How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

Make the most of the entire pumpkin this season.

toast pumpkin seeds
Photo: Melinda Podor/Getty Images

If you are researching how to roast pumpkin seeds, chances are you already know what a crunchy, tasty, and healthy snack they can be. Eaten shelled or unshelled, pumpkin seeds are as versatile as nuts when it comes to the many ways they can be used in recipes. Make use of the entire pumpkin this year when carving the family jack-o'-lantern and save the seeds for snacking or garnishing salads. Here is the simplest method for cleaning and roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven and on the stovetop.

Scoop, Clean, and Dry

After cutting and/or carving your pumpkin, scoop the seeds (along with the attached flesh) from the inside cavity and drop them into a colander. If you are a wee bit squeamish about sticking your hand into the innards of the pumpkin, wearing kitchen gloves may help, or use a long-handled, large spoon for the scooping. Pull away as much of the larger chunks of pumpkin flesh and strings, then place the colander under cool running water. Swirl the seeds around with your hand, letting the water wash away any remaining pulp or strings. Don't worry if you can't get the seeds completely clean; this is a very nitpicky chore, and a lot of people don't mind roasting a few strings or small pieces of flesh along with the seeds. Shake the colander to remove as much water as possible. Pour the seeds onto a clean kitchen towel or a layer of paper towels and pat them dry.

Season and Bake in the Oven

Pour the seeds into a large mixing bowl or, to alleviate messing up another dish, place them on analuminum foil-lined or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the seeds with a touch of olive oil (about 1 tsp. for 3/4 cup of seeds), then season with salt and pepper. Toss the seeds until they are evenly coated with oil and seasonings and spread them out into a single layer. Bake at 350° 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp. Remove the seeds from the oven, let them cool completely in the pan, then store in an airtight container.

WATCH: How to Roast a Pumpkin

To Toast on Stovetop

If you have a small amount of seeds and don't want to heat up your oven, you can toast pumpkin seeds on the stovetop. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown and slightly puffed, 15-18 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper and cook 30 seconds longer. Transfer the seeds to a a bowl and cool before serving.

Play Around with Seasonings

Now that you know the very simple basics of roasting pumpkin seeds, use your imagination and add your favorite spice blends and combinations. Use browned butter instead of oil. Add a splash of soy sauce. Sprinkle in garlic salt or a sweet-and-salty BBQ rub, and don't forget to make use of dried herbs, such as rosemary, basil, and thyme.

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