Whether you are carving Jack ‘O Lanterns or just breaking down pie pumpkins for your annual pumpkin pie, any time you cut into pumpkins you get pumpkin seeds. Like many seeds and nuts, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and various vitamins and minerals, which makes them a pretty decent snack. So I thought that rather than tossing the seeds, I would roast them up. But me being me, of course I couldn’t make just one kind. That would require making a decision and life’s small decisions are just so difficult. So I made 6.
They all follow the same method, so the first thing I’ll do is show you how I made my Sweet & Spicy Pepitas (doesn’t that sound way smoother off the tongue than pumpkin seeds?). That’s probably one of five Spanish words I actually know. Then I’ll give you the ingredients for cinnamon sugar, honey roasted, southwest, ranch, and bbq.
Here’s what you need:
Yep. Pumpkins. That’s the basic piece anyway, we’ll get into the spices and the varieties once we show you how to clean up the seeds. I have little pie pumpkins because I was planning to use the pumpkins to make pies for Thanksgiving. You can totally do this with the seeds from your Jack ‘O Lantern too. I have 4 pumpkins because I always overestimate how many pumpkins it will take to make what I need for pies. What I learned though is that each pumpkin – pie pumpkin that is – yields an average of ¾ cups seeds. That leaves me working with 3 cups of pumpkin seeds total.
First thing we have to do is break into that pumpkin.
And scoop out the seeds. I try to remove as much of the stringy stuff from the seeds as possible and put them in a bowl.
Now, fill the bowl up with warm water. Swish the pumpkin seeds around gently in your hands and then just let them sit for 5 minutes.
See the difference it makes? The rest of the pumpkin residue just sinks down.
Scoop the pumpkin seeds out – gently so as not to re-disturb all the stuff that you just got off, and place on a paper towel to dry.
Now, as promised let’s flavor them up and roast them. Here’s what you need for what we’ll call my demonstration flavor – Sweet and Spicy.
The oil is going to be a standard in all the varieties. I use a teaspoon to a half cup of pumpkin seeds. You can use canola oil or one of my favorites is a canola/coconut blend.
Start by mixing together your seasonings which are a tablespoon of brown sugar, a half teaspoon of kosher salt, an eighth teaspoon of cayenne, and an eighth teaspoon of pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper – which the pumpkin seeds won’t stick to. Add a half cup of pumpkin seeds.
Drizzle with teaspoon of oil and add your seasoning.
Toss them together with your hands and then spread them in an even layer on the baking sheet.
Roast in a 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until lightly golden.
Allow them to cool and then place in an airtight container.
As promised, I made 5 other flavors. The mixture is for a half cup of pumpkin seeds and all include the 1 teaspoon of oil.
1 T brown sugar
½ t cinnamon
1 t honey
Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt when done
¼ t salt
¼ t pepper
¼ t Mexican oregano
1/8 t cayenne
1/8 t ground chipotle
1 t ancho chili powder
½ t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
¼ t ground cumin
1 t Penzey’s BBQ 3000
½ t kosher salt
¼ t onion powder
¼ t parsley
¼ t garlic powder
¼ t dill weed
1/8 t paprika
1/8 t pepper
You can of course play around with any spice mix you like, whether you toss a collection of things in a bowl or just sprinkle on a premixed spice mixture like I did with the BBQ 3000.
I really enjoy having these as a nice crunch, homemade snack. It was also fun to have a choice of savory or sweet to choose from. I don’t think I could choose a favorite either, I ended up liking them all!
- ½ c pumpkin seeds
- 1 t oil
- Cinnamon Sugar:
- 1 T brown sugar
- ½ t cinnamon sugar
- Pinch kosher salt
- Sweet & Spicy:
- 1 T brown sugar
- ½ t kosher salt
- ⅛ t cayenne
- ⅛ t ground pepper
- 1 t honey
- Sprinkle salt (when baked)
- ¼ t kosher salt
- ¼ t pepper
- ¼ t Mexican oregano
- ⅛ t cayenne
- ⅛ t chipotle powder
- 1 t ancho chili powder
- ½ t onion powder
- ½ t garlic powder
- ¼ t cumin
- 1 t Penzey’s BBQ 3000
- ½ t kosher salt
- ¼ t onion powder
- ¼ t parsley
- ¼ t garlic powder
- ¼ t dill weed
- ⅛ t paprika
- ⅛ t pepper
- Remove pumpkin seeds from pumpkin and remove as much of the pumpkin ‘guts’ as possible.
- Fill a large bowl with warm water and add seeds. Gently slosh around and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Gently remove from water and dry on paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place a half cup of pumpkin seeds on the baking sheet. Toss with a teaspoon of oil. Toss with the seasoning mix of your choice.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly golden.
- Cool and store in an airtight container.