After you’ve carved your jack-o-lantern for Halloween, it’s time to roast perfect pumpkin seeds! Here’s how you can make this salty and crunchy snack, that’s healthy too!
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One of our Halloween traditions has always been to roast the pumpkin seeds that come out of the pumpkins that we carve. For as long as I can remember, we always did this as kids and then I started and continued the tradition with my own kids. In our house, there is no way you carve a pumpkin without also roasting the pumpkin seeds afterwards.
The first step to getting perfect pumpkin seeds is cleaning your pumpkin!
- Set up a work area: We usually lay down newspaper or an old plastic tablecloth to keep our area clean.
- Cut off a lid to your pumpkin: Cut a 2-3″ circle radius around the stem to do this.
- Clean out the inside of your pumpkin: This is where you get all the seeds from. You can use a kitchen spoon to scrape and scoop the insides, but we find a pumpkin scoop to work the best. If you have a drill, then you might like using a “Pumpkin Gutter” attachment, which makes the job super easy.
Making your own pumpkin seeds is really easy, but there are two steps that are most important:
#1. Clean your pumpkin seeds well: You really want to wash them well and discard of any and all pumpkin fibers. Over the years, I’ve had a time or two when I didn’t clean the seeds well enough and they really don’t turn out as well. So, grab your colander and clean them…and then clean them again.
#2. Keep a watch on them when they are baking: I’m really bad at getting sidetracked, so I set my kitchen timer for 10 minutes. This way, it will alert me and I can go in and move the pumpkin seeds around on the baking sheet. I repeat this every 10 minutes until they are done. I’m very serious about using the timer — there has been times when I didn’t do it and sure enough, I let them burn.
If you are new to roasting pumpkin seeds, you might be wondering just how to eat them. If they are nicely roasted, I like to eat them whole, as does most of my family. If you wish, you can also eat them how you would eat a sunflower seed, by cracking the shell open slightly with your teeth, eating the seed, and discarding the shell.
How to Make Perfect Pumpkin Seeds
- Seeds from 2 large pumpkins
- ½ teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- Dash of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Scrape out and remove seeds from your two pumpkins. Wash and clean your seeds from your pumpkin, making sure you remove any unwanted pumpkin rinds or deformed seeds. Wash in a colander and once again remove any unwanted items.
- Soak the clean seeds in a bowl full of water for ½ hour on kitchen counter or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the seeds, discarding the water.
- Fill a pot with water and a dash of salt (enough water so that it will cover the seeds). Bring the water to a boil. Place seeds into the boiling water and boil gently for about 10 minutes. This helps cook the insides of your pumpkin seeds so when you go to roast them you will get perfect pumpkins seeds crunch insuring the insides are cooked.
- Turn off the heat and drain the seeds and place back into your empty bowl. Toss seeds with olive oil. Lay out seeds in thin layer onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with Lawry's Seasoned Salt. Place in oven and move and turn the seeds over about every 10 minutes, making sure they are not burning. Seeds are done after about 40 minutes or when they become firmer and are no longer soft. You do not want dark spots on your seeds, you want them to be a darker yellow. Season with additional salt if desired. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place into a clean mason jar. Enjoy!
Thank you to our contributor, Leah Wood, for this recipe & photos!