By Cassie Johnston
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I know roasting pumpkin seeds is a tradition a lot of folks had in their families growing up, but it just wasn’t something we ever did in my family. Don’t worry, we had a lot of other wonderful, cozy, comforting autumnal traditions, but making pumpkin seeds just wasn’t one of them.
Now though? Now, I am a total convert. I love roasting pumpkin seeds! And I can guarantee that it is something that my daughter will grow up doing. Roasted pumpkin seeds are tasty, crazy healthy (so healthy, in fact, I named pumpkin seeds as a superfood in my second cookbook), and really easy to make at home. They are fun to customize (I have six different flavors for you to try!) and fun to snack on.
Before I dig into the flavor recipes, I want to give you a quick tutorial for how to roast pumpkin seeds. It’s a breeze. First up, obviously, you need some raw pumpkin seeds. You can fish these out from the jack-o-lantern you carved with your kids or save them from the pie pumpkins you roasted to make puree.
The next step is cleaning the “guts” (that’s what we always call it in my house, anyone else?) from the actual seeds. I recommend picking out any big chunks you can and composting them or feeding them to your roving flock of chickens (which is kinda the same thing as composting).
Once you have the seeds mostly separated, fill up a big bowl of warm water and dunk in the seeds. Use your hand and swirl them around a bit to loosen any pumpkin guts remaining. Then, let the seeds rest for about five minutes or so. In that five minutes, magic happens! The seeds all float, and the remaining pumpkin guts sink.
Fish out the seeds using your hands, a slotted spoon, or a sieve, and put them onto a dish towel and pat them dry.
Now you’re ready to season and roast! Preheat your oven to 300° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You want to roast pumpkin seeds at a low temp to make sure they get nice and crunchy without burning.
Per half cup of seeds, toss with about a teaspoon of olive oil (you could also use coconut oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil—basically whatever makes you happy), and then toss immediately afterward with the spice combo you’d like.
Make sure to toss it really well so each seed is coated.
Then spread the seeds out on the prepared baking sheet. You’ll want to give the seeds some room to breathe, so make sure there isn’t more than one layer.
Pop them in the oven, and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring two to three times during cooking.
You’ll know the seeds are ready when they are beginning to brown. You don’t want them super dark, just a little golden (and if a few get darker, that’s fine). If you taste them hot out of the oven, they may seem a little chewy still, but as they cool, they will crisp up nicely.
And you did it! You roasted pumpkin seeds. Ain’t no thang.
Now that you’ve got the method under control, let’s talk flavors! I have six different flavor combos here that you can easily make from the spices you have in your spice rack. Each recipe makes enough spice mix for one half cup of pumpkin seeds, so if you have more, just double, triple, etc. the recipe. Worth noting, these spice mixes are also amazing on popcorn. Highly recommend. Enjoy!
It takes a little bit of a lot of different spices to get the classic Ranch flavor! If you end up liking this mixture, you can make it up in bulk and stash it in your pantry in a jar (these Ball spice jars are my favorite for seasonings like this).
To make ranch pumpkin seeds, for each half cup of raw pumpkin seeds, you’ll need:
Ranch is a hard flavor to replicate at home, so if you have a specific powdered ranch dressing packet or recipe that you like, you can also just toss the seeds with that after they have their olive oil bath.
These are my absolute favorite of the savory pumpkin seeds! The Parmesan cheese gets such an awesome, nutty flavor during roasting.
To make pizza pumpkin seeds, for each half cup of raw pumpkin seeds, you’ll need:
If you happen to have some tomato powder kicking around (yeah, I know, only us weirdo food preservers do), adding a pinch or two of that to the pizza mix is delicious!
I’m kinda a bit of a dill fanatic. It is absolutely my favorite herb (and super easy to grow—do it!). These dill pickle pumpkin seeds are flecked with dill and garlic—like a crispy version of your favorite pickle.
To make dill pickle pumpkin seeds, for each half cup of raw pumpkin seeds, you’ll need:
The vinegar just adds a touch of the acidic flavor that pickles are known for. If you happen to have citric acid around from canning, that will work in place of the vinegar to add that tang, too. Add just a pinch.
These pumpkin seeds prove just how spicy black pepper can be! For a full nose-tickling kick, add the full amount; for just a little bit of black pepper flavor, add less.
To make salt and pepper pumpkin seeds, for each half cup of raw pumpkin seeds, you’ll need:
Since the black pepper is the predominant flavor in these seeds, fresh cracked is the way to go!
Crunchy and sweet, these are my favorite pumpkin seeds of the lot! The brown sugar in these has a tendency to burn in the oven, so keep a close eye on them.
To make cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds, for each half cup of raw pumpkin seeds, you’ll need:
You might be tempted to skip the salt here, but it really helps develop the flavor of the sweetness. It doesn’t make the seeds taste salty or savory, it just adds a nice depth to the flavor.
You can’t beat the interesting combo of sweetness with just a touch of kick! These aren’t super spicy, but the heat does built after a handful (or two).
To make sweet and spicy pumpkin seeds, for each half cup of raw pumpkin seeds, you’ll need:
If you’re afraid of the heat, leave out the black pepper. It doesn’t seem like it would do much, but it adds another dimension of spicy that can be overwhelming to some palates.
Well, that was fun! I loved making all these different flavors of roasted pumpkin seeds (and eating them, too!). I hope you like them, too. And I hope you’ll experiment and make up your own creations! You really can’t go wrong here, so don’t be afraid to have some fun. Make sure to come back here and share your favorites in the comments and inspire others folks!
Happy fall, friends!
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YUM! And yes you did do 6 different kinds. You are a ninja like that!!! I think the sweet and spicy and pizza are calling my name!
We’re a pumpkin seed house! And was growing up too!! Loved that part of the pumpkin carving process. I do cinnamon sugar, dill, and then just seasoning salt (Lawry’s) too!
Maybe a dumb question but can you eat the shells and all?!
Thank you so much for sharing!!! Love the cinnamon sugar recipe
If you want to add to popcorn cooked on the stove. When do you add the seasonings?
For the Sweet & Spicy reciepe, I substituted the cayenne pepper for old bay seasoning. Very good. I also made the Pizza Recipe as is and the Cinnamon Sugar recipe as is, excellent recipes. Thanks for sharing!
Awesome flavors! I’m a sucker for Ranch…so that will probably be my first one to try.
Finally, pumpkin seed that actually taste good. Great flavor combos too. I made the sweet and spicy, dill pickle, and salt & pepper. Great recipe. Thanks!
Made all 6, love the flavours!
We make them with garlic salt or Cajun seasonings – yumm!
I am featuring your blog post on my food blog this week! Please take a minute to check it out! And thank you for sharing your recipes!
My daughter and I am trying the sweet blend (first :)) as we love cinnamon. Thanks. Yum!
What temp do u recommend roasting these on?
Great recipe! I tried the cinnamon and sugar one. Although I recommend cooking for only about 15 minutes because mine got a little burned.
Do I use Dill Weed or Dill seed?
Trying the salt and pepper, cinnamon sugar, and sweet and spicy flavours. They are in the oven now… can’t wait to taste them! Smells wonderful!
HI, Love the pumpkin seed recipes. I was wondering what temp. do you cook them in the oven? 300*?
That’s about the temp. I use for the salt and pepper an the cinnamon sugar ones that I make.
I think my husband will like the the sweet and spicy one. We love pumpkin seeds.
Yup! 300° is perfect. :)
You think I could use store bought raw pumpkin seeds instead of fresh out of a pumpkin?
You would just have to bake them less time.
Any suggestions for storing the leftover seeds after baking?
Hi Cassie. You are such a life saver. I’ve roasted twice before and over did it both times. Thank you so much
I tried the Sweet & Spicy, Oh my goodness they were so good! Thank you for sharing!
Love the variety! Thank you!
I absolutely love these!
I’m featuring you on my blog post next week- what a great group of recipes!
Made the dill flavored seeds yesterday. Making another batch today.
Absolutely yummy! Even my daughter who doesn’t like dill flavored food (other than pickles) loved them & wanted some to take to work this morning. ?
My kids can’t wait for me to make the other flavors. 5☄
I love these recipes: I am remaking some from last year and making others I did not yet try now with this year’s halloween pumpkins. But, FYI, I am having significant difficulties with the website on my phone to the point that it is almost unusable since the website was most recently update, which is unfortunate since I typically only use my phone for your site. The biggest issue is that the page frequently reloads and pulls me back up to the top of the page – sometimes it seems to be when ads load and other times it just happens almost anytime I try to scroll down. More minor concerns include the hamburger menu and “Join the Conversation” buttons no longer work on the phone (I got on my computer to post this).
Thank you for giving us your feedback! You are the second person to come to us with this issue, and we’re, honestly, having a hard time replicating it, but it’s definitely there, and we’ll keep working on it!
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