Toasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds Recipe

Toasted pumpkin and squash seeds are a great healthy snack and a delicious addition to salads, granola, or trail mix.  So, do not throw away those Squash and Pumpkin (pepitas) seeds!  With a few seasonings, you can have a tasty and healthy snack of toasted pumpkin and squash seeds at your fingertips.  The pumpkin and squash shells are edible and are a good source of fiber.  According to the University of South Carolina’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program, winter squash is low in calories and fat, and rich in antioxidants, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals.

Did you know that pumpkins are native to North America?  They were part of the native American’s diet for thousands of years, especially in the Southwest.  Every part of the pumpkin was used for food, including the seeds.  Check out the History of Pumpkins and Pumpkin Pie.


Toasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds



Toasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds:
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Toasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
  • Seeds from a squash or pumpkin*
  • Olive oil or melted butter
  • Salt or seasoning of your choice**
  1. The most difficult part of toasting pumpkin seeds is getting them out of the pumpkin. Squash seeds are easier, as the squash are generally smaller than a pumpkin.  First, you have to carve the pumpkin and then scrape out the pulp and separate all the seeds.  It is messy job and it can take quite a while! The toasting part is very easy.

  2. Cut your squash or pumpkin in halves.  Using a strong metal spoon, remove the seeds and membrane.  If removing the seeds from a pumpkin to be used as a Jack-O-Lantern, cut open the pumpkin by cutting a circle around the stem end, and pulling off the top.

Different ways to clean seeds:
  1. Separate the squash or pumpkin seeds from the stringy membrane of a freshly opened squash or pumpkin.  Rinse the seeds in a colander until they are free of any membrane matter.  Spread the seeds on clean kitchen towels or layer of paper towels and dry thoroughly.

  2. Throw the whole mess (fibers and seeds) in the oven and once they are dried out, the seeds separates very easily.  If you want to use this technique, roast the fibers and seeds together, spread in an even layer on a baking sheet, at 375 degrees F. until the fibers dry out and fall away from the seeds

Roasting of Toasting Seeds:
  1. Coat 1/2 cup of cleaned seeds with 1 teaspoon olive oil or butter and 1/2 teaspoon seasoning of your choice.  You only need enough oil to barely coat the seeds, otherwise, they will be greasy.  You can use any seasoning blend you like.  Adjust the amount to your taste buds.

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

  3. Spread prepared seeds out in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.

  4. Place in 250 degree F. oven for about 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  They are done when they are light brown in the toasted.  Cooking time will vary from batch to batch because pumpkins can have very differently sized seeds.  When nicely browned, remove the pan from the oven and let cool on a rack.  Let the pumpkin seeds cool all the way down before eating.  Taste and adjust seasonings to taste.

  5. You can eat the seeds whole (hull and all) or crack them to remove the inside.

Additional Seasoning Ideas:
  1. Try additional seasonings on your squash or pumpkin seeds: Cajun seasoning, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, and/or garlic salt are some of the many possibilities.  Whatever spice or herb suits your fancy - use!

Storing Roasted Seeds:
  1. Store baked squash or pumpkin seeds in an airtight container for 6 to 8 weeks.

  2. Store them in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container, for up to six months.  Store in the freezer for up to a year.

  3. Substitute them in for your usual nut or seed topping.

Recipe Notes

* Try toasting different types of squash, such acorn squash, butternut squash, etc.

** If you like your toasted pumpkin or squash seeds extra-salty, soak them overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt to 2 cups of water.


Kid Friendly    Nuts & Seeds    Pumpkin    Snack Foods    Squash & Zucchini Appetizers   

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