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How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds

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If you’re like me, you’ve been all over the fresh gourds this fall. Cooking and roasting fresh squash and pumpkin is a delicious and nutritious way to eat healthy and locally during these cooler months. After all, you have to get your vitamin A some how! When it comes to food, I hate to see anything be wasted, and my squashes and pumpkins are no exception. I even save the skins to make broth. But what I really hate to see get wasted with a pumpkin or squash are their delicious seeds.


I know not everyone is a big fan of pumpkin seeds, but I think too many people casually toss them aside not realizing just how tasty they are. Sure, toasting pumpkin seeds takes a bit of extra effort, but if you’re going to go ahead and roast your own pumpkin anyways, you might as well go all the way and toast the seeds. Don’t know how to toast your own pumpkin seeds? Well, then let me be of some assistance!


  1. Cut open your pumpkin (or squash) and scoop out the membrane-y insides with a metal spoon. This is much easier to do with a squash than with a pumpkin, but you’re going to do this anyway if you plan on cooking with fresh pumpkin or squash. Place all of the innards in a bowl and set aside. Go ahead and start prepping your pumpkin for whatever culinary idea you have in mind.
  2. As your pumpkin (or gourd) is cooking away, it’s time to start on those pumpkin seeds. Get yourself a nice comfy chair and get sorting! Have two separate bowls out. Grab a chunk of fleshy pumpkin innards and squeeze out all the seeds into a clean bowl. Discard the now-seedless innards into a separate bowl. You can save this for compost or broth, or just throw it away as it’s not very tasty.
  3. Keep squeezing out all the seeds from the innards until all of your pumpkin seeds have been isolated. Eliminate the fleshy innards from your kitchen.
  4. Then, heat a saucepan on your stove top on the highest heat setting possible. Once your pan is plenty hot, turn the heat down to medium. I like to do it this way because it ensures that the pan has plenty of heat to efficiently toast the pumpkin seeds, but is not too hot, as you don’t want burnt pumpkin seeds.
  5. As the pan is heating up, rinse and pat dry your pumpkin seeds. I like to do this eliminate all excess gook from the seeds, but I want my pumpkin seeds to be dry for toasting.
  6. Once the pan has reached the desired temperature, spray the bottom with cooking spray to avoid sticking, and then add your seeds. You’ll hear plenty of sizzling, and that’s okay. You do have to keep the seeds moving to avoid burning.
  7. After a few minutes, add your spices. I like to keep mine simple with only fresh cracked pepper and some kosher salt. You can add whatever flavors you want, but I recommend only a light amount of spice and no sauces. I like my pumpkin seeds to be nice and crispy, and sauces and excess spices can make seeds soggy and gross.
  8. You’ll know the pumpkin seeds are done when they all take on a light brown color. If you hear some popping, don’t be alarmed. Some popping is good, but too much means your seeds are burning. Overall, it usually takes me about five minutes to cook pumpkin seeds on the stove top.


And there you have it! I like toasted pumpkin seeds as a morning snack, or as a garnish on salads or soups. Of course, you can toast up any kind of gourd seed. Pumpkin seeds are my favorite, but the seeds of any type of squash are also plenty tasty. Enjoy!

For more ideas on cooking with everything pumpkin, be sure to check out the FaveDiets collection on Cooking with Pumpkin: Thirteen Healthy Pumpkin Recipes.

What you do with your pumpkin and squash seeds?

Originally published on FaveDiets

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