Sugar and spice and everything nice, these crispy seeds offer a snack-worthy way to make the most of your annual pumpkin carving ritual. Taking the time to dry out the seeds, as described in the recipe notes, will create the crispiest, most flavorful seeds.
As we were picking pumpkins last weekend, my older son commented that this may be his last year carving pumpkins. I firmly believe that one is never too old to carve pumpkins, but next year he will likely be in college during our annual family ritual. (Boo hoo!)
I’m pretty sure there will be a care package sent to wherever he ends up (he’s just starting to work on the applications) that includes a batch of roasted pumpkin seeds.
The classic salted version has been a favorite fall snack in our house for years. More recently, we’ve also enjoyed a lightly sweet alternative.
When envisioning this snack, I had thoughts of my brother’s favorite childhood breakfast cereal–Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Back in the day, I skipped the milk and occasionally snacked on the crispy, cinnamon sugar-coated pieces by the handful.
For the pumpkin seeds, I combined that inspiration with my Spiced Pecan recipe, thinking that a simple swap of nuts for seeds would be a sure thing. Ultimately, it took some tweaking, but the end result was a snack that everyone enjoyed.
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Did you know? Pumpkin seeds are rich in essential minerals like zinc and magnesium, nutrients which help build muscle and fend off disease. Sometimes referred to as pepitas, pumpkin seeds also contain mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which are helpful in lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing the more desirable HDL cholesterol. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E and B-complex vitamins as well.
For a savory, lightly salted variation on this recipe, you may also enjoy classic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
For more Halloween food fun, you may enjoy easy recipes for Spooky Spaghetti Stuffed Peppers, Spider Dogs (a pasta dish that kids and adults enjoy), Clementine Jack-o’-lanterns, and classic, lightly salted Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.
- 2 tablespoons (24g) granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups pumpkin seeds, dried out (see notes)
- 1½ tablespoons (22g) melted butter or coconut oil
Preheat the oven to 300℉, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
Place the seeds in a mixing bowl, drizzle with the melted butter or coconut oil, and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle the cinnamon mixture evenly over the seeds, and toss again to evenly coat. Spread the seeds in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until the seeds are toasted and lightly browned. This may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how long you allowed the seeds to dry before baking. After the first 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 250℉, as the lower temperature will ensure the sugar doesn’t burn if the seeds need more time to dry and crisp. Note that the seeds will continue to crisp as they cool.
Once toasted, remove the seeds from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet. Once thoroughly cool, store the seeds in an airtight container at room temperature, where they will stay fresh for at least 2 weeks.
Drying out the seeds: Allowing the pumpkin seeds to dry out, at least partially, before baking will allow them to crisp faster and more evenly. It will also allow the butter and sugar mixture to better adhere to the seeds. To do this, spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and allow them to dry for at least several hours, stirring occasionally and spreading into an even layer again. For even better results, refrigerate the seeds (spread in an even layer and uncovered) for up to 3 days, stirring periodically and spreading back out, to evenly dry them.
The scoop on the goop: Remove the big pieces of orange goop from the seeds before roasting, but don’t worry if some of it still clings to the seeds. It will add extra flavor to the seeds and can be picked off easily once the seeds are cooked. (In our house, the seeds that have some of the crisped goop attached are actually considered a treat and disappear quickly!)
Recipe first shared October 12, 2016