If you've bought a pumpkin for Halloween, or to make pumpkin soup, it's definitely worth making oven roasted pumpkin seeds. They are tasty, packed with nutrition, and deserve to be saved from the compost heap.
All you need for this simple recipe are raw pumpkin seeds, and a little olive oil. Oven roasted pumpkin seeds are really easy to make, and are a delicious snack. You can enjoy them with breakfast, as a savoury snack, or sweetened with a little cinnamon.
What you'll love about the recipe
- Makes use of an ingredient that is often discarded!
- Simple to make, with just 2 ingredients
- Oven roasted pumpkin seeds are a healthy snack which is a good source of minerals and fibre
- Adds a delicious crunch to salads and soup
Pumpkin. You can use different kinds of pumpkin, including butternut squash, as all of the seeds are edible. I roasted a cup of seeds, but vary the quantities to suit. A smallish, round orange pumpkin gave me approximately one cup of seeds.
Olive oil. You can also use another healthy cooking oil if you prefer. Or, you could use a flavoured oil such as chilli or garlic oil.
How to prepare pumpkin seeds for roasting
Cutting up a pumpkin can be challenging, so if you need help, this video has some useful tips. It's easy to scoop out the seeds from the flesh, but you will also need to clean away the stringy bits. Just remove them by hand, and give the seeds a rinse under the tap to remove the remainder.
Once your pumpkin seeds are clean, it's really important to let them dry thoroughly. Ideally, leave them spread out on a cloth or kitchen paper overnight. Alternatively, pat them dry really well with a tea towel or kitchen paper.
How to make oven roasted pumpkin seeds
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan).
Toss the pumpkin seeds in olive oil. You can either do this in a bowl, or sprinkle the oil over the seeds on the baking tray. Either way, make sure that they are evenly coated so they brown well.
Roast the pumpkins seeds in the oven. The cooking time will vary, so it's important to keep a close eye on the seeds, as they can burn quite easily. My medium sized pumpkin seeds were very dry when they went into the oven, and took just 10 minutes to turn golden brown. However, if your seeds are much bigger, or still slightly damp, they could take up to 30 minutes to roast.
Seasonings for oven roasted pumpkin seeds
I prefer to roast pumpkin seeds unseasoned. That way we can enjoy them either sweet or savoury. Often, they'll be sprinkled on soup or salad, but I also enjoy roast pumpkin seeds with healthy bircher muesli or oat bran porridge for breakfast. They also make a delicious snack sprinkled with a little salt.
Or try sweet roasted pumpkin seeds. Melt a teaspoon each of honey and coconut oil, and add half a cup of pumpkin seeds along with half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss them together, and you'll have a healthier but equally delicious version of cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds.
Store oven roasted pumpkin seeds in an airtight container. If you want to store them for longer than a month, pop them in the fridge as they will stay fresher.
Frequently asked questions
For this recipe, I experimented with roasting both soaked and unsoaked pumpkin seeds. For me, the unsoaked seeds were a clear winner. I think that was partly because they are easier to dry and so they went crisper in the oven. The pumpkin seeds that were soaked ended up chewier, even after cooking for much longer.
For the purposes of this recipe, I tried roasting some of the pumpkin seeds in the oven, and toasting some in a pan on the stovetop. The difference wasn't huge, but the oven roasted pumpkin seeds had a slightly better texture. However, if you're in a hurry, or don't want to heat up the oven, then pan roasted pumpkin seeds are a close second.
Tiny though they are, pumpkin seeds are very nutritious. Unshelled pumpkin seeds are a great source of fibre. (The green pumpkin seeds that you can buy are usually shelled - they do contain some fibre, but much lower amounts). Pumpkin seeds are also high in important minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron. They also contain a number of antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation. See here for more info about the health benefits of pumpkin seeds.
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Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds cleaned and dried as above
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 fan).
- Toss the pumpkin seeds in the olive oil so they are evenly coated.
- Spread the seeds out on a tray, and roast in the preheated oven. Check after 10 minutes, the seeds are ready when they are starting to turn golden brown. If you need to roast them for longer, keep an eye on them, as they will burn easily.
- Leave the seeds to cool and store in an airtight container.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only.