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Carving Pumpkins & Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

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pumpkin seeds in gray bowl on counter  with mini pumpkins and seed in background

Roasting pumpkin seeds is a tradition your kids will look forward to every fall. Savory, salty, buttery, with that crunch. You will find it hard to stop eating them. Buy an extra pumpkin this fall just for the seeds.

One of my fondest memories as a child is carving pumpkins and roasting pumpkin seeds.  I am not sure where the tradition started but I remember being very small and watching my dad take a big knife to our pumpkins and carve the traditional triangle face.  We would carve the pumpkins, get into our costumes homemade by our mother, and go to friends’ houses for trick or treat.

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large field of large orange pumpkins at a farmers market

As I got older my dad taught me how to roast the pumpkin seeds. We had a large picture window in the front of the house and after the pumpkins were carved and the seeds washed my dad would give to me the bowl of wet sticky pumpkin seeds to set on the windowsill to dry.  I would check every day, to see if they were drying enough to roast. Finally, they would be put on a foil tray in the oven with butter and salt and roasted to a golden brown.

fresh pumpkin pulp with seeds

Red Wagon Farm

When I got married, my husband Jim’s family operates a vegetable farm. Every year they have a large pumpkin festival, and pumpkins are everywhere.

Jim’s mother Grace Ross Buonpane’s brother, Richard Ross owns a farm in  Columbia Station, Ohio called Red Wagon Farm. Uncle Dick’s farm is a cherished memory for my husband and our children, especially around the fall season. Uncle Dick started Red Wagon Farm when Jim was a little boy. Jim has loved his uncle and the farm all his life and now we share that love with our children.

Here are many of our fun-filled visits. The kids love to eat fresh apples from the store while we on the on the un-scary wagon ride, where silly scarecrows stand up and wave at you and tell silly jokes out of an old shed back in the woods.

The children also love the hay maze where you could get lost in fun for almost an hour.  Uncle Dick would take us on a tour of the vegetable field and let up pick our own fresh from the field.

red wagon farm market sign with red wagon on the left side and a rack of baskets of tomatoes on the right
Jim and joey in the middle of a pumpkin patch at red wagon farm
a red wagon in a field with large boxes of pumpkins loaded to the top
jim and uncle dick on a bench at the farm

Carving Pumpkins

The tradition of carving pumpkins and roasting the pumpkin seeds is one that you family will love just as much as mine. It does not matter if you carve the pumpkin with a knife, a plastic pumpkin gadget like Christene is using below, a jig saw or draw a face with markers your family will have so much fun.

girl at the table carving a large orange pumpkin

For years we made our pumpkin faces with just the traditional triangle shape. Now you can find on Pinterest so many patterns to make the most amazing designs. Our kids still like the traditional triangle, and dad make the intricate designs.

carved pumpkin on the steps to a house
large pumpkin at knight with a owl cut out and the word HOOT cut out with candle inside

Why Buy Extra Pumpkins?

The number 1 reason in my book to buy extra large pumpkins in fall is to make lots and lots of roasted pumpkin seeds. But you can imagine there are also many other reasons.

gray bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds on white table with mini pumpkins in the background

As soon as the cool air arrives up north where we live, everyone starts to decorate with pumpkins. Even our relatives down south start the fall tradition of pumpkins as table decorations, porch, and mantle decorations.

Here is a very cute post on Decorating with Pumpkins for Fall. The beautiful young girl carving the pumpkin above is the author of the post and I know you will love her entire blog on decorating.

a large orange pumpkin on the vine in a field close up
gray bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds on white table with mini pumpkins in the background from a top down view

How to Roast Pumpkin Seeds

My father taught me how to roast pumpkin seeds when I was a little girl and we air-dried the seeds for a day or so before we roasted them in the oven.

When it became my turn as the mom to roast pumpkin seeds, I could not wait for the seeds to dry. We also had new and improved ovens with convection and air roasting.

gray bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds on white table with mini pumpkins in the background from a top down view

I now put the seeds on a foil pan right after being washed and let them dry as they roast.  Roasting seeds at 300° might take a little longer but you didn’t have to wait days for them to dry on the window.  We have also modified the recipe as I drizzle the seeds with olive oil and just add a little butter to increase the nutritional value without sacrificing any taste.

kitchen colander with washed pumpkin seeds

Make sure to wash the seeds well after removing them from the pumpkin. The extra pumpkin attached to the seeds is fine to eat but I like them best well washed.

in kitchen sink fresh pumpkin pulp, and a colander full of washed pumpkin seeds

After the seeds are well washed place the seeds on a foil lined baking sheet.

Melt about 3 to 4 tablespoons of butter and drizzle over the seeds, add a drizzle of olive oil and mix the seeds around to coat them.

In a 300° oven bake for 5 minutes at a time. You will have to stir every 5 minutes to make sure they cook evenly. After 15 minutes, check as they may be done.

Have you Heard of Boiling Pumpkin Seeds?

I have never boiled my pumpkin seeds before roasting but I have seen a lot of recipes where this is the first step before baking.

The first reason I see for boiling the seed is that Boiling ensures that the insides are cooked. The second reason is that pumpkin seed contains phytic acid and boiling removes the phytic acid. What I have read is that phytic acid can make the absorption of iron, magnesium, and calcium more difficult. If this is a nutritional concern for you and your family you may want to try boiling.


Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Roasting pumpkin seeds is a tradition your kids will look forward to every fall. Savory, salty, buttery, with that crunch. You will find it hard to stop eating them. Buy an extra pumpkin this fall just for the seeds.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes


Units Scale
  • 4 cups of pumpkin seeds. The seeds from one large pumpkin
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt


  1. Heat the oven to 300°
  2. Remove the seeds from a large pumpkin. Rince and remove all of the pumpkin pulp that you can.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with foil spread the pumpkin seeds on the foil in a single layer.
  4. Melt the butter, and spread over the seeds.
  5. Drizzle the oil over the seeds, mix all the seeds to coat and then make sure they are in a single layer.
  6. Lightly salt
  7. Bake the pumpkin for about 15 minutes, every 5 minutes stir and make sure they do not overcook.


Depending on how moist your seeds will determine how long it will take to roast them. You may also like them a lighter or darker color so you determine how long it takes to cook the seed.

Have a fun time with your family carving pumpkins and making and eating roasted pumpkin seeds!


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 230
  • Sugar: 1
  • Sodium: 124
  • Fat: 15
  • Saturated Fat: 5
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 19
  • Fiber: 6
  • Protein: 6
  • Cholesterol: 15

Keywords: roasted pumpkin seeds

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  1. Your Family day out sounds fantastic and I love roasting pumpkin seeds as we carve pumpkins

  2. Confession: I’ve never been able to successfully roast pumpkin seeds.They always ended up too chewy or overdone. Perhaps this is the year to change that. Thanks so much for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

  3. Wonderful traditions being carried on. Love it.

    Thanks for sharing and linking up at DI & DI 🙂 We enjoy having you!

  4. Family traditions like that pumpkin festival are the best. The hay maze is always fun! My adult daughter and I still carve pumpkin together! 🙂

  5. Fall is indeed a lovely time of the year. I absolutely love pumpkin seeds. Love your post. Thanks a lot for joining us at the Family Joy blog link up party. Pinned your post to our Pinterest party board 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and pinning my post.

  6. LOVE this time of year and LOVE roasted pumpkin seeds! I’ve never tried drizzling them with butter, but that sounds delicious.

    1. Yes I use both a little butter and drizzle with Olive Oil but together make them taste great. Thank you for your comment!

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