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Roasted Squash Seeds

When I was young, squash seeds were a go-to fall snack in my house. They came in all shapes and sizes: butternut, acorn, delicata, pumpkin, etc. As soon as the weather was cool enough for squash, seeds would start to appear in Tupperware containers on the kitchen counter. As far as I remember, there was only one flavor: plain, with a bit of salt sprinkled on top.

Recently, I’ve started to get back into squash. Between weekly visits to the farmers’ markets and a return to a mostly-vegetarian lifestyle, squash has once again become the staple that it was in my childhood. With all that delicata and butternut come a great many seeds, which, when roasted, are the perfect afternoon snack.

For flavors, just think about popcorn. I usually do mine in kettle-corn style: a bit of brown sugar, a bit of salt, maybe a dash of chili powder and cinnamon. I recently had zaatar-spiced seeds at my parents’ house that were absolutely delicious, and I can imagine variations with Italian spices, garlic powder, pepper, honey, even chocolate. The possibilities are endless.

Once roasted, it’s important to let the seeds cool before storing them — otherwise they’ll get soft. But let them cool completely, and they’ll keep, stored in a tight plastic container, for about a month (if you can keep them around that long…)

Roasted Squash Seeds

However many squash seeds you have
chili powder
pam or oil spray

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Spread seeds on a non-stick (pref.) baking sheet in a single layer. Spray them liberally with oil, and sprinkle salt and sugar on top till all seeds are coated. Finish with a few dashes or cinnamon and a dash of chili powder.

Roast in the 300-degree oven for about half and hour, until golden. Depending on your oven, you may want to raise the heat to 320. Take them out when they’re golden and your house smells ridiculously yummy.

Let cool completely, then store in Tupperware containers for up to a month.

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  • Erica November 8, 2007,

    You don’t say if you dry them before roasting? Do you? I have done it both ways, and I actually prefer the way they come out when dried first. I read somewhere recently that for pumpkin seeds it is good to boil them briefly and then finish in the oven, but I have not tried that.


  • Naes November 8, 2007,

    My roasted seeds always come out with the shell remaining fibrous and tough. I tried a recommendation to soak the seeds in salted water for 8-24 hours before toweling dry, coating in oil, and roasting. I’m not sure if it made much of a difference. Next time I’ll roast half right away and try the soaking trick with the other half to see if there is an appreciable change. I’ll try boiling them like erica mentioned too.

  • Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy November 9, 2007,

    Wow, great minds think alike! I did almost the same thing with my pumpkin seeds, but I used brown sugar – try that if you want them a little richer 🙂

  • Merav November 9, 2007,

    What a lovely twist on the old salted seeds! I’ll have to give this a try. Seeds were also a staple in my house growing up…I’m sure you had your fair share in Israel too!

  • hannehanne November 9, 2007,

    I was all set to write a post about roasting my butternut squash seeds, but now I guess I don’t have to! I boil mine in salted water for about 10 minutes first. This has worked beautifully for me, as it salts them and softens them. I’ve GOT to try sweetening them a little bit though. It never even occurred to me, but that would be so good!

  • hannehanne November 9, 2007,

    I forgot to mention– I much prefer the seeds of smaller squash to pumpkin seeds. I find that they’re less fibrous and more tender.

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