These Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds are the ultimate healthy Halloween snack. You won't be able to stop eating them! Light and crispy, they can be made sweet or savory. Great on salads, too!
Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds may be my family’s favorite Halloween snack. I’m not kidding when I say that my kids got more excited for roasted pumpkin seeds than trick-or-treating candy when they were little. They’re in tight contention with my Halloween Deviled Eggs.
I’ve been eating roasted pumpkin seeds since I was a kid. My mum started making them when I was 3 or 4 years old after finding a recipe in the local newspaper.
Up until now, we always roasted the pumpkin seeds in the oven. Now that air fryers are a thing, I can officially say that I will be making them this way from now on. The seeds cook much faster in the air fryer. Plus – and even more importantly – they come out crispier.
💙 What’s to love about this Air Fried Pumpkin Seeds:
▪️ LIGHT AND CRUNCHY: The air fryer turns pumpkin seed into the most delightful light and crunchy snack. They’re a great alternative to roasted nuts.
▪️ SPICE-FRIENDLY: Season the seeds with a little salt or get creative with your favorite spice combination. Try both sweet and savory variations.
▪️ SNACKS OR SALADS: We usually enjoy these seeds as snacks, but they’re also great as salad toppings. If you like adding toasted nuts or sunflower seeds to your salad, try swapping in roasted pumpkin seeds for a change.
Pumpkin seeds in the air fryer are the Halloween treats that my family looks forward to the most. Store them in an airtight container on the kitchen counter and grab a few every time you pass by.
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INGREDIENTS FOR HOMEMADE PUMPKIN SPICE:
- PUMPKIN: Buy a regular carving pumpkin from the grocery store or your favorite pumpkin patch. You want to use fresh pumpkin seeds for this recipe, not packaged store-bought seeds.
- OIL: I like to use avocado oil, but olive oil or canola oil also work. For a slightly different flavor, try ghee or unsalted butter. Note that these last two options aren’t vegan, plant-based or dairy-free.
- SALT: A sprinkle of kosher salt or sea salt.
- AIR FRYER: I used a basket-style air fryer, like this one.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
ANY SPICES: Try any of your favorite spices along with the kosher salt. Garlic powder, cumin, ground coriander, chili powder and smoked paprika are all great options. Or leave out the salt and use your favorite seasoning salt or blend, like Mrs. Dash. These premade seasonings typically contain salt.
CINNAMON SUGAR: Turn roasted pumpkin seeds into a sweet treat! Stir together ground cinnamon and sugar. Either granulated sugar or coconut sugar are good options.
PUMPKIN PIE: Season the seeds with my Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice mix.
MASALA: Toss the pumpkin seeds with garam masala and salt. Or mix the garam masala with cumin, ground coriander, turmeric and salt. Or add some extra sip with a dash of cayenne pepper.
TACO: I love giving savory snacks some southwestern flair, like my Healthy Taco Popcorn. Use the popcorn seasoning mix – cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano and salt – on the pumpkin seeds.
SMOKY: Go for a smoky flavor. Smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt are a delicious combo.
How to make Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds:
The instructions are break down to three basic steps: Clean pumpkin seeds, dry the seeds and cook them in the air fryer. Let’s talk details…
SCOOP OUT SEEDS: Using a large sharp knife, cut the off the top of the pumpkin. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds. I find that a large metal spoon works the best because it easily separates the pulp from the interior walls of the pumpkin.
SEPARATE FROM PULP: Using your fingers, remove the seeds from the pulp. Discard the pulp. Remove as much as the pulp as possible. You don’t want any pieces of pumpkin pulp to flavor the seeds or add moisture, which can interfere with the seeds reaching their ultimate crispiness.
CLEAN WELL: Place the seeds in a fine mesh sieve or colander and run them under cold water. If there are any pieces of pulp left on the seeds, this is the time to pull them off. Give the sieve a good shake to remove the excess water.
PAT DRY: Lay a kitchen towel or large piece of paper towel on a baking sheet or on the kitchen counter. Spread the seeds on the towel. Lay another towel over the seeds. Press down on the towel to soak up as much water from the seeds as possible.
DRY AGAIN: If the seeds are still damp, repeat the process with another set of towels, then allow the seeds to air dry for 10 to 15 minutes. The dryer the seeds, the crispier they will become in the air fryer!
SEASON THE SEEDS: Transfer the seeds to a bowl. Now it’s time to season to your heart’s content! I grew up eating roasted pumpkin seeds with just a sprinkle of salt, so that’s still my preference. But use any combination of spices that appeals to you. See the Variations section above for sweet and savory ideas. You’ll also need a drizzle of avocado oil to coat the seeds.
AIR FRY: Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F. For my air fryer, this takes 3 minutes. Transfer the seasoned seeds to the air fryer basket. Cook them for 10 minutes, giving the basket a good shake at the 5-minute mark. Taste a seed (careful – it will be hot!) If they’re not quite crispy enough, cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
SERVE: Let the seeds cool to room temperature, then start snacking!
What’s the best way to store cooked pumpkin seeds?
Once the air fried pumpkin seeds cool to room temperature, transfer them to an airtight container. Store them on the kitchen counter, in the fridge or in the freezer.
How long do roasted pumpkin seeds last?
When stored in an airtight container, roasted pumpkin seeds last for 1 to 2 weeks on the kitchen counter, up to 1 month in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer.
If the seeds taste rancid or “off” in any way, it’s time to throw them away.
Can you freeze roasted pumpkin seeds:
Yes! Roasted pumpkin seeds can be frozen for up to 3 months. Cool the cooked seeds to room temperature, then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container.
Defrost the pumpkin seeds at room temperature. If they lost some of their crunch in the freezer, pep them up in the air fryer for 2 to 3 minutes.
Air Fryer Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (scooped from pumpkin, not store-bought)
- 1 ½ teaspoons avocado oil or canola oil (See Note)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Separate the pumpkin seeds from the pumpkin pulp. Place them in a fine mesh sieve. Using water and your fingers, remove as much of the pulp as possible.
- Shake the sieve to remove excess water. Spread the rinsed pumpkin seeds on a kitchen towel or large piece of paper towel.
- Place another towel on top. Press gently to soak up the water and dry the pumpkin seeds. If the seeds don’t feel dry enough, repeat with another set of towels and let the seeds air dry for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the seeds to a bowl. Toss with the oil and salt until the seeds are coated.
- Preheat the air fryer to 360 degrees F. Add the seasoned seeds to the air fryer basket.
- Cook the seeds for 10 to 12 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. Taste a seed at the 10-minute make (it will be hot!). If you prefer it to be a bit crunchier, cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Let the seeds cool. Serve.
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