Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I eat these by the handful

Fall always means pumpkins. Whether they are being roasted, pureed, stewed, steamed or just cut up for decorations there is always one left over part that seems to much of a hassel to use.

The seeds.

Sure they are surrounded in a sticky mess of membranes that cling to anything they touch but with a couple simple tricks they can be turned into a great snack. The first thing to do is knock as many seeds from the membranes before scraping them from the pumpkin. If you just scoop all the stuff out into a pile it takes forever to separate the seeds from the gunk. Not to mention the inside of the pumpkin is very good at holding on to the membranes while letting the seed clusters break free. Carefully scrape out the seeds as they loosen into a bowl of water. Eventually you will need to scoop out everything else. Using a metal spoon scrape against the walls of the gourd downward. If more seeds appear try to separate them as well into the water with as little membrane attached as possible. Once the entire pumpkin is scraped scoop out the gunk and discard it. This is the second trick, let the few seeds go that are stuck inside all the mess. Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Using your hand scoop out a handful of seeds from the water bowl and spread you finger slightly to allow most of the excess water to drain away. While you do this pick out any large chunks of membrane and any seeds that have shoots coming out of them and discard it. Place the mostly cleaned seeds on the tray and continue scooping. Do not worry if there is a little water left in your hand when transferring to the tray. Continue until all the seeds are out of the bowl. Place a kitchen towel over the seeds and soak up most of the leftover water on the tray. When you lift it off scrape any seeds that stuck back into the pan. Now your ready to toast them.

Below is my recipe but any spice combo can work that appeals to you. I like to drizzle a little cider vinegar over as well, but the sky is the limit on what could be used to flavor the seeds. Seeds from large squashes other than pumpkin work just as well for this snack.

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • Seeds from a cleaned pumpkin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon sugar
  • 3 pinches nutmeg
  • Cider Vinegar

On a large baking tray coat seeds in oil. Add spices and drizzle vinegar over. Mix well. Place in an oven at 360 degrees and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Stir the mixture every 10 minutes or so until done to keep the seeds from sticking to the pan or burning. Remove from oven and taste. Add more seasoning while hot if needed. Store in an airtight container. Seeds will keep for two weeks.

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
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71 Responses to Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

  1. TasteFood says:

    I eat these by the handful too. I like the cider vinegar – I’ll be sure to try that.

  2. nrhatch says:

    I used to do this with sunflower seeds . . . not eating the hulls. With pumpkin seeds, do you eat everything? Hull and all?

  3. Carolyn Chan says:

    A well deserved snack ! Love how you get to use all of the pumpkin.

  4. Perfect winter snack or garnish! I just roasted my butternut squash seeds with cinnamon and coconut oil. There’s a pumpkin on my counter waiting for it’s turn next!

  5. Kristy says:

    Cider vinegar! Nice touch!!! I’m adding that this year. πŸ™‚ By the way, finally set-up a FB page and am following you now. πŸ™‚

  6. Kristy says:

    Cider vinegar! Nice touch!!! I’m adding that this year. πŸ™‚ By the way, finally set-up a FB page and am following you now. πŸ™‚

  7. I love pumpkin seeds! I am waiting for my kids to be old enough to do all the hard work for me.

  8. This sounds delicious. But don’t throw out the membranes, strings and gunk: put them in the freezer to use in stock — strings, seeds and roasted skins or shells make wonderful stock for butternut squash or pumpkin soups: I keep mine in a bright yellow container in the freezer if I’m not using them right away. I can see I’m going to have to spare some seeds from the next pumpkin for your recipe.

  9. ChgoJohn says:

    This sounds like a really good way to roast pumpkin seeds. I haven’t roasted them, in any way, since Lucy came home. She absolutely loves raw pumpkin & squash seeds and harvesting them myself is one way to insure that they’re clean & fresh. Still, I’m going to file away your recipe; Lucy is just going to have to learn to share!

  10. Hey, you forgot to tell us what to drink with them.

  11. JamieAnne says:

    Oh boy, I love pumpkin seeds!

  12. Cider vinegar – sounds super.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy

  13. Looks like a great snack!

  14. Very cool, understated picture – I like it and pumpkin seeds. Our region is a world of pumpkins at the moment.

  15. Charles says:

    I’m also curious about whether you eat the hull? I don’t think so right? I find them so damn fiddly. If I were rich I’d employ a guy to act as personal seed peeler! I’d offer a good remuneration package πŸ˜‰

  16. Tandy says:

    I love snacking on pumpkin seeds and I am going to try toasting them – thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚

  17. Nice one. I’ve never toasted my own, and have two big wedges of pumpkin waiting to be used tomorrow. Nicely timed!

  18. I was 1 step away from getting my pumpkin seeds roasted in autumn, shame I never finished the path 😦 These look amazing….

  19. Love the flavours. My Dad loves pumpkin seeds, Mum hates walking behind him picking up shells that fell of his jumper, pants and face…

  20. Great spice combo on these! The last ones I did were cumin and cayenne…
    The seeds from the jack o’lantern-type pumkins are best for this – they don’t have hulls like the sugar pumpkins and other winter squash…

  21. Colline says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I enjoy snacking on pumpkin seeds and now you have shown me how to prepare my own.

  22. Judy says:

    Savory or sweet, they are a wonderful October reward.

  23. zestybeandog says:

    I love pumpkin seeds, sounds a lot like my recipe πŸ™‚ One year I made 5 versions some of which included green curry pumpkin seeds (they were HOT)! It’s about that time again!

  24. Pat says:

    How cool. This is the first time I’ve seen instructions that make sense! I’m going to try it!

  25. They look fantastic, Greg.

  26. This is right on time for me. Always think about doing this, but never got past the wondering stage. This right here is my favorite line: “Once the entire pumpkin is scraped scoop out the gunk and discard it. This is the second trick, let the few seeds go that are stuck inside all the mess.” Perfectionism easily takes over in my brain/mind. Love this advice to appreciate what comes without effort, and move things along.

  27. What a great afternoon project. Carve the pumpkin and then make these. Thank you for the inspiration.

  28. I love pumpkin seeds! And how stellar would these be sprinkled on top of some pumpkin or butternut squash soup.

  29. they look fantastic and love the spice combination!

  30. pursuitofhappieness says:

    Wow, sounds delicious!

  31. My grandson brought me a huge pumpkin the other day. I am going to try this recipe when I cut it. Thanks.

  32. I love pumpkin seeds but have never tried roasting my own!

  33. Meg says:

    Would you believe I’d never had — or toasted — a pumpkin seed until just last year? What a delicious snack!

  34. Courtney says:

    You intrigue me with your spices…usually we just go with a little salt, but your combination sounds really good. Of course, the only problem is now having to clean out the pumpkin – which frankly, gives me the willies. Maybe I can talk Hubs into it?

  35. ceciliag says:

    Oh yes I definitely need these tips! c

  36. spicegirlfla says:

    Always learning new tips from you!! Cider vinegar…how interesting!! Cleaning out the pumpkin is when I miss having my kids around. Certainly not one of my favorite things to do! I can scrape and dump the insides, but separating the seeds from the slim…yuck! But in the end, fantastic kick of spices and its all worth it!!

  37. A perfect way to use those leftover pumpkin seeds!

  38. Eva Taylor says:

    Perfect timing, we’ll have the seeds from our two fresh pumpkins this weekend. JT and I have a pumpkin carving contest (well, I think it’s a contest because I always win!). I love the spices you’ve used on these. YUM!

  39. I usually eat plain toasted pumpkin seeds, but this seasoned version sounds tempting!

  40. Love the spicy seasoning you give them. So unusual!

  41. I have never Toasted Pumpkin Seeds before, but with all these amazing recipes for it, I think I may give it a try. I do love sunflower seeds so I may love these πŸ™‚

  42. I used to make these with my Kindergarten class.. your recipe has such wonderful spices added!! Yum!!

  43. My friend’s family always use to do these for Halloween, and I never understood it. (Nor do I get eating sunflower seeds…lol.) I bought a pumpkin today, which I am attempting to carve myself for the first time… and as always the pic on your blog just makes the pumpkin seeds look so delicious, I’m gonna have to try these…. just may change my mind about eating them…lol

  44. Sissi says:

    I suppose 99% of the food bloggers would like to kill me for saying this (I see pumpkin dishes everywhere), but pumpkin seeds are my favourite part of the pumpkin! However, I have never tasted them seasoned, they look luscious made this way! Thanks for sharing the details of the arduous retrieval process.

  45. Caroline says:

    Can’t go wrong with pumpkin seeds. Those are toasted to perfection. Yum!

  46. Love the spice combo! I’ll have to try these…whenever we get around to carving!

  47. Alison says:

    This is my first year with pumpkins. Are these the seeds from ones you carve? I kept some from one we carved (my first ever!) to try to plant. I hope they grow!

    These look so good!!!

  48. I have always wanted to try these…looks like a project for the husband!

  49. peasepudding says:

    Now I feel quite guilty that i haven’t done this with all my autumn pumpkin seeds, must remember for next year it looks like a great snack

  50. niasunset says:

    This is so beautiful… and do you know dear Rufus, to eat pumpkin seeds is healthy too! Especially for women… about estrogen! ( ) Thank you, with my love, nia

  51. Love toasted pumpkin seeds and this version looks amazing. Now IΒ΄m dreaming of a bowl of these to nibble on with an icy cold glass of dry white wine!

  52. Wow – I can’t wait to toast some pumpkin seeds. I was actually able to harvest two good pumpkins from my garden this year. I didn’t actually plant any pumpkins; these just volunteered from last year’s compost. I don’t waste one little bit of them. Thank you!

  53. Stef says:

    I use a metal ice-cream scooper to clean out the inside of the pumpkin. I also put all of the membrane goop into a colander, then use the spray nozzle of my kitchen sink to rinse and separate the seeds from the gunk. Usually I can lift out most of the membrane, and leave the seeds nestled at the bottom of the colander relatively hassle-free. πŸ™‚

  54. SimpleP says:

    Glad I found this before we carved our pumpkin! Happy Halloween!

  55. I pinned these on Pinterest! They look fab. Such a great way to use the seeds:

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