Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds

published Sep 23, 2021
halloween
Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Roasting up a batch of pumpkin seeds is one of the many delights of autumn.

Serves4

Makes1 cup pumpkin seeds

Prep10 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 15 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Air fryer pumpkin seeds in an orange bowl.
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Roasting a batch of pumpkin seeds is one of the many delights of fall. From carving the pumpkin to puréeing the flavorful flesh and toasting the seeds, this seasonal gourd is the gift that keeps on giving. Preparing a homemade pumpkin seed snack is already pretty easy, but using your air fryer makes it a breeze.

Once the seeds have been removed from the pumpkin, they can have quite a bit of stringy pulp attached. Simply rinse in a colander under running water to remove. Then comes the fun part: deciding how to season the pumpkin seeds. You’ll only need just a small amount of oil to lightly coat the seeds. From there, the world is your oyster. If you have a favorite seasoning blend, feel free to give it a try. Salt and a few twists of pepper is always a delicious option. Or you can give them a sweet twist by using a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.

For this recipe, I wanted to play with one of my favorite combinations of sweet and spicy, so I made a quick spice blend with ground chipotle, salt, and a dash of cayenne. The seeds were a delight to enjoy by the handful, but also added great flavor and crunch when sprinkled on top of a salad. (Pro tip: The seeds are even more delicious if you use orange-flavored olive oil to coat them!)

Can You Overcook or Dry Out Pumpkin Seeds?

The biggest risk when roasting pumpkin seeds is burning the seeds, which can happen if they’re cooked for too long or at too high of a temperature. Just as you would keep a careful eye when toasting nuts, the same care should be given when roasting pumpkin seeds. “Your nose knows” when it comes to roasting. When the pumpkin seeds become wonderfully fragrant, they are done. Shaking the basket halfway through cooking also ensures that they cook evenly (and don’t burn).

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

Benefits of Eating Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In fact, pumpkin seeds contain zinc, which helps boost the immune system.
  • They are also high in fiber which promotes good digestive health.

Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

Roasting up a batch of pumpkin seeds is one of the many delights of autumn.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Makes 1 cup pumpkin seeds

Serves 4

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 (10- to 15-pound)

    large pumpkin

  • 1 teaspoon

    olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    ground chipotle pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 1/8 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut the top off a large pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Rinse in a colander under running water to separate from the pulp. Lay the seeds out on paper towels and pat dry. Let sit for 30 minutes to remove any excess moisture. You should have about 1 cup pumpkin seeds.

  2. Heat the air fryer to 350°F. Transfer the dried pumpkin seeds to a medium bowl. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Toss to combine.

  3. Spread the seeds evenly in the basket of the air fryer. Cook, shaking the basket halfway through cooking, until the seeds are golden and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes total. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Taste and season with more salt as needed.

Recipe Notes

Yield: If your pumpkin yields more than 1 cup seeds, adjust the oil and seasonings as necessary. If you are making a larger quantity of pumpkin seeds, they will likely need to be cooked in batches for even roasting.