How to Peel Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable that can be used in soups, as a roasted side dish or in custards and pies. The flesh can be boiled or roasted for differing flavors and recipes. When cleaning out a pumpkin, don't discard the seeds, which are delicious either boiled or roasted. Pumpkin seeds come in a tough shell, or hull. While the hull is edible, you may prefer to peel it away if it is particularly thick or hard. This takes time, but the resulting soft seeds make a healthy snack, and can be used in place of sunflower seeds in recipes.

Step 1

Fill a large pot with 1 quart of water for every 2 cups of seeds. Add 2 tablespoons salt per quart of water.

Step 2

Bring the water to a boil over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, then cover and boil for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Remove the pot from the heat and pour the pumpkin seeds into a colander to drain. Let them cool until they are cool enough to touch.

Step 4

Pick up a seed and pull off the shell with your other hand. It will easily slip off the seed. Place the hulled seed in a bowl.

Step 5

Pumpkin seeds can be eaten raw or cooked. To toast them, spray or oil a pan and spread a layer of seeds on it. Salt them, and then cook in a 300-degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes. You can experiment with different seasonings in addition to or in place of salt, such as garlic powder.

Tips and Warnings

  • The oils in pumpkin seeds may cause them to go rancid. Store pumpkin seeds in a sealed bag or container in the fridge for up to 14 days, or place them in the freezer for long-term storage.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Salt
  • Colander
  • Bowl
  • Oil


  • University of Alaska Extension
Keywords: peeling pumpkin seeds, roasting seeds, pumpkin seed hull removal

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.