How to Roast Sunflower Seeds

An easy recipe for how to roast sunflower seeds in the oven or on the stove. Add to salads, snack mixes, and baked goods or blend into allergen-friendly sunflower seed butter.

Roasted sunflower seeds are delicious in homemade granola or on top of Asian brococoli slaw. Learn how to roast more nuts and seeds or make your own peanut butter, almond butter, or tahini.

Toasted sunflower seeds on a baking pan.

Roasting raw sunflower seeds is an easy way to enhance their flavor and an extra step you should put on auto-pilot: Just do it. Roast the seeds.

Whether you roast them in the oven or on the stove top, it only takes a few minutes and you can dramatically improve the taste of your sunflower seeds.

Making sunflower seed butter? Roasting is crucial to avoid gray, unappetizing sunflower seed butter. But even if you’re just having a snack, roasting is the way to go.

How to Shell Sunflower Seeds

As fun as it is to crack sunflower seeds between your teeth and spit out the shells, that’s not going to work for your next baking project.

Here’s an easy method to shell sunflower seeds in bulk:

  1. Working with 1/2 cup sunflower seeds at a time, add the seeds to a plastic bag. Lay the bag on its side to ensure the seeds are in a single layer.
  2. Seal the bag and use a rolling pin to gently roll over the seeds. This will crack the shells.
  3. Pour the seeds into a bowl of water. The shells will rise to the top and the kernels will sink to the bottom.
  4. Skim the shells from the surface and drain the remaining kernels.

How to Roast Sunflower Seeds in the Oven:

  1. I generally dry-roast my sunflower seeds. When you roast them, some of their natural oils are released so they smell delicious and look shiny. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and arrange shelled raw sunflower seeds in a single layer.
    Sunflower seeds on a baking sheet.
  2. Toast sunflower seeds in a preheated oven on a rimmed baking sheet for 7 to 10 minutes. Stir or shake the pan occasionally so the nuts brown evenly without burning.
    Toasted sunflower seeds on a baking sheet.

How to Roast Sunflower Seeds on the stove:

  1. Just like with the oven method, I dry-roast my sunflower seeds in a skillet. Add shelled raw sunflower seeds to a medium skill over medium heat.
    Sunflower seeds in a black frying pan.
  2. Roast until browned and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching.
    Roasted sunflower seeds in a black frying pan.

How to store Sunflower Seeds

  • Sunflower seeds raw – lasts 2 to 3 months in the pantry or 1 year in the freezer.
  • Sunflower seeds roasted (shelled) – lasts 3 to 4 months in the pantry or 1 year in the freezer.
  • Sunflower seeds roasted in the shell – lasts 4 to 5 months in the pantry or 1 year in the freezer.

How to Make Sunflower Seed Butter

I have a whole post on homemade sunflower seed butter. If you have a high-powered food processor or blender, all you need is sunflower seeds. And a little patience.

A close up of sunflower seed butter in a food processor.

Toasted sunflower seeds on a baking pan.

How to Roast Sunflower Seeds

An easy recipe for how to roast sunflower seeds in the oven or on the stove. Add to salads, snack mixes, and baked goods or blend into allergen-friendly sunflower seed butter.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Pantry
Cuisine: American
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 18 servings (2 tbsp each)
Calories: 117kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces raw sunflower seeds (2 1/4 cups)

Instructions

To roast sunflower seeds in the oven:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  • Arrange sunflower seeds a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Roast until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and cool before storing covered in the pantry for 3 to 4 months. Freeze for up to 1 year.

To roast sunflower seeds on the stove:

  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat sunflower seeds until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove from skillet and cool before storing covered in the pantry for 3 to 4 months. Freeze for up to 1 year.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 117kcal
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  1. Freddy

    Just like I made with my mum growing up…simple and delicious!5 stars

  2. Dan S Kennedy

    If you want the seeds to be salty on the inside of the seed you MUST boil the seeds in heavily salted water. I boil them for 30-40 minutes. You will find it makes a world of difference. I also use different seasonings to flavor my seeds. Bake time is longer unless you let them dry first. I hope this tip will help.

  3. Melissa

    Very easy to do and fantastic! Used for homemade sunflower butter.5 stars

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