Hey folks! It’s that time of year again! The time that pumpkin-everything invades the market, and you either love it or you hate it. Or maybe you’re just so-so. Not me though. I hate it, with the exception of pumpkin seeds. And lattes, I do like those. And pie, candy, coco, and air fresheners. Maybe I do like it after all…
Here’s the thing though, no matter where you stand on pumpkin-flavored this and that, the seeds are a thing unto their own. They don’t have that fall-spiced, commercialized pumpkin flavor that you’re used to. They’re actually subtle with a little bit of sweet, a bit of salty. And one of the best parts is that you can flavor them in dozens of ways to suit your liking.
This particular recipe is simple to whip together and depending on if you choose to enhance the sauce, you can get a variety of flavors out of it. Let’s dive in!
Note: This recipe used to be a part of the How to Make Pumpkin Seeds: Year 1 post. I’ve since split them for easier reading, saving, and sharing.
BBQ & Spice Pumpkin Seeds
Optional Sauce Enhancers
Pumpkin seeds are fairly simple all around. It’s pretty much boiling them first, making them a bit tender with some salt, and then add the sauce and bake at a low temperature until they’re ready to eat.
Let’s go through it quick. First off, make sure your seeds are nice and clean. You don’t want any pumpkin guts hanging out where they don’t belong. Seeds good. Guts yucky.
While you’re washing the seeds, get some water boiling and dissolve the salt into it. Then add your pumpkin seeds and boil for at least 10 minutes.
Once boiled, drain off the water and let them dry, spread thinly, on a non-fuzzy kitchen towel. Don’t use a paper towel. Those cursed things will stick to your seeds and cause all sorts of anxiety.
Near the end of the drying period, turn your oven on to 250°F, and then mix together your sauce. You can do plain BBQ sauce (the butter helps thin it out a bit for spreading and baking), or if you’re feeling adventurous (MWAHAHAHA!) add some — or all? — of the spices. Here’s what my sauce looked like. My other mixing bowls were otherwise occupied, so… a kid’s cereal bowl is the next best thing I guess.
Mix the seeds into the sauce and once evenly coated, spread them on an edged, non-greased baking sheet. No edges = seeds on the element = spontaneous seed combustion = wicked flames = fire department. Good times, or not.
It’s time to bake! Place the seeds into the oven (250°F) and set the timer for 20 minutes. They won’t be done in that time, but you’ll want to rotate them in 20 minute increments to prevent burning. Depending on how dry they were, you may have to cook them anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Again, more waiting. Maybe it’s time to prep some more seeds for a second batch?
They’re done when they’re lighter in weight, have a toasty color, a crunchy outside, and a mildly chewy center. Check it out:
Thanks for taking the time to read through and make this recipe! If you enjoyed it, or would just like to save it for later, please share the love!
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Recipe – BBQ & Spice Pumpkin Seeds – The Cooking Dish (PDF)
|4 people||2.25 hours|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|2 hours||4 hours|
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups pumpkin seeds cleaned and washed
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/8 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp chili powder
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- Add salt to boiling water. Once dissolved, add the cleaned pumpkin seeds. Boil for 10 minutes.
- Drain seeds and spread in a thin layer onto a kitchen towel (non-fuzzy!) or small-squared baking sheet. Allow to dry for a couple hours. (This step can be shortened and sometimes skipped, but you will need to add more time to the baking process.)
- Preheat oven to 250°F. Add the sauce ingredients together in medium sized bowl (with optional enhancers if desired). Add seeds to sauce and mix until all seeds are covered. Spread evenly onto rimmed baking sheet and place into preheated oven.
- Bake for 1-2 hours (depending on how dry the seeds were when you put them in), stirring/turning every 20 minutes to prevent burning. Seeds will be a lighter weight, toasty brown, and have a bit of a chewy center when done.
Because the sauce on this is a darker color, it's easier to overcook your seeds. Be extra careful not to overcook your seeds or the flavor will not be as tasty.
Baking time greatly depends on how long you let the pumpkin seeds dry. If the seeds are completely dry before you bake them, you may only need to bake them for 20 minutes. Although this recipe takes a long time from start to finish, most of the time you're not doing anything but checking on the seeds. There is a very small effort investment when baking these.
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