Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Don't throw away the pumpkin seeds from your pumpkin! Roast them for a delicious healthy Halloween snack.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds In Bowl
Elise Bauer

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.

Don't throw out your pumpkin seeds!


How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds

How to Get the Strings Off Pumpkin Seeds

When you first scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin, it seems like it will be impossible to separate the sticky, clingy strings from the seeds. Not so!

Just rinse the mass of seeds and strings under cool water and the seeds will separate easily. The leftover strings can be discarded or composted.

removing fresh pumpkin seeds to roast in the oven
Elise Bauer

The Best Way to Salt 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.

Roasted pumpkin seeds in a bowl
Elise Bauer

How Long to Bake Pumpkin Seeds

Regardless of the size or number of your seeds, bake them at 400°F. Watch them carefully -- they're done when they begin to lightly brown. Small pumpkin seeds may toast in around 5 minutes or so, while large pumpkin seeds may take up to 20 minutes.

More Ways to Flavor Your Pumpkin Seeds

These seeds are fantastic simply seasoned with salt, but if you're feeling adventurous, you can certainly add other seasonings. Add a few teaspoons of your favorite herb or spice blend after tossing the seeds with the oil and before roasting.

  • For a savory snack, try tossing the pumpkin seeds with a few teaspoons of chili powder, curry powder, or herbes de provence.
  • For a sweet-and-salty twist, try a dusting of pumpkin spice blend (of course!) or cinnamon and sugar.

Craving Pumpkin? Try These Recipes!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 4 servings
Yield 1 cup or so

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.


  • 1 medium pumpkin

  • Salt

  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Scrape out the pumpkin seeds:

    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.

    removing pumpkin seeds from pumpkin
    Elise Bauer
    removing fresh pumpkin seeds to roast in the oven
    Elise Bauer

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

    removing pumpkin seeds with spoon
    Elise Bauer
    pumpkin seeds freshly removed from pumpkin
    Elise Bauer

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

    cleaning pumpkin seeds before cooking
    Elise Bauer
    clean pumpkin seeds ready to be roasted
    Elise Bauer
  2. Boil the pumpkin seeds in salted water for 10 minutes:

    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 1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds. Add more salt if you would like your seeds to be saltier.

    pumpkin seeds in measuring cup
    Elise Bauer
    adding salt and boiling pumpkin seeds before roasting
    Elise Bauer

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

    boiling pumpkin seeds in salted water
    Elise Bauer
    boiled pumpkin seeds
    Elise Bauer
  3. Bake the seeds in 400°F oven until browned:

    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 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds.

    pumpkin seeds on cookie sheet in oven
    Elise Bauer
    roasted pumpkin seeds with salt
    Elise Bauer

    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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
81 Calories
4g Fat
9g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 81
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 148mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 9mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 147mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.