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If you’re carving a pumpkin, or EVEN just cooking a winter squash, save those seeds and let’s make Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds! Yes, you can and you should roast those pumpkin seeds in the air fryer! Here’s my very basic easy recipe, with some suggested flavor variations too!
A Tasty Snack for the Fall Season!
Toasty, nutty, small-batch roasted pumpkin seeds are one of the best things to come out of owning an air fryer. My kids might say it’s quick breakfasts or heat-and-eat Costco foods but I think a quick healthy snack from throw-away foods gets my vote ANYDAY! I love healthy air fryer recipes!
And speaking of healthy, there are lots of health benefits of pumpkin seeds. Real Simple and Health.com have great articles about them.
Halloween as a kid
When I was a kid Halloween pumpkin carving was ALWAYS fun. Especially the year we got two pumpkins and I got to make my OWN design. AND even do some of the carving. That was a good year. Can you tell I was the youngest kiddo??
But what I loved, even more, was toasting the pumpkin seeds afterward. Those crunchy pumpkin seeds were like a bonus for me. Sure we had a Jack o’ Lantern but we also had a great snack too!
I was always a foodie, yes, thank you!
What you need:
- a fresh pumpkin or winter squash OR cleaned seeds from your pumpkin
- an air fryer, I used my favorite Basket Style Air Fryer, the Cosori MAX XL 5.8
- large bowl big enough to hold the colander
- large spoon or ice cream scoop (works really well!)
- paper towel-don’t use parchment paper here, it is not absorbent enough to soak up the water
- a kitchen towel or two
- light olive oil, avocado oil, and even vegetable oil work well here!
The best way to clean pumpkin seeds for Roasting
Once you’ve scraped all the pumpkin seeds and a thin layer of pumpkin flesh out of the pumpkin put the whole mess in a colander over a bowl. Pick out any pumpkin chunks and discard them. Fill the bowl with water and soak them in room temperature water for a couple of hours or overnight.
After soaking the pumpkin pulp comes away really easily, it’s a great way to make the job easier. I know some people soak seeds for health benefits and that’s all well and good but in this case, it’s for ease of seed removal. It will take less time to separate the good from the bad once the seeds soak.
Pull off all the strings and pulp and such until you have mostly seeds left in the colander. Swishing the seeds around in the bowl of water will help bring up pieces of pumpkin to discard. Once you’ve got the pumpkin out and only seeds are left lift the colander out and rinse it with cold water. If you see anything but seeds pick it out now.
Then drain the seeds, lay them in a single layer on paper towels and pat them dry. Leave them to dry for a bit before using.
Don’t have a pumpkin?
Did you know pumpkins are JUST winter squash?? If you want to cook the seeds from other winter squash you can do that too! Fresh pumpkin seeds are nice but so are kabocha seeds, red Kuri, acorn and so much more! Making my maple brown sugar roasted acorn squash?? Use the seeds too. A crunchy snack AND an easy side dish for dinner from ONE squash?!? Again, YES, PLEASE!
Other Flavors to Try
My basic savory flavor of salt and garlic powder is a family favorite BUT try these other flavor ideas, like cinnamon sugar pumpkin seeds. They will enhance the nutty flavor of pumpkin seeds in different delicious ways.
*PLEASE NOTE* Remember any time you’re adding sugar to the air fryer it will start to brown quickly, so cook your pumpkin seeds most of the way, then toss with a bit more oil and add the sugar. The bit of extra oil will help it stick and keep it from flying around in the hot air.
- cinnamon sugar
- brown sugar
- pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of sugar
- red chili flakes
- mild chili powder and garlic
- everything but the bagel seasoning
To store these they really do need an airtight container. You don’t need to keep them in the fridge though, they can stay right in the pantry.
Air Fryer Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds cleaning directions below, if they're clean skip to step 2
- 1 tsp light olive oil use your preferred oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- If your seeds need to be cleaned put the in a colander inside a big bowlpick out any big chunks of pumpkinfill the bowl with water and soak 3-4 hours, this makes it easier to clean, you can also clean just by washing and picking through the chunks once the seeds have soaked they will sink and the pumpkin bits should be on topfill the bowl with fresh water pick out all the pumpkin and take the colander out and wash away any remaining bits
- drain the pumpkin seeds, put them on paper towels and blot them dry, let them rest for an hour or so
- when ready to roast preheat the air fryer to 350°
- toss the pumpkin seeds with the oil, salt, and garlic
- pour seeds in a single layer into the air fryer basket
- roast on 350° for 10 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes
- reduce heat to 300° and roast until seeds are crispy and brown about 10-15 minutes, again stirring every 5 minutes
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