Roasted Pumpkin Seeds is one of those recipes that make my friends say “You have too much free time”. It only takes a few minutes, and you can be sure you will enjoy the process.
The Ultimate Guide to Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
As the leaves turn golden and the days become shorter, many of us find joy in the simple pleasures of fall, one of which is indulging in the seasonal delight of pumpkins. And while pumpkin pies, lattes, and soups get all the fame, there’s an underrated star that often goes unnoticed: pumpkin seeds! These little gems, when roasted, become a crispy, nutritious, and flavorful snack. In this guide, we’ll explore the art of roasting pumpkin seeds to perfection.
You can buy them anytime, but nothing compares to the warm fresh-baked pumpkin seeds. Plus, it reminds me so much of my childhood, that I prefer to eat them like this, even though they are healthier raw.
Why Roast Pumpkin Seeds?
Before diving into the ‘how’, let’s understand the ‘why’. Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are rich in magnesium, zinc, and healthy fats. Not only are they a nutritious snack, but they’re also versatile, finding their place in salads, granolas, or simply enjoyed on their own.
- Harvesting the Seeds: Start with a fresh pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half and use a sturdy spoon or scoop to remove the seeds. Try to remove as much of the stringy pulp as possible, but don’t worry if some remains attached. This recipe is perfect for Halloween as you are carving your scary pumpkin. In this case, just cut the top part of the pumpkin and use a spoon to take out the seeds.
- Drying: Spread the seeds on a towel and pat dry. This step is crucial. The drier the seeds, the crispier the outcome!
- Seasoning: Transfer the dried seeds to a bowl. Drizzle with a little olive oil or melted butter. Here’s where you can get creative! While salt is a classic choice, feel free to add garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or even cinnamon and sugar for a sweet twist. If you are interested in roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds, just do not add any salt at this step.
- Roasting: Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Spread the seasoned seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for approx. 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the seeds are golden brown and crispy.
- Cooling: Let the seeds cool on the baking sheet. They will continue to crisp up as they cool.
The benefit of roasting pumpkin seeds
The pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc, manganese, and phosphorus. Roasting them will decrease a bit the amount of nutrients, but as long as you roast them for a maximum 25 minutes and not at a very high temperature, the amount of nutrients you lose is negligible. Roasting will actually increase the amounts of antioxidants and will ease the digestion of the pumpkin seeds.
Do you have to wash pumpkin seeds before roasting?
The short answer here is no. You are roasting them, so there is no need to wash them. Make sure that you remove as much as possible from the pumpkin pulp and no worries. On the other hand, washing the pumpkin seeds will make it easier to remove the sticky pumpkin pulp from the seeds. If you decide to wash the pumpkin seeds, use a strainer and place the seeds under running cold water. Mix them in the strainer so the pulp is removed. At the end of the washing, do not forget to pat dry the seeds with paper towels. Why is this important? If water is left on the seeds, the end result will not be crunchy and the cooking time will be increased.
Do you have to boil pumpkin seeds before roasting?
I’ve got this question a lot. Should I boil pumpkin seeds before roasting? The answer is a bit more complicated. If you want crispy seeds, you have to pat dry the seeds very well. If you boil them, before roasting this entire process of drying them will be more time-consuming. The benefit of boiling the seeds is that they will be cooked more evenly, but this is not something you cannot get with a good oven. I tried it once and I did not see a difference, so really you can skip the boiling part.
How to salt and roast pumpkin seeds?
If you want to do roasted and salted pumpkin seeds it’s important to have a bit of liquid on the seeds when adding the salt. For this, add olive oil or melted butter, mix, and add the salt. In this way, the salt will stick to the seeds. There is no waiting time needed after this step. Just place the seeds in a baking tray and roast. For time and temperature, check the roasting step from above.
How to roast pumpkin seeds in an air fryer?
If you have an air fryer, you may want to use it for roasting the pumpkin seeds. You would have to follow the same steps as before but reduce the cooking time to approx. 10 minutes. There is nothing against roasting pumpkin seeds in the air fryer.
How long do roasted pumpkin seeds last?
Roasted pumpkin seeds can last for 1 month if kept at room temperature. After the seeds have cooled down, place them in an air-tight container and consume them without any problem for up to a month. If you made a lot of roasted pumpkin seeds, and want to extend the term, place them in the fridge and enjoy them for up to 3 months. If you decide to go for long-term storage, then the freezer is your friend. You can use them for up to 6 months. Please keep in mind that if you store them in the fridge or freezer, the pumpkin seeds will become a bit moist. You will have to bake them again in the oven for 5-10 minutes to become crisp again.
Why are my roasted pumpkin seeds tough?
In my experience, there are two factors for this to happen, temperature or humidity.
- Oven temperature too low: Roasting the seeds at a lower temperature like 250ºF (120ºC) will result in seeds that are tough. You will have to chew on them. Roasting at 300ºF (150ºC) should be enough to get crispy roasted pumpkin seeds. You can increase the temperature even to 350ºF (175ºC) to get crispier seeds, but you will have to look closer not to burn them towards the end of the roasting time. Also, remember that increasing the temperature will decrease the amount of remaining nutrients in the pumpkin seeds.
- Seeds were still wet: If the seeds were not dry, they would not get crispy. Make sure that there is not a lot of moisture in the pumpkin seeds before you roast them. Pat dry a couple of times to make sure you eliminate the excess moisture.
Storing Your Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:
Store your cooled seeds in an airtight container. They’ll remain fresh and crispy for up to a month, but they’re so delicious they probably won’t last that long!
Roasting pumpkin seeds is a delightful activity that not only reduces waste when carving pumpkins but also rewards you with a tasty and nutritious treat. The next time you’re scooping out a pumpkin, remember to save those seeds and transform them into a crunchy snack you’ll love.
Happy roasting! 🎃🍂
Do you love Pumpkin? Make sure to give our other pumpkin recipes a try!
Do you love to cook with seasonal fruits and vegetables? Please share your experience with us, comment below, or tag @basilbunch.blog on Instagram and hashtag it #basilbunchblog. We would love to see your creation!