This No Bake Peanut Butter Pie is smooth, creamy, rich, and surprisingly healthy. This is a peanut butter pie without cream cheese, cool whip, or a graham cracker crust – and yet you’ll literally watch it disappear in front of your eyes at any dinner or gathering! It’s that good – and all with simple, wholesome, gluten-free, and dairy-free ingredients!
Table of contents
- Rich and Creamy No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
- Why This Healthy Peanut Butter Pie Recipe Works?
- Ingredients in Peanut Butter Pie Without Cream Cheese
- How to Make Healthy Pie with Peanut Butter
- Tips for Best No-Bake Pie Results
- Add In’s and Variations
- Serving Recommendations
- Making this Healthy Pie in Advance
- More Healthy Desserts to Try
Rich and Creamy No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
If you like peanut butter and banana combined and ice cream treats, then you’re sure to love this healthy no-bake peanut butter pie! It’s creamy, decadent, and sweet, yet so much healthier than regular versions- gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, and can be dairy-free! Plus, it’s a freezer-stored dessert, perfect for the warmer summer months, along with treats like healthy key lime pie bars, carrot cake truffles, and coconut oil fudge!
Usually, we think of peanut butter pie as one of those ‘ultimate decadent desserts’ combining a biscuit base with a rich, heavy cream or cream cheese, peanut butter, cool whip, and powdered sugar filling and topped with chocolate and/or more cream. Unsurprisingly, with that many sugary, fatty ingredients, it tastes practically addictive!
Which is why I decided to make healthy peanut butter pie without cream cheese or any of those ingredients; instead, this no-bake peanut butter pie focuses on ‘clean’ wholesome ingredients for a rich and wholesome treat just like in healthy banana cream pie!
Honestly, I love peanut butter treats – it tastes great, is kid-friendly, and is packed with protein. Plus, peanut butter treats don’t HAVE to be loaded with sugar – like these healthy peanut butter cookies, peanut butter oatmeal bars, peanut butter protein balls, peanut butter protein pancakes, and this no-bake peanut butter pie.
Instead of a graham or Oreo biscuit base, this healthy peanut butter pie uses a wholesome nut-based crust. Instead of cream cheese, cool whip, creamy peanut butter, and powdered sugar – this pie combines bananas and natural peanut butter – and yet it’s dangerously delicious! (just read the comments below!).
Why This Healthy Peanut Butter Pie Recipe Works?
- This no-bake peanut butter pie is rich, decadent, and packed with flavor but without any refined sugars, unhealthy fats, or processed ingredients!
- All you need is 8 simple ingredients; most of which are kitchen/pantry basics!
- Make this peanut butter pie without cream cheese or, in fact, any dairy at all if you like. In fact, this recipe can be made 100% dairy-free and is gluten-free, oil-free, and refined sugar-free!
- The combination of creamy peanut butter and banana yields a ‘nice-cream’ style melt-in-the-mouth creamy filling at a fraction of the calories of regular ice-cream-style desserts!
- This healthy peanut butter pie ditches the processed cookie crust for a wholesome nut-based crust that is far more nourishing AND filling!
Ingredients in Peanut Butter Pie Without Cream Cheese
- Nuts: Use ‘softer’ nuts like walnuts, pecans, and cashews (I used walnuts and cashews) to make the crust. Harder nuts like almonds won’t work as well and should be avoided.
- Peanut butter: For the healthiest option, I recommend using all-natural, organic peanut butter with just one ingredient: peanuts (or two ingredients – with salt – in which case you can omit the salt in the recipe). Avoid peanut butter that’s packed with added sugars.
- Bananas: You want ripe bananas with bright yellow skin. Some brown spots are fine. Just make sure they are not over ripened or green. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a suitable substitute!
- Milk: This is used to bind the ingredients together, so use the milk of your choice.
- Spices: I used a combination of cinnamon and vanilla extract (use natural for best results) with a pinch of salt to balance the flavors.
- Chocolate chips: Technically optional, however, you can add chocolate chips to the top of the healthy peanut butter pie. I recommend dark chocolate chips, which contain less sugar or even sugar-free chocolate chips of antioxidant-rich cacao nibs (like I use for cacao nib brownie bites and avocado mint fudge bars).
This pie has a mild-medium banana flavor. On a scale of 1-10, I’d say it’s around a 4/5 in banana flavor.
How to Make Healthy Pie with Peanut Butter
- Process the crust ingredients: Add the walnuts, cashews, maple syrup, milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt to a food processor and process until it starts clumping up into a ball- but not too much or it’ll start processing into a nut butter.
It’s best to add only a small amount of milk at a time, adding it incrementally, until the ‘dough’ forms. I recommend adding one tablespoon to begin with, then increasing a teaspoon at a time.
- Form the crust: Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish and press down with your hands (or something with a flat bottom like a glass) until evenly spread across the bottom and up the sides. Optionally use a fork to create a patterned rim as I did.
- Prepare the filling: Give the food processor a quick rinse after the crust and then add the peanut butter, banana, milk, vanilla, and salt. Process into a smooth and creamy mixture, pausing a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the jug.
- Assemble the peanut butter pie: Pour the filling over your prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula. If you’re using chocolate chips or cacao nibs, add them now, sprinkling evenly across the top of the filling.
- Freeze the healthy peanut butter pie: Wrap the pie in plastic wrap, transfer it to the freezer, and freeze for around 3-4 hours, or until frozen. When you want to enjoy a piece, just remove it from the freezer for 30 minutes, then slice and serve!
You can also pre-slice the no-bake peanut butter pie when it’s semi-frozen, so it’s easier to remove a slice or two at a time.
Tips for Best No-Bake Pie Results
- Wrap it well: Make sure to wrap the pie well in the freezer so it doesn’t absorb odors/flavors from surrounding food.
- Using natural peanut butter: Since this is a freezer dessert, there’s not a problem with using natural peanut butter (which can separate in chilled but not frozen desserts).
- To slice the no-bake peanut butter pie: I recommend slicing it when it’s semi frozen, while it’s easier to slice. For cleaner slices, dip your knife in hot water (and wipe it away) between each slice.
Add In’s and Variations
Part of the charm of this peanut butter pie without cream cheese is its simplicity. However, there are several ways you can adjust the recipe, including:
- Add a ganache topping: Replace the (optional) dark chocolate chips with a ‘healthy-ish’ thin layer of chocolate ganache, which won’t freeze quite as solid as a layer of melted dark chocolate. Combine 1/4 cup melted dark chocolate with 1/4 cup plus 1tbsp coconut cream from a can of coconut milk, mix, pour over the pie, and freeze. This will be a very thin layer. If you don’t mind slightly more sugar/fat, then you can use 1/3-1/2 cup of each.
- Nuts: You can sprinkle a handful of crushed peanuts over the top of the healthy peanut butter pie instead of (or alongside) the chocolate chips.
- Chocolate crust: You could also adapt this into a healthy chocolate peanut butter pie by adjusting the crust to a chocolate flavor with the addition of cocoa powder or Dutch-processed cocoa (used in Oreo’s). I recommend using a 50:50 mix – start with 1tbsp and increase if needed.
- Peanut butter and jelly: You can create a healthier raspberry jelly with a combination of pureed raspberries, maple syrup or honey, and chia seeds (optionally with a little vanilla) left to thicken into a jam consistency. I recommend 250g raspberries with 2-3tbsp maple/honey and 3tbsp chia seeds. Spread a thin layer of this across the crust before adding the peanut butter filling for simple peanut butter and jelly no-bake pie! You can, alternatively, use a store-bought low-sugar jam/jelly, but most are still packed with sugar, so I avoid it.
- Mini peanut butter pies: Rather than one large pie, feel free to make smaller mini peanut butter pies by dividing the crust and filling into a silicone muffin tray or small dessert rings. The size of the mold you use will vary the number of mini pies you’re able to make.
Yes – In fact, this no bake peanut butter pie is meant to be stored in the freezer!
Unfortunately, I haven’t found another option that works as well as bananas for this dessert. I’ve tested tofu and dates but neither worked. If you’re worried about there being any banana flavor, you could omit one banana and use around 1/3 cup whipped coconut cream in its place – but then the pie will contain higher levels of fat and calories. I’ve used equal parts Greek yogurt and peanut butter (plus maple/honey) before, too, in a fridge-friendly version- but haven’t tried it frozen.
You sure can. Feel free to add cacao/cocoa powder to the filling or crust. You could also use Dutch-processed cocoa to add to the crust (the cocoa that’s used to give Oreo’s their signature flavor) – that way you can make a healthier Oreo-style crust.
Unlike regular peanut butter pie which is packed with unhealthy fats, tons of sugar, and processed ingredients, this healthy peanut butter pie combines natural peanut butter with bananas and a healthy, wholesome nut-based crust for a pie that tastes rich but nourishes your body.
Enjoy a slice of this no-bake peanut butter pie alone, topped with some coconut whipped cream, or with an extra drizzle of melted dark chocolate.
I like to serve this pie as a treat after summery cookouts and gatherings where we enjoy lots of grilled foods or dishes like healthy salmon burgers or ground chicken burgers. That way, this dessert feels decadent but not too ‘heavy.’ You can also serve it as a part of a dessert spread alongside options like healthy lemon bars and Instant Pot cheesecake bites.
Making this Healthy Pie in Advance
This no-bake peanut butter pie is a frozen dessert – which means it is made to store in the freezer not the fridge! Once frozen, the healthy pie will store for up to three months.
To serve, thaw the entire pie (or a single slice) for 10-20 minutes on the counter. And then it’s just like ice cream with melt in your mouth creamy peanut butter flavor!
If you plan to serve the entire no-bake peanut butter pie in one go, you can refrigerate the thawed pie for up to 1/2 a day.
If you’d prefer to enjoy this treat un-frozen, it’s best to make them as ‘individual’ treats in cups/jars and eat them within 1-2 days. You may also reduce or omit the banana and, instead, use equal parts thick Greek yogurt and creamy (not natural) peanut butter.
More Healthy Desserts to Try
- Healthy pumpkin pie
- Almond flour chocolate cake
- Sugar-free oatmeal cookies
- Healthy carrot cake
- Healthy coffee cake
- Gluten free carrot cake
Or browse through my entire catalog of healthy dessert recipes!
No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
- Make crust: In a food processor, add walnuts, cashews, maple syrup, milk, pure vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt.
- Process until a ball of dough forms, stopping and scraping the sides of the bowl. Be careful not to over process the crust into a nut butter.
- Transfer “the dough” to a 9″ pie dish and flatten on the bottom and sides with your hands to make a pie shell. You can make a pretty rim using the fork.
- Make filling: Give the food processor a rinse, wipe with a towel and add peanut butter, bananas, milk, vanilla extract and salt.
- Process until smooth, pausing and scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Assemble the pie: Pour filling into the prepared crust, smooth top with a spatula and sprinkle with chocolate chips
- Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 3-4 hours or until frozen.
- Thaw on a counter for about 30 minutes before slicing and serve.
- Store: Freeze covered for up to 3 months. Do not refrigerate. Thaw for 30 minutes before serving.
- Nuts: You want to use softer nuts like walnuts or pecans and cashews to make the crust. Hard nuts like almonds won’t work. If you have salted nuts, omit salt in the crust.
- Peanut butter: Make sure to use plain peanut butter with peanuts only listed as an ingredient. You can also use almond butter.
- Bananas: No substitutes! You would want ripe bananas with bright yellow skin. Some or many brown spots are fine. Just make sure they are not completely brown or green.
- Milk: Any milk works. It is used mostly to help bind ingredients together.
- Pie dish size: There are deep and more shallow but wide pie dishes. If you have a deep one, like mine pictured, push down the crust a bit on the sides so filling reaches the edges.