How to roast pumpkin seeds

Bundle up well and go shopping for pumpkins.  Wade into the brilliant orange pile searching for a pumpkin that will support your artistic vision and will also rest firmly on its kiester without tipping over.  Set the best three or four contenders in a row, keeping a sharp lookout for children who might snatch them right out from under you while you stroke your chin and consider each in turn.  When your nose and hands are freezing and your companion in this expedition is starting to sigh, grab the biggest, but not without a backward glance at the ones you leave behind.

Brew up a big cauldron of mulled cider.  Set a bottle of rum enticingly nearby for the grown-ups.  Spread newspaper and carving tools all over the dining room table.  Don’t forget big bowls and long-handled spoons.  Cut lids in the top of your pumpkins and scrape the guts and seeds into bowls before carving the weirdest, most fantasmagoric jack-o-lanterns ever seen.  This step works best if there are children of various ages involved: one or two small enough to require adult assistance with the sharps, others with enough arm strength to scrape out their own pumpkin but not quite enough patience, and at least one who silently pursues his or her ideal jack-o-lantern with relentless drive and focus.

While the slow-pokes finish their jack-o-lanterns, take one or two friends and/or sisters and the bowls of pumpkin guts over to the sink, get out the big colander, and set the compost bin at your feet.  Wash the seeds, carefully picking them free of guts and strings.  This will take a while, so settle in with your mug of cider and get ready for a long, confidential gossip.

Rinse the seeds well, then drain off as much water as possible.  The salad spinner can be useful at this point.  Then make an attempt to scrub the pumpkin goo off your hands, arms, and face.

In a large bowl, toss the seeds with just enough tamari or soy sauce to coat.  Let seeds sit and soak for a while if you have the patience.  In fact, the seeds can be put in airtight containers at this point if you are sending friends home with a share to be roasted later, and they will keep just fine in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Spread pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.  A single layer will cook quickly, but you can fill up a rimmed baking sheet—you will just have to roast them longer and stir frequently.  After about 10 minutes, check and stir your seeds, then every 5 minutes or so after that until they are toasty brown and making a pleasant sizzling noise.  The difference between toasty and burnt is a matter of only a few minutes inattention, so set a timer if you are busy taking pictures of just finished jack-o-lanterns, opening the door to a series of goblins who scream “trick or TREAT!” in unison, or canoodling on the couch in front of a roaring fire.

Let seeds cool at least slightly before transferring to a big bowl.  Taste, and add additional salt if needed before devouring.  Cooled completely and tightly sealed, the seeds will stay crunchy for several days.

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117 thoughts on “How to roast pumpkin seeds

  1. Isla White

    Great post and pumpkin seeds are the best. This year I tried to re-use the lot and make curried pumpkin soup. All was going well on the home cooking front until I went to add a pinch of salt and the lid came off. Next minute I was googling how to remove excess salt and ended up with a potato in my now very salty soup. Needless to say we only ended up with roasted pumpkin seeds after all!

    Reply
  2. happygoodtime

    These are so good!

    I ran with the Asian influences from the tamari and also added a sprinkle of sesame oil.

    YUM-O

    I’m a pumpkin novice, but this was way easier than I imagined. Tomorrow these pumpkin seeds are going on some coconut curry pumpkin soup. *fingers crossed*

    Reply
  3. Rachel Southwood

    These look delicious and make me oh so home sick for the northern hemisphere! Missing out on festive autumns and winters is so sad. As soon as I spy pumpkins in the shops I will be all over this! Also totally love your writing style!

    Reply
  4. moosehills

    We tried our first batch of pumpkin seeds the other day. Sadly, they were not keepers. They were very oily, even after quite a bit of time in the oven. We’ll just have to try again!

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Sorry to hear they didn’t work out. I’ve never had any problems with mine turning out oily, fortunately!

      Reply
  5. frugalfeeding

    these look awesome. Just spent a week at my girlfriend’s house dispatching of a pumpkin in various ways – all that is left are the seeds. I’ll get her to do something with them. Thanks for the advice.

    Reply
  6. creatingafairhaven

    First of all, congrats on being Freshly Pressed!
    Then I also want to say how much I enjoyed the post. You have a unique gift of making something as ordinary as a recipe blend flawlessly with a story. Your words described a scenario into which I’d love to join, and your post makes me want to recreate our pumpkin carving experience with a little more intentionality. The cider, conversation, and laughter merged an already favorite memory with scents, sounds, and flavors.

    Thanks for writing, and I can’t wait to spend a little time on your site exploring. Well done!

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      I always think of them as a halloween treat. I guess the pumpkin seed season is longer than I think!

      Reply
  7. Mal

    yayyyyyy, sitting in front of a big logfire, curled up on a sofa and munching these roasted pumpkin seeds…..mmm, bliss!!! :)
    Congrats on being FP!

    Reply
  8. Michelle Smith

    I had my very first roasted pumpkin seeds when I was a little girl in Kindergarten and I had forgotten how wonderful they tasted until I read your blog! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  9. onlywordscansay

    I’m amazed that something so simple can be convoluted into a fancy snack. Your introduction to the subject can be described as great window dressing, nice post. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  10. Chani

    I, too, tried several times to successfully roast pumpkin seeds before getting it right, but now I am a champion! I do love squash seeds slightly more than pumpkin (plus, then you get to make squash soup!), though.

    I also recommend for the more experienced roaster trying new flavors: I love tossing mine with olive oil and cajun spices, or a few dashes of cayenne pepper and salt, or ground cumin!

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Mmm, cajun spice sounds great! And I think I’ll try roasting the seeds from the next squash I make…

      Reply
  11. whenquiet

    yaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy!!!!pumpkins!!!!…………..the magic of pumpkins, the ritual of the carve, the connectedness of unison, the discipline of getting to, preserving the seed..I simply like this post!

    Reply
  12. Amelia McGoldrick Photography

    Reminds me of when I was a kid! There are no pumpkins where I live now (at least the expat crew in Argentina have yet to find them) but after reading this, I feel inspired to be adventurous with whatever pumpkin-like gourd I can find! So crunchy, salty and yummy!

    Reply
  13. lifespelledout

    I just tried this (not yours but another recipe) and epically failed. Maybe I’ll buy some more and try your recipe and hopefully have some better luck.

    Reply
  14. Julio Eiffelt R R

    the taste shouldn’t same with indonesia’s pumpkin seeds. why dont me give me some for sample.. :)
    Great recipes and Post

    Reply
  15. rangewriter

    I’ve tried roasting pumpkin seeds a couple of times but had really awful results. It seemed like a ton of work for a finished product that I couldn’t sell to the goat. Maybe I was lacking the helping hands and adult bevvies. Or maybe, I missed the tamari sauce. Maybe it’s time to try this again…

    Reply
  16. Harold

    Nice post! Wish I had thought of roasting the seeds last year when we grew our own. We had over 15 pumpkins! This year we didn’t grow them.
    Congrats on being FP!

    Reply
  17. HomeGrownBride

    Awesome Thank you- I usually just bin the seeds but this will be an extra delight to share with my husband!

    Reply
  18. Suellen Grealy

    I just mentioned to an English friend who has a holiday house here in the south of France that he should roast seeds from a pumpkin (now soup!), which a neighbour gave him from their farm. All I need to do is send him the link to this lovely blog. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      Good question–I’m not sure. I guess I would assume that if they are dry they are roasted, or otherwise cooked already.

      Reply
  19. Jennifer

    A couple of weeks ago, before I roasted my pumpkin seeds, I coated them in coconut oil and salt. I put them in the oven at 200 for an hour. They were the best pumpkin seeds ever! Making them with soy sauce sounds like a really good option as well. I might have to try that this evening!

    Reply
  20. deskquixote

    My boyfriend and I like to make them with a dusting of Cayenne Pepper and Smoked Paprika. They have a nice kick that way! Cinnamon Sugar is always a good flavor to go for as well, and in the past we’ve done Garlic Parmesan.

    Reply
    1. The Rowdy Chowgirl Post author

      True–although I always eat them up as snacks before I get a chance to use them any other way.

      Reply

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