It’s unbelievably hard to find healthy Halloween snacks, but roasted pumpkin seeds are one of the rare sugar-free pleasures of the season.
They’re also super easy to make.
The directions below are approximate, because every pumpkin is a different size, and some have more seeds than others.
You’ll Need These Ingredients and Tools
- The seeds from 1 large pumpkin.
- I large cookie sheet.
- 1 large bowl and 1 medium bowl, any kind.
- Water for rinsing seeds.
- Tea towel for drying the seeds.
- Olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. Vegetable, canola, or corn oil would also work. If you’re feeling sassy, use melted butter.
- Large spoon.
- Oven mitts.
- Cajun spice mix. My husband Justin makes his own blend using:
- Sea salt – 1 tbsp
- Paprika – 2 tbsp
- Chili powder – 2 tbsp
- In a spice grinder, blend together:
- Black peppercorns – 2 tbsp
- Basil – 2 tbsp
- Black mustard seeds – ½ tbsp
- Cumin – 2 tbsp
- Onion powder – 2 tbsp
- Garlic powder – 1 tbsp
- Cayenne – 1 tbsp
- Mix them all together in a small bowl, and then pour into a suitable storage bottle.
Let’s Get Cooking
1. Separate Your Seeds from the Pumpkin Guts
When you first scoop out your pumpkin, you’re left with a pile of guts and seeds. Normally, separating the seeds out is the only hard part of this recipe, as they’re attached to the stringy bits from the heart of the pumpkin.
The best way to do this is to soak them in a bowl of water – use your large bowl for this. Just drop the whole mess in, and most of the seeds float to the top. Scoop out the seeds and put them in the medium-sized bowl. For any that are still attached to strings, you’ll have to dip your hands in, and just rub the seeds until they’re free.
2. Clean off the Seeds
Rinse the seeds in a colander, and then put in an old tea towel and pat dry. Distribute them evenly on the cookie sheet.
3. Heat Oven to 400 Degrees F and Roast
Once it’s heated, put the seeds in. Keep an eye on them and use the spatula to flip them over after about 8-10 minutes. Allow the seeds to cook for 15 – 20 minutes total, until both sides are golden brown. You can flip them a few times and cook them a little longer if you don’t find they are cooking. The smell of the roasting seeds should be tantalizing, and they make a crackling noise.
4. Allow to Cool
Once the seeds have had 5 – 10 minutes to cool, they’re ready to spice.
5. Coat Seeds in Oil
Clean and dry one of the bowls and put the dry seeds in. Add the oil to the seeds, and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
6. Add Cajun Spice
Put the seeds in a dry bowl, and while continually mixing the pumpkin seeds, gently sprinkle the Cajun spice.
They’re ready to eat. You can store them in a container for a few days.
You can also add the Cajun spice mix before you roast them, but you have to watch out or the spice gets charred. We think it works better with the spice added after.