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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.
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:
- Working with ½ 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.
- Seal the bag and use a rolling pin to gently roll over the seeds. This will crack the shells.
- Pour the seeds into a bowl of water. The shells will rise to the top and the kernels will sink to the bottom.
- Skim the shells from the surface and drain the remaining kernels.
How to Roast Sunflower Seeds in the Oven:
- 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.
- 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.
How to Roast Sunflower Seeds on the stove:
- 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.
- Roast until browned and fragrant, about 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching.
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.
How to Roast Sunflower Seeds
- 12 ounces raw sunflower seeds (2 ¼ cups)
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.
Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.