3 Ways to Pick the Best Pumpkins for Roasting Seeds

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Kobeza/Shutterstock; Design: Susanna Hopler)

Pumpkins are good for all sorts of things (carving, painting, turning into pies). If you ask us, though, the seeds are the main attraction. Whether you coat them with savory spices or go with something sweet, roasted pumpkin seeds are just so perfectly “fall.” Plus, they are a great alternative to sugary Halloween candy, and just as festive.

So how do you pick a pumpkin that’s guaranteed to have plenty of seeds? We consulted some pumpkin professionals to get the inside scoop.

(Image credit: Dana Velden)

3 Ways to Pick the Best Pumpkins for Roasting the Seeds

1. Choose a large pumpkin.

You might think that a heavier pumpkin means more seeds — but that’s not always the case. Several experts told us that larger, not heavier, pumpkins will yield more seeds. Just double check with a pumpkin patch staffer before you haul the thing to your car: Glenn Cook of Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, MA, agrees that although seed count typically does go up with the size of the pumpkin, some of the really big varieties — like the Atlantic Giant — have surprisingly few seeds.

2. Pick a pumpkin with hull-less seeds.

The experts at Fleitz Pumpkin Farm in Oregon, OH, suggest picking a pumpkin that has hull-less seeds — these are ideal for roasting because they don’t have an outer shell, and you can easily eat the whole seed. These might be marked as “Seed Pumpkins,” with common varieties being Styrian and Kakai pumpkins. The workers at the patch should be able to point you in the right direction!

3. Tap on your potential pumpkin.

When you’re choosing a Kakai (or other seed pumpkin), pick one that sounds hollow — this indicates a large seed cavity with plenty of space for delicious seeds.

What to Do with Your Pumpkin Seeds