Foodie Friday: Best Ever Roast Pumpkin Seeds

If you’re like me, you have a lot of cute, decorative pumpkins left over from Halloween. Yes, those jack o’ lanterns will need to go to compost, but I try to buy pretty but useful pumpkins to decorate with so that after October 31st, I can turn them into FOOD. And my favorite is salty, endlessly snackable but still technically good for you roast pumpkin seeds! There’s nothing better to keep me away from the kids’ Halloween candy …

Since I love salt and snacking, I’ve worked over the years to come up with the perfect roast seeds. Honestly, I love your classic carving pumpkin seeds the best but I’ve used this recipe for squash seeds of all varieties (including the batch pictured here, which are from sugar pumpkins that kids decorated with stickers at our Halloween party) and they’ve come out delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pumpkin seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne (more if you like spicy, you can also use chipotle if you prefer that flavor)

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Remove seeds from pumpkins
  • Rinse seeds and pick out any remaining pumpkin flesh, like so:

You don’t need to be too intense about this. A little bit here and there will cook away during roasting

  • Lightly dry the seeds with a paper towel
  • Combine and stir all the ingredients together
  • Put aluminum foil over a rimmed baking sheet
  • Pour mixture onto sheet and spread as evenly as possible. It is okay if seeds are touching (as they inevitably will), like so:

  • Put into oven for 5 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes, remove tray, stir seeds around, again spreading as evenly as possible, and rotate sheet in the oven.
  • Set another timer for 5 minutes.
  • I know that roasting seeds really shows me the unevenness my oven cooks at. The part of the tray toward the back is always cooked after 10 minutes, but the front never is. For me, I inevitably have to …
  • Check seeds again, stir, make sure cooked seeds especially are stirred and loosed from the foil, and set a timer for another 5 minutes.
  • Seeds should be done! You know they’re done when all the seeds have a light brown or golden color. When in doubt, taste one! If you have a lot of seeds, or they didn’t spread out enough they may not be done yet. Stir again, and set timer for 2 minutes. Repeat until cooked!

Setting a timer at each step is literally the most important part of this whole recipe. When my seeds fail, it’s 99% of the time because I forgot to set a timer, and all or some burn. This is why I have you setting a timer for small intervals, and constantly turning and stirring your seeds. Use your judgment – for the final cook you may only need a couple of minutes, not five!

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