This year, I tried three variations on making roasted pumpkin seeds.
Pan fried pumpkin seeds.
Oven roasted pumpkin seeds.
Oven roasted pumpkin seeds after boiling in salt water.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
Interested in more pumpkin ideas? Check out these posts.
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