Why (and How) to Roast Squash and Melon Seeds

Pumpkin seeds aren't the only seeds you can turn into a tasty snack.

Roasting pumpkin seeds turns them into a crunchy, salty, nutty-tasting snack that you can customize with your favorite spices. But don't stop there: The seeds from other winter squash varieties such as butternut and acorn are equally fair game—and so are seeds from summer melons. Like squash seeds, melon seeds are full of protein, and roasting them has long been popular in places including Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Here's our favorite method for roasting seeds from any type of gourd.

1.  Rinse 1 cup melon or winter squash seeds in colander under running water, swishing with your hands to remove large pieces of stringy flesh (don't worry about small bits). Spread seeds over dish towel. Top with second dish towel, then press gently to ensure good contact. Let dry for about 15 minutes.

2.  Toss seeds, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon spice blend (¼- to ½-teaspoon measures of your favorite spices), and ½ teaspoon kosher salt together in bowl. Spread seeds over rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in 350-degree oven on middle rack until light golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes for melon seeds or 20 to 25 minutes for winter squash seeds, stirring halfway through baking. Let cool on sheet. Serve. (Roasted seeds can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.)

The toasted seeds from butternut squash (top half) and honeydew melon (bottom half) make a crunchy, nutty-tasting snack—plus like all seeds, they're rich in protein.

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