Do pumpkin seeds blend well?

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are the edible seeds found inside pumpkins. They are a popular snack and ingredient thanks to their nutritional profile and versatility. But do pumpkin seeds actually blend well? Let’s take a look at the properties of pumpkin seeds and how they perform in blenders.

Quick Answers

In short, yes, pumpkin seeds do blend well for the most part. When raw, they have a firm, crunchy texture that requires a powerful blender to break down completely. When roasted, they soften up and blend more easily into sauces, dips, and other recipes. The high fat content in pumpkin seeds means they can quickly transform into a smooth paste or butter in a blender. However, pumpkin seed shells should be removed first for the smoothest results.

Pumpkin Seed Properties

To understand how well pumpkin seeds blend, it helps to know a bit about their composition and characteristics. Here are some of the main properties of pumpkin seeds:

Oil Content

Pumpkin seeds contain 45-50% oil content on average. This high oil content is what gives them a rich, creamy texture when blended up. The oils help facilitate the blending and emulsification process.

Protein Content

Pumpkin seeds contain a good amount of protein, around 30-33% on average. This protein content contributes to their nutty flavor and also impacts their texture when blended. More protein means a thicker, dense consistency.

Fiber Content

There is around 5-10% fiber in pumpkin seeds. This fiber content helps add some body to blended pumpkin seed mixtures. However it is not so high that it inhibits blending and smoothing out.

Crunchy Texture

Raw pumpkin seeds have a very hard, crunchy texture. This makes them difficult to chew and requires a more powerful blender to break down. Roasted pumpkin seeds have a softer, chewier texture that blends more easily.

Mild Flavor

Pumpkin seeds have a mild, subtly sweet and nutty flavor. This means they can blend seamlessly into both sweet and savory recipes without dominating other ingredients.

Do Raw Pumpkin Seeds Blend Well?

Raw pumpkin seeds pose more of a blending challenge than roasted seeds due to their extremely hard, crunchy texture. Here’s an overview of how raw pumpkin seeds perform in blenders:

Difficult to Break Down

The tough outer shell and dense seed interior require significant blender power to break down. Weaker blenders like inexpensive models may simply bounce whole pumpkin seeds around without effectively grinding them.

May Need Liquid

Adding some liquid like water, milk, or oil can help raw pumpkin seeds blend more smoothly. The liquid assists the blender blades in evenly processing the seeds.

Works Best in High Powered Blenders

Quality high speed blenders like Vitamix, Blendtec, Cleanblend and Ninja blenders provide the cutting power and speed needed to thoroughly grind hard raw pumpkin seeds. Lower speed conventional blenders may struggle.

Blends Into Nut Butter

With enough time and blender power, raw pumpkin seeds can transform into a smooth, creamy nut butter or paste. This takes patience to achieve though.

May Need Straining

Small bits of pumpkin shell can sometimes remain even in a high powered blender. Passing the blended mix through a fine mesh strainer helps remove any remaining shell fragments.

Do Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Blend Well?

Roasting pumpkin seeds makes them easier to blend in two ways:

Softer Texture

The dry heat of roasting partially breaks down the tough cell structure of raw pumpkin seeds. This gives roasted seeds a softer, chewier texture that requires less blending power.

Easier to Grind

The softer texture translates to easier grinding. Most conventional blenders can handle blending up roasted pumpkin seeds as long as the blender jar is not overfilled.

Here are some more tips for blending roasted pumpkin seeds:

  • Add some neutral oil to the blender to facilitate blending.
  • Start with short pulses then increase to continuous blending once the seeds start breaking down.
  • For a very smooth paste or butter, strain blended roasted seeds.
  • Roasted pumpkin seeds pair well blended with ingredients like garlic, tahini, olive oil, cheeses, and herbs.

Tips for Blending Pumpkin Seeds

Follow these tips for the smoothest, most effective pumpkin seed blends regardless of whether you use raw or roasted seeds:

Remove Shells First

Always remove the outer shells from pumpkin seeds before blending. The shells are too tough to fully break down. De-hull seeds by rubbing between hands, sifting, or other methods.

De-hulling Method Description
Hand Rubbing Hold seeds in hand and rub together briskly to loosen shells.
Water Soaking Soak seeds in water 30-60 minutes then drain – shells separate and float.
Sifting Pour seeds down a wire mesh sieve – shells stay behind in sieve.

Don’t Overfill Blender

Only fill your blender jar about halfway when blending pumpkin seeds. Too many seeds can hinder the blender’s grinding power.

Use Short Pulses

Use short 1-2 second pulses to start, then increase to longer blending times. Let the blender rest briefly between pulses to avoid overheating.

Add Liquid or Fat

A small amount of neutral oil or liquid like water helps pumpkin seeds blend more smoothly.

Strain After Blending

For perfectly silky pumpkin seed butter or paste, pass blended seeds through a fine mesh strainer.

Consider Soaking

Soaking raw pumpkin seeds briefly in water before blending can begin softening them for easier breakdown in the blender.

Best Blenders for Pumpkin Seeds

You can blend pumpkin seeds in virtually any blender, but higher powered models make the job easier. Here are some of the best blender options for pumpkin seeds:

Blender Features
Vitamix Commercial grade motor, aircraft-grade blades, variable speed
Blendtec Powerful motor, strong blade design, pre-programmed cycles
Cleanblend High torque, 5 horsepower motor, 8 blade design
Ninja Sharp stainless steel blades, 1,000+ watt motor on some models
Oster Affordable but decent performing motor and blades

Pumpkin Seed Butter Recipe

Once you’ve mastered the art of blending pumpkin seeds, try making your own homemade pumpkin seed butter with this simple recipe:


  • 3 cups raw pumpkin seeds, shelled
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla or maple extract (optional)
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In a dry blender or food processor, blend the pumpkin seeds on high until they form a flour consistency, about 1 minute. Stop to scrape down the sides as needed.
  2. Add the oil and extract if using plus a pinch of salt. Blend again on high until a smooth paste forms, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. If not completely smooth, strain the pumpkin seed butter through a fine mesh sieve.
  4. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Use this nourishing homemade pumpkin seed butter on toast, in smoothies, in oatmeal, or wherever else you enjoy nut butters!

Recipes to Blend Pumpkin Seeds Into

Besides eating them whole or making pumpkin seed butter, there are many tasty ways to use blended pumpkin seeds in recipes like:

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Blend roasted pumpkin seeds into a traditional basil pesto for a nutty twist.

Pumpkin Seed Soup

For a rich, vibrant soup, blend pumpkin seeds into roasted pumpkin or butternut squash soup.

Pumpkin Seed Salad Dressing

Puree pumpkin seeds with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil for a creamy dressing.

Pumpkin Seed Hummus

Add pumpkin seed butter to chickpea hummus for extra nutrition and flavor.

Pumpkin Seed Smoothie

Throw a tablespoon of pumpkin seed butter in your next fruit smoothie.

No-Bake Energy Bites

Bind together oats, nuts, coconut, cacao nibs, and pumpkin seed butter for tasty portable snacks.


Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they pack a nutritious punch. Their high oil content in particular makes them a great addition to blended recipes like sauces, spreads, soups, and more. While raw pumpkin seeds can be challenging for some blenders, roasted pumpkin seeds blend up easily in most models. For perfect smoothness, blend seeds in a high speed blender and be sure to remove those tough outer shells first. With so many options for incorporating their mild flavor and creamy texture, pumpkin seeds are worth blending into both sweet and savory dishes.

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