Don't throw away those pumpkin seeds! Roasted pumpkin seeds are an easy, healthy snack your family will love. Here's how to roast pumpkin seeds the right way.
Fun Fact: Contrary to popular belief, pepitas aren’t hulled pumpkin seeds, so don’t try to pry open the seeds from your carving pumpkins! Pepitas are a hulless pumpkin seed harvested from Styrian or oil seed pumpkins. You simply roast seeds as they come from the pumpkin. Roasted pumpkin seeds are more fibrous and less tender, but they can be substituted for pepitas in any recipe that calls for them as a garnish.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Yield: 2 cups
2 cups fresh pumpkin seeds, or whatever you scoop from one pumpkin
3 tablespoons butter, melted, or an equal amount of the cooking oil of your choice
1 teaspoon salt and/or other seasonings
1 teaspoon David Wade's Original Worcestershire Powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Step 1: Preheat the Oven
Preheat oven to 250°. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease it with butter or oil. This reduces cleanup later…trust us on this.
Step 2: Scoop out the Seeds (If You Haven’t Yet)
Most of us are pretty familiar with this part from a lifetime of pumpkin carving. Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut around the top of the pumpkin and remove the “lid.” Using a large spoon, scrape the sides of the pumpkin to remove the seeds and pulp. Place everything—pulp and all—in a large bowl.
Step 3: Separate the Gunk from the Seeds
You might be wondering, “Do you have to clean pumpkin seeds before roasting?” Yep. And this used to be the part we dreaded (that slimy, stringy pumpkin flesh!). Turns out it’s actually much easier than we thought. Just use your fingertips to pull the seeds free. Leave the large pieces of pumpkin pulp in the bowl as you transfer the seeds to a colander. They’ll still look pretty goopy—don’t worry.
The fibrous strands can be challenging to remove, but we have a trick for that: Rinse the seeds in the colander under cold running water. The water will loosen the strands and make it easier to pull them off.
Step 4: Rinse and Drain
Now that you have removed most of the pulpy pieces, it’s time to get the seeds ready for seasoning. Boil the seeds for about 3-5 minutes in salt water. Drain the water from the seeds, then pat the seeds dry with a towel.
Step 5: Combine the Seeds with the Seasonings
It’s time to season! We like salt, Smoked Paprika and Worcestershire Powder, but you can use any spices you wish. Try pumpkin spice seasoning, go spicy with taco seasoning, or just douse with salt and pepper.
Whichever flavors you choose, combine the seasonings with the butter or oil in a small bowl. Then drizzle the mix over the dry seeds in a medium-sized bowl. Stir the mixture to make sure each seed is coated.
Step 6: Bake the Pumpkin Seeds, Stirring Occasionally
We’re ready to bake! Spread the seeds evenly in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, making sure to stir and toss the seeds occasionally.
Step 7: Finish Baking on High Heat
Cooking in a 200° oven helps the seeds cook evenly inside and out, so they don’t burn before they’re cooked through. But we won’t settle for evenly cooked seeds—we want crispy seeds!
The solution: Increase the oven temperature to 325° after the 45 minutes. Then continue baking until the seeds are lightly browned and dry, about 5 minutes more.
Step 8: Serve, Store and Enjoy!
The seeds can be served warm or you can cool them and enjoy at room temperature. If you’re storing them for later use, set the pan on a cooling rack until the seeds are fully cooled, then place in an airtight container.