Roasting pumpkin seeds is one of my all time favorite fall activities. After lots of experimenting, my kids and I discovered the simple trick to give roasted pumpkin seeds extra crunch: boil ‘em.

Roasting pumpkin seeds is a fun family cooking project and a great way to show your kids how to enjoy the whole plant. A big batch of freshly roasted pumpkin seeds makes an easy Halloween treat or lunchbox snack. My kids love to eat ‘em hot off the pan! But no one will come knocking if those seeds are flat on flavor, and lack that all important feature, crunchiness.

The secret to extra crunchy pumpkin seeds is to boil them before roasting. Ten minutes will do the trick. Here’s the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Start Small

Sugar pumpkins are the best variety for baking—plus, their small size makes them much easier for kids to manage.

roasting pumpkin seeds | the 52 new foods challenge | sugar pumpkin

Choose a sugar pumpkin

Step 2: Scoop

Use a melon baller to scoop out the seeds—it’s easier (and faster) than using a spoon.

roasting pumpkin seeds | the 52 new foods challenge | scoop

Use a melon baller to scoop.

Step 3: Add Water

Place the stringy core in a bowl, add water, and using your fingers, swish the rind around in the water. The seeds will float to the top. Scoop them out of the water and give them a rinse. Bonus: no goopy hands.

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Add water.

Step 4: Boil ‘Em

Boil the seeds for 10 minutes before roasting. This is the trick to super crunchy seeds.

roasting pumpkin seeds | the 52 new foods challenge | boil

Boil ’em.

Step 5: Roast

Roast your seeds into a 400° oven for 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when you hear them popping on the pan.

roasting pumpkin seeds | the 52 new foods challenge | roast


For more ways to have fun roasting pumpkin seeds, and a tasty Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe that will rock the charts at your Halloween class party, grab a copy of my free ebook bonus. I wouldn’t want you to have to wait for all of the delicious fun!

P.S. I’ve packed even more delicious ways to enjoy pumpkin into my new book, The 52 New Foods Challenge, including my Gram’s famous Homemade Pumpkin Pie with Gingersnap Crust, the tastiest Pumpkin Bread ever, plus loads of fun ways to party with pumpkin. I hope you’ll check it out.