Cracking sunflower seeds in your teeth and spitting out the hulls might be fun at an outdoor event, but it will not work if you need the kernels for a recipe. Aside from paying extra to buy shelled sunflower seeds from the store, you can use items in your kitchen drawer to shell the seeds–either raw or roasted–quickly and easily.

Things You'll Need

Fill a plastic bag with no more than ½ cup of sunflower seeds so the seeds lie in a single layer when the bag sits on its side.

Seal the bag and gently roll the rolling pin over the seeds to crack the hulls.

Empty the contents of the plastic bag into a bowl of water so the hulls (shells) rise to the top and the kernels sink to the bottom.

Skim the shells from the surface of the water with a skimmer or slotted spoon.

Pour the remaining water and sunflower seed kernels into a colander to drain the water away. The kernels are now ready to be eaten or used in cooking or baking.


  • Repeat the process if you need more than 1/2 cup of shelled sunflower seeds.