There’s a part of me that says Thanksgiving isn’t really Thanksgiving unless we’re serving pumpkin pie for dessert. You may feel the same. A few years ago, I started incorporating other desserts into our menu; for both my creative pleasure and because I got the sense that not everyone is as outrageously nuts over pumpkin pie as I am. To those people: LIKE WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T EAT IT FOR BREAKFAST THE NEXT DAY?
Brain does not compute.
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Another lesson I learned as the designated Thanksgiving dessert chef was to make sure I’m not baking anything overly sweet and/or heavy. I remember bringing this ridic s’mores pie a few years ago which turned out to be WAY too rich to eat after a turkey binge. It’s not that it wasn’t marvelous, but I may have gone a little overboard by using a more than a few chocolate bars, heavy cream and marshmallow meringue. Heh.
In fact, I remember studying my family’s faces, curious as to what their reactions would be to this chocolate dream pie. The first bite made it appear that they were delightfully pleased; yet once they got past the second bite, their faces turned to discomfort.
Turns out it was so filling they felt like their pants might burst open. Oops. They probably would have had room if they would have worn yoga pants.
The last couple of weeks I’ve been testing out pie recipes for Turkey day, and this sweet potato pie has been one of my favs. It’s surprisingly similar to pumpkin so I may even replace my favorite dessert for this uber creamy, sweet and generously spiced gem.
Better yet, this sweet potato pie is lightened up thanks to almond milk and by using less sugar. I baked it in a simple pecan pie crust made with a tiny bit of brown sugar, butter and salt. If you’d like, you could bake the pie without the crust too for an even lighter option – up to you! I have left options in the notes below the recipe that should appeal to all of your dietary needs. Before I let you go, I’d like to show you how to make the sweet potato pie crust.
Add the pecans, salt and brown sugar in the food processor and process until the mixture begins to resemble sand. Add in melted butter and pulse again for just a few seconds.
The mixture will end up looking something like this. Use your hands to press it down and to the sides. If you want a thicker crust, you could add more pecans. Sometimes I love adding a few gingersnap cookies and some flour. You can find the recipe to my pecan gingersnap cookie crust here.
Next, you’ll bake the crust for around 10 minutes. How easy is that?
Mmmm the creamy filling will go in then you’ll pop this bad boy back in the oven.
…AND THEN YOU GET THIS. I suggest serving this pie with a little coconut whipped cream!
Tell me: What’s your favorite kind of pie?
More Thanksgiving dessert recipes you’ll love:
Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bars with Almond Flour Sugar Cookie Crust
Vegan Chocolate Avocado Pudding Pie with Salted Almond Date Crust
Healthy Pumpkin Pie with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust (Gluten Free!)
One-Bowl Fudgy Pumpkin Paleo Brownies
Deep Dish French Silk Pie with Hazelnut Oreo Cookie Crust
Lightened up Sweet Potato Pie with Sweet and Salty Pecan Crust (gluten free, low carb!)
- For the crust:
- 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- For the filling:
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
To roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Poke sweet potatoes with a fork a few times, then place on baking sheet lined with foil. Roast for 45 minutes or until knife tender. Turn down oven to 350 degrees F and set sweet potatoes aside to cool off.
To make the crust: Place pecans, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts begin to become very crumbly and look like wet sand; this should take less than 1 min. Next add the melted butter and process again. I like to taste the crust at this point to see if I may need to add more salt.
Dump the mixture into a 9 inch pie pan and press crust to the edges evenly with your fingertips. Bake for 10-12 minutes, being careful not to overbake. I usually take mine out at 10 minutes.
To make the filling: While the crust is baking, you can start making the filling. Scoop filling out of cooled roasted sweet potatoes and peel away skin. Place in a food processor and process until somewhat smooth and fibers are removed.
Next, add in all of the ingredients and spices except the egg and egg whites; process again until smooth and creamy.
Add in egg and egg whites and process once more until smooth.
Pour filling into prepared pie crust, smoothing over top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes or until knife or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Allow pie to cool to room temperature to help set the pie. Serve with fresh real whipped cream, coconut whipped cream and/or your favorite ice cream. I love serving my pie warm so the ice cream melts on top. Serves 9.
This pie is naturally gluten free thanks to the pecan crust. If you prefer to omit the crust, each slice is only 125 calories (based on 9 slices). You can simply bake the filling without the crust, except I recommend checking if it's done after 30 minutes of baking.
TO MAKE DAIRY FREE: use a vegan buttery stick in place of the real butter.
TO MAKE PALEO: Use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
You’re gonna judge me. But, I have NEVER had sweet potato pie! I grew up in Canada, and we just didn’t eat it.
BUT I adore sweet potatoes, pecans and all things sweet and salty so I NEED this!
P.s those close up shots? I wanna JUMP IN! Pinned!
Oh girl, that cruuuuuust!! This sounds awesome!
Always wear yoga pants on T.gives. Always.
I’m not usually a sweet potato pie fan, but this could change my mind!!
This pie looks delicious! I can’t get over how good the crust looks, YUM!!!
This looks amazing! Any idea how far ahead you can make it? (eg night before? early morning of? don’t want to fight for a spot in the oven with all the side dishes and the turkey!)
The day before would be just fine!
Excellent — thank you!
Oh man, I’m dying over this pie! LOVE the crust!
This turned out amazing! So much better than the heavy cream pumpkin pie option. I can see using the crust recipe for Banana Cream or Coconut Cream pies. Yummm
This looks great, thanks for experimenting and posting! Just the sweet potato pie recipe I was hoping for (w/o sweetened condensed milk!), and the crust recipe is bonus. Question: about how much mashed sweet potato does 1-1/2 lbs yield for this recipe? I am baking and mashing a whole bunch at one time, to serve mashed, in biscuits and for this pie, and would like to just be able to measure, like, 2 cups or 1-1/2 cups for the pie. Help?
You should be good with 4-5 medium sweet potatoes.
I made this pie for Thanksgiving, and and plan to make it a Thanksgiving regular! That crust was perfect. I like these kind of pies spicy, so I doubled the nutmeg, and grated in some fresh ginger. I also added in a half tablespoon of bourbon in addition to the vanilla extract. Not sure if that amount made much of a difference, but bourbon and sweet potatoes do pair nicely.
What would you recommend I sub in for the butter? This recipe looks amazing!
Love the sound of this recipe! Wondering if some Maple syrup could be substituted for some of the sugar in the filling?
Do you have to sub an entire 8 tablespoons of vegan butter? Or just the 1 Tablespoon and 1.5 tablespoons?
And is there any substitutes for the eggs to make the pie completely vegan?
I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for certain.
I made a modified version of this today as a test run for Thanksgiving and I am in love!! I’ll be posting it on my blog tomorrow (with a link back to your original recipe, of course!) Thanks for the inspiration!
This pie was fantastic! Just make sure that your sea salt has small granules. Mine were a bit too large and every so often I’d get a larger piece that added a bit too much salt taste for my liking. I might also make my crust a bit thicker next time as I really like a thick crust. The sweet potato filling was absolutely fantastic!! This is a light pie that doesn’t feel heavy afterwards! A keeper!
So happy you enjoyed though!
I would love to make this, but need to make it without egg yolks. What would you recommend using to replace the one yolk?
Hi Laura! The egg yolk helps this pie hold up, but you could try doing 1 tbsp corn starch with 3 tbsp water to make a “vegan” egg.
Has anyone tried to cut back the sugar on this recipe yet? It looks amazing but I am doing low sugar (12g/serving or less). I was thinking maybe using honey instead might work. Or part honey, part brown sugar. Esp with the sugar in the crust and naturally in the sweet potatoes I’m just wondering if cutting back from 1/2 a cup in the pie would be ok. Thoughts appreciated! And thanks for the amazing recipe!
Hi Sarah, I halved the sugar in both the crust and the filling. I would’ve been fine with even less sugar in the filling, but the crust definitely needed a little more sweetness. Hope that helps a little.
I see that the posts were around tThsnjsgiving if 2914. Here I am almost 4 years later. My husband LOVES sweet potato pie. I eat sugar free and low carb. So that’s how I made this. Mixed a tablespoon of molasses with Splenda to make brown sugar.
This is awesome! My husband is ecstatic. Took it to a BBQ. No one knew it was
Low carb and sugar free.
This one’s still good even 4 years later! Glad that swap worked out for you.
tastes similar to pumpkin pie!
Hands down my favorite go to pie recipe. I also add a bit of cracked black pepper to the crust. This pie will never disappoint.
Amazing! So happy to hear that.
Can’t wait to try this!
This was so so good! Tasted amazing. I have a question about the crust – it was delicious but even after 12 mins pre-bake, it came out kinda mushy in the end. Like, really delicious mush 🙂 but still, was hoping for something a little more like a pecan cookie. I wonder – (1) I didn’t really let it cool before adding the filling, is that a critical step? and (2) I used coconut oil instead of butter… I imagine that might have changed the structure too. If you have a sec I’d love your input cause I’ll def be making this again!
I’ve made this pie a few times over the years and have had the same problem with the crust at least 2/3 times, using butter. I suspected I wasn’t blind-baking the crust enough, or over processing the nuts. Toasted nuts don’t get crunchy until they cool so I think you’re on to something about letting it cool completely before filling. Going to make sure I do that this time around.
It’s just so dang delicious I’ll eat it either way, but if I can just solve my crust problem it’ll be perfection.
Absolutely! Glad you are enjoying this recipe, try cooling it and it bet it’ll turn out perfect ❤️
Ah I hope this works out for you, Katie!
Best sweet potato pie I have ever tried! Thank you for this delicious recipe! Everyone loved it. I used coconut and date sugar instead of brown sugar.
Perfect! So glad you enjoyed!
Do you think I could substitute the pecans for almonds and make an almond crust??
Sorry for the delay! Not sure as I haven’t tried it, but possibly!
Excellent recipe! I added more sweet potato and used two egg yolks + 1 egg to give it more heft. For the whipped cream I added two tablespoons of bourbon which made a perfect match for the pie. Everyone in my household loved it. The combination of the incredible crust, pie filling and topping made it the best sweet potato pie I have ever tasted!
I’m so glad that everyone loved it, James! Thanks for sharing those changes–glad they worked out well 🙂
Is the weight of the sweet potatoes before or after peeling? And the cup and a half of pecans, is that before or after chopping?