How to cook pumpkin seeds

May 21, 2024
by HelloFresh Tips & tricks

    Pumpkin seeds are widely used as a wholesome ingredient or garnish in many dishes. They contain vitamin K, omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium, among other nutrients, making them a great healthy option to use when it’s on hand in your kitchen.

    Cooking pumpkin seeds

    Cooked and fully prepared pumpkin seeds are suitable for a range of recipes, like sprinkling on top of a chicken and avocado salad or, perfect to add to breakfast, like bircher muesli. Pumpkin seeds add subtle flavour but also texture, offering a healthy crunch in recipes like this tuna, avocado and sugar snap pea salad

    Although it is possible to eat them raw, cooking pumpkin seeds enhances both their flavour and texture.

    Here’s how to do it:

    • When sourcing seeds fresh from a pumpkin, the first thing to do is remove them with as little flesh on as possible. Cut the pumpkin in half from top to bottom, then scoop out the seeds from the middle using a spoon.
    • Place the seeds into a colander or sieve and rinse them to wash away any flesh still on them. If any remains after that, you can pull it off by hand.
    • Use a paper towel to pat down the seeds and then spread them out on a baking tray, and allow them to dry out.
    • Once the pumpkin seeds dry, you can sprinkle over a little oil – olive oil is especially tasty if you’re preparing seeds as a salad ingredient.
    • Heat the oven to around 180 °C – 200 °C and bake the seeds for 10 minutes.

    All cooking appliances vary. These are guidelines only. Ensure the food is piping hot before serving. Do not reheat.

    When baking, remember to add just a light drizzle of oil. A great tip is to brush oil onto the baking tray first and then shake the seeds on the tray afterwards, to ensure a light coating.

    An alternative method is to toast pumpkin seeds in a frying pan or skillet. Follow the same method of seed removal, making sure to get rid of as much pumpkin flesh as possible. Once the seeds are dry, tip them into a preheated, non-stick pan for a few minutes without oil. Keep them moving to prevent them from burning.

    Seasoning combinations for cooked pumpkin seeds

    Salt and pepper stand out as the most popular seasoning choices for pumpkin seeds. Instead of olive oil, you can also use walnut oil for a different flavour. Some people like to add crushed garlic and freeze-dried chilli flakes, or for a sweeter breakfast garnish, try sprinkling some ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

    Tips for perfectly crispy seeds

    • Take seeds from a fresh pumpkin and remove them early on.
    • Remove the pumpkin flesh from the seeds by rinsing them.
    • Allow your seeds to dry out before cooking.
    • Keep seeds in the pan moving to prevent burning.
    • Don’t bite into a freshly baked pumpkin seed, it can be extra hot inside — allow them to cool down.


    How do you cook pumpkin seeds?

    The best way to cook pumpkin seeds is to bake them in the oven. Place them on a baking tray and spread them out so they’re not piled up on top of one another. For a smaller batch of pumpkin seeds, you can use a dry frying pan on the hob instead. That said, roasting them with a little oil produces the most satisfying results for larger batches.

    Do you have to let pumpkin seeds dry before cooking?

    Yes, allow pumpkin seeds to dry before baking them in the oven. Doing so helps to ensure they cook evenly and end up with the best crunchy texture. Pumpkin seeds do not have to be bone dry before cooking, so long as they’ve been given some time for the moisture of the pumpkin flesh to evaporate.

    Should pumpkin seeds be soaked?

    Many people soak pumpkin seeds before baking, however, since pumpkin seeds are already exposed to moisture inside the pumpkin, it’s not necessary to wet them again before roasting.

    How long should you bake pumpkin seeds?

    Pumpkin seeds only take about 10 minutes to cook and get crispy, provided they are spread out evenly. Remember to let your fan-assisted oven heat up to 180 °C before placing the pumpkin seeds into it (200 °C if you don’t have a fan-assisted model).

    Can you freeze cooked pumpkin seeds?

    Yes, you can freeze cooked pumpkin seeds. Place them into an air-tight container or a resealable freezer bag to store them in the freezer for some time. The texture and crunchiness of frozen pumpkin seeds tend to diminish after three months, so try to consume them before they get too old.

    All food products vary. The instructions printed on the food packaging always supersedes those printed in this article and must always be followed.
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