Toasted Jack O’ Lantern Seeds

Pumpkin seeds! We have a ton when we carve a Jack O’ Lantern. Don’t throw them away, we can turn them into a delicious snack!

            You don’t want to waste those delicious and nutritious seeds! It’s so much fun to take those guts, separate the seeds, and make a little treat for after Halloween. But there’s a trick to keeping them from being inedible nuggets of fiber!

            Use whatever spices you like here. Perhaps cumin and chili powder, or Indian spices, maybe a spicy garlic and onion combination, or just a shake of pumpkin pie spice!

Toasted Jack O’ Lantern Seeds

  • 2 cups or so pumpkin seeds from one large pumpkin
  • Salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¼ tsp. each cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. dark amber maple syrup
If you can enlist a kid to dig out the pumpkin guts, all the better! Costume required!

After gutting the pumpkin, remove the pulp with whatever method you devise. My granddaughter took a large slotted spoonful of pumpkin guts and rubbed it over a bowl, many of the seeds fell out nice and clean. I put a blob of pumpkin guts on a cutting board and rubbed, then picked out the seeds. Do what works for you. It’s slimy but kind of fun in a kid sort of way.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Put the seeds in a colander and swirl around under water to remove whatever you didn’t get. 

Place the seeds in a pot and cover with salted water by an inch. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium, and boil for 20 minutes. This is the secret to softening the fiber in the seeds enough to make them edible! Don’t skip this step. Drain.

Place the seeds in a bowl and cover with olive oil and spices. Mix well, then place on a baking sheet.

Roast for 10 minutes, then turn. After this keep an eye on them every five minutes so they don’t burn. I my oven, it took about 28 minutes to get toasty but not burnt. This step is essential if you want to soften the fibers.

Put in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, drizzle with the maple syrup, and mix well.

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Oh my! I love pumpkin seeds but I never tried them like this! That combination of spices and sweet must be delicious 😋

    1. It’s really good, and it’s good on the smaller squash seeds as well.

  2. I’ve never thought of making my own toasted pumpkin seeds, I buy them. A good idea.

    1. I like to toast squash seeds as well, they are usually more tender anyway.

  3. Ahhh. Now this is what Autumn is all about! 🍁🍂🌾

    1. Agreed! My granddaughter was thrilled to save the seeds and make a snack! Well, she was also thrilled with the Jack O’ Lantern!

  4. Ally Bean says:

    I like pumpkin seeds but I can’t help thinking your spice choices would be good on walnuts roasted/toasted in the oven.

    1. Yum! They certainly would especially with the little drizzle of syrup! With the nuts, I’d probably add the maple syrup along with everything else. The pumpkin seeds burn way too fast to add a sugar!

  5. These sound delicious – I can’t wait to try them!

    1. The kids get a kick out of them because it really is fun to make something out of “compost.”

      1. 😁 I hadn’t thought of that aspect….

  6. I love, love, love pumpkin seeds! These look delicious plus you had a wonderful helper. It doesn’t get much better.

    1. You’re so right, it doesn’t get any better than this!

  7. sunisanthosh says:

    Good idea of toasted pumpkin seeds, really delicious !! 💦💙

    1. Thank you! They are so good!

  8. I LOVE THEM!!!!!!

  9. Yes, they are really yummy! And you have got an enormous pumpkin there! I hope you had a nice Halloween.

    1. Thank you! We had a lovely Halloween and lots of pumpkin seeds to nibble on, it really was a BIG pumpkin!

  10. Carolyn Page says:

    Okay, Dorothy, I can see what you did for Halloween… 🙂
    Good idea about the young kid to dig out the pumpkin guts. Well done to your Granddaughter!
    Pumpkin pie spice would be magic on these, for sure. It’s a lot of work, Dorothy, but, if I’m inspired I’ll do it. 🙂

    1. You never know where inspiration will come from!

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