Here are the 3 easy steps for how to cook pumpkin seeds in 15 minutes:
1. Scoop seeds out of the pumpkin and straight into a 1 cup measuring cup.
2. Add oil to this proportion: 1 teaspoon to 1 cup seeds.
3. Transfer to a parchment-paper lined (or greased) baking sheet, sprinkle with kosher salt and roast for 15 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven.
And that’s how easy it can be!
I’ve seen recipes with up to 11 steps…and bake times of up to an hour. But the above 3 steps will work great for pumpkin seeds, butternut squash seeds and just about any winter squash seeds (check out Deanna’s recipe for Sugar & Spice Butternut Squash Seeds!)
Now while my instructions for how to cook pumpkin seeds were only 3 steps long, the notes are longer. They are not essential to the recipe – but may helpful:
1. No need to wash the seeds – For years, I dutifully washed off all the pumpkin “guts” (as my husband calls the stringy pulp.) But last year, a friend mentioned she didn’t. And wow, when I tried it, the few bits of remaining stringy pulp just added a little crispy texture (and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a few bits of roasted sweet pumpkin flesh!) Your seeds may not be the prettiest punkin’s at the party, but they will be the easiest and speediest.
2. No need to soak the seeds in water – If they are fresh from the pumpkin, they are plump enough.
3. No need to dry your seeds overnight, or even to pat them dry with a towel – Even seeds that are still slimy from being newly harvested from the inside of a pumpkin cavity will absorb and be coated with enough oil to toast a little and to make the salt stick. And really, who needs seeds so slippery they make an oil slick on your finger tips?
4. Oven time and temp may vary – The 15 minutes at 400-degrees produced crunchy, toasty and barely golden seeds on my oven’s convection setting. I also tested seeds on regular (non-convection setting) and the seeds got really golden (not burnt – but close) at 375-degrees after 20 minutes. So WATCH CAREFULLY. Also, my seeds were from a small-ish pumpkin, so if your seeds are larger, you may roast a little longer.
5. Stirring isn’t necessary – Since you are blasting the seeds with high heat for a short time, they get crunchy toasty throughout without stirring.
6. Spice them up to your heart’s content – I usually just add salt because we’re at the beginning of the pumpkin season and my kids, husband and I eat a pumpkin-full of seeds in one sitting. So, why mess with a simply delicious thing?
We are still 16 days from Halloween and 44 days from Thanksgiving, there will many more seeds to roast; and when I do, I plan to try these recipes from fellow bloggers:
And lastly, a bit about the nutrition super-stardom of the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are rich in:
Good (monounsaturated) fatty acids – Great for heart health
Vitamin E – A potent antioxidant that’s harder to get in fruits and veggies because it’s fat-soluble
B-vitamins – To help in metabolism and possibly reduce anxiety
Protein – About 8 grams in a 1/4-cup serving
Amino acids tryptophan and glutamate – Which may help with healthy sleep
Iron, copper, manganese, potassium, zinc, calcium and selenium – Essential minerals that are also hard to find in fruits and veggies
Fiber – Obviously, with all those edible shells around the green pumpkin pepita seed in the center!
Have you roasted pumpkin seeds yet this year? Plain salt or fancy flavored?