After you carve your jack-o’-lantern, don’t toss out those seeds. Clean them up and roast them with a little hint of flavor for a nutritious fall snack.
If your mom used to roast the pumpkin seeds she took out of your jack-o’-lantern like many of ours did, you’re probably a fan of the toasty, nutty flavor just like we are. Put a little flavor in that traditional roast by trying one of these recipes for gourmet seeds.
Chili-lime pumpkin seeds recipe
- 1 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 lime, juiced and zested
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a cast-iron or other heavy skillet for about five minutes. The oil is ready when a single drop of water sizzles on contact.
- Brown the seeds. Do not leave them unattended, as they burn quickly after browning. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the lime juice and stir until it has evaporated.
- Add the other ingredients, stir and allow them to cool completely.
Pumpkin pie-flavored pumpkin seeds recipe
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups salted water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt plus more to taste
- 1-1/2 teaspoons butter
- 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
- Place water and pumpkin seeds in a pot on the burner and bring to a boil (do not add the pumpkin seeds after the water begins to boil — they must go into a cold pot of water). Allow them to boil for about 10 minutes, then drain (do not rinse). Spread them out in a shallow, foil-lined baking dish and allow them to dry for 30 to 45 minutes. Patting them dry with a paper towel helps speed up the process.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
- In a microwave-safe bowl large enough to hold the seeds, melt the butter.
- Temporarily transfer the dried seeds into the butter bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring to ensure each seed is well-coated.
- Spread them back out into the baking dish in a single layer and bake for about an hour, stirring several times throughout the process to ensure each side is toasted and crunchy.
- Add extra salt and sugar to taste.
Jack-n’-pumpkin seeds recipe
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup Tennessee whiskey
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon bacon (recommended) or turkey sausage fat
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 4 drops of molasses
- 1-1/4 teaspoons sea salt plus more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir the whiskey, bacon drippings, sugar, molasses and salt together. Add the pumpkin seeds and stir until well-coated. (If you don’t have molasses on hand, we’ve seen similar recipes substitute brown or dark brown sugar.)
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes (the seeds will begin to turn gray in the middle, which is normal).
- Drain the seeds and spread them on a shallow, foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 1 to 1-1/2 hours until the seeds are crisp and browned.