How To Roast Perfect Pumpkin Seeds – Easy, Crunchy, Addictive!

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 17, 2012

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The first time I roasted pumpkin seeds, I burned the crap out of them.

It was heart-breaking, especially since I wasn’t convinced it was even worth the effort in the first place. All that seed cleaning and pumpkin de-stringing – I didn’t even get to enjoy the fruits of my labour. Hrmph.

Here is the part that no one told me about: The inner seeds cook much faster than the outer shell. I kept peeking in the oven and everything looked fine on the outside. Little did I know, the inner seeds were burnt to smithereens.

Well, thank goodness I didn’t give up after that first miserable attempt! My life just wouldn’t be complete without roasted pumpkin seeds.

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I’m happy to say, the second batch didn’t just work, it blew my mind! The cup of seeds I roasted did not last long between the two of us. Every pass by the kitchen was an excuse to grab a crispy handful off the pan.

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Today, I’m sharing my secrets for a fantastic batch of roasted pumpkin seeds. If you’ve ever doubted they were worth the effort or had so-so results, I beg you to try this one last time. Only I know it won’t be the last time, but the start of a life-long obsession. Watch out pumpkins, we’re coming for ya!

How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds:

1. Clean the seeds. The annoying-but-necessary task is that you have to meticulously clean the seeds until there are no signs of pumpkin guts. The best way to do this (that I have discovered from your comments!) is to plunk the seeds + guts into a big bowl of water and use your hands to break it apart. The seeds will float to the top of the water! They clean much faster this way.

Note: Some of you say that sugar pumpkin seeds yield much crispier seeds than carving pumpkins. I used sugar pumpkin seeds and mine were certainly super crispy!

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2. Boil for 10 minutes in salt water. Using Elise’s method for inspiration, I added the pumpkin seeds to a medium-sized pot of water along with 1 tsp salt. Bring it to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes over low-medium heat. Apparently, this method helps make the pumpkin seeds easier to digest and produces a crispy outer shell during roasting. If you are short on time, you can totally skip this step! They will still turn out lovely.

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3. Drain the seeds in a colander and dry lightly with a paper towel or tea towel. The seeds will stick to the towel, but just rub them off with your fingers. Don’t worry, they don’t have to be bone dry – just a light pat down.

4. Spread seeds onto a baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (I only needed to use about 1/2-1 tsp). Massage oil into seeds and add a generous sprinkle of Herbamare (or fine grain sea salt will do). Try to spread out the seeds as thin as possible with minor overlapping.

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5. Roast seeds at 325F for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Roast for another 8-10 minutes (if your oven temp is wonky, this bake time could vary a lot!). During the last 5 minutes of roasting, remove a few seeds and crack open to make sure the inner seeds are not burning (you don’t want the inner seed brown). Cool a couple and pop them into your mouth to test. They are ready when the shell is super crispy and easy to bite through. The inner seed should have only a hint of golden tinge to it. They should not be brown.

6. EAT! Remove from oven, add a bit more Herbamare, and dig in! Ah, so good, so good! There is no need to remove the outer shell; it’s quite possibly the best part.

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I had no idea I was going to love freshly roasted pumpkin seeds so much. I love how crispy the outer shell is and how fun it is to crunch. They taste a bit like popcorn, but they are much crunchier, filling, and of course packed with nutrition.

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Yes, pumpkin seeds are super healthy for you! They are packed with iron, magnesium, fibre, zinc, potassium, healthy fats, protein, and tryptophan (which can boost your mood and help you sleep). Vegans & vegetarians have been using pumpkin seeds for years as a natural source of iron. I think it’s just about my favourite way to get iron, next to Iron Woman Gingerbread Smoothies, of course. Be sure to pair it with Vitamin C to absorb the most iron you can.

7. Share with some very lucky people! (but chose them wisely…)

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I promise you’ll never throw the seeds out again.

I want to buy pumpkins just to be able to roast another batch of seeds. And of course, make homemade pumpkin puree. I’m already looking forward to making some different flavour combos – maybe garlic powder, cayenne, rosemary, brown sugar or cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, etc would both be nice to try out?  I can’t wait to experiment…many ideas are a-swirlin’ in my…stomach.

Looking for more pumpkin recipes?


Creamy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for Two

How to roast a sugar pumpkin

All Natural Pumpkin Butter from Scratch (the bomb!!)

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding Parfait

Raw Pumpkin Pecan Butter

and about 30 more pumpkin recipes!

What spices would YOU put on your roasted pumpkin seeds?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

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Kathy December 5, 2015 at 10:32 pm

Made these tonight and they turned out great. Whenever I roasted pumpkin seeds before I always burned them. Thank you! I never knew about boiling them first.


Fouzia Shibley December 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm

Delicious. It took another 10 minutes; total 20 to cook. Tried sprinkling garlic powder on some, cayenne pepper on another section and sea salt on the rest. Each has a unique and great aftertaste. Thank you for the clear directions.


Lindsay Curren March 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm

I used this on pumpkin seeds last fall (fabulous results) but have been using it on my butternut squash seeds after making soup and it’s every bit as tasty — love it!


Colleen Carver May 10, 2016 at 2:41 am

Mine are in the oven right now and I just taste tested….the outer part of the seed is like a hard shell…..its like biting into a shell…..the middle tastes good
have I done something wrong?


Nancy Merrifield October 14, 2016 at 10:15 am

Hey how about cleaning the seeds, boiling in water to clean off, then adding back a LITTLE of the pumpkin gook for flavor? am I overthinking this? but i do like the flavor the gunk provides but then they take a long to bake AND they run risk of overcooking…. i’ve used soy sauce with some sciracha and they were quite good..


C October 30, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Just don’t clean or boil them. Remove chunks and strings off seeds but leave gook on for flavour. I add a little salt and nothing else. Let then dry out good on a tray for a day a couple of days, stirring occasionally to keep then from sticking to the tray and each other. Then slow roast at 250 for a couple of hours. Finish at a higher heat for a few minutes if you like them a bit browner.


Ashley October 19, 2016 at 8:21 am

I wasn’t definitely in the category of burnt them the first time around. I hope I have better luck next time!


gillian October 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm

just used this recipe and it was perfect!!! the tip about boiling the seeds before putting them in the oven was great….they may or may not have been eaten in one sitting…….. thanks!!!


Tori October 30, 2016 at 5:38 pm

Perfection! Thanks for saving halloween …. these are my treat to myself this year because I’m off sugar right now. :)


Angela Liddon November 1, 2016 at 10:05 am

Hope you enjoyed them, Tori. and had a Happy Halloween!


george November 10, 2016 at 11:16 pm

Here is what i am doing with pumpkin and squash seeds for a long time.
Once the seeds are roasted and cooled, I grind it to a powder form. This PPS (pumpkin powdered seeds) are transferred into a glass jar and in one of the small glass containers that is typically used for spices.
I use PPS, and you may wish to use it, as an additive into many cooked and cold meals, serials, drinks, smoothies, yogurts, kefirs, over the bread spreads, all at your choice. Just shake the container (something like a salt shaker) and insert or spray the PPS over the meals/drinks as desirable.
I also combine the PPS with other plants and fruits powders in one container. One of my favorite, which few other people also like it, is a mixture of PPS and roasted powdered hemp seeds with 2% of spearmint powder or with 2% of xylitol natural sweetener. For those of you who did not know, Xylitol actually kills bacteria in mouth and its degree of sweetness is equal to that of regular sugar.


Robin Kuhar November 15, 2016 at 5:00 pm

I want to thank you for helping me make truly addictive seeds!!! I just took them out of the oven and I can’t stop eating them!!! I did, however, do something a little different from your recipe. I let them dry out completely over night. They are so crispy and delicious. They also didn’t take very long to roast. I’m so glad I bought 6 pie pumpkins!! There will be so many to go around!!
Thanks again!!!


Angela Liddon November 16, 2016 at 12:08 pm

So glad you found this helpful, Robin. Enjoy those pumpkin seeds!


Silah Oyunu March 15, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Thank you for sharing


Jean September 20, 2017 at 4:15 am

I have tried multiple different cooking methods for pumpkin seeds: boil in salt water first, don’t boil, roast at high temp for a short time or lower temp for longer time… in all cases, the seeds I get from my small sweet cooking pumpkins come out so woody that we cannot eat them.. they all end up in the garbage.. any clues? I have spent hours on the internet reading different things and none really address this well.. one person was even a bit snotty and commented “maybe you don’t really like pumpkin seeds?”! I have bought them seasoned in the States and used them on salads and none were woody and inedible like the ones I’m trying to make (and yes, the ones I bought still had the shells on..)


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 20, 2017 at 10:26 am

Hey Jean, Wow, I’m really not sure why that keeps happening to you despite trying out all different kinds of methods. How strange! Could it be that you prefer pepita seeds (which are shelled pumpkin seeds) rather than the whole pumpkin seeds? Pepitas are light to dark green and much softer


Julie November 5, 2018 at 12:32 pm

Jean, I just saw your note in passing and thought I would comment even though its been a year since you raised the question.
There are multiple species in the pumpkin/squash family, and many selected varieties in each. Seeds vary by species from thin-shelled like pictured in this post, to some that are very blocky and thick-shelled. On the latter, I shell each seed as I’m eating them, like I do sunflower seeds. On the former, I find the shell tolerable to eat. Maybe you have had one of the ones with the woody, thick-shelled seeds?
My personal favorite are the “naked-seeded” varieties, which I have grown in my garden. They grow no hull on the seed at all! But the trade-off is that the flesh of the pumpkin is very bland.


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 6, 2018 at 9:14 am

Hi Julie, This is so interesting! Thank you for sharing your wisdom :)


Danielle October 25, 2017 at 10:21 pm

In the process of roasting seeds – going to give it another try. To clean, I threw the seeds into a ziplock bag with a bit of water, sealed it up and rubbed the baggie on the counter top. The pulp cane off very quickly. Added a little more water to the bag to get some space between pulp and seeds, and voila less than 2 minutes and i’m Scooping the floating seeds from the baggie! Clean and easy!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 26, 2017 at 6:17 am

Great trick! Thanks for sharing Danielle


Alfie Board October 29, 2017 at 3:41 pm

These were brilliant, I also added a bit of sugar to the final product to add a bit of a sweeter vibe and this is great because it means I don’t have to throw away the seeds!


Jen November 2, 2017 at 4:42 pm

NOOOOOOOO don’t take away the flavor! My seeds go out of pumpkin, out of guts, on to oiled cookie pan, salt cayenne pepper, into oven. Pumpkin “slime”? I love it, the seeds taste so much better. All the cleaning in really unnecessary, the seeds do not need it, nor do they need drying, or any other treatment. Really it is just that easy.


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 3, 2017 at 7:35 am

I’ve since tried them this way and I have to say this method is delicious! I’ll have to update my post.


Ginger Kid January 13, 2018 at 10:50 pm

I used this recipe to add a roasted pumpkin seed roof to my gingerbread house. They made perfect shingles for the roof.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2018 at 10:16 am

haha that’s so cute…love it :)


ripple haberleri January 23, 2018 at 4:21 pm

they look delicious :)


Caitlee October 5, 2018 at 6:51 pm

I’ve been using this recipe for several years now, since I found it on Google. Whenever I follow it right (I’ve been accidentally using waaaaay too much olive oil; a little goes a lot farther than I think!), it makes absolutely fantastic pumpkin scenes! Last year, I made garlic powder with cayenne pepper and *loved* it, but had several requests for the standard salt. My favorite part of pumpkin carving is pulling out the guts and roasting the seeds, so this year I plan to make several batches with all sorts of yummy things on them. Thanks so much for the recipe!!


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