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Carving Pumpkins? Save the Seeds to Create a Simple Delicious Snack

washed dry pumpkin seeds on a table next to pumpkins
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Carving a spooky or silly jack-o’-lantern is a family tradition for many around this time of year. This month, be sure to keep the seeds because they make a delicious crunchy snack.

If you haven’t tried roasting your pumpkin seeds, then now is the perfect time to try. While you need a special kind of pumpkin for baking, the pumpkin seeds in both baking and carving pumpkins are the same and well suited for our purpose. With just a few steps, we’ll show you how to scoop, wash, and store before roasting them into a perfect fall treat.

Scoop the Pumpkin Seeds

Scooping pumpkin seeds out of a large carving pumpkin.
Emilee Unterkoefler

Before you start carving your pumpkin, you’ll need to scoop out all the stringy guts and gooey seeds.

Kids especially love this part, so if you aren’t a fan of the slimy insides of a pumpkin, we suggest letting the little ones take over. Otherwise, you can take a sturdy spoon and use that to scrape everything out.

Before washing your seeds, remove the large parts of the pumpkin that are still attached to the seeds. Don’t worry about the little pieces; those will quickly come off under the running water.

Thoroughly Wash the Seeds

Washing pumpkin seeds under cool running water.
Emilee Unterkoefler

Place the pumpkin seeds in a strainer and run cool water over them. Using your fingers, remove all the leftover stringy pumpkin. For a thorough wash, take handfuls of seeds and use your hands to scrub them down until they feel less slimy.

Thoroughly Dry the Seeds

Drying pumpkin seeds with a clean dish towel.
Emilee Unterkoefler

Carefully shake your colander to remove as much excess water as possible. Spread the pumpkin seeds over a few layers of paper towels and pat them dry using a couple more paper towels. For a more eco-friendly approach, you can use a clean dish towel for drying.

Be sure to thoroughly pat your seeds dry so that all the tiny bits of pumpkin are removed. Arrange your seeds on a piece of parchment paper and allow them to dry more overnight.

Store Seeds in the Refrigerator

Set the seeds in an airtight container, and place it in the refrigerator. Your stored pumpkin seeds will last in the fridge for up to one week, so be sure to roast them within a few days of washing and storing.


Scooping and preparing pumpkin seeds can be fun, especially if you get friends or family involved. Once you roast and season your pumpkin seeds, you’ll have a healthy and delicious snack to counter all of that Halloween candy. We hope you enjoy!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »

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