Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Fall has arrived and with it, the pumpkin season. There are always plenty of pumpkins to carve up around Halloween time and a great way to make use of the pumpkin seeds is to roast them for an easy, healthy snack.

I love to eat them shells and all. If they’re properly toasted and are small to medium sized, they are wonderfully crunchy and easy to eat. The larger carving pumpkins will yield large seeds, which are probably best to eat shelled.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The challenge is, how to get the salt inside the shells to the seeds? It’s easy enough to salt the outside of the shells, but if you want the salt to permeate to the seeds the method I learned from my mother years ago does the trick.

Boil the seeds first in salted water, then toast them in the oven. This way the salt gets inside too. And you can control the amount of salt by how much you add to the water and how long you boil the seeds.

From the recipe archive, first posted 2005. Don’t throw out your pumpkin seeds! ~Elise

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes

If you want to jazz up your pumpkin seeds, sprinkle with spices such as smoked paprika, cumin, or chile powder before they go into the oven.



  • One medium sized pumpkin
  • Salt
  • Olive oil


1 Cut open the pumpkin by cutting a circle around the stem end with a sharp knife (knife blade angled in), and pulling off the top.

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Use a strong metal spoon to scrape the insides of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and strings.

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Place the mass of pumpkin seeds in a colander and run under water to rinse and separate the seeds from everything else.

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2 Measure the pumpkin seeds in a cup measure. Place the seeds in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the pan for every half cup of pumpkin seeds. Add more salt if you would like your seeds to be saltier.

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Bring the salted water and pumpkin seeds to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

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3 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat the bottom of a roasting pan or thick baking sheet with olive oil, about a teaspoon or so. Spread the seeds out over the roasting pan in a single layer, and toss them a bit to coat them with the oil on the pan. Bake on the top rack until the seeds begin to brown, 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds.

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Small pumpkin seeds may toast in around 5 minutes or so, large pumpkin seeds may take up to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pumpkin seeds so they don't get over toasted. When lightly browned, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack. Let the pumpkin seeds cool all the way down before eating.

Either crack to remove the inner seed (a lot of work and in my opinion, unnecessary) or eat whole.

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Toasted Pumpkin Seeds: Three Ways from Heidi of 101 Cookbooks.



Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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Showing 4 of 204 Comments

  • Ellen

    I like to add a bit of Worcestershire sauce to mine. I’m growing smallish pumpkins this year. Good for baking but not so great for carving.

  • Troy

    I was carving a pumpkin with my daughter last night when I thought to check this site for a roasted pumpkin seed recipe. I had never roasted them before, nor had I ever had them before. So I followed your recipe and they were excellent! In fact I’m eating some right now. I decided to look up the nutritional values online because it has been my experience that anything that tastes good isn’t good for you, but to my astonishment pumpkin seeds are VERY good for your health, and very low in saturated fats. I think I am going to tell everybody to save their seeds for me this year! Thanks for the recipe.

  • beth.blakely

    Is there a trick to separating the seeds from the pumpkin pulp? Or do you just have to roll up your sleeves and go for it?

    Note from Elise: I put a glop of the pumpkin seed and pumpkin insides into a colander, run them under water while I “roll up my sleeves” and separate the seeds from the stringy stuff. The stringy stuff goes into the compost while the remaining seeds, now throughly rinsed, go into the pot with salt water.

  • Tracy

    I’m all about extra saltiness, so I can’t wait to see how the boiled versions turn out.

    As far as pulp removal, I’ve found I have good luck if I soak the seeds for a few hours, then pour small batches into a mesh strainer and swirl them around – most of the stringy stuff clings to the mesh and I can pick out the rest. The seeds are pretty clean when I slide them out of the strainer.

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