How to roast pumpkin seeds

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Three ways to make pumpkin seeds and a side-by-side taste test to see which way is the best.

Roasted pumpkin seeds are one of the best parts of making jack-o’-lantern, but waiting for them to come out of the oven can seem like it takes an eternity. We wondered if there was a better way to make our favorite salty fall snack, so we tested out three different methods to see which reigned supreme.

We tested out the traditional oven-roasting and compared it with seeds toasted in a skillet and pumpkin seeds from the microwave. The microwave? Yes. You might remember that we loved the discovery that you can do DIY microwave popcorn with a regular paper bag. That fabulous microwave result made us want to try it out again.

For each method, we used:

  • ¾ cup clean, dry pumpkin seeds
  • 1½ tsp. oil (we used canola)
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Of course, you can add spices to your pumpkin seeds to jazz things up, but to keep things scientific here, we stuck with the basics.

Method 1: Traditional Oven Roasting

Oven roasted pumpkin seedsPreheat the oven to 300⁰F. Toss the pumpkin seeds with oil and salt, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool the seeds.

Method 2: Stovetop

Stove-top toasted pumpkin seedsHeat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown and fragrant, 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle with salt. Cool the seeds in the pan.

Method 3: Microwave

Microwaved pumpkin seedsPlace the pumpkin seeds on a microwave-safe plate or in a microwave-safe baking dish. Drizzle them with oil and toss to coat. Spread the seeds out evenly. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 2 minutes, then stir. Repeat this process for 6-8 total minutes, until the seeds are golden brown and fragrant. Sprinkle with salt and cool the seeds on the plate.

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The Verdict:

As much as we wanted lightning fast roasted pumpkin seeds, slow and steady won the race here. While the stovetop seeds came in as a close second, the oven-roasted seeds had the deepest, most nuanced flavor. Plus, the stovetop seeds had the disadvantage of needing constant monitoring. The microwaved seeds had the weakest flavor, and they required lots of stirring. They also felt drier than both the oven-roasted and stovetop seeds. Sometimes traditions are traditions for a reason!

  • ¾ cup clean, dry pumpkin seeds
  • 1½ tsp. oil (we used canola)
  • ¼ tsp. salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 300⁰F. Toss the pumpkin seeds with oil and salt, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool the seeds.

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Wondering what else to do with pumpkin seeds?

Butternut Squash Soup: Make this delicious butternut squash soup and sprinkle it with roasted pumpkin seeds before serving.

Bacon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: This crave-worthy Bacon Roasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe makes the best toasted pumpkin seeds EVER! Everyone will love this easy snack or appetizer with bacon!

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Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix form Martha Stewart: Bursting with contrasting textures and flavors– salty pumpkin seeds, spicy ginger, crunchy almonds, chewy cranberries, rich coconut–the blend will dazzle your taste buds.

Pumpkin Seed Spinach Salad from Taste of Home: Top your salad with roasted pumpkin seeds from some extra crunch!

Ranch Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Don’t throw out the pumpkin seeds. Save them to make Ranch Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. They are so good that they are hard to stop eating!

garlic roasted pumpkin seeds Keyword: garlic roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted pumpkin seeds

  1. Cut the top or bottom off of the pumpkin.

  2. Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and place them in a colander under running water. Separate the bits of remaining pulp and discard. Drain well.

  3. Transfer the pumpkin seeds into a large pot. Add water and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain well.

  4. Pour the drained pumpkin seeds into a bowl. Add olive oil and garlic powder. Stir to coat.

  5. Spread the coated pumpkin seeds out in a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 375˚F for 25-30 minutes, stirring and turning every 5 minutes, until the seeds are golden and crunchy.

  6. Store in an airtight container.

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