Best Recipe for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
I just love living in the Northwest! There are actual seasons here. The fall colors are almost in full swing and the pumpkin patches are starting up. And Halloween is just three weeks away!
Which speaking of pumpkins… As promised, I wanted to show you what to do with those pumpkin seeds you saved from the last post on how to make pumpkin puree. I hoped you saved them!
Pumpkin seeds are one of those caveats from making your own puree (you definitely won’t get those out of a can!) or carving a jack-o-lantern. So today I’m stoked to walk you through the best recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds. This recipe is little different from what you’ll find at most sites (believe me, I’ve looked). And for how easy it is to roast pumpkin seeds, I won’t say it is quick. In fact, this method will be a little longer than most I’ve found. But it really does make them so much better!
But don’t fret too much if you are limited on time. I will add one of the standard “quicker” baking temperatures just in case you’re in a time crunch. And speaking of crunch…
The Best Way to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
I always did my pumpkin seeds the same way that most people are familiar with but a few weeks ago I decided to consult my favorite cookbook, The Joy of Cooking, and see what they suggested doing. And what I found was something a little different from what I’ve ever done before. If you aren’t familiar with The Joy of Cooking; you are seriously missing out on one of the best, most comprehensive, and basic cookbooks out there.
With most recipes you’ll find a little variation in oven temperatures and baking times but as a whole they are all pretty much the same. You simply collect the seeds from the pumpkin and pull out most of the stringy, slimy, pumpkin goop. Wash them in cold water and lay them out to dry. Once dry, coat them in oil (or butter) and seasonings of choice. Pop them in the oven at around 300-350 F for a little under an hour and they’re done!
While most steps in this recipe will be similar, there are some important changes to keep in mind. First, preheat your oven to 250 F. Separate the pumpkin seeds from the majority of the pumpkin bits but you really don’t have to be that thorough. This is where kids can be super helpful and love to do it. I mean come on, it’s slimy and squishes in between your fingers. What kid wouldn’t love it?
Now, before you start to break out the colander, this is where things change compared to most. The Joy of Cooking suggests that you don’t wash the seeds. Seriously don’t do it. Not only will your seeds taste so much better but there is a fringe benefit to skipping the water rinse. It actually ends up being a little less a pain in the process as it cuts out washing them and the drying time. I mean really. Who wants to wait almost an entire day to roast these little guys anyways?
Coat your pumpkin seeds in oil and some salt if you desire but no seasonings yet. If you aren’t sure how much oil to use, a good standard to follow is a tablespoon of oil per cup of seeds. Throw the oil, salt, and seeds in a plastic bag to coat them. Spread them out on a baking tray and put in the oven for between an hour to an hour and a half. This time really depends on how crunchy you want them. I like a bit of crunch to my seeds so I leave them in there the full hour and a half. But if you like them a little softer, I would suggest pulling them at the hour mark instead.
Once they are done, you can eat them like this is you want to. But if you want to add some seasonings, turn your oven temperature up to 350 F. Place the seeds back in that same bag you used before. Add about 1/2 tsp of oil and seasonings. Toss to coat evenly and spread them back on the tray. Put them in the oven for only 5 minutes and they’re done. Pretty easy right?
This method uses a lower oven temperature and a basic savory seasoning mix. It requires a longer baking time but the seeds will come out very crunchy without tasting burned.
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds unwashed
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- salt (optional)
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
Preheat oven to 250 F.
Separate seeds from pumpkin pulp but do not wash.
Put seeds, oil, and salt in a plastic bag and toss to coat evenly.
Spread them on a baking sheet and place in the center of the oven.
Bake seeds for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Turn oven temperature to 350 F. while seeds cool for about 10 minutes.
Place seeds back in the bag with the additional oil, salt, garlic, and onion powder.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Seeds will be ready to eat once cooled or store in an airtight, dry container.
For the faster method, omit the extra tsp. of coconut oil. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Toss the seeds with the oil, salt, and seasonings. Spread out on a tray and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown.
If you are still skeptical about not washing the seeds, I urge you to do a taste test. Try a cup of seeds washed next to a cup of seeds unwashed and see what you think. An accurate comparison between the flavor of the two is like the difference between bone-in and boneless chicken. Like bone-in chicken, the pumpkin left on the seeds imparts a subtle rich flavor that you don’t get from washing them. Now that I tried them this new way, I won’t ever wash the pumpkin seeds again. Thank you, Joy of Cooking!
So do you like your pumpkin seeds sweet, savory, or spicy?
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! If you have any questions or would like to share your personal favorite seasoning mix for roasted pumpkin seeds, please leave me a comment below and I will gladly get back to you within 24 hours.