Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Green Pepita Seeds in a Bowl
Michelle Lee Photography / Getty Images
Total Time: 20 min
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 5 min
Servings: 4 (1/4 cup each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

223 calories
20g fat
4g carbs
10g protein
Show Nutrition Label Hide Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 (1/4 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 223
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 584mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 0g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 10g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 279mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Pumpkin seeds (also known as pepitas) are delicious when roasted and can be eaten either with or without the hulls. You may have seen the flat, dark green pumpkin seeds available at your local grocer, but unshelled pumpkin seeds are what you'll use in this roasted pumpkin seed recipe. 

Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrients. They are particularly high in many minerals, including magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and potassium. They are highest in zinc if you eat them whole, including the shell. They also contain a wide array of phytonutrients, including lignans and many antioxidants.

If you use a hot oven, these pumpkin seeds take only five minutes or so to bake. It's the process of scraping the pumpkin and cleaning the seeds that takes some time. But it is worth the effort. Pumpkin seeds provide dietary fiber and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Some studies even suggest that consuming a pumpkin seed mixture may help to reduce the triglyceride levels of some people.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds (unshelled)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (just enough to coat the seeds)
  • 1 tsp salt

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Toss pumpkin seeds with olive oil in a bowl. You only need enough oil to barely coat the seeds; otherwise, they will be greasy. Add salt and toss again.

  3. Spread the seeds out in one layer on prepared baking sheet.

  4. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes, until seeds just start to color and are fragrant.

Variations and Substitutions

While this recipe is simple, you can add your own herbs and spices to give your pumpkin seeds some pizazz. Go savory with spices like smoked paprika, cumin, or garlic. Add sweetness with cinnamon, ginger, clove, or nutmeg. Or try roasting other types of seeds. This recipe also works for squash seeds, including spaghetti squash

Another way to boost the flavor of your roasted pumpkin seeds is by boiling them in saltwater before roasting. Doing this allows the salt to get inside the shell to the seeds.

Simply add pumpkin seeds to a medium-sized saucepan with 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt (depending on your taste preference) and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 10 minutes. They should look slightly gray when they are done. Use a strainer to drain the water from the seeds completely and roast the pumpkin seeds using the recipe above.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • For easier cleaning after you remove seeds from your pumpkin, place them in a colander and rinse, shaking the strainer to loosen the pulp. Remove the strands of pulp and rinse the seeds again. Then place seeds on a dishtowel to dry.
  • If you have more time, you can roast the seeds at 250F for 45 to 60 minutes. This slower cook time will give a slightly less nutty flavor.
  • Add nutritious roasted pumpkin seeds to a trail mix, toss into salads, or make a hearty granola. Of course, they are also delicious on their own as a snack.

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Article Sources
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  1. Ristic-Medic D, Perunicic-Pekovic G, Rasic-Milutinovic Z, et al. Effects of dietary milled seed mixture on fatty acid status and inflammatory markers in patients on hemodialysis. Scientific World Journal. 2014;2014:563576. doi:10.1155/2014/563576