This vegan pecan pie recipe is the perfect dessert to serve for a special occasion this holiday season. It's made with healthier, simple ingredients, and tastes even more delicious than traditional pecan pie!
Traditional Pecan Pie
Classic pecan pie is made with butter, eggs, and corn syrup. I wanted to make a version that was entirely vegan and didn't use any butter or eggs but was also made healthier, so it didn't have any corn syrup in it.
When making healthier, vegan versions of desserts, the most important thing for me is that the final result does not compromise on taste, despite being better for animals and the environment, and better for our health. This pie was exactly that! It tastes so incredibly delicious, that you or anyone you are serving this to will not know that it's not their favorite traditional pecan pie.
Egg substitute for pecan pie
To create the perfect vegan pecan pie filling, I used a combination of ingredients. I used almond butter to replace the butter. I also used a combination of coconut cream, granulated sugar, and cornstarch to create a thick sweet solid layer for the pecans to sit in. These all helped replace the structure that eggs traditionally give this recipe.
Many pecan pie recipes use a combination of dark corn syrup and light corn syrup as the sweetener, but I am personally not a huge fan of corn syrup, so I didn't use any in this recipe. I used maple syrup instead, because of the slightly higher nutrient value. To keep the color of the pie dark, I also used coconut sugar, which is brown, instead of lighter-colored sugar.
Delicious additions to put your pie over the top
Lastly, I also added chocolate chunks and coconut shreds to my vegan pecan pie recipe. These are not traditional pecan pie ingredients, but I think they pair so amazingly with the pie flavors and I highly recommend them! The chocolate also melts nicely and makes the pie even darker and richer in color, and the coconut helps thicken up the filling. Both of these are optional, however, and you can leave them out! Just replace the ratio of chocolate and coconut (¼ cup total) with more chopped pecans.
Gluten free pecan pie
This recipe is also gluten free, in addition to being vegan. There is nothing in the pie filling that has gluten, and in order to make sure that the full recipe is gluten free, make sure that the store bought pie crust you purchase is also gluten free.
Gluten free pie crusts are actually pretty easy to find these days in the freezer section of many grocery stores. I love the ones that I find at Whole Foods. This is the gluten free pie crust that I love using.
What you will need to make the best vegan pecan pie
- 1 store-bought pie crust: I find that store bought pie crusts taste delicious, and it's super easy to find vegan ones, so I prefer to use those to save time. However, if you wanted to make your own homemade pie crust from scratch, here is a great vegan pie crust recipe to try!
Simply for aesthetic purposes, I transferred the store bought crust to a glass pie dish. I just think that the tin foil that the store bought pie comes in cooks cheap, and this looks much prettier when serving to guests.
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- almond butter: I wanted to keep this recipe clean and healthy (and add even more nutty flavor), so I used almond butter instead of vegan butter or coconut oil. You can substitute the almond butter for cashew butter or peanut butter if you do not have almond on hand. However, I haven't tested this exact recipe with vegan butter or coconut oil, so I cannot say for certain that you can substitute them for the almond butter.
- pure maple syrup: any liquid sweetener will do here, but I like to use dark maple syrup because it's a slightly healthier option. You can also use brown rice syrup or a combination of dark corn syrup and light corn syrup. You can even use molasses as a sweetener.
- coconut sugar: you can also use brown sugar, white sugar, or another granulated sweetener here instead. I used coconut sugar because I like its nutritional content and the dark color it has works great for this recipe.
- cornstarch: you can probably substitute tapioca starch or arrowroot powder for the cornstarch, but I haven't tested this.
- chopped pecans + more whole pecans to top: make sure you get unfrosted and unsalted pecan nuts.
- chopped dark chocolate: I used about ½ of a vegan dark chocolate bar. You can also use chocolate chips or chocolate chunks.
- shredded coconut: also called desiccated coconut.
- vanilla extract
- sea salt
Note: the chocolate and coconut are optional, but highly recommended!
The full instructions and ratios are all written out at the bottom of the post in the recipe card.
How to make this vegan pecan pie recipe
Start by chopping up the pecans and chocolate and preheating your oven to 350*F/ 175*C.
To a saucepan over medium heat, add the coconut milk, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt.
Stir the mixture well and continue to stir until it starts to bubble. Then add the cornstarch and stir until all of the clumps are broken up.
Cook the filling for 2-3 more minutes until the cornstarch starts to thicken the mixture.
Next, add the chopped pecans, followed by the chocolate and coconut. Stir well and remove from heat.
Pour the gooey filling into the unbaked pie crust and level out the top. You can decorate the top of the pie with whole pecan halves like I did, but that's optional.
Bake the pie for 30 minutes.
Note: I created a pie shield by covering the edges of the pie with til foil, so that the edges don't overcook. This is optional, but is something I love doing when baking pies.
Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool off at room temperature for 1-2 hours. I even like placing it in the fridge for a few hours to harden, but this isn't necessary, especially if you like your pie warm.
When the pie is ready, slice it, and top it with coconut whipped cream or vegan ice cream and enjoy!
Vegan Pecan Pie Recipe Video
If you liked this recipe and are looking for more vegan pies, I think you might love these others:
- vegan pumpkin pie: another fall classic that will be perfect for your Thanksgiving holiday table.
- chocolate mousse pie: this one is great for any time of the year, but especially when the weather starts to cool. It can be a great Christmas/ winter holiday season treat.
- apple pie: another great option for the fall holiday season.
Vegan Pecan Pie Recipe
- small sauce pan
- 1 store bought pie crust
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup almond butter
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 + ¾ cup chopped pecans 120 g
- + more whole pecans to top
- 2 tablespoon chopped chocolate
- 2 tablespoon coconut shreds
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Start by chopping up the pecans and chocolate and preheating your oven to 350*F/ 175*C.
- To a saucepan over medium heat, add the coconut milk, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt.
- Stir the mixture well and continue to stir until it starts to bubble. Then add the cornstarch and stir until all of the clumps are broken up.
- Cook the filling for 2-3 more minutes until the cornstarch starts to thicken the mixture.
- Next, add the chopped pecans, followed by the chocolate and coconut. Mix well and remove from heat.
- Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and level out the top. You can decorate the top with whole pecans, but that's optional.
- Bake the pie for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow the pie to cool off at room temperature for 1-2 hours, to give it time to fully harden and set. I even like placing it in the fridge for a few hours to harden, but this isn't necessary, especially if you like your pie warm.
- Top with coconut whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy!
Store your healthy vegan pecan pie in the fridge. Place it in an airtight container, or cover it with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
For best results and freshness, store for up to 4-5 days.
Yes! While, like any dessert, pecan pie is best when freshly baked out of the oven, you can pre-make it and freeze it to enjoy for later.
Wrap the pecan pie in foil or plastic wrap tightly, so it doesn't allow extra moisture in and it doesn't allow for freezer burn.
Then place the pie in an airtight container (or more foil) and place it in the freezer.
The day before you want to serve or enjoy the pecan pie, transfer it from the freezer to the fridge overnight.
You can reheat individual slices of the pecan pie in the microwave. However, if you want to reheat the full pie, the best way to reheat it is in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 300F/ 150C, and warm the pie for 10-15 minutes.
To know that the pie is done baking, you should see that the edges of the pie are nice and firm and have become darker in color. The middle of the pie is just ever so slightly jiggly (I really mean just a little jiggle, not a lot)!
Once you remove the pie from the oven and allow it to chill, the inside will harden.
I'm personally not a huge fan of corn syrup and prefer to bake with alternative liquid sweeteners that have more nutritional value.
This pecan pie is made with maple syrup, and I think it tastes even better that way! Here are other liquid sweeteners you can substitute for corn syrup in your pecan pie:
-honey (if you are not vegan)
-brown rice syrup
Keep in mind that each sweetener has its own flavor profile, and will make the pie taste slightly differently.