Roasted Za’atar Pumpkin Seeds

Wondering what to do with those pumpkin (or winter squash) seeds beside throw them down the disposal? Roast them for a satisfying snack! This recipe calls for za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice/herb blend. A typical batch of za’atar is made from a mixture of dried thyme, oregano, and/or savory, as well as dried sumac, sesame seeds, and salt. Sumac is a spice that adds a sour, lemony, tangy note to foods. It is NOT the poisonous variety found in the eastern United States. The edible one has red fruits, whereas the toxic one has whitish-gray fruits.

You’ll note that I don’t have exact measurements in the Ingredients list—I don’t know how large your pumpkin was, so I can’t tell how many seeds you have. It doesn’t really matter, as the “recipe” is really more a set of scalable steps. And if you don’t like za’atar (or can’t get it in time, though you can order some at Penzey’s Spices), feel free to substitute a different blend (or even make your own!). By the way, I used a white pumpkin for this.

What You’ll Need

  • bowl(s)
  • colander or strainer
  • dish towel
  • spoon or fork for tossing
  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper or silicone baking sheet


  • pumpkin seeds left over from roasting, cooking, or carving
  • oil, such as olive or sunflower
  • kosher or sea salt
  • za’atar

How to Make the Roasted Zaa’tar Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  2. I’m assuming your seeds and the attached flesh/fibers are in a bowl. Remove the seeds from the flesh and place them in a colander or strainer; don’t worry if you don’t remove every last molecule of fibers—it won’t compromise the roasted seeds. Discard the flesh and stringy bits.
  3. SeedsAndFlesh_RS

  4. Rinse the seeds and dry them in a towel.
  5. Place the dried seeds in a bowl. Add some oil—start with a teaspoon. You can always add more. Using a spoon or fork, toss the seeds. They should be coated, but not swimming in oil.
  6. Add a couple of pinches of salt (how many depends on how salty you like things, but remember that the za’atar also has salt).
  7. Toss the seeds so that the salt and oil are well distributed among the seeds. Then add the za’atar (to taste). Toss again to so that it is well mixed.
  8. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone sheet. Spread the seeds on the sheet as evenly as possible.
  9. ReadyForRoasting_RS

  10. Roast for about 10 minutes. Stir and roast for another 10 minutes. If the seeds are smelling toasty and starting to brown, remove them from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet. If not, roast for another 5-10 minutes, until done.

You can roast seeds at a higher temperature. It will go faster, but you do increase the risk of burning the seeds.