Pumpkin Seeds Aren't Worth Roasting Unless You Do This One Thing|Recipes Spots

  • on October 10, 2023
Pumpkin Seeds Aren't Worth Roasting Unless You Do This One Thing

Bowl of toasted pumpkin seeds with a utensil, and in the surroudings, more toasted pumpkin seeds (with different toppings) in bowls and jars and an uncut pumpkin, all on light orange kitchen towel
Simply Recipes / Claudia Cash

Carving a pumpkin is fun, but the beloved autumn ritual isn’t truly complete until you take the pumpkin goop and roast it to make pumpkin seeds. But how many times have you roasted pumpkin seeds and wound up with a chewy, bland result that you gamely eat because you just want to stay in the spirit? 

There IS a way to roast crispy, perfectly seasoned pumpkin seeds. Once you know the secret, you’ll never bite into a rubbery or blasé pumpkin seed again.

How To Roast the Best Pumpkin Seeds Ever

The roasted pumpkin seed recipe on our site truly is the best one ever, and it’s all because of the trick our site’s founder, Elise Bauer, shares. It’s so simple that it seems impossible it’ll work. Yet it does.

Before roasting the seeds, you boil them in salted water for 10 minutes. The water seasons the seeds from the inside out so every bite is craveably salty. During those 10 minutes, the oven preheats and you get a little extra time to wipe the pumpkin goop off your counters.

2 Bonus Benefits of Boiling

Boiling the seeds in the salted water achieves two other qualities that’ll make your roasted pumpkin seeds extra snack-worthy. 

1. The excess pumpkin goop clinging to the seeds boils off. You still need to pre-rinse them, but you get a cleaner surface on the seeds after the boiling.

2. The seeds get super-duper crispy. The moisture that goes into the seeds during the boiling step helps them steam in the oven, so they puff up a bit as the steam escapes. This new, less dense structure of the seeds is crunchier and munchier than seeds that weren’t boiled.

Pumpkin seeds removed from a halved pumpkin (on a cutting board)
Simply Recipes / Adobe Stock

You Choose How Salty You’d Like the Seeds

The base ratio is 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt for every 1/2 cup of rinsed pumpkin seeds you extract from your pumpkin guts. If you’d like them less salty, lower the salt. If you’re a salt fiend, increase it. If you’d like to use a seasoning for your pumpkin seeds, like curry powder or five-spice, add it when you toss the boiled, drained seeds with the olive oil. Then pop them in the oven.

Let’s say you are making savory-sweet pumpkin seeds dusted in pumpkin pie spice cut with a little sugar. You may want to decrease the salt in the boiling water. 

Great Ways To Use Your Seeds

Honestly, I just pound these things straight from the bowl. They’re superbly moreish. Don’t leave me alone with them! But you can sprinkle them in salads if you have more restraint than I do.

Just promise me you’ll boil them in salt water before you roast them, okay? You’ll find yourself wanting to carve more jack-o-lanterns just so you can transform the pumpkin goop into irresistible (and fairly healthy) snacks. 

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