Air-Fried Pumpkin Seeds

There comes a time, in October, of course, when we have more pumpkin seeds than we know what to do with. If you've carved a pumpkin, PLEASE don't throw out those seeds! It's easy to transform them from the messy goop that they start out as into a tasty, crisp and chewy snack, and if you have an air fryer, that task just got a whole lot easier!

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Boiling the seeds in salted water is key to this recipe because that’s the only way the seeds get seasoned inside, rather than just on the outside. The smoked paprika gives some nice color and smoky flavor to the seeds, but you can also try spices like chili powder, ground cumin, cinnamon or even curry powder. Sky’s the limit!

In fact, if you master making pumpkin seeds in  your air fryer, you’d could easily incorporate some of those toasted treats into this snack mix, also made in your air fryer. 

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Air-Fried Pumpkin Seeds

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 35 m
  • Drying Time: 20 m
  • Total Time: 55 m
  • Servings:


  • cups pumpkin seeds from a large whole pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. Cut the pumpkin open and scrape out the insides with a spoon. Separate the flesh from the seeds and rinse the seeds with cold water.
  2. Bring two quarts of well-salted water to a boil (the water should taste a little salty). Add the pumpkin seeds to the boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain the seeds and spread them out on paper towels to dry for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Pre-heat the air fryer to 350ºF.
  4. Toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and smoked paprika and transfer them to the air fryer basket. Air-fry for 35 minutes, shaking the basket several times during the cooking process. Pumpkin seeds should be crispy and slightly browned.
  5. Allow the seeds to cool before serving or storing in an air-tight container or bag. Enjoy them as a snack or try using them as a topping for salads or yogurt.
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Comments (7)Post a Reply

  1. Dear Jean, would love to make this recipe but my air fryer model is not the‘basket’ type, mine has the‘racks’. My concern is laying seeds out on racks is that they would get blown off. Suggestions please? Thank you, Kathy

    1. Hi Kathy. I have not tried this in the air fryer oven, but I suspect the seeds might blow off the racks. The only thing I could suggest is using a little pan that has a slight lip around the perimeter to keep them in place a little better. The seeds will only start to blow around once they have become dry, so perhaps if you stick near the oven, you’ll hear them start to blow and will be able to stop the oven at that stage. With the basket, they just blow around when they have dried.

  2. Dear Jean,
    What is reason why you boil the seeds first? I’ve been looking at quite a bit of recipes some say to boil some say not too.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Lara,
      Boiling the seeds in salted water is key to this recipe because that’s the only way the seeds get seasoned inside, rather than just on the outside.

  3. 4 stars
    This is the second time I’ve tried to make the pumpkin seeds using this recipe. I found in my air fryer which is a Brevell, I had to cook at 320° and only cooked for 15 to 17 minutes. Next time, I’m going to lower the temperature to 300° and see if I can cook a little bit longer. But 350° is just too hot for these delicate pumpkin seeds.

    1. I have made these is a few different units and do find that 350°F for 35 minutes works well to dry out the seeds and toast them nicely. But all air fryers are a little different just like our regular ovens and sometimes you need to adjust the temperature and timing to suit your desired results.

  4. 5 stars
    Seeds are my favorite part of a pumpkin. I’m right there with you that I’m not fond of pumpkin flavor. These are so easy to make and so delicious! I’d never boiled the seeds in salt water before but it makes sense for flavoring! Thx for sharing!!
    Give the dogs a pat from me!

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