How To Cook Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, fiber, and essential minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and potassium. They also contain antioxidants that can help boost your immune system. So instead of throwing away the seeds when you carve your pumpkin, try roasting them for a healthy and delicious snack.

Preparing the Seeds

Before you can cook pumpkin seeds, you need to prepare them by cleaning them. To do this, first, remove the seeds from the pumpkin and separate them from any stringy pulp. Rinse the seeds in a colander under cold water and pick out any remaining pulp.

Next, you can boil the seeds in salted water for 5-10 minutes. This helps to soften the hard outer shell and allows for better flavor absorption when you roast them. Some people prefer not to boil the seeds, but they might require longer roasting time to get a similar texture as the boiled ones.

Spice Mixes

Now it’s time to add some flavor to your pumpkin seeds! There are many spice mixes you can use to season your seeds, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

– Salt and pepper: a simple yet classic seasoning for pumpkin seeds. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and they’re ready to roast.
– Cinnamon sugar: mix some cinnamon and sugar, and toss the seeds in them before roasting. It’s a great option if you want a slightly sweeter snack.
– Spicy: add a kick of heat to your seeds by tossing them in a mix of chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder.
– Herbed: mix together equal parts of dried rosemary, thyme, and oregano and toss the seeds in them. It’s a delicious savory option.

Cooking Methods

There are two main methods for cooking pumpkin seeds – oven roasting and stovetop roasting. Here’s how to do it:

Oven Roasting:

– Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
– Spread the cleaned and dried seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer.
– Drizzle or spray them with oil and sprinkle with your desired spice mix.
– Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the seeds turn golden brown, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
– Remove from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!

Stovetop Roasting:

– Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
– Add the cleaned and dried seeds and toast them for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to pop and brown.
– Drizzle or spray them with oil and sprinkle with your desired spice mix.
– Continue toasting and stirring for a few more minutes until the seeds turn golden brown and crunchy.
– Remove the skillet from the heat and let the seeds cool before serving.

Storing Pumpkin Seeds

Leftover pumpkin seeds can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. For longer-term storage, you can freeze them for up to three months.


Q: Can I roast pumpkin seeds that are not from a carving pumpkin?
A: Yes, pumpkin seeds from other types of pumpkins or winter squash can be roasted in the same manner as seeds from carving pumpkins.

Q: Can I roast pumpkin seeds without boiling them first?
A: Yes, you can roast pumpkin seeds without boiling them first. However, without boiling, the pumpkin seeds will be crunchier and require longer roasting time.

Q: Can I eat the pumpkin seed shell?
A: Yes, the outer shell of pumpkin seeds is edible, but most people prefer to eat only the inner part of the seed (kernel) due to the shell’s tough texture.

Q: How can I tell if the pumpkin seeds are done roasting?
A: Pumpkin seeds should be golden brown and crunchy when done. You can also taste test one or two to make sure they are cooked to your liking.

Q: Can I season pumpkin seeds with any spice mix?
A: Yes, you can use any spice mix you like to season pumpkin seeds. Experiment with your favorite spices to create your perfect flavor combination.


Cooking pumpkin seeds is a fun and healthy way to use up your pumpkin after carving. Try out different spice mixes and cooking methods to find your perfect flavor and texture. With a little experimentation, you might even come up with your own unique recipe!

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