I’ve been missing out…
Who doesn’t love the sweet, buttery flavor of roasted butternut squash in the fall? Whether you use butternut squash to make soup or have it as a side dish simply roasted, this vegetable (or fruit as some would debate) is likely on most tables this time of year. Yet, before you throw out those seeds…did you ever think to eat them?
The seeds of the butternut squash are often overlooked and end up in the waste bin or possibly saved for future gardening plans. These seeds are not only edible but totally delicious! When you think of roasted seeds it’s hard not to think of the common pumpkin or sunflower. Roasted butternut squash seeds are not only a best kept secret, they are super easy to make and extremely versatile like their counterpart the pumpkin.
Impress your family and friends the next time you make something with butternut squash and use the seeds! I like to use them simply for snacking or as a garnish to soups, salads, pastas, and more. The possibilities are endless. What I love most about roasted butternut squash seeds is they are smaller than pumpkin seeds, making them easier to eat and chew. In my recipe, I used these as a garnish to my Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup. (<Click to Go)
So simple, so good
This concept, was brought to my attention by one of my line cooks when I saw him casually snacking on roasted seeds. At first I thought they were pumpkin seeds but they were noticeably smaller.
He offered me some; they were simply salted, roasted, and quite amazing. Nutty, crunchy but surprisingly an easy bite to chew. They were perfect. Ever since then I’ve been hooked. So, shout out to Jeremy for opening my eyes and my foodie heart to roasted butternut squash seeds. I am forever grateful.
To start the roasting process, you’ll want to make sure you wash the seeds thoroughly so no pulp is left on them. I used a fine mesh strainer as pictured above. Once rinsed, disperse seeds onto a paper towel and pat dry. Place the seeds into a small bowl. Add one drop of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of honey and mix well.
Next, comes the fun part. You can use all different kinds of spice mixes and combinations as they are just as versatile as their sister the pumpkin seed. Since I knew I wanted to use them for soup I used complimentary spices for that dish. I used salt, pepper, chili powder, nutmeg, and cayenne.
Don’t forget you can make this vegan by substituting the honey for agave! I brought some vegan style seeds to my friends made with agave, olive oil, and pink Himalayan salt and they were asking me for the recipe instantly. They couldn’t believe that not only they were vegan but just so simple to make.
Once your seeds are evenly mixed and spiced, we are ready to roast them. Preheat your oven to 400 F. I used a cast iron skillet to roast my seeds because I just love my cast iron pans. Since cast iron keeps heat well and even, the seeds turn out really nicely. You can you a simple cooking sheet also.
However, we should note that depending on your oven and the type of pan used to roast the seeds may fluctuate the cooking time as well as it’s possible the temperature may need to be reduced. Just like cakes and pastries, the thickness, composition, and color of the pan needs to be factored in when considering time and temperature.
Ready to roast…
Spread your seeds evenly in a single layer across your selected pan. Unless you roast seeds all the time, I would watch your first batch just to make sure you don’t over cook them. Once overcooked, the seeds tend to have a bitter aftertaste. When the oven is up to temperature, bake your seeds on the middle rack. I’d start with 12 minutes and up the interval from there.
Your final roasted butternut squash seeds should be a nice golden brown. Almost like a honeycomb color could be a good comparison. After the initial 12 minutes, for my batch I decided to cook them longer. At this point I gave them a quick stir on the pan and redistributed them evenly.
The final roasting time for me in the cast iron was 18 minutes. I did not preheat my cast iron pan just as a side note. When you reach the desired color of your seeds, carefully pull them out of the oven and let cool about ten minutes on the pan stirring once more to move the seeds around.
When the seeds are finally cooled, start enjoying! As mentioned earlier, I used these to garnish my butternut squash soup. These are so versatile you can use them in salads, pastas, or as a healthy simple snack.
Let me know how you like your roasted butternut squash seeds and if you put your own spin on this awesome recipe. Looking forward to your comments. Post a picture of what you did with them!
- Seeds from one butternut squash
- 1 -2 drops olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon honey (or agave)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Step one
Preheat oven to 400 F. Remove seeds from one butternut squash with a spoon. Rinse and strain the seeds, ensuring all pulp is removed. Place seeds onto a paper towel and pat dry.
Move dried seeds to a small bowl. Add one or two drops of olive oil and your honey to your seeds. Mix together. Add your spices and mix again ensuring even distribution as possible.
Using a cast iron skillet or sheet pan, spread seeds evenly in a single layer on the pan. Place the seeds into the preheated oven. Bake for 12 minutes. Check to see if the seeds are golden brown.
If more time is needed, stir the seeds around and back into a single layer. Watch closely and check every 2 or 3 minutes. Remove from oven once golden and toasted which for me was at 18 minutes.
Stir roasted seeds around the pan. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Place seeds into an airtight container or Ziploc bag for storage. Eat and enjoy.
Try different spice combinations! Consider the pan and sugar content you're using as the time and oven temperature may need to be adjusted to prevent over browning.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 55Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 0g
Nutritional values are estimates only and may not be accurate.