Skip to main content

The perfect Halloween treat: How to cook pumpkin seeds in an air fryer

Crispy, healthy, and delicious: Pumpkin seeds made in an air fryer

If you love all things fall, you already know that one of the best parts of the autumn season has to be the pumpkins — they’re everywhere, both in the decor and the cuisine. After all, pumpkins are the star ingredient in one of the choice beverages of the season: the pumpkin spice latte. But, in addition to pumpkin pies, pumpkin soups, pumpkin cake, and everything else pumpkin, the most delicious byproduct of cooking with fresh pumpkins is sometimes overlooked — the seeds.




25 minutes

What You Need

  • Carving knife

  • Colander

  • Vegetable oil

  • kosher flake salt or sea salt

  • Black pepper (optional)

  • Air fryer

Whether you're carving up a pumpkin for food prep or decorating your home with a hand-cut jack-o'-lantern, you’ll have a bevy of yummy, nutritious seeds that can become the ultimate fall snack. Roasting pumpkin seeds in the oven can be a time-consuming task and a bit unpredictable, but with an air fryer, you can make the best pumpkin seeds ever, all in a matter of minutes. 

Person carving jack-o'-lantern

Pumpkin seeds… yet another reason to love pumpkins

Pumpkin seeds are nutritious, calorie-rich, and high in healthy fats, protein, dietary fiber, and other beneficial nutrients. While pumpkin seeds include both the hulled kernels and the un-hulled whole seeds, the latter is most often the kind that you roast and snack on. In addition to snacking, pumpkin seeds are also a common ingredient in Mexican cuisine.

Health benefits of pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are packed with nutrition; eating just a small amount can positively impact your overall health.

  • Pumpkin seeds can increase bone and heart health by being a good source of magnesium, potassium, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and calcium.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain vitamins and fatty acids that can help manage Type II diabetes.
  • This snack is a good source of zinc, contributing to liver health and improved overall health during pregnancy.
  • High in fiber, pumpkin seeds can aid in weight loss and digestion.
  • Pumpkin seeds are high in vitamin E, which strengthens the immune system.
  • A natural source of tryptophan, eating pumpkin seeds is a natural method to prevent insomnia.
  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source of beta-carotene, promoting better skin and eye health.
Close-up of roasted pumpkin seeds in a bowl

How to cook pumpkin seeds in an air fryer

The traditional method for roasting pumpkin seeds involves a cookie sheet, an oven, and a whole lot of hoping that the seeds will become crunchy enough before becoming burnt to a crisp. With the advent of the miracle small appliance that is the air fryer, that struggle is now a thing of the past — this culinary gadget can create perfectly toasted seeds in about 10 minutes.

Don’t have an air fryer yet? You should get one ASAP! With an air fryer, you can give frozen foods a crispy crunch, make healthier fried foods (with barely any fattening oil), and reheat leftovers in a manner that puts your microwave to shame. And, of course, you can also cook your pumpkin seeds in it.

This basic recipe for air fryer roasted pumpkin seeds takes minutes to make and is a healthier alternative to chips and other crave-worthy but not-so-healthy, crunchy snacks. With just a few basic ingredients and 20 to 25 minutes of time, you’ll be munching on a healthy, homemade snack.


  • 2-3 cups fresh pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried Note: Rinsing pumpkin seeds is important as it ensures crunchier results. For the best outcome, rinse with water in a colander and remove any lingering pieces of pumpkin. Lay the clean pumpkin seeds on a towel to dry for about 10 minutes.
  • 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
  • Kosher flake salt or sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


Step 1: Toss the rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds in a bowl with vegetable oil.

Step 2: Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Place the seeds into your air fryer basket and cook for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. If you’d like the seeds crunchier, cook for a minute or two longer, being careful to monitor the seeds to prevent burning.

Feel free to personalize the recipe by adding the spices of your choice, in addition to or in place of the salt and pepper, such as paprika, Old Bay seasoning, ranch dressing seasoning, cinnamon and sugar, garlic salt, and any other of your favorite spices and flavors.

Sure you can buy pumpkin seeds in your grocery store all year long, but there’s nothing like making them yourself and snacking on them while they’re warm and crunchy! Now that pumpkin season is in full swing, make sure you don’t waste one single seed. Simply wash, dry, and season them to taste, then pop them in your air fryer for a salty or sweet snack that’s just as nutritious as it is delicious.

Editors' Recommendations

Kim Renta
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kim has written for Bloomingdales, Movado, and various e-commerce wine sites. When she's not writing about wine and…
This timelapse video of Costco pumpkin pies disappearing is weirdly comforting
Learn how to make your store-bought Costco pumpkin pie even better
timelapse video of costco pumpkin pie

From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin bread, this sweet, earthy flavor is the star of so many of our favorite autumn dishes. But is there anything better than pumpkin pie? Whether you serve it for the entire family at Thanksgiving dinner or as a treat just for you on a crisp, fall night, pumpkin pie is always a good idea.

And most everyone agrees — all you have to do is take a look at this timelapse video of Costco pumpkin pies disappearing from the shelves to understand that. (Bonus: It's oddly soothing to watch.)

Read more
Get perfect steamed green beans every time by following these tips
With a bit of know-how, get the best prepared steamed green beans fast
Steamed green beans in white bowl with serving spoon

Steamed green beans are a classic side dish high in vitamin K and calcium. Green beans give you a serving of green vegetables that is low in calories and contains antioxidants like vitamin C and other nutrients like fiber. And when cooked properly, steamed green beans are delicious!

We've got you covered if you’ve been looking for a foolproof way to steam green beans. With a few tips, you can have a delicious side dish or healthy snack in just a few minutes.

Read more
6 easy Halloween party food ideas to spook and delight guests
Try these Halloween recipes and ideas for a successful spooky party
Halloween burger

As "Halloweekend" draws near, and you might be planning to throw a Halloween party for family and friends. Your guests will be expecting a festive evening, so ordinary party appetizers and entrees won’t suffice. Get more creative this season and come up with Halloween party food ideas that fit the theme of the event.

Halloween is the one holiday when you can have fun making the food look creepy, unappealing, and maybe even downright gross. If you have guests that aren't too squeamish, this plays well with the spookiness of the season. To inspire your menu, here are some Halloween party food recipes that can make your celebration a success.
Monster wraps
For finger foods with a Halloween theme, these monster wraps are perfect. Load sandwich wraps with meat, cheese, and other fillings, then use sliced cheese, olives, and pickles to decorate them like Frankenstein. They only take 10 minutes to make and can be completely customized according to your taste.

Read more