The Italian flavors on these Pesto Parmesan Pumpkin Seeds are addictive and delicious.
Here in North America we tend to associate pumpkins with dessert. When I was in grad school I had an Italian friend who found the idea of pumpkin pie strange and, well, kind of gross but she loved pumpkin in all kinds of savory preparations. You know, things like Pumpkin Soup or Pumpkin Ravioli.
Pesto Parmesan Pumpkin Seeds
Now, when pumpkin time rolls around, I inevitably turn my mind to my old friend and to simple Italian flavors, like in this roasted pumpkin seed recipe where the seeds are toasted in oil and then tossed with pesto and Parmigiano-Reggiano before spending some time crisping up in the oven. You can either use prepared pesto from the store, or make your own!
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
This recipe uses my basic Roasted Pumpkin Seed method for attaining crispy pumpkin seeds with maximum flavor absorption. These instructions for these pumpkin seeds begin with a full large pumpkin. At the end, not only will you have delicious roasted pumpkin seeds but you will also have a pumpkin that is ready for carving.
Once you know the basic method, you can make Pesto Parmesan Pumpkin seeds with those great Italian flavors like in the recipe below, or get creative and try other flavor combinations!
If you’re a pumpkin lover like I am, be sure to check out all of my delicious seed flavoring recipes, and my recipe for pumpkin soup with bacon Parmesan crumbles.Print
Italian flavors roasted onto pumpkin seeds. It doesn’t get more simple or more delicious than that.
- 1 large pumpkin
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 Tbsp. prepared basil pesto
- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
- Cut a circular 5-8 inch diameter hole in the top of the pumpkin encircling the stem (use a sturdy serrated knife and a sawing action).
Use the stem as a handle to remove the the circular cut out. Using two fingers, squidge off any seeds that cling to the lid.
Put these seeds into a colander. Use a knife to trim the fibrous strands off of the pumpkin lid. Discard the fibrous strands and set the lid aside.
- Dive into the pumpkin with one hand. Grasp a bundle of seeds in your fingers. Gently tug on them while squeezing your fingertips together at the point where the bundle of seeds meets the pumpkin fibers until the seeds release. Put the seeds into the colander detaching any bits of orange pumpkin fibers that have come along for the ride (don’t worry if you can’t get them all off. A lot more will come off in the rinsing step). Repeat until all the seeds have been removed from the pumpkin cavity. You should get 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups.
- Put the colander into the sink. Rinse the seeds under a long full blast of water. Swish them all around under the water to help detach any stubborn pumpkin fibers. Line a large bowl with paper towels. Pour the seeds into the bowl. Wrap the towel around the seeds and pat them dry.
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line a large pan with parchment paper.
- Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the pumpkin seeds. It is inevitable that some water has clung to the seeds so stand back a bit and beware of spattering. Stir the seeds to coat them all with the oil. Cook stirring occasionally until well-browned, about 4-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, stir the remaining ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Transfer the seeds to the bowl of seasonings and stir to coat. Pour the seeds onto the large pan and put the pan into the oven. Roast the seeds until they are dry and crisp, 15-18 minutes.
- While the pumpkin seeds are roasting, use a metal serving spoon to scrape all the stringy fibers away from the inside of the pumpkin. Discard them. Now your pumpkin is ready for carving!
- Cool the seeds on the pan.
- Transfer to a serving bowl or store roasted pumpkin seeds for up to 3 days in an airtight container.