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How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds - Also Known as Pepitas


Melissa lives in Downtown Albuquerque. She loves sharing her local discoveries with fellow travelers and explorers.

Photo courtesy of naneki.

Photo courtesy of naneki.

A Tasty Fall Treat

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I think it's the weather that time of year and the fact that I get to dress up in an undressy manner.

But it also has to do with all the savory dishes and treats available during that season.

One of my favorite is the warm, toasty and healthy munch and crunch of roasted pumpkin seeds.

Roasting is soooo easy and the great smell and taste just screams "It's Fall!"

Pumpkin seeds, known in Spanish as "pepitas", are the perfect snack throughout the fall season. They are easy to whip up using store bought ingredients or collecting youro wn right from the pumpkin.

Collecting and roasting them is a great learning experience for kids and an easy way to get the most from your pumpkin carving endeavors.

You can keep them plain, with just a bit of salt to draw out the flavor, or you can add some real spice to them using your own seasonings or use pre-mixed seasonings.

Equipment you will need

Here is the basic equipment you need to get started:

  • Set of metal spoons
  • Mixing bowl and a colander
  • Cloth kitchen towels or paper towels
  • Small mixing bowel to mix any ingredients for roasting
  • Whisk to mix seasonings
  • Baking sheet
  • Serving bowl


The lip on a baking sheet makes it perfect for handling small items in the oven like seeds and nuts. The lip keeps all ingredients inside the sheet and makes cleanup easier.


Recipe Ingredients

Most of the ingredients you select will depend upon what flavor you want:

To make flavors sitck to the seeds

You will need a vegetable oil, olive oil or melted butter.

For flavoring start with:

Salt is your basic ingredient--use finally ground sea salt for the best flavor.

Choose a Flavor palette

Season with cinnamon for a real pumpkin pie type taste or sage to add more variety and a savory type taste.

Or, just season with salt.

Photo courtesy of The Horton Group.

Photo courtesy of The Horton Group.

Scrape the inside of the pumpkin

You can actually use any squash for seed roasting.

You can use what you collect or raw ones bought from the store. Store bought have the added advantage of not being slimy. However, you should always wash raw, store bought seeds just like you do the ones you collect yourself.

If you are collecting your own: Cut a large round opening in the top of the pumpkin and lift the "lid" off to reach the guts of the pumpkin. You can also collect seeds during the pumpkin carving process. Use the edge of a metal spoon to scrape the interior of the pumpkin to release them. The spoon size you need will vary according to the size of the pumpkin---the larger the pumpkin, the bigger the spoon needs to be--there is more interior to scrape. Metal spoons scrape better than plastic spoons.

Try several different sizes of spoon to see which one garners the most results. In some cases you can reach inside and pull out seeds by hand--it's a slimy, messy process but the hand may be better equipped to grasp the stringy pumpkin meat than any tool.

Have a colander ready to dump the seeds into --- place a plate or bowl under the colander to catch any liquid.

Buy Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Favorite Seeds?

Wash and dry the seeds

I use a colander to rinse the slimey stringy innards from the nuggets and then place the clean seeds on paper towels or cotton kitchen towels to pat them dry. Once they are clean and dry, they are ready to be seasoned.

Mix the Seasoning


Seasoning Recipe

Seasoning for a cup and a half of seeds:

In a small mixing bowl, place 2 teaspoons of olive oil or melted butter, a pinch of salt and the other seasonings you wish to use.

Try a sprinkle of cinnamon or a pinch of sage or a garlic flavored salt instead of regular or sea salt.

Whisk the ingredients together and then toss the seeds into the bowl and mix until the seeds are covered.

Try seasoning with a favorite family flavor. Think taco seasoning, fajita mix, sloppy joes.

Directions for Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Photo courtesy of adzica

Photo courtesy of adzica

Basic Roasting Recipe

Here is the basic way to roast your seeds:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Scatter the seasoned seeds as a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the pre-heated oven and roast for 40-45 minutes or until brown.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven, slide the contents into a bowl and allow them to cool before serving.

Do You Roast Your Own Seeds?

Melissa (author) from Albuquerque, NM on November 10, 2012:

@lewisgirl: Great! Glad I could help.

lewisgirl on November 10, 2012:

Roasting them now and found your lens to see how long to roast. Thanks!

pawpaw911 on October 24, 2012:

I haven't yet, but this is very useful information for this time of year.

RedShoesGirl on October 12, 2012:

I love pumpkin seeds. I roast my own whenever I can.

Cam Marotta on October 11, 2012:

My kids love roasted pumpkin seeds! We will follow this lens and try making our own!

justmelucy on October 11, 2012:

Yes and Oh Yes. So good my mother taught us how to by helping in the kitchen. They are so good salted or seasoned. We learned to cut the pumpkin from the bottom. Then we could carve it and easily place it on top of a candle or light. Great Lens.

gemjane on October 11, 2012:

Haven't yet, but I was thinking of roasting some squash seeds--now I have a recipe!

Melissa (author) from Albuquerque, NM on October 09, 2012:

@miaponzo: Thanks for the blessing miaponzo.

purpleslug on October 09, 2012:

This is something I have never tried, but I think I will have to try it this year. Thanks!

anonymous on October 09, 2012:

We do the same and it's great.

miaponzo on October 08, 2012:

We have an honestly, I like them more when we roast them ourselves... they taste yummier! Everyone here in Kuwait eats pumpkin seeds all the time :) Blessed!

Gayle Dowell from Kansas on October 08, 2012:

Never had seasoned pumpkin seeds. I've got to try some of these!

darciefrench lm on October 08, 2012:

Always, next to the caramel apples, roasted pumpkin seeds are my favorite fall treats

anupma lm on October 08, 2012:

very informative hub.

JoshK47 on October 07, 2012:

Fantastic work on this lens - makes me want a nice, tasty snack! :)

Kim from Yonkers, NY on October 07, 2012:

I do prefer to roast my own seeds. Much better tasting than the store purchased.I LOVE loas of garlic &a bit of butter on them. Also Paparka is good as well. I am including this lens on my History of the Jack O'Lantern lens even though I plan to add my own recipe

Erin Hardison from Memphis, TN on October 07, 2012:

We're going to roast the seeds of the pumpkin we carve this year. Glad I found this lens!

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