How to Roast Perfectly Crisp Squash Seeds ~ the secret to super crisp and delicious roasted winter squash seeds is simple and oh so easy…I’ll show you how to make five different varieties and five different flavors!
For lots of us roasting squash seeds is a cherished fall ritual. Usually it’s after the family jack-o-lantern gets hollowed out for carving and everybody gets all excited to roast the seeds… only to be super disappointed at how woody and tasteless they are! Turns out all the other winter squash have much better seeds for toasting, trust me on this. Now whenever I’m prepping squash for dinner I save and roast the seeds. I’ll take you through the gathering, cleaning, flavoring and roasting of the best winter squash seeds, step by step. These are the best roasted squash seeds you’ll ever have!
all types of winter squash have seeds that can be roasted
First thing is knowing your winter squash. Farmers markets and roadside stands are great sources for different varieties ~ and all of them (and their seeds) are edible. Delicata, butternut, acorn, even spaghetti squash seeds can be roasted…these seeds are smaller, and so much more tender and flavorful that those cardboard pumpkin seeds.
I roasted up a selection for you, just to prove my point. I gave every one a different flavor profile, too. But that’s just the beginning, you can roast any winter squash seed and use any spice or herb flavoring you like. The possibilities are mind boggling!
- acorn squash (with olive oil and salt)
- butternut squash (with olive oil, fennel seed and salt)
- delicata squash (olive oil, coriander seeds, curry powder and salt)
- spaghetti squash (olive oil, red chili flakes, and salt)
- kabocha squash (allspice, cardamom, and cloves)
how to easily remove and clean winter squash seeds
- Cut your squash in half. Use your hands to pull out the seeds into a large bowl Try to squeeze the seeds out, leaving as much of the pulp behind as you can. There are pockets of seeds in the cavities of squash, so be sure to root around in the corners.
- Fill the bowl with cold water and use your hands to squish the seeds together to remove the slimy pulp. The seeds will rise to the surface. Skim them off and spread them out to dry,
- If pulp is stubborn, try putting the seeds in a strainer and using your kitchen sprayer to loosen it.
- Turn the seeds out onto a clean absorbent dishcloth and pat them dry.
- Don’t worry about a little of the pulp sticking to the nuts, it won’t hurt anything and will cook away during roasting.
how to roast squash seeds, step by step
- Start with clean dry seeds:
- see instructions above.
- Boiling (optional):
- If the seeds are particularly tough (I’m looking at you pumpkin and kabocha,) you can boil them in salted water for about 10 minutes. This can help soften the outer shells slightly and make them easier to roast.
- Drying the seeds:
- Spread the cleaned seeds on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels to dry. Allow them to air-dry for a few hours or use a towel to pat them dry.
- Preheat the oven:
- Preheat your oven to 375F
- Seasoning and coating:
- In a bowl, toss the dried seeds with a small amount of olive oil or vegetable oil. Use enough oil to coat the seeds lightly but not so much that they become greasy.
- Add your choice of seasonings and salt to the bowl. Toss the seeds to evenly coat them with the oil and seasonings.
- Spread the seasoned seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Roast the seeds in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even roasting. You’ll hear them start to ‘pop’. Keep a close eye on them to prevent burning.
- Testing for doneness:
- The seeds are done when they turn golden brown and have a crispy texture. Taste a few seeds to make sure they are cooked to your desired level of crunchiness.
- Once the seeds are roasted to your liking, remove them from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheet. They will become even crunchier as they cool.
- Once the seeds are completely cooled, transfer them to an airtight container. Properly stored, roasted squash seeds can stay crispy and flavorful for several weeks.
which seeds are the best for roasting?
My personal favorites were the acorn squash seeds ~ they were ultra crisp and so delicious, with just a hint of salt. I also loved the butternut squash seeds. But really all of them were wonderful, with one exception…the kabocha seeds were tougher than the others. It figures, because they’re also larger. If you’re a pumpkin seed lover and don’t mind the extra chewing required, you’ll love the kabocha, too.
what to do with roasted squash seeds
- I love to serve them in little bowls as a healthy snack, or an appetizer with wine, beer, or cocktails. They’re irresistible, and the minute somebody pops a few in their mouth, their snacking hand will go on autopilot. They make a healthier alternative to bar mixes and snack mixes.
- I also use them in fall salads for a bit of crunch, just like you would use nuts or croutons.
- They make the best garnish for cozy fall soups like Butternut Squash Soup or Three Sisters Soup.
- Sometimes I’ll add them to my granola or trail mix recipes.
- Bake them into seedy crackers and breads.
- Make them a part of your next epic cheese board or charcuterie platter!
recipes for winter squash
Now that you’re enjoying all those crispy seeds, don’t forget about the squash itself!
- Whipped Kabocha Squash with Vanilla Bean and Nutmeg
- How to Roast a Whole Butternut Squash
- Butternut Squash Casserole
- Kale and Butternut Salad with Maple Spiced Pecans
- Chili Stuffed Acorn Squash
- How to Cook Any Type Of Winter Squash
- Cacio e Pepe Spaghetti Squash
Crisp Roasted Squash Seeds
- baking sheet
acorn squash seeds
butternut squash seeds
delicata squash seeds
spaghetti squash seeds
- set oven to 375F
- Toss the seeds with the oil and the appropriate seasonings in a small bowl. Make sure to get all the seeds evenly coated.
- Spread the seeds out on a dry baking sheet, making sure they’re in a single layer.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until they turn golden and start to pop. I like to stir them around once or twice during the cooking to rearrange them so they cook evenly. Note: some seeds do not pop, so if they’ve turned golden after 20 minutes, they’re done.
- Let cool on the baking sheet and then you can put them in a bowl for serving. Add more salt or seasonings to taste.
- For larger seeds like kabocha and pumpkin boil the seeds in salted water for 10 minutes first. Drain and dry on paper towels before roasting. This will soften the tough outer shells.
- You can completely leave out the oil and toast the seeds dry, if you like. The only problem is that the seasonings won’t stick to the seeds, so they will have to be plain. I found they were delicious this way, too!