Find out how to clean, dry, and roast pumpkin seeds easily to make a super budget-friendly crunchy, healthy snack or appetizer. Whether you’re carving a Jack-O-Lantern or peeling pumpkin for cooking baby puree, pumpkin pie filling, or more, don’t waste their seeds. They can render these roasted pumpkin seeds with keto taco seasoning that will satisfy your craving for a salty snack.
If you have never had roasted pumpkin seeds, this is your chance… and without spending extra bucks in the supermarket. Just buy a pumpkin, use it for whatever you want (e.g. carving a Jack-O-Lantern), and save the seeds to make a healthier snack than popcorn. That’s right!
Did you know corn kernels have more than double natural sugars than pumpkin seeds?
Plus by making your own and knowing what you mixing with, you have a better control of what you are putting in your mouth.
There are many health benefits of eating pumpkin seeds such as they are good for the heart, liver, the immune system, and are rich in fiber and nutrients.
Most of all, they are darn delish!
Customize the flavor according to your taste, needs, diet, or season of the year without stretching your waist or ingest an absurd amount of sodium or added sugar.
Pumpkin seeds vs. Pepitas
There are basic 3 main differences between pumpkin seeds and pepitas:
- Color: Pepitas are olive-green while pumpkin seeds are white or cream-colored.
- Seeds: Pepitas are seeds without a hull or a type of pumpkin seed that grow shell-free only in Styrian or oil seed pumpkins. They are not the inside part of every pumpkin seed. On the other side, most pumpkin seeds come shelled such as those on the variety of pumpkin used to carve Jack-O-Lantern.
- Consumption: Pumpkin seeds should be eaten roasted while pepitas can be eaten either raw or roasted.
As you can see, pumpkin seeds and pepitas are not exactly the same!
How To Clean Pumpkin Seeds
In order to get perfect pumpkin seeds you have to clean your pumpkin!
- Cut off your pumpkin:Cut either a lid or your pumpkin in half using a sharp knife.
- Scoop out the inside of your pumpkin:For this, use either a metal spoon or an ice cream scoop to scrape and scoop both the seeds and fibers.
- Wash the seeds – Place the seeds and fibers in a colander or large sieve. Wash them well under running water and then remove the yellow/orange strings and discard them. Make sure you use a strainer to cover the sink drain to prevent clogging.
As you can see, it is an easy process!
How to Dry Pumpkin Seeds
After cleaning the seeds, place them on a clean, dry kitchen cloth, spreading them out in a single layer.
Let them fully dry overnight.
Before seasoning and roasting them, verify they are not wet anymore. If they are, they will steam in the oven instead of roasting.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Here are the steps that you should follow to get perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds:
STEP 1: Remove the Seeds
Remove the stalk and cut off the pumpkin in half. Use a large metal spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds and stringy fibers. SEE PICS. 1,2, and 3. The amount of seeds will depend on the size of your pumpkin! My medium-size pumpkin yielded about 1 ½ cups of pumpkin seeds.
STEP 2: Wash and Dry the Pumpkin Seeds
Place the seeds into a colander or large sieve, wash well the seeds and remove any strings attach to them. Then, spread the seeds out on a clean kitchen cloth and let them dry overnight. SEE PIC. 4
STEP 3: Season the Seeds
In a bowl, toss the seeds with olive oil, taco seasoning, and salt (if needed). SEE PIC. 5 Taste one seed to adjust the salt if needed. If you use a store-bought taco seasoning, there will be a variation on the amount of salt.
STEP 4: Roast the Seeds
Spread the seeds evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a lightly greased cookie sheet for even roasting. SEE PIC. 6
Bake them at a preheated oven at 375°F (190ºC) for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Toss them at least once halfway through for even browning. They are ready when they get a nutty aroma and golden brown color!
How long to roast pumpkin seeds
The time that takes for roasting pumpkin seeds depends on 2 factors:
- Size of the seeds
- Oven temperature
If you take a look at several roasted pumpkin seeds recipe online you will notice the baking temperature varies from 325° to 400° F (163°-204° C).
I find at 325° F they will have to cook for a longer timer but without achieving that beautiful golden brown color. On the other hand, at 400° F they will become golden brown faster without fully cooking inside, unless you boil them before roasting.
In my opinion, 375° F is the perfect temperature to roast pumpkin seeds. Cook them for 15-30 minutes (depending on the size of the seeds) and they’ll get lightly golden brown (but not burned) and fully cooked although you still feel a crunch when you chew them. Oh, they kind of taste like popcorn! (which is a big plus for me!)
Pumpkin Seed Seasoning
The possibilities are endless! Here are a few suggestions:
- Basic seasoning – Mix your pumpkin seeds with olive oil, salt, and pepper before roasting them.
- Salty roasted pumpkin seeds – If you crave a salty yet healthy snack in the afternoon, mix your pumpkin seeds with taco seasoning, Cajun or Italian seasoning, bbq rub, ranch, buffalo, garlic, chili lime, and more.
- Sweet roasted pumpkin seeds – Maple cinnamon, honey cinnamon, cinnamon sugar, and more.
- Sweet and salty – it use a combination of savory and sweet ingredients to flavor the seeds.
- Spicy – it calls for cayenne, chili pepper, habanero, or other type of spicy pepper among other ingredients.
It depends on your taste!
Our pumpkin seed recipe is a keto salty snack that calls for olive oil, taco seasoning (store-bought or homemade), and salt (if needed)!
How To Eat Them
They are many ways you can enjoy pumpkin seeds:
- You can eat them as a healthy snack;
- Add them to salads, pasta, rice, and whole grains;
- Use them to make an Autumn pesto sauce;
- Decorate baked goods such as this easy pumpkin bread or pumpkin pie flan;
- Mix them into granola or cereal;
- Top ice cream and parfaits;
- Garnish hummus, dips, and soups like this vegan pumpkin soup;
- Bake them into cookies and breads.
Best Tips on How to Make Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
Making your own roasted pumpkin seeds is easy peasy! You only have to follow these simple rules:
- Wash and dry them well – They should be clean and completely dry before seasoning and roasting them.
- Season as you want – Use our recipe as the base and customize the seasoning to make new flavors every time.
- Watch them as they roast -- to prevent burning.
Benefits of Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
- Cost-effective: You are already using the flesh to make bake goods or the shell to carve a Halloween pumpkin. Why not to take advantage and use the seeds to make a healthy snack without an extra cost, right? They are not cheap if bought already roasted in packages in the supermarket.
- Ease: Following a few simple steps, you can clean, dry, and roast pumpkin seeds for a healthy snack or to add them to many dishes and baked goodies.
- Versatility: You can easily customize their flavor by mixing them with a type of fat (oil, butter, or coconut oil) and seasonings or spices, making them sweet, salty, and/or spicy to satisfy your taste buds.
- Nutrition: Pumpkin seeds are rich in fiber and a good source of zinc, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and iron. According to the USDA, in 1 ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds contain 126 calories, 5.3 grams of protein, 5.5 grams of fat mainly unsaturated, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of total dietary fiber.
Do I Have to Boil Pumpkin Seeds Before Roasting?
Not necessarily! If you don’t mind the earthy aftertaste roasted pumpkin seeds have after munching them, you don’t need to boil them before roasting.
By boiling them first, you ensure their interior is fully cooked and soft while the exterior is crunchy after roasting them.
Because pumpkin seeds contain phytic acid that can prevent the absorption of some nutrients (e.g. iron, magnesium, and calcium), it is recommended that you either boil or soak them in water before roasting them.
Although simply roasting them may help as well!
- Before roasting: Store clean and dry raw pumpkin seeds in a sealed bag in the fridge for up to 2 days, or freeze them for up to 1 month.
- After roasting: Let them cool completely and store them in an airtight container or sealed bag for 2-3 days at room temperature, or for up to 7 days in the fridge. Freeze them for up to 3 months!
Let them thaw in the fridge and reheat them at a preheated oven at 300° F until hot (about 5-10 minutes).
PIN & ENJOY!
Taco Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Keto)
- baking sheet
- Ice cream scoop
- 1 ½ cups pumpkin seeds washed and dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon homemade keto taco seasoning or store-bought
- Salt only if needed
- Remove the Seeds: Use a large metal spoon or ice cream scoop to remove the seeds and stringy fibers.
- Wash and Dry the Pumpkin Seeds: Place the seeds into a colander or large sieve, wash them well under running water and remove any strings attach to them. Make sure to use a strainer to cover the sink drain to prevent clogging. Then, spread the seeds out on a clean kitchen cloth and let them dry overnight.
- Season the Seeds: In a bowl, toss the seeds with olive oil, taco seasoning, and salt (if needed). Taste one seed to adjust the salt if needed.
- Roast the Seeds: Preheated oven at 375°F (190ºC). Spread the seeds evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a lightly greased cookie sheet for even roasting.
- Bake them for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Toss them at least once halfway through for even browning. They are ready when they get a nutty aroma and golden brown color!
- Enjoy them either warm or at room temp.
** Nutrition labels on easyanddelish.com are for educational purposes only. This info is provided as a courtesy and is only an estimate, since the nutrition content of recipes can vary based on ingredient brand or source, portion sizes, recipe changes/variations, and other factors. We suggest making your own calculations using your preferred calculator, based on which ingredients you use, or consulting with a registered dietitian to determine nutritional values more precisely.
Please note that health-focused and diet information provided on easyanddelish.com is for educational purposes and does not constitute medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Consult with your doctor or other qualified health professional prior to initiating any significant change in your diet or exercise regimen, or for any other issue necessitating medical advice.