How to hull pumpkin seeds

Save the seeds from your pumpkins and turn them into a tasty and healthy snack. Eat them alone or combine them with other seeds and nuts to create a trail mix. While the hull, or shell, on pumpkin seeds is edible, some hulls are tough or stringy. Removing the hulls allows you to enjoy the seeds without worrying about hulls getting stuck in your teeth. Hull the seeds after roasting or boiling them, otherwise they are difficult to remove without breaking the seed inside.

Boiled pumpkin seeds

Boil the seeds in 1 litre (1 quart) of salted water for 10 minutes.

Drain the seeds in the colander. Allow them to drain until the pumpkin seeds are cool enough to handle.

Pinch the narrow end of each seed between your thumb and forefinger. Squeeze until the seed slips out of the hull.

Slit the hull along the wide end of the seed with your fingernail or a paring knife if the seed doesn't slip out easily. Don't cut into the seed within the hull.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

Spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking tray. Cook in a preheated 120 degrees C (250F) oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow them to cool completely.

Spread the seeds out in a single layer on top of a sheet of waxed paper. Lay a second sheet of waxed paper on top.

Beat the hulls lightly with a wood mallet or a meat tenderiser. Hit the hulls hard enough to crack them but not so hard you crush the seeds.

Fill a bowl with water. Place the seeds in the water and stir with a spoon. The cracked hulls float to the top while the seeds sink.

Skim the hulls from the top of the water with a slotted spoon. Pour the seeds into a colander to drain off the water. Pick out any remaining hulls.


Salt and season the seeds after removing the hulls. Boiled seeds can also be roasted after hull removal.

Hull-less pumpkin varieties have such thin hulls that they don't require removal.

Things You'll Need

  • Salt
  • Colander
  • Paring knife
  • Baking tray
  • Waxed paper
  • Mallet
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Slotted spoon
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About the Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.