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!

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.)

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.

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

all types of winter squash have seeds that can be roasted

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

which seeds are the best for roasting?

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

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 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 and salads. Sometimes I’ll add them to my granola or trail mix recipes, too.

roasted winter squash seeds in small bowls
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3.47 from 166 votes

How to Roast Perfectly Crisp Squash Seeds

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!
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Sue Moran

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

  • 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.

Cook’s notes

  • 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!
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
  • 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!
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61 Comments

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  • 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
      Sue
      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
    Ellie
    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
      Sue
      November 18, 2019 at 7:11 pm

      I’ll definitely try this this summer, thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Maureen
    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
      Jade
      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
    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • 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

    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
    Tommy
    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
      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.

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