Dessert

The Ultimate Guide to Making The Best Thanksgiving Pies You’ve Ever Had

Shopping lists, healthy swaps, indulgent recipes, and more!

By: Lexy Parsons

Baking season is officially underway! And what’s better than a freshly baked, delicious holiday pie? We’ll tell you — one that’s equally fresh and tasty but made with wholesome ingredients! While the holiday season is meant to be enjoyed, why not have your *pie* and eat it too? Yes, you can indulge (without guilt) and still stay on track with your fitness goals. Thanks to our healthy holiday hacks that is! Ahead are the best Thanksgiving pie recipes that will have you going back in for seconds and still feeling your best. 

RELATED: A Healthy Thanksgiving Plate For 6 Popular Eating Plans

3 Quick Tips on Making Healthy Thanksgiving Pie 

#1 Make Healthy Sugar Swaps 

While dessert is meant to be sweet, traditional Thanksgiving pies and holiday baked goods are a sugar bomb waiting to happen. What’s worse? These pies typically contain inflammatory and highly refined sugars like corn syrup and table sugar. 

Swap sneaky sugars for healthier alternatives, such as pure maple syrup, Medjool dates, honey, coconut sugar, and unsweetened apple sauce. 

#2 Use a Flour Alternative 

While many traditional pies are made with refined white flour, we made our healthy Thanksgiving pies with nutritious alternatives that happen to be both grain and gluten-free! 

When making your own Thanksgiving pies, consider nutritious flour alternatives such as oat flour, almond flour, and coconut flour! 

Plus, swapping the flour is a great way to make your recipe gluten-free or paleo/keto-friendly.

#3 Boost the Nutrition by Adding Wholesome Ingredients

If you can’t recognize it or pronounce it, it’s not an ingredient worthy of your healthy Thanksgiving pie! Pass on artificial ingredients, sneaky sugars (beware of sweetened pumpkin fillings and milks), and added oils like canola or vegetable oil. Instead, stick to whole foods. 

In doing so, you’ll help prevent a blood sugar surge and get an extra dose of nutrients (think: an added protein boost from almond flour vs. refined white flour, or fiber and minerals from dates vs. processed white sugar). Plus, reaching for more nutrient-dense foods will help you stay on track with your fitness goals!

Kitchen Supplies

Imagine making it halfway through your healthy Thanksgiving pie recipe instructions only to discover you’re missing the necessary supplies to finish! Don’t let this be you (we’ve been there and done that). So, here are all the kitchen supplies you’ll need for your healthy Thanksgiving pie. Got them already? Great.

Pie Dish 

Because what’s a pie without a pie dish? Grab a standard 9 – 9.5 inch pie dish (or two). Glass is ideal for an even bake, but disposable aluminum works too!

Multi-Sized Mixing Bowls 

You’ll need a few medium-sized mixing bowls. We recommend getting a multi-sized set like these stainless-steel bowls.

High-Speed Blender and/or Food Processor

While both appliances are kitchen must-haves, you can save the high-speed blender for your holiday wish list if you’re trying to cut back on expenses. A large food processor like this one will work perfectly.  

Measuring cups and spoons

While we love intuitive eating… intuitive baking, not so much! One wrong measurement can throw off the entire recipe — so, be sure to grab a set of measuring cups and spoons

Cookie Sheet(s)

We recommend stocking up on a few cookie sheets if possible. This way, you can utilize more than one at a time! Plus, they’ll come in handy plenty this Thanksgiving (think: roasting veggies, baking cookies, or warming up appetizers). We love these non-stick cookie sheets.

Parchment Paper

This is key to a stick-free bake! While you can alternatively oil your pan, parchment paper is the fool-proof (and calorie-free) way to prevent recipes from sticking or flaking.

Large Stovetop Saute Pan

Making our apple pie dish below? You’ll need a large stove-top pan to saute those sweet, seasonal apples. For something more splurge-worthy, we love this pan!

Silicone Spatula/Spoon

This multi-use kitchen tool is a must. And silicone is best here. It works as the perfect mixing spoon, and also helps you scrape every last bit of residual pie filling stuck in your blender or bowl.

Can Opener

A can opener to open that pumpkin puree, of course! 

Apple Corer

While this kitchen tool is optional, we’re leaving it here for those who appreciate the efficiency. 

Staple Ingredients

The ultimate healthy Thanksgiving pie ingredients, all in one convenient place. Do a quick pantry scan to see what you have on hand, then bring this list to the store to pick up what’s missing!

Flours & Grains

  • Almond flour 
  • Gluten-free rolled oats
  • Oat flour

Sweeteners

  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Coconut sugar
  • Molasses

Produce

  • Apples
  • Medjool dates

Dairy / Dairy-Alternatives

  • Eggs (can sub flax or chia egg)
  • Butter (can sub vegan butter)
  • Dairy-free milk (oat milk, almond milk, cashew milk, or your favorite variety)

Seeds, Nuts & Nut butter

  • Pecans or nuts of choice (raw or dry roasted)
  • Flax or chia seeds
  • Almond butter (unsweetened and creamy)

Canned & Jarred Items:

  • Unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • Full fat coconut milk
  • Coconut oil

Spices & Flavorings

  • Vanilla extract
  • Mint extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Cloves

How to Make a Healthy Homemade Thanksgiving Pie Crust

The best homemade healthy Thanksgiving pie crust, made simple. This base recipe is made with everything you’ll love, and nothing you won’t! It’s gluten-free, vegan, paleo-friendly, and made with a handful of wholesome ingredients. Yum!! 

The Best Paleo Almond Flour Thanksgiving Pie Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½  cups almond flour (+ 1-2 tbsp as needed)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar 
  • 1/4 cup cold butter (vegan or dairy)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  • ½ – 3 tbsp cold water, as needed 
  • ½ – 2 tbsp almond flour, as needed 

Nut-free option: 1:1 swap for oat flour 

Butter Alternatives: works with both vegan and dairy butter; OR can swap with equal amounts coconut or olive oil (¼ cup) 

Low-sugar option: Leave out sweetener (or option to use 2 tbsp versus 4) 

Directions:

Step #1: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Step #2: Line a pie pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Step #3: While the the oven is preheating, mix almond flour, coconut sugar, and salt until well combined 

Step #4: Stir in butter and vanilla and mix until a dough starts to form. It may be crumbly to start (that’s ok!). Continue scraping down the sides to form, kneading with hands as necessary.

Step #5: If the dough is too crumbly, mix in ½ tbsp cold water at a time. Mix in completely before adding more water. The dough should be well formed but not sticky. 

Step #6: If the dough is too wet or oily, add ½ tbsp almond flour at a time. 

Step #7: Once you’ve achieved your desired consistency, chill in the fridge until dough is hardened (about 20-40 minutes).

Step #8: Remove dough from the fridge and place in the center of your pie dish. 

Step #9: Using your hands, evenly press the dough into the pie plate lining the bottom of the pan. Next, press the dough up the sides of the pan to cover the dish.

Step #10: For no-bake pies, bake the pie crust for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before adding filling. 

Step #11: For cooked pies, pre-bake the pie crust for 10 minutes until lightly golden. Let cool, and add pie filling. Bake according to instructions for pie filling base. 

The Best Healthy Thanksgiving Pies + 1 Bonus Recipe 

#1 Pecan Pie Filling

Healthy Thanksgiving pecan pie

Yes — 5 wholesome ingredients (including the flavorings!) is really all you need! Maple syrup and fiber-rich dates marry perfectly together to create an all-natural mixture that tastes sinfully delicious. By the way, we love a good pecan pie — so, rest assured, this recipe does not disappoint. 

Serve it warm or chilled — both are perfectly indulgent!! 

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup 
  • ¾  cup Medjool dates, pitted and soaked  
  • 1 ½ – ¾  cups pecans, chopped
  • ½  tbsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of salt

Directions:

Step #1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Step #2: Add maple syrup, dates, vanilla, salt, and 1 cup of pecans to food processor and blitz until well combined into a creamy mixture

Step #3: Pour mixture into a bowl, and add remaining chopped walnut pieces. Mix until well combined.

Step #4: Pour filling to a slightly pre-baked pie crust (pre-cooked for 10 minutes).

Step #5: Bake on 350 for 40-50 minutes, or until pie crust and topping is golden brown.

Step #6: Remove from oven and cool

Step #7: Wait 3-4 hours to serve (this is crucial, so flavors meld together). Serve warm or chilled!

#2 Apple Pie Filling

Thanksgiving apple pie

Just the thought of warm tart apples mixed with notes of sweet cinnamon makes our mouth water! This healthy Thanksgiving pie is a classic, and making it is easier than ever! Sweetened only with Medjool dates, this is a tasty treat that you can totally feel good about eating. Serve it up with a creamy coconut whip or top it off with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream for something more indulgent. 

Ingredients

  • 5-6 large apples (or 6-8 smaller), thinly sliced 
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, room temperature 
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and soaked  
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp lemon juice 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice 

Note: While any apples will work just fine, I’ve found a combination of various apple varieties tastes best! 

Directions:

Step #1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Step #2: Add 1 tsp of coconut oil to a medium to large pan and melt on medium heat. 

Step #3: Add apple slices, vanilla, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Stir until well coated.

Step #4: Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes until apples are soft.

Step #5: Lower to low heat, remove cover, and stir in dates. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Apples should be soft but still formed.

Step #6: Remove from heat and let cool. 

Step #7: Add filling to a slightly pre-baked pie crust (pre-cooked for 10 minutes).

Step #8: Bake on 325 for 30 minutes, or until pie is golden brown and apples are cooked through.

Step #9: Remove from oven and let cool. 

Step #10: Wait 3-4 hours to serve (this is crucial, so flavors meld together). Serve warm or chilled!

#3 Pumpkin Pie Filling

Thanksgiving pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie, the OG recipe of Thanksgiving! This filling is dairy-free, gluten-free, made with real pumpkin, and sweetened with real, wholesome ingredients. That’s right — no condensed milk or processed corn syrup in this healthy Thanksgiving pie. You can achieve that perfect texture the natural way.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15 or 16 oz). can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • ¼  cup full-fat oat milk: option for cashew milk or coconut milk
  • ¼  cup + 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼  cup coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ½  tbsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
  • ½  tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free oat flour, (optional, but recommended to thicken)

Directions:

Step #1: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Step #2: Combine above ingredients in a large bowl or blender.

Step #3: Mix until well combined.

Step #4: Pour ingredients into a slightly pre-baked pie crust (pre-baked about 10 minutes).

Step #5: Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until pie filling is no longer “jiggly” and pie crust is golden brown.

Step #6: Remove from oven and let cool.

Step #7: Once cooled, chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours to allow the pie to set. Serve chilled!

Note: If blending, do not over blend. Blend on medium speed until well combined but not too thin.

For a lower-calorie, lower-fat option, this pie can be baked crustless! Simply line a pie pan with parchment paper and bake as directed above.

Bonus Healthy Thanksgiving Pie Recipe: Raw Pumpkin Pie 

#4 No-Bake Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Thanksgiving vegan pumpkin pie

A no-bake, raw vegan pumpkin pie?! We know, we outdid ourselves. This recipe is so simple that it’s essentially foolproof. No baking (or baking experience) needed! With less than 10 ingredients needed for the filling (and just 2 for the no-bake crust!), you’ll be coming back to this recipe for all your sweet tooth needs — long after the holiday’s over.

No-Bake Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups pecans or walnuts (or nuts of choice)
  • 1 ½ cups Medjool dates, pitted and soaked

Optional: 1 tsp vanilla and pumpkin spices

No-Bake Pumpkin Filling

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked and drained
  • 1 (16 oz.) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked
  • ¼ cup full-fat coconut or oat milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Step #1: To make the no-bake crust, add the nuts and soaked dates to a food processor. Pulse until well combined into a dough-like mixture. If too dry, option to add 1 tbsp of water or non-dairy milk at a time. 

Step #2: Line a pie pan with parchment paper and press the raw dough evenly into the pan. Place in fridge or freezer while preparing the filling. 

Step #3: To make the filling, add all the filling ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor. Blend until well combined until creamy but not too thin.

Step #4: Once desired consistency is achieved, pour the mixture into the already prepared pie crust.

Step #5: Chill in the fridge or freezer for 2-3 hours (or until set) before serving!

Busy Holiday? Try These Healthier Store-Bought Options

Pre-Made Pie Crust 

Want to save time and energy in the kitchen? Opt for a store-bought crust! There are plenty of healthier options that will make your life that much easier. Here are some of our favorites:

Wholly Wholesome Organic Pie crust (gluten-free varieties available)

Diamond Foods Nut-based crusts 

Toppings

Because every dessert is made better with toppings, right?! Try these yummy (and healthier) toppings that will elevate your plate even more.

So Delicious dairy-free coconut whipped cream

Enjoy Life Foods dairy-free dark chocolate chips 

Lily’s stevia-sweetened chocolate 

Purely Elizabeth pumpkin granola

Unsweetened coconut flakes

Dairy-free ice cream such as Nada Moo, Jeni’s, or Cado (or try this homemade banana nice cream!)

Paleonola grain-free maple granola 

Prepared Pies

And when you just can’t be bothered in the kitchen, turn to these already prepared healthier Thanksgiving pies! This is the next best option for busy holidays where time is of the essence. 

Raised Gluten Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Raised Gluten Free Apple Pie

Urban Remedy single-serving pumpkin pie 

And, don’t forget to check out your local grocery store for freshly baked healthy options! Stores like Whole Foods, Wegmans, and Trader Joe’s have lots of healthy options to choose from, including gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo-friendly finds!

Your Healthiest & Sweetest Thanksgiving Yet

There you have it, the Ultimate Thanksgiving Pie Guide. Between recipe lists, healthy ingredient swaps, and of course, the most delicious Thanksgiving pies, you have everything you need to have the best Thanksgiving ever!

Bon appétit!