How to Roast Fresh Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Lilli Day/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Total Time 20 min
Prep 15 min, Cook 5 min
Yield 4 servings (222 calories each)

Pumpkin seeds, including other squash seeds, are known as ​pepitas, and if you use a hot oven they only take 5 minutes or less to make. 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. Pumpkin  seeds can be eaten either with or without the hulls. This recipe also works for squash seeds, including the beloved spaghetti squash. Add roasted pumpkin seeds to a trail mix, toss in salads or make a hearty granola with these nutritious seeds.


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


1. Preheat oven to 350F. (or see below for lower slower method).

2. Scoop the pulp and seeds out of the pumpkin, and clean the pulp off the pumpkin seeds (or squash seeds). Dry with paper towels.

3. Toss with olive oil. You only need enough to barely coat, otherwise, they will be greasy. Add salt.

4. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the seeds out in one layer.

5. Bake for 3-5 minutes, until seeds just start to color and are fragrant.

NOTE: If you have more time, you can roast the seeds at 250F for 45-60 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 sweet flavor 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 2-3 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 with the recipe above.

The serving possibilities are endless: add roasted pumpkin seeds to a trail mix, toss in salads or make a hearty granola with these nutritious seeds. Of course, you can also eat them alone as a snack.

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

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