by Olena

Healthy Pumpkin Pie

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Olena Osipov
4.8 from 8 votes

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This Healthy Pumpkin Pie recipe is rich, smooth, and creamy, using a healthier filling made with unrefined sugars, no condensed milk and an almond flour and whole wheat-based pie crust! Once baked to perfection, it is a delicious lower-sugar, lower-fat homemade dessert to add to your Thanksgiving table.

If you’re as pumpkin-obsessed as me, you’ll also want to enjoy pumpkin brownies, pumpkin bars, and pumpkin cake this Fall!

healthy pumpkin pie recipe ready to serve on a plate with cup of tea

I’ve been testing and re-testing this easy healthy pumpkin pie recipe over years of Thanksgivings and chilly Fall seasons. Along with my almond flour pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins. Until I found the perfect combination of flavor, texture, and ease!

Regular pumpkin pie is usually loaded with a buttery crust, sugar, and fat-filled pumpkin pie filling, then topped with even more sugary toppings. In comparison, this version reduces the fat and sugar (you can even make it sugar-free, though I love a maple syrup pumpkin pie) while doubling up on wholesome ingredients that pack this easy healthy pumpkin pie recipe with extra nutrients.

What Makes This Pumpkin Pie Recipe Healthy?

  • Naturally sweetened: Use any liquid sweetener, including sugar-free pumpkin pie options, too! My preference is maple syrup pumpkin pie. 
  • Dairy-free: This recipe omits all heavy dairy like heavy cream and condensed milk, and uses almond milk for a simple dairy-free pumpkin pie.
  • Less empty calories: This healthy pumpkin pie recipe combines a healthier filling with a nourishing almond flour and whole wheat flour crust, swapping out bleached/processed ‘empty calories’ for nourishing ingredients. 
  • Homemade from scratch taste: Heathy but does not taste ‘healthy’ at all!
  • Warming and cozy: Packed with warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves for the ultimate fall/ Thanksgiving dessert!
  • Freezer-friendly: Prepare ahead and freeze for 3 months, for the ultimate fuss-free healthy thanksgiving dessert!
two plated slices of healthy pumpkin with a cup of tea

Ingredients for Homemade Pumpkin Pie

The Pie Crust:

  • Almond flour: You can use almond flour or almond meal. Other nut or seed meal would work too. My favorite option for a nut-free healthy pumpkin pie recipe is sunflower seeds.  
  • Whole wheat flour: I use it both within the crust and to dust the counter/rolling pin when rolling out the crust.
  • Butter: You can use butter or coconut oil, both have to be very cold. Butter will yield more of a traditional flaky buttery pie crust, and coconut oil will make crust sweeter and crunchier.
  • Water: Make sure water is cold.
  • Sweetener: You can use maple syrup, date syrup, brown rice syrup, honey (not vegan) or any sugar.
  • Baking powder: This will help to provide a slight lift to the healthy pumpkin pie crust.
  • Salt: Just a pinch will enhance the other flavors.

The Healthy Pumpkin Pie Filling:

  • Pumpkin: Use homemade or canned pumpkin puree – NOT pumpkin pie filling.
  • Spices: You’ll need a combination of pumpkin pie spice, with extra cinnamon, and a pinch of salt (which will enhance the other flavors).
  • Eggs: You’ll need three large eggs (straight from the fridge, no need for room temperature).
  • Vanilla extract: Use pure natural vanilla for the best flavor.
  • Salt: Just a pinch.
  • Sweetener: I use maple syrup, as it pairs well with the pumpkin spice flavors. However, honey, brown rice syrup, date syrup, granulated sugar (like brown sugar or coconut sugar), or even a sugar-free option like xylitol/erythritol would work (for a sugar-free pumpkin pie filling).

If you use honey, you’ll need to heat it to a soft runny consistency. Also, remember to adjust the amount used.

You’ll also need a little cooking spray (I use Misto) for the pie tin.

almond flour, whole wheat flour, almond milk, maple syrup, pumpkin puree, eggs, pumpkin pie spice.

How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Pie Recipe

  • Prepare the pie pan: First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and then spray a 9-inch pie pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  • Mix the crust dough: In a large bowl, combine the two flours, baking powder, salt and whisk. Add cubed butter and work it in with a fork and then hands until it the mixture is crumbly. Then add in maple syrup and cold water; start mixing with a spatula, then use your hands until a dough ball forms. If necessary, add a little more water or flour (one teaspoon at a time).   
  • Roll out the crust: On a clean flat surface, roll out the crust until it’s large enough to fit the pie dish. I like to flatten it a little by hand first, then use a flour-dusted rolling pin.
  • Shape and bake the crust: Transfer the crust to the pie dish (rolled onto a pin helps), press it down, and mold it to fit the pan with your hands. Next, cut any excess dough from the sides with scissors or a knife. Then smooth the edges and make a pattern using a fork (for a crimped edge). Finally, transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Leftover crust scrap ‘cookies’: Roll into a ball then flatten scraps into a small round shape. Next, sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon or use cookie stamps to turn them into decorations for the homemade pumpkin pie.

pie crust scraps make pie crust into cookies

  • Prepare the healthy pumpkin pie filling: Meanwhile, add the eggs, pumpkin puree, sweetener, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Whisk to mix thoroughly.
  • Bake the homemade pumpkin pie: Reduce the oven temperature to 350F/177C, pour the filling over the pre-baked crust, and bake for 55 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven.

You’ll know the low-sugar pumpkin pie is ready in one of three ways:

1* When it appears just slightly jiggly in the center but is fairly set along the edges of the pie. You can also use a knife (though it will obviously leave a mark).
2* When the pie isn’t ready, the knife will be covered in filling. When it’s ready, there will be a little filling on it, but not overly so.
3* You can also use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the internal temperature has reached 175F/80C.

Puffy pie: Pie filling will look raised and a bit puffy right after baking. It will settle as pie cools off.

puffy baked healthy pumpkin pie

  • Allow it to cool: When removing the pie from the oven, you must allow it to cool COMPLETELY before slicing (it will firm up as it cools – this takes 3-4 hours). When you’re ready to serve, use a serrated knife and slice it into eight slices. Enjoy!

If you have the patience, I recommend allowing the pumpkin pie to chill for 8 hours (or overnight) after it’s cooled to room temperature. This gives the ingredients extra time to meld for even better flavor!

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Other squash: You can replace part of the pumpkin puree with other seasonal squash or sweet potato puree for depths of Fall flavor.
  • Pepper: This might sound a little odd, but similar to using salt, adding just a pinch of black pepper to your homemade pumpkin pie can help enhance the flavors and add that ‘something special’.
  • Pumpkin spice latte pie: Add around two teaspoons of instant espresso powder (increase to taste).
  • Homemade ‘Nutella’ swirl: aka cacao hazelnut butter. You can warm some up in the microwave, then swirl a little (gently and lightly) into the low-sugar pumpkin pie filling before baking.
  • Healthy ‘whipped cream’ topping: Combine whipped heavy or whipping cream with Greek yogurt (a 1:2 ratio) and your sweetener of choice. Optionally, for a boozy topping, add a splash of bourbon.

Custard like filling: If you like more of a custard pumpkin filling (pictured on the right), add 1/2 cup any milk to the filling before baking. Without milk pumpkin pie has more of a pure pumpkin taste (pictured on the left). A matter of personal preference.

Tips for Best Results

  • Don’t over handle the dough: While whole wheat flour provides gluten, it is still delicate compared to regular pie dough. So be gentle when handling it. It’s easiest to roll it out on a piece of parchment paper and transfer that to your pie tin.
  • Don’t over bake the pie: Otherwise, it can cause the dessert to crack on top. Instead, remove it when it’s ‘just’ set around the edges (slightly jiggly in the middle is fine).
  • Adjust the spice ratio: If you want the healthy pumpkin pie to pack a punch, feel free to increase the amount of pumpkin pie spice used in the filling. You could also add some cinnamon or ground ginger to the crust.
  • Don’t chill the pumpkin pie until it’s set: If you move it to the fridge too soon, it can become ‘weepy’ as moisture rises to the top of the pie. Though if that does happen, use a paper towel to blot it.
  • For even more flavor: You can add the pumpkin puree, sweetener, and spices to a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. During this time, the pumpkin will thicken and the and the spices will slightly ‘temper,’ meaning more flavor in your low-sugar pumpkin pie!
  • For mini pumpkin pies: You could make individual versions of this healthy pumpkin pie recipe using a cupcake tin (with liners). Pre-bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, then pour over the filling and bake until set (test at 18 minutes, then every few minutes after that).
  • Make it crustless: Grease your pan directly and bake the pumpkin pie filling to creamy custardy perfection!

FAQs

Can I substitute the eggs in pumpkin pie?

It’s definitely possible to make a vegan pumpkin pie. However, I haven’t actually tested how to do so with this particular recipe. The main way to remove the eggs is to replace them with a thickening starch like cornstarch or arrowroot powder. I recommend testing the recipe with ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) cornstarch (or arrowroot). You may need to increase the baking time slightly, too.

Can I make this pumpkin pie paleo/gluten-free?

I haven’t tried the recipe without the whole wheat flour, as gluten helps to bind the crust. If you want a gluten-free pumpkin pie, I recommend adding one egg (or chia seed egg/ flax egg) to the crust ingredients. You’ll also need to press the dough directly into the pie pan (rather than roll it out first) since it won’t handle the same way as a gluten crust.

For a paleo pumpkin pie, follow the above advice, but also make sure to use paleo-friendly milk and sweetener.

Can I use fresh cooked pumpkin puree?

Absolutely, though it’s usually slightly ‘wetter’ than canned versions so may require some adjustments before baking. You could simmer the puree on the stovetop to thicken and reduce it then allow it to cool before adding to the filling (otherwise it could cause the eggs to start cooking). You can also prepare the puree the night before and place it in a paper-towel-lined sieve to drain overnight.

Can I use brown sugar to replace liquid sweetener?

It’s fine to use granulated sugar in the pie filling but unless you make up for the extra liquid with milk, then the baking time will likely be reduced slightly, as it will set faster.

As for using granulated sugar in the crust – I’m not sure. The syrup helps to bind, so I’m not sure how it will affect the texture unless you replace it with something similar.

How to keep pumpkin pie from cracking?

This usually happens when you’ve overcooked the pumpkin pie. The eggs need to reach a certain temperature to thicken and set the filling accurately. However, if cooked for too long, they’ll continue to ‘tighten’ and cause cracking.

You can also avoid cracks by allowing the pumpkin pie to gently cool in the switched off oven, with the door slightly ajar.

homemade pumpkin pie sliced onto a plate with whipped cream

Serving Recommendations

Enjoy a slice of this healthy pumpkin pie chilled or at room temperature and either alone, topped with some sweetened ‘whipped cream’ or even with a scoop of ice cream (like this vegan vanilla ice cream).

You can also use the leftover pumpkin pie to become a simple ‘sundae’ with ice cream and whipped cream sprinkled with nuts.

Serving at your Thanksgiving feast? You may want to round out the dessert menu with healthy pecan pie bars and cranberry oatmeal cookies!

Making It in Advance

Make ahead: Since this healthy pumpkin pie recipe requires you to chill it completely before slicing, I actually recommend you make it a day in advance. You could also prepare the dough and filling separately the day before (store in the fridge, covered). Then combine and bake when ready.  

Storing: Store any leftovers in an airtight container/ wrapped well for up to five days OR in the freezer for up to 3 months (within several layers of plastic wrap). Place parchment paper between the slices (if pre-sliced) before freezing for easier removal. Allow a portion to thaw in the fridge for several hours before enjoying!

More Healthy Pumpkin Recipes

homemade pumpkin pie with a bowl of whipped cream and forks
Healthy Pumpkin Pie

Step-by-Step Healthy Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This Healthy Pumpkin Pie is rich, smooth, and creamy, using a healthier filling made with unrefined sugars, no condensed milk and an almond flour and whole wheat-based pie crust! Once baked to perfection, it is a delicious lower-sugar, lower-fat dessert at Thanksgiving.
4.75 from 8 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 198kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Pie Crust:

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 9" pie dish with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the two flours, baking powder, salt and whisk.
  • Add cubed butter and work it in with a fork and then hands until it the mixture is crumbly.
  • Then add in maple syrup and cold water; start mixing with a spatula, then use your hands until a dough ball forms. If necessary, add a little more water or flour (one teaspoon at a time).
  • Sprinkle flat surface (countertop) and the dough ball with whole wheat flour. Using a rolling pin, roll out the crust until it's large enough to cover the pie dish. First, flatten the dough ball with your hands and then use the rolling pin. Dust the dough with flour while rolling, and it might help to place it on a parchment paper half way through for easier rolling and moving.
  • Transfer crust into the pie dish and mould to fit using your hands.
  • Cut excess dough with kitchen scissors or knife.
  • Make pretty edges with a fork.
  • Poke the crust with a fork about 15 times all around.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • While crust is baking, in a medium bowl, add eggs, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt and whisk really well.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, pour pumpkin pie filling into pre-baked crust and bake pie for 55 minutes.
  • Let pumpkin pie cool almost completely (2-3 hours) before slicing.
  • Using serrated knife, cut into 8 slices and serve with whipped cream or your favourite way.

Make ahead: You can bake pumpkin pie the day before. Or make the dough and filling the day before, refrigerate and bake when ready.

    Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days or freeze tightly wrapped in plastic for up to 3 months.

      Notes

      • Canned pumpkin puree: Not pumpkin pie filling with spices and sugar. 
      • Custard like filling: If you like more of a custard pumpkin filling, add 1/2 cup any milk to the filling before baking. Without milk pumpkin pie has more of a pure pumpkin taste. 
      • Any liquid sweetener works: If using solid honey, make sure you warm it up on the stove to melt.
      • Almond meal in a crust: If using almond meal and not almond flour, use 1 1/4 cups.
      • Don’t chill the pumpkin pie until it’s set: If you move it to the fridge too soon, it can become ‘weepy’ as moisture rises to the top of the pie. Though if that does happen, use a paper towel to blot it.
      • Healthy ‘whipped cream’ topping: Combine whipped heavy or whipping cream with Greek yogurt (a 1:2 ratio) and your sweetener of choice. Optionally, for a boozy topping, add a splash of bourbon.
      See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1slice | Calories: 198kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 181mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.