Here’s my method for cleaning, prepping, and making Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. It requires only three ingredients (one being the seeds) and 15 minutes of prep time. And I have oven directions as well as air fryer instructions for making super crunchy roasted squash seeds. You’ll love this crunchy, salty, totally irresistible super-snack!
Did you know that you can roast any hard winter squash seeds, like acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and make a yummy and healthy snack? It’s true! And, roasted squash seeds can be easily made in the oven or in the air fryer.
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How to use roasted seeds
I love roasted squash seeds! After carving those Halloween pumpkins as a kid, we always roasted the seeds with a little salt. I’d take them to school with me the next day in my lunch bag. What a yummy snack!
You can eat them hull and all just as a snack.
Or, toss them on a salad or over soup, like my delicious Butternut Squash Soup.
What kind of squash should I use?
Any hard-shelled winter squash (butternut, acorn, pumpkin, spaghetti squash, sugar pumpkin, any!) can be cleaned up and roasted into a fun and nostalgic snack!
Now, different squash will have different seeds. Even two of the same types of squash, like say, butternut squash, will have different sizes and amounts of seeds inside. Some will be crunchier and some will be meatier. Part of the fun of cutting open the pumpkin is seeing what’s inside.
The most common squash to use is the Halloween Jack-o-lantern, but all of the winter squash have great seeds for roasting. I’ve even come across some hull-less squash that are great for roasting!
Make sure to save the seeds as you carve your pumpkin or as you cut up that butternut squash for dinner! The stringy pulp and seeds just seem like they belong in the garbage can. But trust me, you’ll never toss out those seeds again once you roast them up into this tasty seasonal snack.
Squash seeds are a great source of potassium and high in protein, in addition to being super yummy.
Looking for more winter squash recipes?
I love those hard winter squash like butternut squash and acorn squash, and I have lots of recipes that use them. Try my Garlic Parmesan Shrimp over Roasted Squash, or my Pumpkin Lasagna with Roasted Butternut Squash for something new and different using those lovely winter squash.
Instructions for how to get into the squash
If you’re planning to roast or cook the squash, simply cut it in half, and scoop out the seeds and the stringy bits from the flesh with a sturdy spoon or ice cream scoop.
If you’re carving a pumpkin for Halloween, cut a hole about 5-inches in diameter in the top of the pumpkin. Use a spoon or your hands to scoop out the pumpkin guts.
I like to place the guts and the seeds in a bowl so it’s all in one place. Then, separate out the seeds from the squash stringy bits, and place the seeds into a second bowl or directly into a colander.
Once the seeds are fairly clean, and the large bits of squash are removed, place the seeds into a strainer or colander, and rinse them under cold running tap water, shaking them around, and mixing them up with your hands so you can remove any additional squash flesh as you rinse them.
I know some people like to have some little bits of squash flesh in there with the seeds, they say it tastes more like squash as they eat them, but I prefer to get the seeds pretty clean. Spread the cleaned seeds out on a rimmed baking sheet, and pat dry with paper towels.
The leftover squash guts can be discarded or composted.
Do I need to pre-boil the seeds?
I grew up simply roasting the seeds in the oven, so I don’t think you need to boil them. Besides, it saves so much time and effort if you don’t have to do the extra step of boiling in salt water.
Can I make the seeds in different flavors?
Yes! Want to jazz up the seeds a bit? Of course you can! I love them simply with salt, but if you want to try something new, go for one of these. Add the spice mixes to 1 cup of raw seeds, mix to coat, and pop them in the oven.
- 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- For a sweet version, mix 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon sugar, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- My mom often used seasoned salt in place of the regular salt, which is another of my favorite ways to eat them
Tools you may need
Note: these are amazon affiliate links
Sharp knife, pumpkin carving kit, or I also find that a large serrated knife works well for getting into a butternut squash
Ice cream scoop or large sturdy spoon
Colander or strainer
Air fryer dish
Rimmed baking sheet
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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup squash seeds
- 1 teaspoon oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Clean and prepare seeds, toss cleaned seeds with oil and salt.
- Air fryer: Preheat air fryer to 350° F. Place seeds in a air fryer safe pan or on a piece of parchment paper, and air fry for about 10 minutes, or until light golden brown and crisp, shaking once during cooking. Keep an eye on the seeds towards the end of cooking, as they can burn easily.
- Oven: Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread seeds in an ungreased rimmed baking pan. Bake coated seeds 15 – 25 minutes (timing will depend on how many seeds you have on the tray), or until light golden brown and crisp, stirring once during baking.
- Cool in baking pan 10 minutes or until completely cooled before serving. Taste for salt, adding more if desired.