How to Roast Squash Seeds ~ five ways!




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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!

Have you ever grabbed a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds, maybe at a friend’s house, and popped them in your mouth, expecting something wonderfully crunchy and delicious, only to find yourself gnawing endlessly on the wooden shells and madly trying to figure out how to ‘dispose’ of them politely?  Been there and done that and that’s why I’ve never been a fan of the stuff…that is, until I figured out the secret.

How to Roast Squash Seeds ~ five ways! A bowl of toasted squash seeds

The secret to the most amazing roasted pumpkin seeds?   That’s easy, nix the pumpkin.

That’s right, pumpkin seeds are just too tough to roast successfully, so the next time you’re carving a jack-o-lantern, I suggest tossing those seeds.  (The little green seeds called pepitas are the inner kernels of pumpkin seeds, and they are fabulous.  But the full-on pumpkin seed?  Not so much.)

How to Roast Squash Seeds ~ five ways! ~ a winter squash on a table with chef's knife

Turns out other types of winter squash have much better seeds for roasting, like the delicata, above, or the butternut, below.  Their seeds are smaller, and so much more tender and flavorful that those cardboard pumpkin seeds.  Once I came to grips with this reality, I began experimenting with other types of squash seeds and that’s where all the deliciousness begins.  I started with the seeds of 2 acorn squash.  I sliced the squash in half and removed the seeds, see my detailed instructions for removing and cleaning seeds below.

How to Roast Squash Seeds ~ five ways! A butternut squash, sliced in half

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!

The seeds:

  • acorn (with olive oil and salt)
  • butternut (with olive oil, fennel seed and salt)
  • delicata (olive oil, coriander seeds, curry powder and salt)
  • spaghetti squash (olive oil, red chili flakes, and salt)
  • kabocha (allspice, cardamom, and cloves)

The method:

  • 350F oven.
  • @1 tsp oil per 1/2 cup seeds ~ salt and spices to taste.
  • 15-20 minutes, or until you start to hear them ‘pop’.
  • Let cool on pan, they’ll crisp as they cool.
  • enjoy.

 

How to Roast Squash Seeds ~ five ways! ~ a visual chart of the different kinds of winter squash seeds

My personal favorites were the acorn seeds ~ they were ultra crisp and so delicious, with just a hint of salt.  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.

How to Roast Squash Seeds ~ five ways! Soaking winter squash seeds

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.

How to Roast Squash Seeds ~ five ways! A bowl of winter squash seeds, toasted and spiced

How do I use my seeds once they’re roasted?

I love to serve them in little bowls as a healthy snack, or an appetizer with wine, beer, or cocktails.  They’re addictive, and the minute somebody pops a few in their mouth, their snacking hand will go on autopilot.  but I also use them in fall salads for a bit of crunch, just like you would use nuts or croutons.  They also make the best garnish for cozy fall soups.  Sometimes I’ll add them to my granola or trail mix recipes, too.

How to Roast Perfectly Crisp Squash Seeds
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How to Roast Perfectly Crisp Squash Seeds

Ingredients

    acorn squash seeds
  • 1/2 cup acorn squash seeds, cleaned and dried
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt to taste (start with 1/4 tsp)
    butternut squash seeds
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash seeds
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt to taste (start with 1/4 tsp)
    delicata squash seeds
  • 1/2 cup delicata squash seeds
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • salt to taste (start with 1/4 tsp)
    spaghetti squash seeds
  • 1/2 cup spaghetti squash seeds
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
  • salt to taste (start with 1/4 tsp)
    kabocha squash seeds
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

  1. set oven to 350F
  2. Toss the seeds with the oil and the appropriate seasonings in a small bowl. Make sure to get all the seeds evenly coated.
  3. Spread the seeds out on a dry baking sheet, making sure they're in a single layer.
  4. 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.
  5. Let cool on the baking sheet and then you can put them in a bowl for serving. Add more salt or seasonings to taste.

Make it your own ~

  • 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!

 

Don’t lose this recipe for how to roast perfectly crisp squash seeds 5 ways ~ pin it!

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! #roastedsquashseeds #roastedpumpkinseeds #pumpkinseeds #wintersquash #snack #healthysnack #appetizer #paleo #glutenfree #whole30

 

 

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28 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Christina
    September 29, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    What’s the best way to store these??

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 29, 2019 at 7:32 pm

      They stay super crunchy, and I’d just keep them in an airtight container. But they’re fine just out on the counter in a bowl for several days for sure.

  • Reply
    Crystal
    September 23, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    How tasty would a cinnamon sugar toss be?! Next time!

  • Reply
    Don Cherf
    February 17, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    If you don’t wash/rinse all the pulp and squash juice off the seeds, salt and other spices will stick to the seeds. The pulp and juice add flavor to the seeds, also.

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 17, 2019 at 8:15 pm

      Thanks Don, I’ll try that next time for sure :)

  • Reply
    Ann
    January 15, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    I roast winter squash whole in my countertop convection oven. After they’re cooled, I scoop out the seeds and whatever pulp that is still attached goes into the convection oven to slow roast and to dry out the pulp. I used to be quite picky about the pulp but not anymore. Once it’s dried, it’s easy to crumble and free the seeds. The pulp actually tastes good when crisped with seasoning. So that’s how I do it. Call me lazy but it works, my family likes it, and there’s a lot less squash wasted. :D

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 15, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      That’s a great tip Ann, I’ve never considered doing it like that, I hate the messy business of trying to separate the seeds from the slimy pulp.

  • Reply
    Julie Corinne
    January 15, 2019 at 11:27 am

    These were wonderful! Thank you! I roasted the seeds after making spaghetti out of our spaghetti squash. I used dried rosemary, alderwood smoked salt, brown sugar, and cayenne. SO good!

  • Reply
    Tommy
    January 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Great stuff. I’ve noted some recipes suggesting boiling seeds fir 10 minutes or so before roasting. This seems to add a special crunch — also is a foolproof way to remove any pulp. If you rinse the boiled seeds in a colander, the pulp just falls off effortlessly. I recently added some Ethiopian berbere seasoning — yummy, for those who are OK with a bit of heat. Love the allspice tip as well!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 7, 2019 at 2:08 pm

      Love this Tommy, thanks! I’m going to have to look up the Ethiopian seasoning, I’ve never heard of it and I love heat.

  • Reply
    Cheranimyl
    November 4, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Mmm, how delightfully simple and tasty!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 4, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      I know, better than buttered popcorn, right?

  • Reply
    Mañuel Laver
    October 26, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Have you ever tried using an heat-gun, or a ‘air’ popcorn popper?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 26, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      No I haven’t ~ let us know if you try it!

  • Reply
    Angel
    October 1, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    It’s amazing that I’ve never considered roasting and eating squash seeds other than those from pumpkins. I’m definitely giving this a try with tonight’s spaghetti squash.

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 1, 2018 at 2:24 pm

      You’ll love it Angel, the other varieties are even better than pumpkin seeds if you ask me. Definitely try the butternut, they were amazing. I just visited our pumpkin patch yesterday, so I’m gearing up for some seed roasting soon :)

  • Reply
    Adina
    October 20, 2017 at 3:24 am

    This brings back childhood memories from Romania, we would be able to buy roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds everywhere on the street, it used to be our favorite snack. I tried roasting the seeds of a butternut squash I bought for cooking, but was dissapointed to find that most of the seed shells were empty!!! I wonder why, but I should give it another try and maybe I get lucky to find the right squash.

    • Reply
      Sylvia
      November 9, 2017 at 6:24 pm

      I roasted the battternut squash seeds
      In the microwave and they turned out perfectly I washed them then added it
      Some salt and microwaved them 30seconds
      At the time 4 times then then 1 minute
      X 2 and they were nice and crunchy
      It’s like there roasted in the oven

      • Reply
        Sue
        November 9, 2017 at 6:25 pm

        Definitely trying this Sylvia, thanks!

        • Reply
          Sylvia
          November 9, 2017 at 6:50 pm

          You are welcome I just finish eating them ,you are right once you start then you keep going back for more :) healthy snacks,enjoy

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    October 19, 2017 at 6:38 am

    I love this! I have never roasted my acorn squash seeds, but I’m going to now :) Great post!

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving Room for Dessert
    October 19, 2017 at 4:13 am

    What a terrific post! Thanks for the encouragement on trying again – I have had the chewy, woody seeds that were kinda yuck. Going to try your method now :)

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Enjoy, Tricia <3

  • Reply
    Robyn Gleason
    October 19, 2017 at 3:58 am

    I love these tasty seeds, Sue, but I have to admit I’m not always patient enough to save them. Now I will just remember how fabulous these look and be inspired. Sharing :)

  • Reply
    Rose
    October 18, 2017 at 11:12 am

    HI Sue, just so happened to be roasting some buttercup squash when your email came through, so thought I’d give your recipe a go. Just did the “plain Jane” version, using salt and olive oil. Surprisingly delicious! It, too, am not a fan of the woody pumpkin seeds, but these are lovely. I usually put my seeds out for the squirrels, but I guess from now on, they’re going to have to share their stash with yours truly. Thanks for the recipe!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 18, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      Perfect! The squirrels have acorns, after all:)

  • Reply
    John/Kitchen Riffs
    October 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

    I haven’t roasted pumpkin seeds in years — because they’re so darn hard to eat! And because of my experience with pumpkin seeds, I never even considered roasting other squash seeds. So thanks for this post — I learned a ton of new stuff. :-)

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    October 18, 2017 at 4:22 am

    Great post! I hate throwing away all those lovely seeds but didn’t know all these great tricks!