Plant-Based Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Plant-Based Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I just love living in the Northwest! There are actual seasons here. The fall colors are almost in full swing and the pumpkin patches are starting up. And Halloween is just three weeks away! Time to carve that pumpkin and bake pumpkin seeds!

Which speaking of pumpkins… As promised, I wanted to show you what to do with those pumpkin seeds you saved from the last post on how to make pumpkin puree. I hoped you saved them!

Pumpkin seeds are one of those caveats from making your own puree (you definitely won’t get those out of a can!) or carving a jack-o-lantern. So today I’m stoked to walk you through the best recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds. This recipe is little different from what you’ll find at most sites (believe me, I’ve looked). And for how easy it is to roast pumpkin seeds, I won’t say it is quick. In fact, this baking method will be a little longer than most I’ve found. But you get to nix the washing and drying time so I think it will save you time in the end. Plus it really does make them so much better!

The Best Way to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

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I always did my pumpkin seeds the same way that most people are familiar with. But a few weeks ago I decided to consult my favorite cookbook, The Joy of Cooking (affiliate link) by Irma S. Rombauer, and see what they suggested doing. And what I found was something a little different from what I’ve ever done before. If you aren’t familiar with The Joy of Cooking; you are seriously missing out on one of the best, most comprehensive, and basic cookbooks out there.

The Two Methods for Baking Pumpkin Seeds

With most recipes you’ll find a little variation in oven temperatures and baking times but as a whole they are all pretty much the same. You simply collect the seeds from the pumpkin and pull out most of the stringy, slimy, pumpkin goop. Wash them in cold water and lay them out to dry. Once dry, coat them in oil (or butter) and seasonings of choice. Pop them in the oven at around 300-350 F for a little under an hour and they’re done!

While most steps in this recipe will be similar, there are some important changes to keep in mind. First, preheat your oven to 250 F. Separate the pumpkin seeds from the majority of the pumpkin bits but you really don’t have to be that thorough. This is where kids can be super helpful and love to do it. I mean come on, it’s slimy and squishes in between your fingers. What kid wouldn’t love it?

Unwashed seeds coated with oil and ready to bake!

Now, before you start to break out the colander, this is where things change compared to most. The Joy of Cooking suggests that you don’t wash the seeds. Seriously don’t do it. Not only will your seeds taste so much better but there is a fringe benefit to skipping the water rinse. It actually ends up being a little less a pain in the process as it cuts out washing them and the drying time. I mean really. Who wants to wait almost an entire day to roast these little guys anyways?

Coat your pumpkin seeds in oil and some salt if you desire but no seasonings yet. If you aren’t sure how much oil to use, a good standard to follow is a tablespoon of oil per cup of seeds. Throw the oil, salt (if desired), and seeds in a plastic bag to coat them. Spread them out on a baking tray and put in the oven for between an hour to an hour and a half. This time really depends on how crunchy you want them. I like a bit of crunch to my seeds so I leave them in there the full hour and a half. But if you like them a little softer, I would suggest pulling them at the hour mark instead.

Once they are done, you can eat them like this is you want to. But if you want to add some seasonings, place the seeds back in that same bowl you used before. Add about 1/2 tsp of oil (if needed) and seasonings. Toss to coat evenly and they are ready. Optionally, you can spread them back on the tray. Put them in the oven at 350 for only 5 minutes and they’re done. Pretty easy right?

If you are still skeptical about not washing the seeds, I urge you to do a taste test. Try a cup of seeds washed next to a cup of seeds unwashed and see what you think. An accurate comparison between the flavor of the two is like the difference between bone-in and boneless chicken. Like bone-in chicken, the pumpkin left on the seeds imparts a subtle rich flavor that you don’t get from washing them. Now that I tried them this new way, I won’t ever wash the pumpkin seeds again. Thank you, Joy of Cooking!

Now let’s get baking!

These are seasoned with the savory blend.

If you give this recipe a try, I’d love to see your awesome creation! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to hashtag a photo on Instagram #sustainablesauceresses!

Or if you have any questions or feedback, you are always welcome to leave me a comment below. I’d really love to hear from you!

Plant-Based Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

A basic plant-based roasted pumpkin seeds recipe with two different seasoning options. This method is from The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: best oven roasted pumpkin seeds, oven roasted pumpkin seeds
Servings: 4 1/4 c.
Author: Tina


  • Quarter or Half- Sized baking tray
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cup and Spoons


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, unwashed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil (I recommend avocado oil)
  • 1 pinch pink himalayan or sea salt (optional) omit if using seasonings

Savory Seasonings

  • ¼ tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder or granules
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder

Sweet Seasonings

  • 1 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
  • tsp. pink himalayan or sea salt


Roasting Basic Pumpkin Seeds

  • Preheat oven to 250F or 121C.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add seeds, oil, and salt (if desired). Mix thoroughly.
  • Spread coated seeds out in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 1 to 1½ hours.

Savory Pumpkin Seeds

  • Transfer seeds back to the mixing bowl.
  • Add savory seasonings and another ½ tsp. oil (if needed) and stir well.
  • Ready to eat as is. Alternatively, bake for 5 mins. at 350F or 177C (if desired).
  • Store in a sealed container. Will keep up to a week maybe longer.

Sweet Pumpkin Seeds

  • Turn the oven up to 350F or 177C.
  • Transfer seeds back to the mixing bowl.
  • Add cinnamon, salt, and ½ tsp. oil (if needed) and stir well.
  • Bake for 5 mins.
  • Add sugar and mix well.
  • Store in a sealed container. Will keep up to a week maybe longer.


If making savory seeds, I recommend using avocado oil.
If making sweet seeds, I recommend melted coconut oil.
However, any light oil can be used as long as it can tolerate temps up to 350F.

Did you give this recipe a try?

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Happy Roasting!

10 thoughts on “Plant-Based Roasted Pumpkin Seeds”

  • I would not have thought to leave the pumpkin seeds unwashed. I absolutely love roasted pumpkin seeds! I always loved Halloween time because we would carve our pumpkin and then roast the seeds and let’s face it…kids do not like waiting that extra day to eat the seeds! That part always annoyed me so much! I will definitely have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Chas! Thanks for visiting Late Summer Mama!

      I love pumpkin seeds too. And I wouldn’t have thought to leave them unwashed as well. I just have always done it the other way and when I read that in The Joy of Cooking, I was a little skeptical I’ll admit. So much so that I did a taste test with a cup of unwashed and washed seeds. I baked them the exact same time and used the same seasonings. I was so surprised at the difference! It’s like the difference between bone-in and boneless chicken. Bone-in chicken has a depth of flavor that boneless chicken always lacks.

      It’s also a great fringe benefit that you can roast them right away by not washing them too!

      I really hope you try this recipe. You won’t regret it! If you have any questions about it just let me know. I am happy to help!

      Thanks again!

  • Great tips! I usually wash the seeds, but you’ve convinced me. I’m not going to wash the seeds and give this recipe a try. I so love pumpkin seeds and I usually spice them up.
    Have you ever smoked them before? I do a lot of BBQ’ing. I’m wondering how that would turn out.

    • Hi JB! Thanks for visiting my post!

      I bet the smoke flavor would taste awesome with pumpkin seeds but I’ve never grilled them before. I would imagine you’d only roast them on a grill for a really short period of time with that intense a flame. If you give it a try, I’d suggest around 10 mins or once you see them turn a golden brown. I think you’ve given me an idea to try out though. Thanks!

      I really hope you give it a try. You won’t regret it! Please let me know how it goes (for either method).

      Thanks again! Tina

  • 4 stars

    What an appropriate season for this beautiful post. And yes, I live in the northwest as well and I absolutely love when the leafs start to fall and the world almost becomes calmer, it’s great!
    I LOVE pumpkin seeds, and always struggle to find the right mixture of seasoning, temperature, and oils. It’s interesting, as an OCD person, to think of leaving all the “muck” on the seeds, but I am most definitely going to give this recipe a try.

    Thanks for the advice!

    • Hi Brooke! Thanks for visiting and giving me some feedback. Always appreciated!

      Yeah, I was a little skeptical at first about leaving the seeds unwashed. But they really do taste better that way. If you are still a little unsure, I recommend that you do some washed and some unwashed with just a little salt. That’s what I did just to make sure this was good advice. And I have to say I’ll never wash them again!

      Thanks again! If you have any questions that come up when you give it a go, let me know and I’ll gladly help out.

    • 5 stars
      UPDATE: gave them a tried both washed and unwashed and absolutely loved them unwashed.

      They dont dry out as much and actually have some better texture to them. All my friends loved it after a pumpkin carving contest!

      • That’s wonderful! It’s so hard to go back to washed seeds after that. I’m really glad that the recipe worked out for you! And thank you for letting me know, it is greatly appreciated.
        All the best,

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