I've never been good at carving pumpkins. Even as my deftness and skill with knives has increased over the years, I find that my attempts to competently carve a pumpkin tend to always come off looking more like an elementary school project rather than a piece of art.
Instead, I typically get relegated to all of the other tasks that take place on pumpkin carving day — cleaning, picking out the seeds, and reserving parts of the pumpkin for later use in risottos, soups, and pies. Though I don't get the artistic satisfaction of seeing my jack-o-lantern lit up to frighten the masses, I typically enjoy hearing the mmms and ahhs as folks savor my pumpkin's culinary delights.
Roasting pumpkin seeds has always been a tradition in my family. It's a healthy snack alternative that can satiate a Halloween appetite that's typically fueled by sugar and sweets. Eating roasted pumpkin seeds is particularly beneficial to us men. They're rich in zinc, magnesium, and healthy fat, making them one of the best foods to naturally boost testosterone. Preparing, roasting, and eating them is also a simple and fun activity enjoyed by couples and families alike.
To add in some variety, I've created 5 special seasoning blends to make the most out of this year's pumpkin seed roast.
How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds
The process for cleaning and roasting pumpkin seeds remains straightforward and simple. Follow the steps below to get that perfect roasted flavor — regardless of your choice of seasoning. Take note that the recipes below assume you will yield approximately 2 cups of clean seeds per pumpkin, which is typical from a large pumpkin. Adjust times and/or seasonings if your yield varies significantly.
Step 1 — Place the pumpkin on a flat, secure surface for cutting.
Step 2 — Cut a square shape into the top of the pumpkin, pull back to reveal the inside.
Step 3 — Pull out seeds with hands, discarding the stringy bits into the trash.
Step 4 — Place seeds into a colander.
Step 5 — Rinse seeds under cold running water, ensuring all pumpkin parts are removed. Allow seeds to dry.
Step 6 — Spread seeds out into a single layer on a baking sheet, season (recipes below), and roast for 25 — 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Step 7 — Remove seeds from oven, cool completely, enjoy!
5 Pumpkin Seed Seasoning Blends
Try the following seasoning blends to punch up the deliciousness of your roasted pumpkin seeds.
Kosher Salt + Cracked Black Pepper + Olive Oil — a kicked-up version of the traditional plain salted variety. I use good quality olive oil to ensure a fruity, nutty flavor.
Teaspoon Kosher Salt Teaspoon Cracked Black Pepper 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a non-stick or parchment-lined baking sheet toss together seeds, seasoning, and oil — arrange into a single layer. Roast seeds uncovered for 25 — 30 minutes. Remove from heat, cool completely, enjoy.