Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Fresh, tasty pumpkin seedy goodness.

I bought a bunch of pumpkins in October — all kinds of pumpkins — from a local pumpkin farm. I bought them mostly because I could pick them myself and it was fun. I liked the seasonality of having pumpkins around. And I figured I might carve them and put candles in them and do the whole Jack ‘O Lantern thing, even though I knew damn well I wasn’t going to get any trick or treaters.

Penny with Pumpkins
Penny posed with the pumpkins the day we brought them home.

But then my godfather got sick and died and I went to New York. When I got back, right before Halloween, I didn’t really feel like carving pumpkins.

So they sat outside. Halloween came and went. We had a warm spell and then it turned cold. Very cold. “Frost on the pumpkin,” as my stepdad would say, cold.

I got the idea that I wanted to pull seeds from the pumpkins to plant them in my own garden next year. (Don’t tell Monsanto.) So one-by-one I bought them in, cut them open, and scooped out the seeds. I cleaned them and dried them and put them in labeled plastic bags.

Of course, I don’t need that many seeds to plant and the orange pumpkin had plenty of them. So I decided to roast them — just as I did most years that I carved pumpkins in Arizona and New Jersey.

Here’s how.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Using oil or spray oil, lightly grease the bottom of a large pan. (I used olive oil because that’s the way I roll.)
  3. Cut open the pumpkin and remove the seeds and loose pulpy stuff around them from the inside.
  4. Separate the pulpy stuff from the seeds. This could take some time. Be patient. Drinking wine or chatting with a friend or loved one is a good multi-tasking activity.
  5. Put the seeds in a colander and rinse them. Don’t rinse them too well; they’re better with just a little bit of pumpkin on them.
  6. Put the pumpkin seeds in the prepared pan and spread them evenly.
  7. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
    Roasted pumpkin seeds, straight from my oven.

    Sprinkle the seeds with a generous helping of salt. (I used Kosher salt because I had some. Regular salt works, too.)

  8. Put the pan in the oven and roast for at least 10 minutes. If necessary, stir the seeds to prevent uneven browning, spread them out again, and continue to roast. You might have to do this more than once, depending on how many seeds there are and how big the pan is. The seeds should be light brown and kind of crispy when they’re done.
  9. Remove from oven.
  10. Enjoy as soon as they’re cool enough to eat without burning your mouth.

And yes, you do eat the entire seed.


What do you think?