Spicy roasted pumpkin seeds are seasoned with olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic, and cayenne. They make a wonderful snack!
My kids get so excited every year when carving their Jack-O-Lanterns. They make sure to save as many of the seeds as they possibly can. Then we clean them up and roast them.
Baked pumpkin seeds are so good! It's not just the kids who like them - I enjoy them too. The extra kick from the spices certainly elevates them. How nice it is, to eat a crunchy, savory snack that you've made by yourself with the help of your kids.
Save the seeds when cooking winter squashes
Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of the best things about making Jack-o-lanterns, but you don't need to wait until Halloween to make them.
It's a bit tedious, for sure. Picking the seeds, rinsing and drying them is definitely an extra effort. But I think it's well worth it once the tasty seeds are seasoned and roasted.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make baked pumpkin seeds. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Raw pumpkin seeds: Clean them well, then wash and dry. Yes, it's tedious work, but I think it's well worth the tasty result! Don't go nuts about getting them completely dry, though - they will dry out in the oven.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this delicious oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead (although it won't be as flavorful). Melted butter is another tasty option.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should probably reduce the amount you use, or the seeds could end up too salty.
Spices: I use smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Make sure the spices you use are fresh - a stale spice can easily ruin a dish. Speaking from experience!
How to roast pumpkin seeds
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Your first step is to simply mix together all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Then you spread the seasoned seeds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
3. Bake them until golden, about 15 minutes in a 350°F oven. Stir them midway through baking to ensure even baking.
Can you eat the shells?
You can eat roasted pumpkin seeds with or without the shells - it's up to you. I usually eat them with the shells. It's easier than trying to peel them, and it's very tasty. After all, most of the seasoning adheres to the shell.
But if you find that eating the shells upsets your stomach, then simply remove them.
What seasonings to use?
I like to use smoked paprika, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. But if you're not into spicy food, simply omit the cayenne pepper. You'll get delicious, well-seasoned seeds without the heat.
You can replace the smoked paprika with chili powder and the garlic powder with onion powder. A pinch of ground cumin is also very nice. In fact, just add the spices you love! You really can't go wrong.
How to store roasted pumpkin seeds
They keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days. If you make a lot and plan on keeping them for longer, place them in the fridge, and reheat gently in the microwave on 50% power before serving them.
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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried on a clean kitchen towel (4 oz)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt or ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (up to ½ teaspoon if you like your food spicy)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, using a large spoon or your clean hands, mix the pumpkin seeds, the oil, and the seasonings.
- Spread the pumpkin seeds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until golden, stirring the seeds halfway through, 15-20 minutes. Start checking after 15 minutes and watch out to make sure they don't burn - they progress from pale to browned very fast.
- Serve immediately - they are wonderful when warm. Keep completely cooled leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days.