We roast pumpkin seeds every year, and every year I try a different roasting method and seasoning. But this year, I think I’ve stumbled on the easiest way to roast pumpkin seeds. It just doesn’t have to be as hard as Pinterest might lead you to believe (wink). And, I’m writing it all down because I know by the time pumpkin seed season rolls around again, I’ll forget how I make these!
Tip 1: Pick the Seeds Clean
It starts with picking all the goo off your pumpkin seeds and then rising them very well. Using a colander and the sprayer on my kitchen sink seems to work best. Just keep turning the seeds over and over under the water and then drain as much water as you can off the seeds.
Tip 2: Use the Right tools
One large pumpkin will require one cookie sheet. You want the seeds in a single layer so they crisp up well. (Make sure to use a cookie sheet that has a lip around all four sides.) Pour the seeds onto your cookie sheet and pat dry with paper towels. Let the seeds finish drying for several hours or overnight.
Update: This year, I laid paper towels on my cookie sheet, then topped that with a cooling rack. I put the seeds on the cooling rack, and about half dropped through to the cookie sheet. The seeds dried faster because of the air flow and space.
After the seeds are dry, preheat your oven to 325 degrees. If your cookie sheet is not non-stick, you’ll need to transfer the seeds to a bowl and line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. If it is non-stick, you can begin seasoning.
Tip 3: Watch Your Cooking Time
I season my seeds by feel, but I’ll try to approximate my measurements. I drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over my seeds, probably using 3T per cookie sheet. Then sprinkle a scant 1 tablespoon kosher salt and scant 1 tablespoon garlic powder over the seeds. Usually, I like to use about 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but we were out, so I used a sprinkle of black pepper. Now, use a spatula to turn your seeds over a few times and make sure they are all throughly coated with oil and seasoning.
You’ll cook your seeds for 30 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes so they crisp up evenly. Seeds are done with they are slightly golden and crisp but soft on the inside. Keep an eye on them and pull them out early if needed. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating.
Easy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- Cookie sheet with lip on 4 sides
- Cooling rack
- Parchment paper
- 1 large pumpkin
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 scant tbsp Kosher salt
- 1 scant tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Pick all the goo off your pumpkin seeds and rinse them very well, using a colander and the sprayer on your kitchen sink. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
- Lay paper towels on your cookie sheet and top with the cooling rack. Pour the seeds on the cooling rack. About half with drop through to the cookie sheet, which is fine. The air flow and space will help the seeds dry faster.
- Allow the seeds to dry several hours or overnight.
- After the seeds are dry, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Put the seeds to the side, remove the paper towels from the cookie sheet, and line the cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Return the seeds to the parchment paper and arrange in a single layer.
- Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with seasonings.
- Use a spatula to turn your seeds over a few times and make sure they are all throughly coated with oil and seasoning.
- Cook your seeds for 30 minutes, turning them every 10 minutes so they crisp up evenly. Seeds are done with they are slightly golden and crisp but soft on the inside. Keep an eye on them and pull them out early if needed. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating.