Sweet n’ Salty Pumpkin Seeds

It’s almost Halloween! What are your plans for the holiday? Kramer and I are lucky enough to be able to go to Las Vegas with my parents again this year to celebrate in style! I’m very excited; I love Las Vegas on Halloween. The costumes are always fantastic and the energy is phenomenal. It’s not as crazy as you might think, believe it or not! I’ve never seen anyone get out of control there, but then again, I’m not out until 5 AM, either. We’re planning on eating at some fabulous restaurants and hopefully hanging out by the pool if it’s warm enough. It says that it is supposed to be 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and now that I’m used to New York, that sounds like it’s pool weather to me! Kramer and I are going to be wearing out Lost-inspired costumes, too, so we’re hoping to meet some other Lost fans while strolling down the strip. What are you going to dress up as?

If you’re carving some pumpkins this weekend, then you had better save those pumpkin seeds! I know that some people prefer shelled seeds, but I like mine whole. Honestly, I have no idea how I would go about shelling them. Anyway, these pumpkin seeds are roasted simply with a little bit of olive oil, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, for a sweet and salty combo that you won’t be able to stop snacking on! At least this is a snack that you can feel good about, though, right? Pumpkin seeds are not only a great source of protein, but a quarter cup of them can give you over 20% of your daily iron intake, which I know is great for people like me who have trouble getting enough iron on busy days. Pumpkin seeds also contain a good amount of essential polyunsaturated fats, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. It’s really a win-win with these tasty little seeds! They are definitely a bonus during the Halloween season, where you can have fun carving pumpkins and get a little health boost to boot! You can roast these any way you like – go crazy! I hope that everyone has a fun and safe Halloween, and if you get sick of candy, you can give these pumpkin seeds a try, instead!

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds
That’s all that you need!

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds
This photo is from right after I removed the seeds from the pumpkin in my last post. It’s impossible to get the seeds out without some of the membrane attached to them, so rinse them thoroughly in a colander.

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds
A couple of pieces of pumpkin might still be stubbornly stuck onto a few seeds – don’t worry about it! It’s edible! Spread the seeds (they will be slimy) out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil. Let sit out for a few hours, until dry. Overnight is ideal, but I let mine sit for 5 or 6 hours.

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds
When dried, drizzle with enough olive oil to coat (I used about about 1 teaspoon) the seeds, then add a tablespoon of brown sugar, a teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds
Mix everything together and bake at 300 degrees F for 8 minutes or so, until crisp, but not burned. The color probably won’t change as much as you’re expecting, but don’t worry! You can always pop them in for a bit longer, but you don’t want to burn them.

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds
See? The color has hardly changed at all!

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds
I wrapped mine in cellophane to make a cute package – perfect for holiday gifts!

Sweet n' Salty Pumpkin Seeds
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (about the amount I got from 2 sugar pumpkins, adjust as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (plus another teaspoon or so, if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or fleur de sel (I just like the flakiness of fleur de sel)
  1. You can buy pumpkin seeds at the store, or you can use the ones you get from your Halloween pumpkins! If you're using fresh ones from pumpkins, rinse them thoroughly in a colander and remove as much of the pumpkin flesh that you can (if you can't get every little piece, it's not a big deal - it's edible). Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and spread the seeds out on it. Let it sit out for at least 5-6 hours or, preferably, overnight. They should be bone dry, or nearly bone dry, when you bake them.
  2. When the seeds are dry, mix them together with the olive oil (just enough to coat, I used about a teaspoon), 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt or fleur de sel (I highly recommend fleur de sel for its flakiness - you can obviously use more salt, if you like). Bake at 300 degrees F for 8 minutes or so, until the brown sugar is just beginning to set into the seeds. They won't change color that much (see above), so don't worry if they seem the same as when you put them in the oven. You can always pop them back in the oven if you need to, but once they're burned, there's nothing you can do! Just be mindful of how long they are in there.
  3. Allow to cool completely (this should only take a few minutes) and enjoy! I wrapped mine up in cute cellophane baggies and tied them for a pretty holiday present!


19 Responses

  1. Wei-Wei says:

    Mmm, this sounds delicious! I bet melted butter would be amazing in place of olive oil 😉

  2. Lois says:

    Every year I make up the seeds but it’s just with salt on. I’m really excited about adding some other tastes to my pumpkin seeds. Thanks!

  3. What a lovely way to use the seeds. They look so pretty dressed in their little plastic bag :)

    • Sydney says:

      @Rhyelysgranny: Thank you very much!

      @Lindsey: I wish I had made more because I definitely ate too much candy!

      @Tina from PA: Thank you! I hope you had a happy Halloween, too!

      @Mandi: Thank you so much! You’re too kind! I will definitely check it out!

  4. Lindsey says:

    i’m excited to make these for a treat this weekend! a great alternative to the dangerous halloween candy jar :-)

  5. Tina from PA says:

    Viva Las Vegas Baby! I hope you have a safe trip and I know you’ll have a great time! Say “Hi” to your parents for me !Take lots of pictures so we can all see how much fun you had ! Happy Halloween!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Mandi says:

    Sydney, those seeds look Ah-mazing! I must try! So creative – I love anything with cinnamon in it as well, so this is great!
    BTW, I must say, your blog is so fantastic! I have cooked several of your recipes in the past and every time they turn out wonderfully! I actually just entered into the blogging world as the second half of Itzy’s Kitchen. Tomorrow I will be putting up a post on your tomato-balsamic glazed chicken meatballs and giving you a little shout out. You must check it out!

  7. Jen says:

    I don’t think shelling them would be worth it. They’re totally good whole. We made a salted batch last week, so I’m going to make some sweet ones soon 😀

    • Sydney says:

      @Jen: I agree! I’m sure yours will be delicious!

      @MichellePC: Thank you and any time! :)

      @Denise Michaels: They were pretty great this past weekend! I couldn’t keep track of them all!

  8. MichellePC says:

    These look awesome! I’ve been meaning to buy a pumpkin and make pumpkin seeds, but have been looking for something new to do with them. Thanks for the tip!

  9. I live in Las Vegas and yes, the costumes out here can be pretty amazing. This afternoon I stopped in at a neighborhood Starbucks and I saw a woman come in who was sort of a rocker witch complete with a purple wig and Doc Martin boots. Then a couple kids with their mom in costumes, too.

    I remember always spreading out the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and putting a little salt on ’em and baking. They made a tasty, healthy snack. I noticed yesterday they were selling pumpkin seeds at Trader Joes.

  10. genevieve says:

    AWESOME! I made these for a skeptic friend, who usually just tosses her seeds each Halloween. She is going to love them, I know it! Thanks, Sydney! I hope you enjoyed Vegas!

  11. Shelley says:

    Oooohhh! These look tasty. I saved my seeds and toasted them with a curried, spice mix since I was so over loaded on sugary sweets. I’ll best these were yummy!

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