preserve some of the minerals and vitamins, which is better than roasting at a high temperature.

If you plan to eat the shells, you will have to season and roast pumpkin seeds because if the shells are raw they are too tough to eat. If you plan to eat them raw then plan on peeling the shells off first.

What Ingredients are in Roasted Pumpkin Seeds?

Many Pumpkins on a white table

There are a bunch of ingredients you can use to make roasted pumpkin seeds, we included a couple of our favorite ways to make them.

Salt & Pepper Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin Seeds – Fresh seeds scooped right out of the pumpkin.
  • Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt – Sea salt is the best.
  • Pepper – Black ground pepper
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds ingredients

Italian Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin Seeds – Fresh seeds scooped right out of the pumpkin.
  • Olive Oil – Extra virgin olive oil works best.
  • Sea salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • Paprika
Ingredients for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Italian seasonings

Will This Recipe Work with Other Types of Winter Squash?

You aren’t just limited to roasting pumpkin seeds, you can roast other seeds from the various types of winter squash, like butternut or spaghetti squash for instance. 

So save all of the seeds and roast them too, with any of your favorite seasoning combinations, just like you roast pumpkin seeds.

Store-Bought Pumpkin Seeds vs. Fresh Pumpkin Seeds

Let’s say that you would like to eat pumpkin seeds but never see yourself buying a pumpkin and cleaning it out, washing off the seeds, etc, especially if you don’t plan to make anything with the pumpkin flesh. 

What you can do is buy some raw pumpkin seeds in the store and season them yourself. This is a much easier way to enjoy the same benefits and experience of making baked pumpkin seeds without the hassle of cleaning them.

Which Pumpkins Have Best Seeds for Roasting?

Small pumpkins in front of a large pumpkin

Now that you have seen the benefits of eating pumpkin seeds and are planning on going to your local farm or store to buy a pumpkin, you may be standing there confused wondering which one to buy. 

There are big ones, medium-sized, and small ones with many different varieties. I feel your confusion because that was me the first time that I went to buy one.

Any variety of pumpkin is good for roasting the seeds. The most important thing is to make sure that your pumpkin doesn’t have any bad spots on it and that it looks solid, nice and fresh. Otherwise you can buy any size or type of pumpkin that you choose.

TIP: Remember that the bigger and heavier the pumpkin is, the more seeds that it has. It’s always better to have more seeds than less so that you can have leftovers for another day.

Seasoning Variations of Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Easy Baked Pumpkin Seeds

What’s nice about seasoning your homemade pumpkin seeds is that you can use whatever flavors that you would like to. Variation is great and you can try one spice this time and another spice the next time, so you never get tired of one flavor. 

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buttered Popcorn Pumpkin Seeds
  • Olive Oil Pumpkin Seeds
  • Salt and Pepper Pumpkin Seeds
  • Garlic and Onion Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin seeds
  • Italian Seasoning/Basil Italian Pumpkin seeds
  • Chili Powder/ Taco Pumpkin Seeds
  • Parsley Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice Pumpkin seeds
  • Dill Pickle Pumpkin seeds
  • BBQ Pumpkin seeds

What to Do With Pumpkin Seeds?

One reason you would want to make roasted pumpkin seeds is to replace those high carb chips and popcorn that we all love. Eat these baked pumpkin seeds as a snack right off the tray or in a bowl, just like you would with chips or popcorn.

Besides eating Pumpkin seeds on their own, they can be used in many other recipes such as: 

  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Stir fry dishes
  • For breakfast have some homemade pumpkin seeds on top of a bowl of oatmeal.
  • Use pumpkin seeds in desserts like you would do with nuts. Try them on cake, cookies, ice cream or pumpkin mousse.
Low Carb Butternut Squash Soup

How to Clean and Prepare Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Now let’s show you step by step, the easy way to get your pumpkin seeds cleaned off and ready to roast.

How to Clean Pumpkin Seeds (Getting the Strings Off)

Scooping Pumpkin Seeds with a spoon
  1. Cut off the top of the pumpkin.
  2. With your hand or a spoon, pull out all of the seeds along with all of the pumpkin pulp that’s attached.
  3. Throw it all in a bowl of warm water and watch as the pulp sinks to the bottom. The bigger pieces sink immediately and the smaller pieces pull away from the seeds too.
  4. Drain the water out into a colander.
  5. Lay them out on a towel and pat dry well with a paper towel.

Now you are ready to roast pumpkin seeds.

How Do You Dry Pumpkin Seeds?

But before you roast them, when they come out of the water, lay them on a towel and pat them dry with paper towels. That way most of the moisture is off of them before going into the oven where they will continue to dry off and roast. 

Or if you prefer, you can dry out the seeds before you roast them by laying them out on a baking sheet. In about 30 minutes they will dry out or you can also leave them overnight to dry off to be safe.

Should Pumpkin Seeds be Boiled or Soaked Before Roasting?

Boiling Pumpkin Seeds on the stove to clean them

Yes, pumpkin seeds should be boiled or soaked before roasting them. We definitely recommend doing one or the other because it makes cleaning them off so much easier. 

First of all when you put your seeds into water it helps to separate all of the pumpkin membrane from the seeds. This can be done in just a bowl of water or in a saucepan on the stove. That way you won’t spend too much time wrestling to get all the slimy pumpkin pulp away from the seeds.

Soaking in Water – Soaking the seeds in water is an easy way to clean and get the pumpkin pulp off the seeds.

Just place the seeds, strings, and pulp that is around them in a bowl of warm/hot water and watch them separate right before your eyes.

Boiling – This is another way to get the strings and pulp off easily. To do it this way just boil some water and throw everything in the pot and boil for 5 minutes and watch the seeds float and the pulp sink.

Which method should you use? Both ways are good and have the same results but I prefer to place them in a bowl with warm water. It’s just a bit easier for me. It’s incredible watching what happens to the seeds when you put them in water!

What takes just 5 minutes in the water would take an hour, and you would be so frustrated not getting all of the pulp off the seeds. So using the water trick is a big help when cleaning pumpkin seeds.

Do You Shell Pumpkin Seeds Before Roasting?

You do not have to take the shells off of pumpkin seeds before roasting them. Part of the great flavor and crunch comes from leaving the seeds on the seeds. You could take the shells off but that will take you forever and there is no need to.

Do You Season Pumpkin Seeds Before or After Roasting?

Baked Pumpkin Seeds

When you roast pumpkin seeds part of the beauty is the seasoning. The best time to season them is before you roast them so that the flavors will soak and bake into the seeds. 

When your seeds are done roasting they will be so flavorful and the spices will stick to them better than if you roasted them first and seasoned them afterward.

If you roast your pumpkin seeds at too high of a temperature the spices could burn, so some people will roast them and then season them. The solution to that is not to bake your seeds at a high temperature or broil them.

How Long are Pumpkin Seeds Good for Before Roasting?

Once you remove the pumpkin pulp from the seeds, be sure to dry them off with paper towels. Then place the seeds in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They will last about 5 days in the refrigerator, so be sure to roast them by then.

TIP: Be sure to dry the seeds off well so they do not grow mold.

How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds from Scratch

Let’s see how to cook pumpkin seeds. To make them, you need to start with a fresh pumpkin (or raw seeds bought at the store).

STEP 1: Place the pumpkin on a large sturdy cutting board.

Large Pumpkin on cutting board

STEP 2: Take a sharp knife and cut off the top of the pumpkin.

STEP 3: Take a big spoon and start scooping out the pulp and the seeds. Continue to scoop out the rest with your hand.

STEP 4: Next we need to clean the seeds. Place them in a bowl of warm water and watch the pulp separate from the seeds right before your eyes. You can also boil them in water for 5 minutes, but just soaking them does just as good of a job and it’s easier.

STEP 5: Dump the seeds into a colander and throw out the pulp.

STEP 6: After the water is drained off, dump the seeds onto a towel or paper towels and blot them dry with the towels.

STEP 7: This is where you decide what flavor to give your pumpkin seeds. Take a bowl, add the seeds, seasonings, and oil and stir well to make sure that all the seeds are thoroughly coated.

STEP 8: Pour them onto a baking tray covered with parchment paper and space them out evenly.

What Temperature to Bake Pumpkin Seeds?

Once you have placed the pumpkin seeds on the baking sheet now it’s time to bake these little treasures.

STEP 9: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s ready, place the tray with your pumpkin seeds inside.

Pumpkin Seeds baking in the oven

How Long to Cook Pumpkin Seeds?

STEP 10: Once they are in the oven, set the timer for 25 minutes. You will know when your roasted pumpkin seeds are done because they will be crispy.

Pumpkin Seed Recipe on a tray

Salting Pumpkin Seeds

Most people like salt on their snack foods, chips, pretzels, popcorn…etc. We all feel that salt enhances the flavor of things and these seeds are no different. So unless for some reason you can’t have salt on your food, then salt your pumpkin seeds for sure.

You can salt them 3 different ways:

  • The first way is to salt them in the water when you first boil them, that way the salt will get on the inside of the shell.
  • The second way is to salt them before you roast them on the baking sheet.
  • The third way is to salt them after they are roasted.

So depending on how much you love salt, will determine how much you put on your roasted pumpkin seeds.

Eating Pumpkin Seeds

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Now comes the fun part, eating your homemade pumpkin seeds! While it is easy enough to do, here are some tips and answers to common questions you may have.

Do You Eat the Shell of Pumpkin Seeds?

You can eat pumpkin seeds with or without the shells, it’s a matter of taste. I personally find them to be better with the shells on, but choose whichever you prefer.

My suggestion if you want to eat the pumpkin seeds without the shells is to buy them already shelled and then roast them yourself with whatever spices that you want. To take the shells off the seeds yourself would take you awhile so you’ll save a lot of time this way.

How Do You Get Pumpkin Seeds Out Easily?

I find it very easy to get all of the seeds out of a pumpkin. I start with a big spoon to loosen up the seeds, then I reach in with my hand and pull them all out and place them in a bowl. It only takes a few minutes to pull out all of the seeds. It’s a lot easier than you might think.

How Many Pumpkin Seeds Should I Eat Per Day?

There is no set limit on how many pumpkin seeds that you should eat per day, it depends on what type of diet you are on and how many calories you can eat each day.

To give you some kind of a guideline to go by, in a 1 oz. portion, which is about 85 seeds, there are 126 calories, 2 net carbs. 

No matter how many you decide to eat, they have a lot of health benefits, so enjoy them every day if you can.

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds in the Microwave

Would you believe you can actually cook pumpkin seeds in the microwave too!?

In case you don’t have an oven, if it’s a hot summer day and you don’t want to turn the hot oven on, or if you are in a hurry,  the microwave is an alternate way to roast the seeds. 

Here are the steps to cook pumpkin seeds in the microwave:

  1. Oil and season the seeds.
  2. Place the seeds on a microwave safe plate, single layer so that they roast better. 
  3. Microwave them for 2 minutes.
  4. Stir.
  5. Microwave them for another 2 minutes.
  6. Stir again.
  7. Continue to cook them until the seeds are dry and crunchy.

Best Tips

Homemade Pumpkin Seeds
  • To get the pumpkin pulp off the seeds easily, soak them in warm water or in boiling water on a stove. Watch what happens…the seeds separate so easily from the pulp, it’s amazing.
  • If you salt the water it will plump up the seeds.
  • The heavier the pumpkin, the more seeds it has in it.
  • To make sure that the seeds are evenly covered with the seasonings, place them in a bowl along with the oil or butter and spices and toss them all together, rather than just sprinkling the tops of the seeds.
  • When you layout your seeds, try to space them out in a single layer so that they roast more evenly.
  • To make sure that your seeds are roasting evenly, stir them up during the cooking process.
  • You can use avocado oil rather than olive oil if you prefer.

Why are My Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Chewy? 

When you take your roasted pumpkin seeds out of the oven, they might be chewy because they are still hot. Once they cool off, they should be crispier.

If they are still too chewy when they cool down, put them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes at 300 degrees to finish crisping them up.

Diets This Recipe is Good For

This easy pumpkin seed recipe is one that most everyone can indulge in. Here are some of the diets they can be eaten on:

  • Keto/Low Carb – These pumpkin seeds are low in carbs which make it a snack that can be enjoyed on the keto way of eating.
  • Gluten-Free – A good choice because there is no gluten in any fresh vegetables.
  • Vegan – A winner food for vegans.
  • Vegetarian – Of course a good choice for vegetarians since the seeds do come from a vegetable!
  • Paleo – They enjoy foods from the earth and pumpkins are from the earth.
  • Dairy-Free – No dairy in pumpkin seeds.
  • Nut-Free – In case you are wondering if pumpkin seeds are part of the nut family, they are not. They are a seed from a vegetable.

How to Store Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

When it is time to store your leftover roasted pumpkin seeds, put them in an airtight plastic container or glass jar and keep them in your cabinet or on your counter for up to 3 months, even though they never last that long in our house. 

They do not need to be refrigerated, just stored at room temperature.

Can You Freeze Roasted Pumpkin Seeds?

Easy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you want your leftover roasted pumpkin seeds to last longer then you can freeze them for about 6 months, if you pack them in an airtight plastic container. I also like to double wrap them by putting the container in a Ziploc bag.

When you are ready to take them out of the freezer, thaw them in your refrigerator and then reheat them in your oven before serving.

More Low Carb Snack Recipes

If you’re in the mood for some other low carb snack Recipes then try our:

Roasted Spiced Nuts

They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next party!

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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Perfect Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


  • Author: Leigh Oskwarek
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings (2 Tbsp Per Serving) 1x

Description

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds are a healthy and natural snack for almost any diet. Coming straight from a pumpkin, they are then transformed into a perfect salty, spicy or sweet yummy treat that is easy to make. Learn how to cook pumpkin seeds by taking the scraps of a pumpkin and turning them into a great snack that even your kids will love to eat.


Scale

Ingredients

Salt and Pepper Pumpkin Seeds

  • ¾ cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¾ tsp Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Salt 
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper

Italian Seasoning Pumpkin Seeds

  • ¾ cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¾ tsp Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½  tsp Paprika

Instructions

Notes

4.7 NET CARBS Per Serving

The heavier the pumpkin is the more seeds it has in it.

If you salt the water it will plump up the seeds.

To get the pumpkin pulp off the seeds easily soak them in warm water in a bowl or in boiling water on the stove. 

To make sure that the seeds are evenly covered with the seasonings, place them in a bowl along with the oil or butter and toss them all together, rather than  just sprinkling them on top.

When you lay out the seeds on the cookie sheet, spread them out evenly in a single layer.

Stir the seeds halfway during the roasting process to allow them to cook evenly.

  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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