Roasted pumpkin seeds are just about the easiest, most instant reward for recycling food waste. They make a generous, nutrition-packed snack or a crunchy garnish for your squash-based dish. Whenever I cook a squash of any color, pattern, size or knobby shape, I scoop out the seeds for roasting: acorn, butternut, carnival, delicata, spaghetti squash and the festive, orange ole’ jack o’ lantern all serve me well.


Depending on how I plan to gobble them up, I season them with different spices or oils. For Asian flair I love coating the seeds with coconut oil and dusting them with yellow curry powder. I toss them with olive oil and sea salt for foolproof Italian roots. If I’m making spaghetti squash with a smoked tomato and bacon sauce, I’ll sprinkle on a helping of smoked paprika and bypass the oil. The spices stick when the seeds are wet and toast just as well without oil – which should be added as a flavoring in this case.


Smoked Paprika Pumpkin Seeds

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: The pumpkin decides!

Since squash is almost always best roasted, it should take very little thought or effort to roast the seeds along with it while the oven is toasty.


  • ¾ cup, pumpkin (or any squash) seeds
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (sub with another favorite spice, like cinnamon)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Separate the stringy, interior flesh of the squash from the seeds.
  3. Add seeds to a small bowl and toss with spices using a spoon or your hands.
  4. Evenly spread the seeds on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast for 12-15 minutes, using a spatula to flip them once halfway through.
  6. When they are toasted in color, remove them from the oven and let cool.
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