How to Roast Squash Seeds ~ five ways!

roasted winter squash seeds in small bowls

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.

roasted winter squash seeds in small bowls
3.28 from 147 votes

How to Roast Perfectly Crisp Squash Seeds

Author Sue Moran


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


  • set oven to 350F
  • 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.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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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  • Reply
    JLynn Mack
    March 3, 2021 at 9:01 am

    To maximize nutrition, you should soak the seeds 8-24 hours with a little salt. By doing this you are deactivating some of the enzyme inhibitors and essentially making the seeds easier to digest and allowing the nutrients to become more accessible, especially the b-vitamins.

  • Reply
    Robin S
    January 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    Love these ideas! I agree that an unrusted pumpkin seed is awful but I find that if I roast them five minutes longer, they also become light and crispy, so about 20 minutes does the job. I’m so glad to know that I can use these other squash seeds and I imagine that they all have their own unique taste. Thanks for posting. I also want to try garam masala and maybe green tea powder?

  • Reply
    November 5, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    I’m going to try some of the Butternut and Speghetti squash seeds I grow. I also grew a kind of pumpkin this year called “BearNaked” they have no shells!

    • Reply
      November 5, 2020 at 1:54 pm


  • Reply
    November 2, 2020 at 6:53 am

    3 stars
    Just tried this with buttercup squash seeds. Husks are too tough. Probably better with acorn or butternut seeds. Good spice combinations but no go on the tougher seeds, which by the way took over a half hour to roast.

    • Reply
      November 2, 2020 at 7:05 am

      Different squash seeds will be different, and butternut does have tough seeds. Smaller squash will be much more tender.

    • Reply
      JLynn Mack
      March 3, 2021 at 9:29 am

      If the seed edges are thinner than a standard toothpick, try soaking the seeds 8-24 hours with a little salt. I had green and red buttercups. The green buttercup were too tough without soaking. The green ones had white seeds that were slightly thicker than a standard seed but not too thick. The red one had edges the size of a toothpick (reddish-brown seeds), they were way too tough. Soaking also allows the nutrients to become more accessible, especially the b-vitamins

  • Reply
    September 15, 2020 at 8:20 am

    5 stars
    Thank you I love delicious seed recipes! I no longer discard the innards, I separate out the seeds and use the pulp too! It’s a flavor enhancer beyond description to sauté the pulp with a shallot or garlic clove in olive oil to start a stew or eg butternut squash soup. Also, my vet told me long ago to add canned pumpkin to my dog food, it is incredibly helpful to a pet’s digestion and elimination. So now I just mix eg a T or 2 of the roasted pulp (and/or the fruit) in your dog’s dinner, you may even find they no longer need anal gland expression.

  • Reply
    August 11, 2020 at 6:34 am

    5 stars
    I used my toaster oven and lined my pan with parchment paper and SUCCESS! I used coconut oil, salt, pepper and chili powder!

  • Reply
    Thomas Lahr-Moulds
    July 27, 2020 at 9:55 am

    I am trying this on Kabocha seeds. I noticed comments about temp being too high but didn’t say what type of seeds they were cooking. Perhaps temp is too high for one type but not another?
    I tried 300 but the seeds didn’t cook well so I tried 330. It worked just fine at this temp.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2020 at 5:22 am

    I think the 350 temp is much too high. I hadn’t roasted seeds for several years so I followed this recipe but I should have gone with my gut at a lower temp. Instantly burnt 🙁

    • Reply
      Milford Stringfellow
      August 14, 2020 at 1:06 pm

      A friendly thought. Maybe you could calibrate your oven. I tried many, many recipes that came out, not as I expected. After looking into how to calibrate, (took me about 30 minutes) I have yet to have a problem following recipes. I mention this because at 350, my squash seeds came out perfect.?

    • Reply
      Robin S
      January 5, 2021 at 2:02 pm

      Also use the sniff test! When you start to smell them, it is almost time to take them out.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2020 at 2:15 am

    Yikes! They popped all right- after only about five minutes in the oven I heard the popping sound and I went and took a peek and they had popped and jumped off of the pan all over my oven floor. Have you ever had that happen?

    • Reply
      January 9, 2020 at 7:03 am

      I’ve had one or two pop, which variety were you roasting?

  • Reply
    November 25, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    I just decided last night to roast my spaghetti squash seed without reading about it and just imprvised. I washed and dried them then poured a capful or tamari and Himalayan pink salt on them before roasting them at 200f. It was absolutely delicious. Will never discard squash seeds again.

  • Reply
    Sue C
    November 21, 2019 at 11:32 am

    Thanks for the seed info. I am “roasting” some Hubbard squash seeds over our wood stove. The other recipes sound great…only regret the many t seeds we have wasted!!

    • Reply
      November 21, 2019 at 11:49 am

      I know, so many lost opportunities. Hope your hubbard seeds are delicious, roasting over a wood stove sounds ideal.

  • Reply
    November 18, 2019 at 6:42 pm

    You can also roast watermelon seeds! I typically will boil my squash seeds in salted water for at least ten minutes before roasting, which seems to improve the texture of the final product to be less woody.

    • Reply
      November 18, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      I’ll definitely try this this summer, thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    November 12, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Has anyone tried all these different squash seeds TOGETHER in one?? I’m wondering, now i’m also wondering how you can STORE the seeds (if you can) possibly to use at another time?? Would you freeze them if you don’t have time to roast them or want to wait until you can add a different squash seed in there with the ones you had already stored?? I do so hope someone has the answer to this one lol. I hate wasting ANYTHING so I need to know. I’m getting all sorts of squash this year to try some I’ve never tried, like the one Delicata you mentioned and some others…buttercup etc..

    • Reply
      November 15, 2019 at 6:41 am

      I had saved a bunch of seeds from different squashes in a bowl in the refrigerator, roasted them all together and they came out great – can’t stop eating them! The smaller squash seeds have softer shell and I eat them whole. Kabocha is tougher and I will crack the shell for those and just eat the kernel inside. Give it a try!

  • Reply
    Patricia Watkins
    October 20, 2019 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve never known this, but with pumpkin seeds , and thevother winter squashes too, are you supposed to eat the outer white hard covering, or are you supposed to open them and take out thevlittle kernel? I know lots of people that eat sunflowers the hard outside part , and Ive always thought How Bizzar that they do that.

  • Reply
    September 29, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    What’s the best way to store these??

    • Reply
      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
    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
      February 17, 2019 at 8:15 pm

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

  • Reply
    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. 😀

    • Reply
      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

    5 stars
    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
    January 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    5 stars
    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
      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
    November 4, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    Mmm, how delightfully simple and tasty!

    • Reply
      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
      October 26, 2018 at 3:38 pm

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

  • Reply
    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
      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
    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
      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
        November 9, 2017 at 6:25 pm

        Definitely trying this Sylvia, thanks!

        • Reply
          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
      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
    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
      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!

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