Because it's never too early to start celebrating pumpkin season.

By Betty Gold and Grace Elkus
Updated August 31, 2020
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One of the best parts of Halloween is rewarding your pumpkin-carving efforts by snacking on the seeds, which become golden and toasty when roasted in the oven. But don’t just settle for a sprinkle of salt and pepper—with a little strategic seasoning, pumpkin seeds can take on a variety of bold flavors. Whether you prefer warm fall spices or a kick of Sriracha, we’ve got eight addictive twists on the crunchy autumn snack.

To begin, scoop out the seeds from two medium-sized pumpkins (about two cups). Place the seeds in a colander and rinse with cold water, working to separate the seeds from the pumpkin guts. Pat dry. Preheat the oven to 300°F, spread the seeds on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake them until dry throughout, about 50 to 60 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven, then raise the oven temperature to 350°F. Transfer the seeds to a bowl, add the flavorings below, then return them to a baking sheet and roast 10 to 15 more minutes, or until golden.

Bottom line: Before you toss any decorative pumpkins, consider cooking one of these pumpkin seed recipes instead.

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1

Toss the seeds with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, then stir in 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon salt. Before returning the seeds to the baking sheet, line it with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray (this will help prevent the honey from sticking).

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2

Toss the seeds with 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, then stir in 1 tablespoon coffee grounds, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, ½ tablespoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg.

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3

Toss the seeds with 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, then stir in 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves.

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4

Toss the seeds with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, then stir in 2 tablespoons lime zest, two tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice, ½ tablespoon chili powder, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

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5

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, and ½ teaspoon garlic powder. Pour over seeds, toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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6

Toss the seeds with 2 tablespoons Sriracha and 2 tablespoons sesame oil, then stir in 1 teaspoon curry powder and ½ teaspoon smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

John Kernick

7

get the recipe

This crowd-pleasing snack, which calls for the seeds of two medium fresh pumpkins, cooks into the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and crunchy. The recipe is simple: you'll rinse and dry the pumpkin seeds, then toss them with butter, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. While they bake, sit back and enjoy some hot apple cider. 

Francesco Lagnese

8

get the recipe

These vibrant pumpkin seeds get an extra salty-spicy kick from ground cumin and celery salt. Don't knock it until you've tried it—they're insanely addictive.