How to Dry Pumpkin Seeds Guide and Ideas

dried pumpkin seeds
You can dry pumpkin seeds in three ways: in a food dehydrator, using an oven, or air-drying. The best way to preserve the healthy fats in the seeds is to dry the seeds in the air with minimal heat exposure.

What is the Best Way to Dry Pumpkin Seeds?

The best way to dehydrate pumpkin seeds or pepitas is to dry them in the air to preserve the healthy oil within the seeds. However, this method takes the longest time, and it is possible to dry pumpkin seeds in a food dehydrator or oven.

Air Drying Pumpkin Seeds

Here’s how to dry pumpkin seeds in the air:

  1. Pour the seeds into a large bowl or colander and wash them under cool running water to remove all fibrous pumpkin pulp and tissue.
  2. Blot the clean seeds with paper towels to remove excess water.
  3. Place the seeds in a single layer on a baking or cookie sheet.
  4. Place the loaded sheet in a cool, dry area free from critters or pets.
  5. Check the seeds periodically and test them for dryness. Dry seeds will no longer be shiny, and the tops will be dry to the touch.
  6. Once the seeds are dry, transfer them to labeled, airtight containers and store them in a cool, dry place.
Woman holding air dried pumpkin seeds
Air-dried pumpkin seeds

Drying Pumpkin Seeds with a Food Dehydrator

Using a dehydrator is the second best way to dry pumpkin seeds. They will be exposed to less heat than oven-drying.

Follow the step-by-step instructions below to dehydrate pumpkin seeds in a dehydrator:

  1. Wash the seeds in cool water to remove the pumpkin pulp.
  2. Dab the seeds with paper towels to remove excess water.
  3. Pour the seeds into single layers on dehydrator trays lined with parchment paper to keep them from falling through the screens.
  4. Set the dehydrator to run at 115°F to 120°F. Allow the seeds to dry for 1- 2 hours.
  5. Stir the seeds every 20 minutes to prevent scorching.
  6. Once the set drying time is over, remove the seeds and allow them to cool to room temperature.
  7. Test the seeds for complete dryness. They should be crisp and break easily when split.
  8. Store the cool dried pumpkin seeds in airtight containers.

Oven Drying Pumpkin Seeds

Oven-drying pumpkin seeds will expose them to the most heat, so setting a low temperature is vital. It’s important to note that roasting and drying pumpkin seeds are different processes.

Here’s how to dry pumpkin seeds in an oven:

  1. Prep the seeds by washing them in water to remove pumpkin residue and blot them dry with paper towels to remove excess water.
  2. Preheat the oven to the lowest temperature setting for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Pour the seeds into a single layer on a baking sheet and place the tray as far from the heat source as possible.
  4. Dry the seeds for 3-4 hours until they are crispy or crunchy. If you have a standard oven, leave the oven door partially open to allow humidity to escape.
  5. Stir the seeds every 20-30 minutes to avoid scorching and ensure even drying.
  6. Let the dried seeds cool to room temperature before storing them in airtight containers.
Dark brown oven roasted pumpkin seeds in the oven
Oven-roasted pumpkin seeds

Do You Have to Clean Pumpkin Seeds Before Drying Them?

You have to clean pumpkin seeds before drying them to remove the pumpkin guts and pulp around them.

While the pulp is edible, leaving it on the seeds will prolong their drying time. It may also reabsorb moisture and cause your dried seeds to develop mold during storage.

How Long Does it Take to Dry Pumpkin Seeds?

It takes up to one month to dry pumpkin seeds in the air, 1-2 hours in a food dehydrator, and 3-4 hours in an oven.

Air drying takes longer as the seeds are exposed to less heat. Oven-drying and dehydrator methods are fast, but they may damage your seeds.

The total time to dry the seeds includes a short prep time of 10-15 minutes, depending on the number of seeds that need to be cleaned.

What are the Benefits of Air Drying Pumpkin Seeds?

Despite taking a long time to dry, air drying remains the best option for dehydrating pumpkin seeds. Healthy fats are preserved best by air drying. Air-drying is also the least expensive method because you don’t use any electric or gas energy to dry the seeds.

How Do You Store Dried Pumpkin Seeds?

You should store dried pumpkin seeds in airtight containers such as canning jars or Mylar bags. Keep them in a cool, dry place at room temperature for up to three months.

Pumpkin seeds inside glass container
Pumpkin seed container

What is the Shelf Life of Dried Pumpkin Seeds?

Raw dried pumpkin seeds can keep up to three months when stored at room temperature in airtight containers. To extend their shelf-life to a year, store them in vacuum-sealed bags in the freezer.

Ideas for Using Dried Pumpkin Seeds

Dry pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of manganese, vitamin K, fiber, potassium, calcium, zinc, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Enjoy these benefits by consuming the seeds in the following ways.

  1. Toss the raw pumpkin seeds with warm spices like cinnamon as a crunchy snack.
  2. Make roasted pumpkin seeds.
  3. Add them to a yummy homemade trail mix with dehydrated marshmallows.
  4. Add them to soups, salads, sauteed vegetables, or granola.
  5. Grind raw or roasted pumpkin seeds into a fine powder, and mix it into smoothies.

Alex Maina

Preserving food has become a meeting point for Alex's passions—gardening, cooking, and writing. Having grown up on a farm with cows, goats, chickens, and fresh fruits and vegetables, Alex knows the importance of preserving food for leaner times. He spends his time drying and canning foods, trying new recipes, and writing for Dehydrated Cookbook.

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