chilli and fennel roast pumpkin seeds in a mason jar with a label

It’s a source of constant bafflement to me that so many people are unaware of the potential within their pumpkins beyond space for a tea light.

Hand-on-heart, this is not like one of those times in which people suggest you eat the entire apple – core, seeds and all – or gnaw the gristle from your chicken bones; roasted pumpkin seeds are simply a joy, through-and-through, and it’s one of the great foodie crimes that so many thousands are discarded like yesterday’s coffee grounds, year after year. 

Believe it or not, the seeds you exhume and discard from your soon-to-be Jack O’ Lanterns are just a quick roast away from becoming a delicious snack – crunchy, flavoursome, and hellishly moreish. They’re perfect for grazing, as well as tossing into salads, or sprinkling over soups and savoury bakes for added texture and seasoning.

It’s almost as straightforward as giving them a rinse and flinging them in the oven, but there are certain tricks that can make them particularly great.

Flick through my guide below before disembowelling your pumpkin this week and I promise, you’ll never discard a pumpkin seed again.

HOW TO ROAST PUMPKIN SEEDS

  1. Scrape the seeds from your pumpkin with a wide, flat spoon.
  2. Pull away the strings of flesh and rinse the seeds clean.
  3. Rinse in a bowl of water.
  4. Spread them evenly over a large baking tray
  5. Gather what ingredients you fancy –sea salt is essential, and for this batch I also used freshly ground fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Feel free to experiment with other spices.
  6. Put a few good lugs of olive oil over the seeds.
  7. Sprinkle your ingredients over the top.
  8. Mix together so your seeds are well coated.
  9. Bake at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for around 10 minutes, or until seeds are lightly golden brown.
  10. Leave to cool before you get your fingers into them.
  11. Store in an airtight container.