its a no go for us. No flavor, disappointing. Tasted like(blah) boiled and dried seeds, had crunch but not taste and I even added extra salt to the water. Won’t use this recipe
My first batch of seeds come out perfectly thanks to your recipe. I am now making another batch with some seeds from a couple of pumpkins we had not carved. Thank you!
My mom always soaked her pumpkins seeds in salt water over night. This probably speeds things up a little! Thanks for the recipe!
I’ve used this recipe for a couple years now and it never disappoints! Thank you for sharing your secret!
Thank you for sharing this recipe . I have tried to roast pumpkin seeds from our carved Halloween pumpkins over the years and often met with little success. They were never salty enough or very crispy. I followed your directions and they are perfect! They are salty all the way through and crispy. The ratio of water and salt to simmer the seeds and baking them on the top rack in the oven are what made it work so well for me. Perfect roasted pumpkin seeds, yum!
I’ve been toasting pumpkin seeds for years and was never quite satisfied until now. Tried your way and preparing them and my family deemed this year’s batch “the best EVER!” Who would have thought boiling them in salt water was the answer? Thank you!!!
i would like to know how to make more flavoured pumpkin seeds as none of my family like salted seeds?????
Hi Abigail, Heidi Swanson of 101Cookbooks.com has some good ideas here: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001524.html Just scale back the salt.
Pumpkin pie spice instead of salt
My kids seem to really enjoy cinnamon and sugar pumpkin seeds
I’ve been roasting pumpkins seeds for over 25 years. Never boiled them in salted water. The great thing about fresh seeds is that they don’t need a lot of salt – they taste amazing all on their own! And they’re really good for you – all on their own. Coat the pan thinnly with olive oil, salt lightly and roast at 425 for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!!!
Garlic is a mainstay in our home (garlic butter on popcorn, etc) and I’ve always put granulated garlic into the boiling water for the seeds.
Question: We bought a package of salted pumpkin seeds from the local market. They are rancid. Is there a way to salvage them? Thank you.
Hi Biene, once anything goes rancid, including pumpkin seeds, there is no way to salvage them.
To prevent future problems with fresh pumpkin seeds, or any kind of nut, putting them in a ziploc in the freezer will help.
Excellent new recipe on fresh pumpkin seeds!
This is new to me! So excited to try! From the comments, it’s a hit. Yay!
We have a recipe close to this we use every year. We tried this one last Halloween after we found this link off a pumpkin site. pumpkinpatchfinder.com I think we will use this recipe from now on! Boiling the seeds adds a much better flavor, didn’t know we were missing something all these years! Happy Halloween!
Wow, now I’m certainly no cook, but tried this and am so pleased with the result, roll on next year when I can harvest more seeds, the poor old chickens will have to go without. Thanks everso.
These were PERFECT! I had a small roasting pumpkin and made a tiny batch that was good for one serving. Delish! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
I baked my pumpkin whole. Are the seeds still good for this method to would they already have been cooked too long after being in the oven so long?
Hi Jojo, that is an excellent question. I think at this point you should just rinse them off, sprinkle them with olive oil and salt, and put them on a baking sheet and roast them for a few minutes, only until they get lightly browned. No boiling in salt water.
Adding the Himalayan Salt to water and steeping for 15-20 minutes was way better than other methods. Put them in a container, added the olive oil, and shook worked better for pre-cooking coating… nice!
Yummy! They taste just like popcorn! Thanks for the recipe, my party guests will love it.
Instead of boiling the seeds for anyone who doesn’t want to cook them the same night put your salt in a big bowl add hot water stir to dissolve the salt and dump your seeds in stir a little then cover and let sit over night. I leave mine on the counter for the night and in the morning I strain dump on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and stick them in the oven I don’t use oil cause it just adds unessary fat to them they stick slightly but not enough to be a problem I just let them cool run a spatula under them and any that stuck at all pop right off!!
Finally..after many years of disappointment, I’ve learned how to perfectly roast pumpkin seeds..these were awesome and came out great!! What a difference boiling in the salt water first before roasting makes..wow! Thanks so much for sharing!
I found if you plug a clean sink and add water to the mix… the seeds float…mostly! I used a large slotted spoon to scoop from sink.
This worked GREAT!!! Thanks for sharing.
This, is THE most delicious pumpkin seeds I’ve ever had.
Thank you so much for your Amazingly easy, and yummy recipe! The seeds turned out great!!! I only used 1/2 the water and salt, but I was worried about how they’d turn out. They are Awesome!!! I love them! Thank You!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m so glad I found this recipe :-) I had sugar pumpkins (I know, it’s January!!) and I roasted them and pureed the meat and froze it for dishes I make year-round, but my son wanted to eat the seeds. I never boiled them, but that made all the difference! Pinning for next Halloween/pumpkin season!
I’ve already done my pumpkin seeds. I’m doing a variety of squash seeds but noticed when soaking about 1/4th of them sank in the water. Are they not good? Should I only use the ones that float at the top of the salt water? I am wondering if anyone else experienced this.
Hi Rudie, don’t worry about the seeds that sink. They’re just as good as the ones that float.
I tried this year something new. Put the pulp and seeds in my kitchenaid with the large wire wisk, added water and some distilled vinegar. Then put it on low for about 10 minutes. Rinsed, repeat. Had to do very little, just skimmed the seeds off the top, and did a final rinse in a collander.
I just made a bunch with the following modifications:
1. Prior to toasting, tossed in a mix of toasted sesame oil and soy sauce
2. Toasted at given temp – watched to make sure they didn’t burn.
3. Yum – yum.
I followed your recipe for these roasted pumpkin seeds. First time out a success!!! Thank you for putting this out there. I am very happy with the result!
just carved our pumkins, this year im useing sea salt, oliveoil, cinnomon and sugar, yum!
You can actually do this with any of the winter squashes. They are really as good as the pumpkin seeds. Just keep a eye on the time it might be a little shorter because some of the seeds are smaller but the recipe is the same. So don’t toss those seeds from acorn squash or any other winter squash cook them up :)
Here’s a recipe that I like just for something different. Spread salted butter on the bottom of the baking pan. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on it then add the pumpkin seeds. Then bake them as per your recipe. When the butter melts stir the seeds once to coat. Let them finish baking and enjoy. I too enjoy eating the whole seed.
A variation that has become a seasonal favorite around my home. DO NOT rinse the seeds but physically remove as much pulp as desired. Mix 6 cups of seeds with 3 TBL of Soy sauce, 1 TBL of melted salted butter and 1tsp of salt. INcrease or decrease soy and salt as desired.
Roast in a 300 degree oven on a sheet pan for 1 to 11/2 hours until they are as crispy as you desire. Turn the seeds every 20 minutes to get an even roasting.
5 stars….My usual method of roasting pumpkin seeds is to clean, season, and dry for a day or two, then toast them. This year I wanted to experiment so I tried the clean, boil in salt water, season and bake method. You pretty much get the same result with two exceptions. #1. It’s much faster to boil & bake….(a couple hrs. vs. a couple days). #2. The salty flavor is inside the seed, not just on the outside. They may even be a tad more tender. But, I am wondering if some of the nutritional value is lost in the boiling process. I will research. If nutritional loss is minimal, I will continue with the boil and bake method….as I am loving the results and can’t wait to share with work friends and my family at our annual pumpkin party! I’m also wondering how long the seeds will keep in a glass jar. I love them so much, I’d like to make them a staple in my pantry for as long as I can.
If you don’t boil but put them in a bowl of hot water with the salt over night you get the same results without boiling out the nutrition I’ve been doing this for years and it works wonderfully you don’t lose the nutritional value and when you roast it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes if that and I don’t add the oil
My little girl is cutting her pumkin
For school she is wonting to eat the seed so I found this site she said dad put the seeds and that gooie stuff in water and stir it around and the seeds will float above that other stuff she was right putie easy !!
My daughters and I just finished roasting 3 cups of seeds. One cup we sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, tastes just like cinnamon toast crunch cereal!!
Any place you can buy the seeds pre-cleaned and ready to roast? My family loves these, and I want to make multiple times without buying a bunch of pumpkins.
Hi Molly, I wish! I’ve never seen pre-cleaned raw seeds for sale.
I made one small change to this recipe and they were DELICIOUS! I tossed them in EVOO and PUMPKIN PIE SEASONING before roasting. Super Delicious!!!
Great recipe! I was just wondering, are the seeds still good if they’ve just been left out to dry for a few weeks? I read somewhere that seeds will go bad after a few days, but I really don’t want to waste my seeds!
Please help! Thanks!
I think they should still be fine.
I tried simmering the seeds this time and found this gives them an unpleasant chewy texture reminiscent of the awful pumpkin seeds sold in stores. I think you get better, crispier seeds with just baking on a sheet with butter.
Yum! I just made roasted butternut squash seeds! You don’t get a lot of seeds out of a butternut squash, but roasted seeds are just so delicious I couldn’t throw them out!
I am so sad i made theese last halloween and they were amazing the best i ever had but just made them with yellow sqaush seeds from my garden and the are horrid don’t know what went wrong
Hi Betty, perhaps this recipe works best with pumpkin seeds.
Just made these seeds. YUM!! Used coconut oil and, boy, do they ever taste good. We have a new favorite :) We used to buy pepitas to eat, but these are WAAYYYY better. Thanks!!
Was wondering if it made a difference as far as the oil? I know olive oil usually works best, and is healthier but what about vegetable oil or peanut oil?
You could easily use a different oil. Just make sure the oil is fresh and not rancid. (That advice holds for any oil.)
I found that it was easy to make sure they were in a single layer by taking plastic spatula and tapping the top of the seeds. Start in the middle of the baking sheet working your way out. It works quite nicely.
This was SO good. I can’t stop eating the once I start…..
I love pumpkin seeds and trying new spices..paprika, cumin, garlic powder to spice it up! YUM!
YUM! Pumpkin seeds are a great sign of fall! Thanks for the great ideas with the pumpkin seeds–another great idea to do with pumpkin seeds, top breakfast muffins with them.
Used this last night with my kids. These are awesome. They were great right out of the oven – hot! Brings back the memories. Thanks a bunch.
Thanks for the tip with the rinsing Elise. I love pumpkin seeds as snack but getting the pumpkin strings off the seeds has always been so bothersome. I wonder how long they can be stored once they are toasted.
Great recipe – but don’t forget the garlic powder! Next year I want to make half of my pumpkin seed bounty a sweet snack treat with honey, cinnamon, and maybe some nutmeg and cardamom.
I never rinse mine! After carving the pumpkin, I separate by hand, leaving some of the yummy pumpkin slime, but getting rid of big chunks of pulp (gives them the flavor!). I toss with olive oil and sea salt and bake. My kids LOVE them!
Great recipe! I was a little nervous about boiling the seeds before baking, but they turned out wonderful. I added a little chili powder when baking and I have received many positive comments. Thanks!
These were perfect!
I added about a tablespoon of Tex Mex seasoning with the oil.
Best pumpkin seeds I have ever made or tasted.
Not sure where I went wrong here but these were WAY to salty!! The texture was great but salt overload. The recipe said 1 tbsp for every half cup of seeds. In my case I had 2 cups of seeds so I used 4 tbsps. Next time I would use maybe 1 tbsp.
Wow! These are addicting! By far the best recipe I’ve tried!
Just baked pumpkin seeds and this recipe is sooooooooo good!! Thanks for sharing!!!!
Can I say “way good”I never cared for pumpkin seeds before, but these are the real deal….
Boil them! I wish I knew that last year! The seeds didn’t come out too crunchy especially with a bit of pumpkin guts still attached….
YUM!! I have always just thrown out the seeds and bought some from the store, but these are way too good…I will never go back to store bought stuff. So easy, and so worth it. A stellar recipe…
EXCELLENT!! I did add a bit more olive oil to the pan, stirred the seeds up every 5-7 minutes, and salted the seeds for the last 10 minutes of baking. I didn’t keep track of the total time of baking, but it was longer than 20 minutes, but kept an eye on them unitl they were nicely browned.
Where has this recipe been all my life!? I used to roast pumpkin seeds for my children (ages 35 & 37 now). I stopped doing it because the flavor wasn’t there. Boiling in salted water is the secret. I used half the water & salt then used seasoned salt when roasting. I can’t stop eating them!
I tried the recipe exactly as you wrote it, and they were the best pumpkin seeds I’ve ever made (and I’ve made them several ways mentioned in other’s reviews). Thank you for the recipe! My four year old sons are now addicted to them. :-)
Thank you for sharing…I have a new favorite…My Grandbabies thank you :)
I tried your recipe for something new and the seeds were crispy, but tasted more like popcorn than pumpkin seeds. I usually roast seeds straight out of the pumpkin – seeds go into a bowl, then drizzle with about 1 teaspoon of olive and salt to taste, then roast.
I come back to your recipes all the time. Thanks so much for sharing!
I use rosemary with the olive oil and salt.I put it over the pumpkin seeds while they bake and it tastes wonderful!
I just made these a few days ago and then here you post it again today. After reading about boiling them first, I thought I’d try roasted pumpkin seeds again. What a difference the 10 minutes of boiling does…yum. I sprinkled a little curry powder on them. Will try other spices…so the possibilities are nearly endless! I used the pumpkin seeds from a pie (sugar) pumpkin that I made my own pumpkin puree from. Learned that the easiest way is to roast the whole pumpkin in the oven until soft and then cut open and remove the seeds/pulp. So much easier!
To separate the seeds I would use two forks, one to hold the slimy pumpkin guts and use the tines on the other fork like a rake to get the seeds loose from the stringy stuff. Then rinse, I never thought of boiling the seeds, good idea. I would do this on a piece of waxpaper and toss the remains in the yard or your compost bin.(but not the waxpaper)
Much better than pumpkin seeds are the seeds from acorn squash. Once separated from the fibres (quite easy), just roast them with a dab of butter and a slight sprinkle of salt in a 350 oven. Toss them around after about 5 mins. They should be done by about 10 mins. The shells are crunchy and the kernels are delicious.
Just a bit late this year but when is it ever too late for yummy pumpkin seeds?
A quick tip I have is to mix the olive oil & sea salt (or whatever seasonings you use) and the seeds in a bowl.. then spread on the cookie sheet! Makes them all evenly coated and cook up perfect!
Hmm… 10-20 minutes at 400 degrees? I barely had them in the oven 10 minutes and they were burned…
Timing depends on the size of the seeds. The smaller ones may cook faster. ~Elise
AWESOME!!! OK, I love roasted pumpkin seeds, but have never been able to get them quite right until this recipe. I have tried the low and slow and the soaking over night and the just oil them and pop them in. I have tried everything or so I thought and I never could get them quite right until now. Thanks for sharing!
This recipe is fantastic! I have tried to toast pumpkin seeds year after year and they never turned out as well without boiling them first. Never thought of that but will boil them first from now on. Thank you for this recipe!
Hello! This is a great recipe and mine turned out just the way I like them. I did add some more salt at the end, but that was just a personal touch!
Try a little oil or melted butter (just a little!) with some creole seasoning on your seeds before you bake. YUM!
We always make a few different flavors. The creole, soy sauce and garlic powder, simply sea salt, and occasionally a sweet one with cinnamon and sugar.
WOW! I remember as a kid my parents drying the pumpkin seeds for what seems like forever until they finally cooked them. They were so bland. This year is the first I’ve ever done it on my own with my boyfriend. We carved our pumpkin and then cooked the seeds. ours took about 25 min to get to the perfect crunchiness and we used sea salt instead of normal salt. They were soo good! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe! They were the best fresh from the oven and we finished them off before the night was through! Now I’m trying to find more seeds to do more!
Wow! What a great revisit. This was my first time too. A serious head slapping moment. All those years, all those pumpkins and squashes. They will never be wasted again. Bravo!!!!
These pumpkin seeds were the first ones I had made. They taste so good and were simple. I know there will not be any left tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe!!! Eating some now! janet
I’ve never boiled the seeds first before, but that made all the difference. These were the crunchiest, best tasting pumpkin seeds I’ve ever made! Thank you!
First time cooking seeds on my own for my kids, they loved them! Thanks for the great recipe!
This was the easiest recipe and it turned out great. I had never toasted pumpkin seeds before and so I was a little hesitant. Thanks for the tips and the seeds were wonderful!
Just wondering if this might work with the seeds from the Crown (or Grey) pumpkin which is by far the most common in New Zealand. I had a go at toasting them years ago because it seems a waste to throw out so many & buy bags of pre-shelled seeds for far too many dollars a kilo!
But the shells are really tough. Is the boiling process enough to sort that out?
Hi Bronwyn, I haven’t tried this with seeds from the Crown pumpkin, so don’t know what to tell you. You might just try it and see how they turn out. ~Elise
Best pumpkin seeds ever! Great idea boiling them first. Took me a little more than 20 mins in the oven roasting before done and I turned them about half way through.
I want to say thank you for the post. :) My roommate, being a sheltered man, is 30’sumthin and has NEVER had pumpkin seeds!! So thanks to your help ;) I am able to include him on one of the best seasonal treats ever!
I love these :) We use crab boil instead of plain water. They are always wonderful.
Thanks, I never tried boiling, saved sooo much time! I made a batch of regular salty ones and then my favorite old bay!
My seeds are popping too. We didn’t have time to roast until today so they had been sitting in saltwater for a few days. Maybe they have more water in them because of that? We also had two different types of pumpkin seeds, some were small but fat and some were large and flat. I think the small seeds may have a higher water content due to their natural plumpness. (This is all just a theory.)
I just turned down my oven to 350 and that seems to slowed the popping.
I followed this recipe, then added sugar during the last 4-5 minutes of roasting, and the seeds tasted like kettle corn. Yum!
brown sugar, cayenne and salt!
Good tip about the pre-boil! I made some pumpkin seeds last night with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on them–very tasty dessert!
Oh awesome! Love your method because I gave up long time ago toasting seeds as my pumpkin seeds always ended up raw, so, I have to boil them first… thanks so much!
I am going to try your method.
And will then toast the seeds with some spices.
We roasted pumpkin seeds last year with some spices like curry and then combined the seeds with dried cranberries. It made a really good hostess gift around the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays.
Hi, I followed the directions and put the seeds in an airsealed container overnight. This morning I opened the container and the are still very wet and oily. What should I do?
Leave them out, they need to dry. ~Elise
I followed this recipe to toast my seeds this year and wow.. it’s amazing to just roasting them for hours in an oven. I did some variations on the above recipe.. I did garlic salt instead of salt and they were awesome. Then that got me to thinking.. would sweetened pumpkin seeds be good? ABSOLUTELY!!! :) I boiled my next batch in a simple syrup (about 1/2 c. of sugar for about 4 c. of water and about 1 c. pumpkin seeds) and I didn’t use olive oil I used some butter to grease my cookie sheet. I baked them until they were brown like the above recipe… then I tossed them in some powdered sugar… YUM YUM!!!! They were good without the powdered sugar — it just makes them over the top!! :) Enjoy and thanks for the original recipe.. it’s amazing!!
On my way to get my pumpkin now! (not looking forward to the long walk home)… A question about oil: Has anyone used any other kind of oil? Sesame, avacado, sunflower… Just wondering! Happy Halloween!
Weird question.. Can you do the same thing with Squash seeds?
Yes. Any winter squash, of which pumpkin is just one variety. ~Elise
I wasn’t able to read ALL the posts here, but lots of people seem to wonder about removing seeds from pulp. I had no problem at all removing the seeds before removing the pulp. I just ran my fingers through the strings. The strings are firmly attached to the inside of the pumpkin, and the seeds slid out into my hand. Hope that helps someone.
I have also been wondering why others don’t do this. Maybe it’s more of a pain with bigger pumpkins, but with small ones it works really well to first scrape out the seeds from the interior of the pumpkin with your fingers, then use a spoon to clean the pulp from the inside (assuming you want to use the flesh of the pumpkin for something else.)
Okay, these are wonderful! However, don’t forget that most Italian seasonings cook faster than pumpkin seeds (I learned the hard way with the first batch). If you add anything creative like parsley while baking, you’ll have burnt leaf flavored pumpkin seeds. Bleh!
In addition to sea-salt, I added one tablespoon (per cup of seeds) of hickory liquid smoke to the boil. After boiling and straining, I put the seeds back in the pot along with the olive oil, one teaspoon of sea-salt, and one teaspoon of liquid smoke… sloshed it all around and restrained before baking to a golden brown. The seeds came out great!
Brilliant. I love the idea of adding liquid smoke to the boil, thanks! ~Elise
Just baked pumpkin seeds from two pumpkins.
Rinsed in water, strained and put in mixing bowl
Poured 1/2 stick melted butter
Sprinkled Fajita Seasoning
Sprinkled Sea Salt
Sprinkled Tony Chacere’s Original Creole Seasoning
Mixed well, spread onto baking sheet with raised sides.
Baked in 400 degree oven until golden brown, stirring occassionally, it took about 20-25 minutes total…Y U M M Y…my son is loving them, my daughter not so much. Enjoy this healthy snack. I guess you could use olive oil over butter, but not in our house!
I boiled them and it does make them less chewy when you eat the whole thing.I put popcorn salt on them…yum,yum.
This was great!! For the first time making pumpkin seeds, I didn’t burn them!! I put Joe’s Seasoning from New Orleans School of Cooking for a bit of Cajun flavor. Excellent – now to make sure my 26 year old son doesn’t eat them all!
YUM! This is my second year using your recipe and it’s perfect as written. Thanks!
First time making seeds and love to cook. I read all reviews and decided to try this method. I had already roasted my pumpkin & it was sitting in a bowl. I boiled seeds & used less salt knowing that I was to use Tamari sauce for my mix. As I emptied my bowl of pumpkin, I got the idea to use the gooey residue as a base to make up for the flavor lost from boiling as noted in past reviews. Then I added Tamari sauce, toasted sesame oil, I chose to use fresh ginger, although powder can be used instead. Then I tried a small piece of cooked pumpkin for added flavor, smashed it up, mixed the seeds in the bowl and placed them on cookie sheet lined w/parchment paper,(less clean-up). I did spinkle some seeds w/cayenne pepper just to see what they would taste like. Wow! the smell coming from the oven, we couldn’t wait! Seeds came out dark brown, crispy, somewhat crusty, quite tasty, with or with out cayenne. The measure of ingredients are to taste.
Really too easy to be this good! I’ve tried other methods with poor results, these are fantastic.
Thanks so much! this is such an easy and fast recipe then all the other ones! It works great and makes them taste great, thank you so much from the whole family! :D
Fantastic recipe! I tried a different recipe last year and the seeds were not good at all. This one toasted them up beautifully and was a hit with the entire family. Thanks for a fantastic site that keeps me drooling!!!
You really don’t need to soak or boil them at all. Once you clean them, whatever your method, just put them in a bowl of salted water to your taste. I like mine really salty. Mix them around for a minute or so then transfer them to a baking sheet. The salted water evaporates as they roast leaving the salt residue encrusted onto the seeds. I can’t stop eating them.
Just finished making these and they were delicious! Two pumpkins worth of seeds, roasted and then finished off in under an hour!
I have made a lot of pumpkin seeds and this is the easiest and best way. I used to dry them for 24 hours before I cooked them until I realized if you do it like this it works just as well and is less time consuming with 4 kids waiting on them. I had to check here for the degrees I put on my oven for this recipe.
I’m not sure anyone will read down this far, but the easiest way I’ve found to separate the seeds is to first, obviously clean out the pumpkin. While doing so, place the “guts” in a large bowl. Have a cookie sheet at the ready. Any stray seeds that you’re lucky enough to pull out without a bunch of pulp place on the tray. Everything else place in the bowl. Now for the complex step: fill the bowl with water. All the seeds float to the top away from the pulp :)
Thanks for the reminder to pick up a pumpkin! I love making these with seasoned salt.
I always do pumpkin seeds after carving a pumpkin. I’ve never tried the boiling in water (which I will try tomorrow!) The method I use is to put them on an oiled cookie sheet (olive, obviously), swirl them around a bit so both sides are coated. Then I either use a mixture of salt, garlic powder (I’m a fan of fresh garlic almost all the time except for pumpkin seeds – it sticks better this way for me) black pepper, sea salt and cayenne pepper, or I use tony cachere’s (excuse me if I misspell that name – I always mispronounce it….) and it’s just as good. They get a good spice and are always really crunchy. I’m pretty much addicted to them, and so is the fiancé. Yum. :)
What am I doing wrong? My pumpkin seeds have the texture of very tasty tree bark. I’ve tried soaking them over night, oven baked, toasted on the stove top, and microwave. My seeds look great just like the photos. Why are they so tough?
Are they from a jack-o-lantern pumpkin? Or from a good cooking pumpkin/squash such as a sugar pumpkin or butternut squash? I find that seeds from cooking pumpkins work best. Jack-o-lantern squash are bred for size and durability, not tasty seeds. The seeds from those big pumpkins we usually need to shell in order to eat. Which is one of the reasons boiling in salt water works for us, because the salt penetrates to the seed. ~Elise
The seeds are great… I didn’t have olive oil to put on the pan so I used melted butter…yummmy…
These seeds are awesome! I love the idea of boiling in the salt flavor before baking. This makes them much less messy to eat afterwards. Genuis! :)
I don’t boil mine in salt water because they get sticky and are hard to spread out evenly. I soak mine in heavily salted water for a couple hours instead. They come out nice and salty and spread on the pan well.
Thanks for the boiling tip!! My kids LOVE the seeds. We add a few chunks of butter with the salt when we oven roast them. You can eat them whole that way!!
Some have asked about how to separate the seed from the “goo” and we’ve found that the best way is to put the whole mess into a big bowl of water and squoosh the seeds and mush between your fingers. The mush will sink to the bottom of the water, and the seeds will float on top. Then it’s easy to skim the seeds off the surface with your hands, and place them in a colander for further rinsing.
My “cheat” is that I bring the water to a boil, and then toss the seeds (with some water) in to the baking pan … by the time the water has evaporated, leaving all the salt behind, they are perfect!
I like mine rather salty …
I’ll have to try soy sauce next time. Worchestershire sauce comes to mind, too!! :)
I am in the midst of making a butternut squash soup. I thought I would be all crafty and toast the seeds like I see the TV chefs do. Anyway, the seeds started popping around my oven. I figured I had the heat up too high and fixed that. It still happened. Whats the deal?
No idea. Anyone else? ~Elise
This is my third year making the pumpkin seeds this way! They are so much better boiled first and the olive oil is a nice touch. Garlic salt is good on them too.
Thanks so much
When Fall arrives, I am surrounded my so many pumpkin seeds that I’m surprised they’re not growing out of my ears!
I usually don’t wash or boil my seeds, but I will certainly try this method next week. I enjoy trying all different methods. Thank You.
My favorite flavor for my seeds are soy & cumin, mmm….
Great timing….I have a bunch of seeds saved and was looking for a great way to use them. My mom said I could use them in a seasonal vegetable curry but I didn’t quite like the idea. Your method is great and I think some cloves or cumin would smell/taste great with the pumpkin. Thanks yet again.
Washing or boiling the seeds is good for adding salt, but takes away the wonderful pumpkin taste that only improves after roasting. For the best seeds simply scoop from the pumpkin and place directly in a pan. Sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt and bake until golden brown.
Hi Elise! I started the tradition of baking pumpkin seeds when I had my young children & they still enjoy them when they visit. I know everyone uses EVOO these days, but try a few w/melted butter! Yum!
I was wondering however, how to get the most seeds? What size pumpkin yields the best edible seed? I’ve always had the big pumpkins for carving & the seeds are plentiful but also large. Any suggestions for pumpkin picking? Thx! I love your blog!
Hi elise I made this yesterday they were great. My whole family enjoyed this. Thanks for the recipe.
My family has enjoyed roasted pumpkin seeds for years and we also like the taste of the pumpkin goop on the seeds. I usually roast the salted pumpkin seeds in the oven at a low temperature for an hour, then throw them in a heated frying pad for a few minutes for added crispness. I think I’ll try your method this year to compare. I’ll let you know…
My family always took the inner goop and blended it with melted butter. We would spread that on top of the seeds with some seasoning salt and then bake, it gives the seeds a great flavor that you loose if you wash off the seeds.
Elise, you never cease to amaze me! Every time my boyfriend and I want to try something new, we always say “let’s ask Elise” and you always have something for us. All your recipes are truly of the highest quality! I do have a question about this recipe, however: you mention that it’s better to use the seeds from the smaller pumpkins. What if I want to kill 2 birds with one stone and roast the seeds from my large pumpkin while I carve it? Are the seeds from the large pumpkins not good to eat (esp. if I prefer shells on)?
Thanks Shelly! I think you’ll find that the larger seeds are difficult to eat with the shells on. But that doesn’t mean you can’t cook them too. I would just crack open the shell and only eat the inside when eating the big ones. ~Elise
We just made them. My girlfriend is from Peru and had never tasted them, and I had never made them myself. Great recipe. Forget about them cooling completely – we finished them (2 medium-small pumpkins worth) before that time came.
After the pumpkin has been carved and set outside for a week or so…..can it still be cooked and prepared for pumpkin pie?
Personally, I wouldn’t do that. ~Elise
I just cant find out how long pumpkin seeds are supposed to last after they have been baked. Anyone know?
We usually eat them up within a week, where they are left out in a bowl on the kitchen counter. But it probably depends on the humidity of where you are. More humid environments = more mold and things spoil faster. ~Elise
I’m trying this recipe right now…this is strange for me, because here in New Zealand, pumpkin is basically a staple vegetable. We get 3 or 4 kinds in the stores year round, quite cheaply. We roast them, boil them, mash them, anything savoury you can think of – but desserts made from pumpkins are not common (it’s a vegetable!!!) and the pumpkin seeds are purchased, shelled, and sprinkled onto things more often than they’re eaten as a snack. Only the truly dedicated bother to use the seeds from the pumpkins they eat. I guess this is because most of us don’t realise you can eat the shell. because even bought shelled pumpkin seeds are a newish addition to our food repertoire, so we don’t have those childhood memories. anyways…i’ll let you know how it turns out.
We love pumpkins seeds roasted and can’t wait to try squash seeds this year! My 9 year old prefers the seeds to be soaked in olive oil, then lightly sprinkled with Everglades Seasoning! Actually she likes the Everglades on everything, grilled eggplant, squash, chicken! Thanks for the great ideas.
Does anyone know how long after picking a pumpkin it is safe to still roast and eat the seeds? I live near Buffalo, NY so we already have snow. I have a few uncarved pumpkins still sitting on my front step and now that Thanksgiving has passed, I am ready to get rid of them. Should the seeds still be ok to eat? I guess I could just try and find out. Either way, it will be me or the deer who gets to eat them.
Note from Elise: Pumpkins last for months, especially if kept cool. As long as the pumpkin itself is still hard, the seeds should be fine.
I just tried this out and it was fantastic! My kids are already begging for more.
This recipe was great and the seeds were delicious.
Thank you for posting this info. Our family had fun carving our pumpkin and toasting the seeds. It is a good memory we will charish.
I have never liked pumkin seeds. This year after carving her pumpkin, my daughter asked if I could roast them for her to try. I went online to find a recipe, I liked the idea of ‘cooking in’ the salt. My pumkin seeds are done and DELICIOUS!! I need to keep away from the bowl or there won’t be any for my daughter to try when she gets home from school!!
I tried this recipe over the weekend with what I believe were butternut squash seeds (I’m in Russia, and not really sure if their squashes are the same as the American ones I’m familiar with, but it looked like a butternut squash…).
I found them a bit too salty, but I don’t know if that was because of personal taste or because the seeds are smaller than pumpkin seeds.
I also found that they cooked faster than pumpkin seeds (lesson learned: don’t assemble furniture while toasting seeds) and they got a little too brown in 20 minutes. It might just be because of my weird Russian oven, but if anyone else tries it with squash seeds, keep an eye on them! They were tasty all the same, so I recommend using them!
In answer to Audrey’s question on toasting watermelon seeds, use your favorite pumpkin seed toasting recipe/method but substitute watermelon seeds instead.
A different variation. Mixed rinsed seeds in a little sea salt and let rest a bit. Put 2 to 3 Tablespoons of Olive oil in large frying pan over medium heat and add seeds. Heat and turn often until starting to brown and puff. If they start popping before they are browned and puffed reduce heat.
Add amendments to oil in Pan, Pepper, Soy, cayenne, etc.
Last year I made several different flavors and the one that my husband liked the most was the mixture of soy sauce, honey and powdered ginger. It left the roasted seeds very dark but very tasty. I mixed in some water to the marinade to cut the strong soy just a bit. It worked out great.
Watermelon seeds? I’ve never heard of toasting them. Can you provide instructions?
Equally as good, if not better, are winter squash and even watermelon seeds. We treat both pumpkin and squash seeds the same when roasting but find the squash seeds to be for more tender and digestible. We rinse them and, in a single layer, dry them on wax paper for several days. Our seasoning is soy sauce, garlic powder, season salt, and oil. Roasting time is perhaps about 2 hours at 250 degrees. The seeds are stirred and redistributed every 20 minutes.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I am only 24 but have problems with my memory. When I remembered once of my mum making pumpkin seeds when I was age 8 I HAD to make some to remember the taste and time! Thank you again and I will be sending many mates here for the same recipe!
Made these last night, and my roommates all commented that they were the best pumpkin seeds they’ve ever had.
Just took them outta the oven, delicious. Growing up as a kid, every year my parents attemped to make them, all they did was rinse them and put them in the oven , once they even left them out to dry in the sun, but it just never came out good. This year I will let them try my pumpkin seeds, thank you for the recipe.
While my salt water is boiling, does anyone have information about calories and fat content for this recipe? I’m finding wide differences in “pumpkin seeds, toasted, unshelled” all over the web. Thanks. Can’t wait to try these.
This was great and fast…We loved the texture but the recipe was a bit too salty for our tastes…next time I’ll cut back on the salt. Otherwise, the texture was great.
Just took the last batch out of the oven and are they good. One of my Jack Russel Terriers (Molly) likes them too!!! Thanks for the recipe.
I used this recipe, but then added some Braggs with the oil. They smell great cooking! I snuck a seed from the oven to taste and they’re great already. Can’t wait for them to cool/dry out and get extra crispy. Thanks for the recipe!- I only wish I had carved more than one pumkin!
These seeds were excellent! Thanks for the great recipe!
Last year, I made 2 batches of seeds, one boiled before roasting, and one just roasted. There was absolutely no difference between the 2 batches.
I don’t usually use any oil anymore to roast them. Just salt them while they’re wet, and the salt sticks as they cook, just like a pretzel. There’s enough oil already present in the seeds to brown them.
I, too, like a little of the pulp left on the seeds for more flavor. When they roast, any pulp gets nicely browned and full of flavor. And it saves me from obsessively cleaning the seeds when I could be eating them instead.
I love roasted pumpkin seeds, but I have never understood why people rinse off the goo. Getting rid of the strings I get, but the liquid covering the seeds has amazing pumpkin flavor. My mother always added butter and salt and roasted in the oven on a lower heat for a longer period of time until they were crunchy and brown. Now whenever I eat pumpkin seeds sans the goo they seem bland.
Something I do each fall is make a great salad dressing using the roasted seeds… In a blender add one cup of apple cider vinegar, one cup of roasted seeds, then start blender on a medium speed, slowly mix in half cup of olive oil and black pepper to taste.. no need for salt as it’s in the seeds already but you can add more, blend a few minutes for the right texture… A little dressing goes a long way..and is good warm or cold..enjoy..
I always make 4 or 5 batches, each with different seasonings. There is the sweet batch with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg (pumpkin pie spice works great too), a batch that is just salt, one that is salt and pepper, one with cajun seasonings and garlic, one with “green” herbs from the cabinet (whatever smells good) and usually some garlic powder, and one super spicy batch with hot sauce, cayenne, ancho chili powder, salt, and black pepper. These things are addictive!
I love the boiling idea, saves lots of soaking time. I would have thought it would make them chewy, but i’ll give it a go.
Be careful not to eat huge amounts. Your body won’t break them down entirely and in mass quantities that can hurt on exit! (I know from experience :( )
OMG, these were so good. I thought I would eat them all.
This is my first time trying to make pumpkin seeds and I was wondering what was the best way to store them. I want them to still have their crunch to them
You don’t have to boil the pumpkin seeds. The way my family has been doing it for generations is:
1)first you get all the pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin.
2)then you put all the insides in a large bowl;
try to seperate the goopy stuff from the seeds best you can.
3)then slightly fill the bowl wiht COLD water
4)let sit for a day
5)the next day strain the seeds and water. you will see that the goopy stuff in on top of the seeds after you strain them (this is because it sinks to the bottom)
6)refil bowl and repeat steps four and five.
7)then when all the orange stuff is gone, refill the bowl and salt it generously. stir.
8)the nest day you will need to strain them again
9)after straining spread them evenly on a cookie sheet.
10)apply onion powder, garlic powder, salt, peper, and if you like it hot put hot red peper powder or yout favorite spicy seasoning (OPTIONAL)
11)then mix the seeds around the sheet
12)bake at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
you will know when they are done: you will be able to smell them a mile away.
Note from Elise: Hmm. I think I prefer my boiling method. It only takes a few minutes. No need to soak them for a day.
After cleaning the pumpkin(s) I’m too lazy to boil the seeds. I rinse with water then put in a bowl with cold water and salt and let it sit till I’m ready. Sometimes it’s a few days, so I rinse, fill, salt and let it sit again. Dry on paper towel line baking sheet then season (or just course salt) and roast. Best ever!
This sounds like entirely too much work. And too many spices. All they need is salt…
The pumpkin seed recipe was great. I love the saltiness you get from the salt water and the crunch from the roasting. I love this recipe. It was great, thanks.
I am thinking the reason for the water is to make the seed actually cook inside the shell and since the salty water wont let the shell burn just brown
I just tried this recipe. It worked out great, though I will cut back on the salt next time. Every year I try to make roasted pumpkin seeds, but they are always kinda like trying to eat tree bark. I made these tonight and have to say that this is the first time they tasted great and I could chew them.
Thanks for this post!
Last week I read this recipe without thinking to make it. In the weekend I remebered that I had planned to do a pumpkin jam… so I used the seeds instead of throwing them away!
The result is excellent… ehmmmm… was excellent: my husband had eaten them just out of the oven!
Forgive me if I sound dense but why do we have to rinse the seeds before washing and/or roasting. I actually prefer the ‘au naturale’ seeds.
I’ve roasted seeds a few years before but am trying the ‘boiling before baking’ method as I write.
Note from Elise: Hi Lizzie, rinsing them while you separate the seeds from the pulp actually makes them easier to separate. I personally don’t like the taste or texture of the stringy pulp, so don’t want them on my seeds. But if you like it that way, then by all means go for it. There’s no real need to rinse the seeds.
Ack! The seeds are popping like popcorn in my oven right now! Did this happen to anyone else? This has never happened before….
Do you have to dry the seeds first, or do they go from pumkin to the salt water? I am going to use your recipe this weekend!
Note from Elise: Right from the pumpkin to the salt water.
I made these last night for the second year in a row… they were great! However, I gave the tupperware to the neighbours and now (a few hours later) it is mysteriously empty…
Hi Vanessa — for sweet & spicy pumpkin seeds, I’ll bet you could boil them in sugared water instead of salted. Now I’m curious to try…
Taryn…we do one pan at a time in the toaster oven…these are gone in no time at all…keep raw ones in refrigerator in water…until you’re ready to use them
Yesterday I prepared my pumpkin for the puree to make every recipe with pumpkin in and tried out the toasted pumpkin seed recipe for the first time. They went down a treat! I’ve always thrown them away in the past because I didn’t know what to do with them. Not anymore! I’ve never seen canned pumpkin in the Uk and the pumpkins are only available for the month of October sooo…just a few more days to stock up the freezer! Thank You Elise
I’m just about to put the seeds into the oven now and am looking forward to seeing how they turn out. I’ve never even tasted a pumpkin seed, so this is all new to me. One thing I did discover, when I was carving the first pumpkin, I found it difficult and time consuming to separate the seeds, On the second pumpkin I moved to the kitchen sink, as soon as I cut out the lid, I turned on the faucet and started to fill it up, as it was filling, I kind of swirled the water to free the seeds, and as the water level rose up in the pumpkin all the seeds floated to the top. Then I just scooped them out. It didn’t take much more work to get them ready for boiling. Hope this helps out.
Great idea Clare! I’m going to try this next year when I cook my pumpkins to make pie filling. Yummy.
Last year was my first year making roasted pumpkin seeds. I decided after I had scooped most of the pumpkins so I had to separate the seeds from the filling. After I got most of the pulp off the seeds I put them in a bowl of water and the last bits of pulp were gone!
This year, knowing ahead of time, I took the seeds out first. After cutting the pumpkin in half, and working by section, I ran my fingers down the outer edge of the section and scooped the seeds up in my hand. The pulp is stuck to the pumpkin and slimy enough that the seeds separate very easily. I noticed that this method was much faster and cleaner with a higher yield than what I ended up doing last time. I’m going to soak them tomorrow but I expect that there is very little pulp to rinse out.
I hope that if you try this method that it works as well for you as it did for me.
Happy Halloween and a Wonderful Thanksgiving to all!!!
This was my first time making pumpkin seeds, but I must say that the chances of me trying another recipe is highly doubtful. Elise, thank you for your wonderful recipe! Could someone please suggest the best way to store them? When I put them in a tupperware container they lost their crunch.
Note from Elise: Hi Taryn, I just leave them in a bowl on the kitchen counter, within a few days they are eaten. They need to stay dry to keep their crunch, which they are able to do when left out.
Hi Taryn! I put a piece of paper towel in the container with mine. I also do this with a lot of other things – baked chickpeas, and even cut cheese. It helps suck up the extra moisture to keep crisp things crispy, or to help things keep from molding, like the cheese.
Easier still, just put all the sticky mess on a baking tray, don’t bother to separate, drizzle over olive oil and some coarse salt – the pulp goes all crispy and is delicious! Keep in a lidded container in the fridge for a few days (ours always get eaten too quickly).
Yes yes finally someone who does not rinse them like me. :) That’s where all the flavor is. I don’t leave the glops but no rinsing. Yum Yum
Same here. The pumpkin pulp that clings to the seeds turns sugar sweet when roasted and gives the coarse Kosher salt something to cling to. Can’t imagine why anyone would wash it off?
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.
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.
I tried the colander method, but found it was just easier to fill the sink with water and put the pulp in the sink and swirl around. The seeds will float to the top and the pulp (most of it, anyway) will sink.
We just ran our fingers through the pulp and most of the seeds slipped right off. The ones that were left “squeezed” out when we squished the pulp in our hands. Our chickens and peafowl loved the pumpkin guts! :-)
The trick is to not scoop the pulp out and try to pick through it but instead run your fingers through the goop with it still intact inside of the pumpkin, that way you don’t have much goop to sift through, i did it last night and the total amount of pumpkin that floated to the bottom of the bowl of water was only a tablespoon or so, then proceed to scoop the goop.
I agree as well, it works the best with the least amount of work,
I agree also, and to make it easier still, freeze the pumpkins first. The pulp is not gooey at all. It’s pretty much just dry strings. Work fast though because it thaws quickly.
Easiest method of all: Don’t worry about it! Pull the seeds out of the pumpkin as best you can, and leave the goop that clings to them on. When roasted, it gives the seeds an extra measure of flavor that is quite pleasant. Another hint: if I’m going to carve the pumpkin for Halloween I use my knife to make a small registration mark before removing the lid. A small nick in the corresponding edges makes it much easier to put the top back on straight.
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.
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.
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