Pumpkin Carving Is as Messy as It Is Nostalgic
Why does carving a pumpkin so easily cast a spell over kids and adults alike? In the back of our minds, we know that it’s a process which can be messy. But once your design glows to life, it makes the carving, scooping, and cleanup worth it. But if you discard the seeds during the cleanup, you’re missing out on the best part of carving a pumpkin! You only need a quick rinse and a seasoning blend to bake them into an irresistible treat. Whether you’ve never roasted seeds before or make them every year, chili lime pumpkin seeds are a recipe you must try this year!
Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds are a Halloween Treat
Chili lime pumpkin seeds are one of my favorite snacks after carving a pumpkin. The shells are edible and create a satisfying crunch when roasted. They have a tangy, spicy, slightly salty flavor with a nutty undertone. If you’re having a horror movie night this spooky season, chili lime pumpkin seeds give popcorn a run for its money! Not only are pumpkin seeds tasty, but they’re also packed with nutrients, including fiber and protein.
How to Make Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds
Roasting pumpkin seeds at home is easy; all you need is a baking sheet and parchment paper! Whether roasting seeds from pie pumpkins or jack o’ lanterns, a coating of seasonings and a bake in the oven create the best Halloween snack! You’ll start by separating the seeds from the pulp.
Step 1: Separate the Pumpkin Seeds from the Pulp
Once you’ve scooped out all of the seeds and pulp, start to separate the seeds from the pulp. If the seeds are sticking, submerge them in a bowl of water can help loosen the seeds. Once separated, they’ll float to the surface of the water.
Step 2: Rinse and Dry the Seeds
Once separated, rinse the seeds in a colander to remove any stray pieces of pulp. After rinsing, transfer the seeds to a baking tray to air dry for at least an hour. You can also pat them dry with a towel for a shorter drying time. Drying the seeds will reduces steam while baking and creates crispy seeds.
Step 3: Coat With Oil and Seasonings
Add the olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, paprika, and salt to a medium bowl. Stir to combine and add the pumpkin seeds. Once the seeds are evenly coated, transfer them to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Step 4: Bake Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds Until Golden Brown
Bake the pumpkin seeds at 350 degrees F for 14 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. To help evenly bake chili lime pumpkin seeds, shake the tray every 5 minutes. This helps to prevent hot spots in your oven from over or underbaking any seeds.
Step 5: Remove from the Oven and Transfer to a Bowl
Once the seeds have begun to turn golden brown, remove them from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Once they’re cool enough to handle, they’re ready!
Roasted Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup raw in-shell pumpkin seeds
- 2 tsp. lime juice
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp. chili powder
- ½ tsp. paprika (optional)
- ¼ tsp. sea salt or to taste
- Separate the pumpkin seeds from the pulp. Discard the pulp and transfer the seeds to a colander.
- Rinse the seeds under cold water, removing any pieces of pulp that remain.
- Transfer the seeds to a baking tray and spread in a thin layer. Allow them to dry for at least an hour. To shorten the drying time, pat the seeds dry with a towel.
- Once dry, add the lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, paprika, and sea salt to a medium bowl. Stir to combine, and add the pumpkin seeds. Toss the pumpkin seeds to coat evenly.
- Transfer the pumpkin seeds to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350℉ for 14 to 17 minutes or until golden brown. Shake the seeds every five minutes to promote even baking.
- Once the seeds turn golden brown, remove them from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Once they're warm to the touch, serve immediately.
Pumpkin Seed Flavor Ideas
When roasting pumpkin seeds at home, creating as many flavor varieties as your taste buds desire is easy! For every 1 cup of in-shell pumpkin seeds, I recommend using about a tablespoon of olive oil, at least 2 teaspoons of a seasoning blend, and a pinch of salt. If you add other liquids, such as vinegar, use 1 teaspoon of oil and two teaspoons of liquid. Some flavor ideas to get you started include:
- Dill Pickle – If you’re a pickle lover, add dried dill, pickle brine, and olive oil for a tangy snack!
- Lemon Pepper – Add 1/4 teaspoon of lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, some olive oil, and a pinch of pepper for a bold and citrusy snack!
- Ranch – Powdered ranch dressing packets are loaded with flavor and can be used as a seasoning blend.
- Sea salt and vinegar are a simple combination but create a tangy and salty snack that is perfect on a chilly fall night!
If you have a favorite brand of chips or crunchy snacks, you can crush a handful to turn them into a seasoning! Cool Ranch® Doritos® and Cheetos® lovers, I’m looking at you!
Storing Chili Lime Pumpkin Seeds
Once baked and cooled, chili lime pumpkin seeds can be stored in an air-tight container for up to two weeks at room temperature. For the best flavor and quality, store them away from heat or direct sunlight. I don’t recommend storing them in the fridge, as the moisture can cause the seeds to lose their crispiness.
Can You Freeze Pumpkin Seeds?
For longer storage, pumpkin seeds can be frozen. I recommend freezing seeds before baking and only baking them once thawed. This will prevent baked seeds from losing their crispiness once thawed. To freeze pumpkin seeds, use the following steps:
- Allow the seeds to dry at room temperature for at least a day or thoroughly towel dry.
- Once dry, arrange the seeds in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Place the tray in a freezer until the seeds are frozen throughout. It should take about an hour.
- Once frozen, transfer the seeds to an air-tight freezer-safe container.
- For the best flavor, use the seeds within 6 months of freezing.