Skip the store bought seeds and roast your own!

By: Jodie Shield, RDN 

When you’re carving your Halloween jack-o-lantern, make sure you save the seeds. Pumpkin seeds (AKA pepitas) are a good source of protein and fiber, which can help fill you up and curb your candy-nibbling appetite. Homemade pumpkin seeds are so easy to make, too. I got this basic pumpkin seed recipe from Whole Foods and highly recommend sprinkling on a generous pinch of salt while they’re roasting. Here are two other tasty recipe variations:

  • For spicy pumpkin seeds, mix 1/2 teaspoon each garlic salt, cumin, coriander and cardamom with seeds and oil before roasting.
  • For sweet pumpkin seeds, mix 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger and 1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar with seeds and oil before roasting.

Need some more healthy Halloween recipes? I just added Pop Corn Balls and Chocolate-Orange Pistachio Bark to my FREE app Eat Healthy Homemade Meals in Minutes available on iTunes and Google Play.

DIY Pumpkin Seeds

16 servings

Prep Time = 15 minutes

Cooking Time = 1 hour



  • 1 medium pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F. Cut off top 3 to 4 inches of pumpkin; scoop out seeds onto a clean work surface. Discard stringy fiber from seeds along with any seeds that are split or cracked, and then transfer to strainer and rinse well. (You should have about 2 cups of seeds.)
  2. Bring medium pot of water to boil. Add seeds, lower heat and boil gently for 10 minutes. Drain well then transfer to paper towel-lined tray and pat dry.
  3. Transfer seeds to a medium bowl, toss with oil and spread out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Roast seeds, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until just crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour total. (They will become crispier as they cool.) Set aside to let cool completely then shell or eat whole.

Nutritional Info Per 2 Tablespoon Serving: 43 calories, 1 grams protein, 4 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium, 1 gram fiber

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About Author


Jodie Shield, M.Ed., R.D., L.D.N. Jodie Shield has been a consultant and spokesperson in the field of nutrition for over two decades. A former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association (1989-1995), she has worked extensively with the Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center and taught nutrition and medical dietetics at the University of Illinois. Currently she is a complemental faculty member of the College of Health Sciences in the Department of Clinical Nutrition at Rush University in Chicago.

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