How to Roast Melon Seeds

Written By Ollie Cartwright


You’ll have heard of roasting pumpkin seeds and maybe winter squash seeds in general, but what about melon seeds? It might sound peculiar if you’ve never tried them before, but melons are from the same family as pumpkins, so actually taste amazing. Here’s how to roast melon seeds.

Melon seeds on a white plate

It might seem like an unusual snack in the West but melon seeds have been a popular snack and ingredient across much of Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

What I love is that it’s a great way to prevent food waste. We’re all becoming more and more aware of what we throw out. You’ve probably never taken a second look at the melon seeds you immediately tip into the bin. But this recipe just goes to show that the most unassuming waste product can become a delicious snack.

What You’ll Need to Roast Melon Seeds

To create a crunchy snack from 1 melon, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Melon Seeds from 1 Melon: You can use the seeds from almost any melon. Watermelon is an option but you won’t get many seeds from one. Instead, try using a canteloupe or honeydew melon.
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil: You only need a little oil as it will help to crisp up the outsides of the seeds. Use too much and you’ll end up with greasy seeds!
  • Salt: Salt is a given in most recipes, but it’s particularly important here for turning them into a moreish and addictive snack.
  • ½ tsp Each of Chilli Powder, Paprika and Garlic Powder: Melon seeds don’t have a huge amount of flavour, which is why you’ll want to pile on the seasonings.
Ingredients for making roasted melon seeds in glass bowls on a marble background

How to Roast Melon Seeds

Once you’ve got your ingredients ready, the method for roasting melon seeds is similar to how you would roast other seeds:

  1. Preparation
    Preheat your oven to 160°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Cleaning
    Wash the melon seeds to remove any fruit pulp and spread them on paper towels to dry completely. To get a good crunch, they need to be completely dry.
  3. Seasoning
    In a bowl, toss the dried melon seeds with olive oil, salt, chilli powder, paprika, and garlic powder. This will give you a tasty snack. Melon seeds on their own can be a little dull.
Melon seeds mixed wiht spices and oil in a glass bowl
  1. Roasting
    Spread the seasoned seeds in a single layer on the prepared baking tray. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden and crispy.
Raw melon seeds spread onto a lined baking tray
  1. Cooling
    Allow the roasted seeds to cool on the tray, as they will become crunchier upon cooling, then enjoy. They can also be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Substitutes and Tweaks

Once the seeds have cooled, melt some chocolate and drizzle it, from a height, over the seeds to give them some sweetness.

Replace the chilli powder, paprika, and garlic powder with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.

Before roasting, drizzle with a bit of sesame oil and sprinkle sesame seeds for an added nutty flavour.

Before roasting, drizzle with a bit of sesame oil and sprinkle sesame seeds for an added nutty flavour.

Combine melon seeds with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, season, and roast together for a varied texture.

Instead of paprika, use turmeric for a mild flavour and vibrant yellow colour. For heat, consider ground cayenne or black pepper instead of chilli powder.

Tips for Roasting Melon Seeds

Below are my top tips for roasting melon seeds. If you’ve never roasted them before then make sure you give these a read:

  • Pre-Roast Soaking: Soaking seeds overnight in a light brine of salty water not only seasons them but also helps achieve a crispy exterior during roasting.
  • Soak Excess Oil: If your seeds seem too oily post-roasting, spread them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  • Oven Door Ajar: Keeping the oven door slightly open in the last 5 minutes can let out steam and make the seeds crispier.

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