A healthier vegan pecan pie that’s incredibly delicious with no eggs, no corn syrup and no refined sugar. It’s rich, sweet, caramel-ly, loaded with pecans and the perfect holiday dessert. Plus, it’s so simple to make! No need to blind bake the crust or precook the filling.
Can it be?? A delicious pecan pie that’s healthier than most?
If you’ve been following along for a while, you know I can’t help but add a healthier twist on just about everything. 😉
This vegan pecan pie is no different.
And although traditionally served as a Thanksgiving dessert, it’s perfectly acceptable if you want to go ahead and make it any time of year. 😉
Or if fruity pies are more your thing, check out my strawberry or blueberry pie instead!
What makes this version healthier?
- The pie crust (if using mine) is made using wholesome, unrefined ingredients like almond flour and whole what flour. No butter, oil, lard or refined sugar.
- Unlike most pecan pies, this filling does not include highly processed ingredients like corn syrup.
- The filling is also free from refined sugar. Instead, I’m using pure maple syrup and molasses to sweeten this dessert.
- No cholesterol since there are no eggs in the version. Instead, there’s heart healthy flax seeds in its place.
To be clear, this is not a salad. 😉 Pecan pie is not a health food and has a fair bit of calories, fat and sugar. BUT, this is probably as wholesome and healthy as pecan pies can get.
Gather your ingredients, here’s what you’ll need.
- Pecans: Use pecan halves, and no need to chop them (saves a little time). I buy mine at Costco where I find the best value.
- Ground flax: Acts as your binder to replace the eggs that are typically used in pecan pie. You won’t taste it! (You may grind whole flax seeds if you don’t have ground on hand.)
- Tapioca starch: (also known as tapioca flour) This acts as your thickener. I assume corn starch would also work, but I haven’t specifically tried. Let me know if you try it that way in the comments below.
- Molasses: I prefer fancy molasses since blackstrap is less sweet and a touch bitter, but use what you have and like.
- Nut butter: I like cashew butter or pecan butter, but you may also use almond or peanut butter if that’s what you have on hand.
- The vanilla, instant coffee and cinnamon are all optional ingredients. You may use all, some or none. Their use is not essential to the outcome.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Add everything, except the pecans to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine. (photos 1-2)
Then stir in the pecans and make sure they are all coated. Pour the mixture into your prepared crust. (photos 3-4)
Bake in your preheated oven for 40 minutes. But place a pie shield or loosely fitted sheet of aluminum foil on top, after the first 15 minutes. This will prevent the crust from getting too dark.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a cooling rack for at least two hours. The cool down time is crucial for the pie to set properly.
Once cooled, you may slice and serve with a scoop of no churn ice cream (or pumpkin nice cream) or coconut whipped cream.
Or skip the toppings and just chow down.
For added depth of flavour, roast your pecans on a baking sheet for 8-10 before mixing into your batter.
Give your pie a southern kick by swapping the vanilla for bourbon.
For salted pecan pie, increase the salt to one teaspoon and/or sprinkle course salt on top, immediately after removing from the oven.
I’ve tested this recipe many times to find the perfect ratio of rich and sweet flavours and my first choice is the recipe below, of course.
However, for a richer, sweeter filling, you may use the following quantities. I’ve tested it this way, but prefer my desserts slightly less sweet. If you like it sweeter and have a sweet tooth, try it this way:
- 1 ½ cups pecan halves (instead of 1 ¼ cups)
- ¾ cup maple syrup (instead of ⅔ cup)
- 4 tablespoons molasses (instead of 3 tablespoons)
Note that this will bump up the calories, sugar and fat content.
Frequently Asked Questions
Give your pie a gently shake, the center should jiggle a little, but appear thick and not watery. The edges will appear a little more set then the center. Your pie needs to cool at room temperature to fully set, so it will never look completely set while baking.
If it’s runny, that means it is not completely set. While it’s warm, the liquids will run a little. But once cooled, it will hold together firmly.
You may bake 1 day in advance to enjoy the following day. This will provide ample time for your pie to completely set. Although it keeps refrigerated for 3-5 days, it tastes best on days one and two.
I like it cold, or at room temperature. But once your pie is set, you may reheat individual pieces in the oven or microwave if you prefer it warm.
Once cooled, refrigerate your pecan pie for 3-5 days. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap, or transfer to a sealed container.
You may freeze leftovers for up to 2 months.
- Let your pie cool at room temperature for a minimum of two hours after baking. This cool down time is essential for your pie to set, and make slicing easier.
- Make sure the pie is completely cooled to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
More delicious fall desserts
If you tried this recipe, please let me know about it in the comments below. I always love hearing from you! Don’t forget to Subscribe to This Healthy Kitchen to be among the first to get my new recipes! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter to see more delicious food and get all the latest updates.
For the Crust (Or vegan pie crust of your choice)
- 90 grams (approx. ¾ cup) almond flour
- 80 grams (approx. ¾ cup) white whole wheat flour also known as soft whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 medium ripe avocado
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons almond milk or non dairy milk of choice
- 1-2 tablespoons water ONLY if needed!
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or granulated sugar of choice optional
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional
For the Filling
- 1 ¼ cups pecan halves
- ⅔ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons fancy molasses
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cashew milk or milk of choice
- 3 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 2 tablespoons cashew butter or almond butter
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
Optional Add Ins For the Filling
- 2.5 teaspoons instant coffee granules
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Prepare your pie crust of choice and set aside. I use my oil free pie crust (see post for detailed directions and step by step photos on making the crust) with the almond flour option, which I highly recommend. If using this crust, there's no need to prebake (blind bake) the crust.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Add all the filling ingredients, except the pecans, to a mixing bowl and whisk well until combined. Then add the pecan halves and give it a quick stir to coat the pecans.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared crust and bake for 15 minutes. Then place a pie shield over your pie or loosely cover it with aluminum foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. (Total bake time 40 minutes.) This will prevent your crust from baking too quickly and getting too dark.
- Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rack for a minimum of two hours before slicing.
I don’t get avocados easily where I live – any substitute?
Hi Deepti, I’ve tested this with one medium mashed banana OR 1/4 cup of tahini. I prefer the tahini option as the crust needs some fat for a softer texture.
Have you ever tried using gluten free flour? Asking for my daughter.
Hi Kim, no I haven’t tried that yet.