In Season: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween has come and gone, but this year we managed not to carve all our pumpkins, so my outdoor fall decorations may even last through Thanksgiving.  With those we did carve, I am always excited to scoop out the innards, loaded with seeds and “goo” (as my kids call it).  I’ve always loved toasted or roasted pumpkin seeds….the crunch, the salt, they are pure goodness!  I’ve often toasted them in a hot pan over the stove, but this year, I opted for a more “hands-off” approach—and roasted them in the oven. 

Pumpkin seeds, which are often sold as “pepitas” in the nut aisle of the grocery store, are a great source of fiber, and perfect for healthy snacking.  When roasted, toasted, or otherwise cooked, they dry out and become crispy, with the help of some olive oil.  Many recipes call to slow-roast them in a low oven for up to an hour.  On Halloween night, between trying to get the kids fed and dressed in their costumes, all while answering the door to early trick-or-treaters, time was of the essence, so I decided to speed up the process a bit.  The oven went on 375 and in when the seeds.

Many times people rinse their seeds off before roasting them.  I didn’t bother, but I did remove the larger clumps of pumpkin “goo” from the batch.  It is a good idea to line your baking sheet with foil first, as those pumpkin remnants will tend to burn a bit and can get baked on your sheet pan.  Toss the seeds with some olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and pop into a hot oven for about 15 minutes, stirring them around about two or three times during the course of roasting.  Once out of the oven, I decided to do something a little unorthodox.  I love the combination of winter squash (pumpkin and butternut squashin particular) and parmesan cheese in pastas, risottos, and soups….so why not with pumpkin seeds?  It turned out I was onto something….and the result was delicious!  Next I’m going to try the same thing with acorn squash and butternut squash seeds…I bet they will be just as good! 

Parmesan Pepitas

1 cup of pumpkin seeds, cleaned of pumpkin flesh (by hand or by rinsing)

1-2 teaspoons olive oil

salt

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with tinfoil.

Toss the seeds with the oil an salt, and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet.

Roast in the preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until they begin to brown and get crispy.  Be sure to stir them around a few times during roasting.

Remove from oven and toss with parmesan cheese.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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3 Responses to “In Season: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds”

  1. paula Says:

    hmmm….pepitas. in mexico i ate seeds
    sprinkled with paprika. it was good!
    see if that works.

  2. Tracy Says:

    Oh yum—-I’ll definitely try that! Thx for sharing!

  3. Season to taste Says:

    Note from the author: if you put your seeds in directly out of the pumpkin (and they are still very wet), it will take longer. When I made them last night it took closer to 30 minutes of roasting time.

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