How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds

By: Bob's Red Mill | October 9 2022

Roasting pumpkin seeds is a long-time seasonal tradition in many households. Whether you've been roasting pumpkin seeds since your childhood days or have recently begun to learn about their health benefits, it's an easy and fun tradition to add into your hourseld during the fall.

Just one bite of a perfectly roasted pumpkin seed will turn you into a fan. Not only are pumpkin seeds crazy tasty, but they're also a healthy, easy-to-make snack that children love. Fun to customize and snack on, making different seasoning recipes is half the fun! To make sure your pumpkin seed baking is a success, let's take a deep dive into how to cook pumpkin seeds and why they're so great for you.

Are Pumpkin Seeds Healthy?

When searching for healthy treats, it's essential to choose those that taste good and make you feel great. To better determine if pumpkin seeds are a healthy and delicious snack for you, let's dive into the nutrition facts of roasted pumpkin seeds. Loaded with health-boosting benefits, nutritionists and health gurus worldwide have recently begun to discuss the superfood qualities of fresh pumpkin seeds and why you should work them into your healthy diet. Chock-full of vitamins and minerals, pumpkin seeds are a great source of antioxidants, zinc, fiber, iron and so much more. They also contain little to zero saturated fat.

Just like squash seeds, when roasting pumpkin seeds, ultimately, how you choose to season them will determine the health benefits of the end result. When lightly seasoned with olive oil and sea salt, pumpkin seeds are an incredibly healthy snack that offers up the perfect crunch. Additionally, this superfood seed is naturally gluten free, vegan, paleo and full of flavor. If you're someone who deals with digestive issues regularly, we suggest first boiling or soaking pumpkin seeds before cooking. This will help make them easier to digest.

How to Eat Pumpkin Seeds?

How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds | Bob's Red Mill Blog

When scraping pumpkin seeds out from the fresh pumpkin flesh, many individuals often wonder how to make these small seeds edible. Are you first supposed to peel the outer layer and eat the inner seed? Or, can you eat the whole seed at once? The truth is, pumpkin seeds are entirely edible. This means that you can choose how to eat pumpkin seeds, depending on your preference. 

You can also use save the scrapings and use them to make your favorite pumpkin recipes.

Traditionally, pumpkin seeds are baked with the shell on and eaten whole. When pumpkin seeds are cracked, revealing the green inner seed, you are eating a pepita. While both ways of eating pumpkin seeds taste great, leaving the seed on while roasting will provide more flavor and texture.

What Does a Roasted Pumpkin Seed Taste Like? 

Pumpkin seeds are incredibly mild in flavor, and when roasted, that flavor doesn't change much. This mild and agreeable flavor makes for the perfect base for a variety of different seasonings. When cooked, a pumpkin seeds texture turns from soft to crispy and crunchy. It's the ideal snack to enjoy at the appetizer table or to pack into grab-and-go bags and enjoy on the go.

Are There Different Kinds of Pumpkin Seeds?

If you've read enough and are ready to start roasting pumpkin seeds ASAP, there's one small detail that we'd like you to keep in mind. Not all pumpkins produce the best seeds for roasting. When cooking with pumpkin and making pumpkin puree, we suggest purchasing pie pumpkins. However, when roasting pumpkin seeds, the best kind of pumpkins to use are the ones you have on hand. The same pumpkins that you carve with each year. Giant pumpkins or jack-o'-lanterns usually produce larger seeds, and a lot more of them! The bigger and heavier a pumpkin is, the more seeds it has! Perfect for all of your pumpkin seed roasting needs. Additionally, because pumpkin seeds are delicious, you'll want to make sure you have enough on hand to satisfy your snack cravings. 

Should You Wash Pumpkin Seeds Before Roasting Them? 

How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds | Bob's Red Mill Blog

When it comes to cooking the perfect pumpkin seeds, we recommend thoroughly cleaning them beforehand. Cleaning pumpkin seeds will ensure that all the leftover pumpkin bits are removed, and there's more space to soak up the tasty flavor of your seasoning. Pulling the pumpkin strings from the seeds will also work to create a more crispy crunch seed. If you're seeking the perfect crunch, you'll want to remove as many pumpkin strings as possible before roasting. 

Now, as you're scraping out the inner layers of your pumpkin, then thoroughly cleaning the seeds might seem like a tedious task. In fact, it might even seem like more trouble than it's worth. If you're dreading washing your pumpkin seeds, don't fret. When done right, cleaning pumpkin seeds can be relatively easy and quick. Follow these simple steps to clean your pumpkin seeds before roasting. 

  1. Step one, scoop all of your pumpkin seeds out from the pumpkin and lay them on a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. 
  2. Separate the pumpkin guts from the seeds and dispose of them.
  3. Once you have the seeds mostly separated, fill up a large bowl with warm water. Next, add your pumpkin seeds and swirl them around with a spoon separating them from any remaining pumpkin guts. The seeds will float, and the pumpkin pieces will sink, making it much easier to separate the two.
  4. Fish the seeds out using a spoon or your hand, and put them on a towel to pay dry. Once dried, your seeds are ready for seasoning and roasting.

How to Properly Dry Pumpkin Seeds

There are two ways to dry pumpkin seeds. For an easy way to dry pumpkin seeds that don't take much supervision, simply set your washed pumpkin seeds out on a clean towel to dry overnight. Or, if you're searching for a quicker drying method, pat your pumpkin seeds dry before baking. Because patted pumpkin seeds may still hold a bit of water, they may need to be cooked a little longer than thoroughly dried seeds. However, the difference in cooking time is only a few minutes. 

Should You Let Pumpkin Seeds Soak Before Roasting?

How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds | Bob's Red Mill Blog

Like mentioned earlier, pumpkin seeds may prove to be hard for some people to digest. If you find that raw pumpkin seeds cause your stomach to grumble, you can quickly fix this problem by soaking or boiling your seeds before roasting them.

To Properly Boil Pumpkin Seeds

Don't have time to wait for your pumpkin seeds to soak? Speed up the softening process and boil your pumpkin seeds instead. To do so, bring a saucepan of water and one tablespoon of salt to a boil, add the cleaned pumpkin seeds and boil them for at least ten minutes. Remove them from the water, towel dry, and roast. Like soaking, boiled pumpkin seeds may need to be roasted five to ten minutes longer than unboiled seeds to achieve the desired crunch.

To Properly Soak Pumpkin Seeds

After cleaning your fresh pumpkin seeds, soak them in a bowl of water with one tablespoon of salt overnight at room temperature. This process will help soften the seeds making them easier to digest. Once thoroughly soaked, remove your pumpkin seeds from the water, pat dry and roast a bit longer than you would unsoaked pumpkin seeds. About five to ten minutes longer.

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds | Bob's Red Mill Blog

So, you now know how to clean, soak and dry your pumpkin seeds. The next step is seasoning and roasting them! So, what exactly is a good roasted pumpkin seeds recipe? Follow these simple steps to prepare the perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds that kids and adults will enjoy.

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F. Next, prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss your clean and dried pumpkin seeds with oil, salt and any seasoning you'd prefer. Stir your seeds until each one is evenly coated with seasoning. 
  3. Place the seeds on the parchment paper and spread them around into one even layer.
  4. Next, roast your pumpkin seeds in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. Stir the pumpkin seeds every 10 minutes while baking to ensure an even cook.
  5. Remove the pumpkin seeds from the oven once they are fully cooked and have turned golden brown. The seeds will continue to crisp as they cool.
  6. Let them cool off fully and enjoy!

How to Store Your Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

If you don't plan on eating all of your pumpkin seeds in one sitting, then you might be looking for easy ways to store roasted pumpkin seeds and keep them fresh. Cooked pumpkin seeds can be kept in an airtight container and stored in the pantry for several weeks. As long as no moisture is allowed in, there is no need to refrigerate them.

And there you have it! A complete guide to cooking pumpkin seeds like a pro! From cleaning your pumpkin seeds to roasting them, use this guide to help you create a healthy and delicious snack your family will love enjoying each holiday season!

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