How to Make Easy, Tasty Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

This year, I tried three variations on making roasted pumpkin seeds.

Also Read: Pumpkin Puree, Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin Spice Pudding, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars, Pumpkin Scones, Fruit Rollups, Orange Pumpkin Loaf and Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Pan fried pumpkin seeds.

fried - watermarked
oven - watermarked

Oven roasted pumpkin seeds.

Oven roasted pumpkin seeds after boiling in salt water.

boiled - watermarked

Which was the tastiest, easiest and fastest method? Which method would become our family’s go to method for all eternity?

Oh, the suspense…

First, there’s getting the pumpkin seeds out of the pumpkin. Messy, but not hard. Basically, open the pumpkin and pick out the seeds. And yes, you can also do this with other squash seeds.

picking pumpkin seeds l - watermarked
bowl of pumpkin seeds - watermarked

Then there’s rinsing the seeds to get off the gunky bits.  Some people actually like added flavor of the gunky bits, not my family.

rinse seeds - watermarked

And finally, pat dry the seeds to remove as much water as possible. Obviously not an issue if you’re going to boil the seeds.

Now you’re ready to roast, pan fry or boil the seeds. You can also add whatever spices or flavors you’d like. We tried chili lime seasoning, hot pepper flakes and salt.

Pan Fried Pumpkin Seeds

I tossed the pumpkin seeds with a splash of canola oil and hot pepper flakes. I fried them for about 5 minutes until they were starting to brown.

This method was definitely the fastest.

finished pumpkin seeds in fry pan - watermarked

But it produced our least favorite tasting seeds. The shells seemed much more fibrous and hard to eat.

Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I tossed the pumpkin seeds with a splash of canola oil and salt. I made another batch with chili lime seasoning. I placed them on a cookie sheet in a 375°F (190°C) oven for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

It takes longer than pan frying, but it’s super easy – the oven does all the work.

oven roasted pumpkin seeds - watermarked

These were crispy and delicious!

Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds after Boiling

Why bother boiling the seeds first? According to various articles I read, boiling them makes the seeds more easy to digest, more plump, crispier and more evenly seasoned because the salted water penetrates into the shell.  Hmm, sounds like it might be worth the extra step.

I followed Elise’s instructions at Simply Recipes and placed 2 Tbsp salt in 4 cups of water for 1 cup of pumpkin seeds. I brought them to a boil and let them simmer for 10 minutes. Then I drained them and oven roasted them for 15 to 20 minutes at 375°F (190°C).

The longest, most involved method.

boiling optional - watermarked

These were crispy and delicious!

Wait a minute, isn’t that what we said about the oven roasted no boiling required roasted pumpkin seeds? Yup, the comments from my family were pretty much the same. It was clear that they preferred the oven roasted seeds versus the pan fried seeds, but they didn’t notice enough of a difference between the two oven roasted batches to proclaim a clear favorite.

When I carefully tested and assessed the two batches, I do believe that the boiled ones were a little more crispy and somehow the shell was slightly less fibrous. However, the difference was very subtle and on an ordinary day when we weren’t finely attuned to all the nuances and didn’t have a comparison in front of us, I doubt that my family would notice. Boiled or not, the oven roasted seeds were gobbled up!

our favorite by a smidge - watermarked

So, which method will I be making again this week as we carve our Halloween pumpkin?

I’ll be oven roasting them with hot pepper flakes and salt.

How about you? Will you be roasting pumpkin seeds? What’s your favorite method?

oven and boiled oven - watermarked

Interested in more pumpkin ideas? Check out these posts.

pumpkin choco chip bars

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

Similar Posts


  1. Thanks Getty, I’ll pat them dry first next time. Left them in the oven for nearly 40 minutes, and they are much better … but still have the slightly chewy shells. I’ve never tried pumpkin seeds from anywhere else, so maybe that’s the way the shells are. A bit of water and all is great!

  2. Hmm, boiled them for 10 minutes as directed, then oven roasted for 20 minutes. The hulls are still too chewy. I’ll leave them in another 10 minutes, but last year the hulls were too chewy as well.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Well that’s frustrating, hope the extra oven time did the trick. Only other thing I can think of is to pat them dry after boiling so there’s no moisture on the outside before coating with oil and making sure they’re spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet so they bake not steam. And then as you did, give them a little more time until you find the sweet spot between chewy, crispy and burnt!
      All the best!

  3. Good experiment, well-told!

    I do the oven baked, but usually at 200F for a couple of hours, and just salt or some other spice (no oil)–I’m going to try your method. (I didn’t even know about the pan frying or the boiling-before-baking methods till today.)

    The answer to this may be obvious, but…do you eat the whole thing, or shell it in your mouth like a sunflower seed?

    1. Hi David,
      Glad you enjoyed reading about our pumpkin seed experiment. I really don’t recommend the pan frying, but had to give it a whirl.

      I’m the kind of girl that takes one sunflower seed at a time and splits it open with my front teeth to enjoy the seed inside. So I was never big on pumpkin seeds – those things are almost impossible to split open! Since I discovered how to make pumpkin seeds like I describe in this post, I eat the whole seed, hull and all. I didn’t see that coming! But they’re good.

Comments are closed.