Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Lilli Day/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Total Time 20 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 5 min
Yield 4 servings (223 calories each)

Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) are delicious roasted and can be eaten either with or without the hulls. You may have seen the flat, dark green pumpkin seeds available at your local grocer, but unshelled pumpkin seeds are what you'll use in this roasted pumpkin seeds recipe. This recipe also works for squash seeds, including the beloved spaghetti squash. Add roasted pumpkin seeds to a trail mix, toss into salads, or make a hearty granola with these nutritious seeds. Of course, they are also delicious on their own as a snack. 

If you use a hot oven they take only 5 minutes or so to bake, but it's the process of scraping the pumpkin and cleaning the seeds that will take some time. For easier cleaning, place the seeds in a ​colander and rinse, shaking the strainer to loosen the pulp. Remove the strands of pulp and rinse the seeds again. Then place seeds on a dish towel to dry.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, unshelled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (just enough to coat the seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (or see below for lower slower method). Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss pumpkin seeds with olive oil in a bowl. You only need enough oil to barely coat the seeds; otherwise, they will be greasy. Add salt and toss again.
  3. Spread the seeds out in one layer on prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, until seeds just start to color and are fragrant. (If you have more time, you can roast the seeds at 250 F for 45 to 60 minutes. This slower cook time will give a slightly less nutty flavor.)

    Ingredient Substitutions and Cooking Tips

    While this recipe is simple, you can add your own herbs and spices to give your pumpkin seeds some pizazz. Go savory with spices like smoked paprika, cumin, or garlic. Add a sweetness with cinnamon, ginger, clove, or nutmeg. 

    Another way to boost the flavor of your roasted pumpkin seeds is by boiling them in salt water before roasting. Doing this will allow the salt to get inside the shell to the seeds. Simply add pumpkin seeds to a medium-sized saucepan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt (depending on your taste preference) and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 10 minutes. They should look slightly gray when they are done. Use a strainer to drain the water from the seeds completely and roast the pumpkin seeds using the recipe above.

    Nutritional Value

    Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients. They are particularly high in many minerals, including magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and potassium.

    They are highest in zinc if you eat them whole, including the shell. They also contain a wide array of phytonutrients, including lignans and many antioxidants.

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