Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds

Save the seeds for this tasty snack.

Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
10 mins
Rest Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins

When you've carved a pumpkin with your fun designs, or you've removed the pulp to make puree for pie filling, you'll be left with one treasure you may not realize: glorious seeds.

Pumpkin seeds are great for snacking and can be used in many recipes. Pumpkin seeds are edible raw, but they are delicious roasted and seasoned. A quick and easy way to accomplish this is in the air fryer. This results in a crispy and tasty snack, whether they're on top of a salad or used in recipes ranging from pesto to mole.

How To Clean Pumpkin Seeds

After the pumpkin has been carved, it's time to clean the pumpkin seeds. To begin, sort the seeds from the pulp. This will be a somewhat messy but not complicated process.

When you are done, put the seeds in a strainer or colander, and run water over them to rinse away any remaining pulp. Then, lay the seeds flat on a paper towel or baking sheet to dry. While just an hour is fine, you can leave them out as long as overnight if you want your seeds to be extra crispy.

An alternative idea is to boil the pumpkin seeds in salted water for a few minutes in order to separate the remaining pulp, but that step is not necessary if it's not your preference.

What if You Can't Find a Pumpkin?

Pumpkins are seasonal, so it's fair to say there'll be a stretch of the year they aren't easy to source. The best time to find a pumpkin is in the fall months.

If you can't find a pumpkin, bags of whole raw pumpkin seeds are a good (and easy!) modification and can be found at most local grocery stores, or online at spots like Amazon or Walmart. Just make sure they are raw, unseasoned, and whole, when you buy them for best results.

How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds In Air Fryer

Roasting pumpkin seeds in the air fryer is fast and easy and is a great way to make a snack without using the oven. The best way to make pumpkin seeds in the air fryer is to toss the clean and dry pumpkin seeds in a bit of oil or butter and your favorite spice combo. Then, lay them in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Make sure to shake the basket halfway through cooking in order to have evenly crisped pumpkin seeds.

pumpkin seeds and pumpkin
Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Do You Need To Boil Pumpkin Seeds Before Roasting?

It's not necessary to boil pumpkin seeds before roasting them. Boiling pumpkin seeds in salty water is a common way to remove the excess pulp from the seeds before drying and roasting (or air frying) them. But this can also be done by rinsing the seeds in a colander, or buying a bag of raw whole seeds if you are not carving a fresh pumpkin.

Do You Need to Remove The Shell?

It's absolutely fine to eat the shell of the pumpkin seeds. In fact, that's where a lot of the taste in them. But some people aren't a fan of the texture. For them, feel free to remove the shell.

DIY Your Seasoning

Seasoning is what you want to make of it. While just adding some salt, pepper, and garlic or onion powder could be tasty, use the flavors you enjoy. Some winners are chili seasoning, curry seasoning, even nutritional yeast if you want a delicious cheesy taste.


  • 1 medium whole pumpkin (or 1 cup store-bought raw whole pumpkin seeds)

  • 1 tsp. neutral oil (such as canola or grapeseed)

  • 1 tsp. seasoning of choice (such as chili seasoning)


  1. Remove the seeds from a fresh pumpkin. Separate the seeds from the pulp and the flesh. Place raw seeds in a strainer or colander, and rinse the seeds with water to remove the pulp. (Alternatively, purchase raw, whole pumpkin seeds at the grocery store.)

  2. If working with fresh seeds, lay the seeds in one layer on a dry paper towel. Add another paper towel on top, and put a heavy-duty baking sheet or pan on top of the seeds to press out moisture.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin seeds, oil, and preferred seasoning. Toss to coat well. Spread the pumpkin seeds in the basket of an air fryer in a single layer. Cook for 10 minutes at 380°F, or until crispy; shake the basket halfway through.

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