No Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Are you ready for this? It’s a no bake vegan pumpkin pie with gluten free pie crust, my friends! *And the crowd goes wild, roaring with applause!*
I know, I know. Pumpkin pie is as traditional at Thanksgiving as the turkey. How can I change it?! But sometimes, change is good. Sometimes, you need a pie that you can devour and not feel one ounce of guilt. (Not that you should ever feel guilty eating pie in the first place, because pie is an essential food group.)
Back in college, I made a version of this pie from patty pan squash that I had harvested from the farm in Snoqualmie Valley I worked at. This vegan pumpkin pie recipe is now the grown-up, mature version of that original pie from years ago.
The gluten free pie crust is made solely of dates, cashews and pecans. It’s so crunchy and naturally sweet, I promise you won’t miss the butter or flour. And the pumpkin filling is creamy, luscious and rich. I may have eaten an entire bowl of the filling in one sitting… Trust me, this vegan Thanksgiving dessert will be a crowd-pleaser! 🥧
Pumpkin Pie Filling
Can I Eat Pumpkin Pie Filling Raw?
This is a no-bake pie, which means you mix everything together and let it set in the fridge, no oven required. You might be wondering, if I keep my pie filling raw, is it still safe to eat? Absolutely! There are no eggs or flour in this pie, so it’s safe to eat raw. Plus, you can save precious oven space for other Thanksgiving recipes like one-pot turkey stuffing!
Canned Pumpkin versus Pumpkin Pie Filling
The recipe for this no bake vegan pumpkin pie uses canned pumpkin puree, which is different from canned pumpkin pie filling. Canned pumpkin puree is simply squash (pumpkin and other squashes) that’s been steamed and pureed. Pumpkin pie filling has added spices and sweeteners. If you’re looking for a quick pumpkin pie recipe, canned pumpkin pie filling might be the most convenient to use. But I prefer using canned pumpkin puree, because it allows me to control the spices and amount of sweetness. And in this recipe, the pumpkin pie is sweetened with dates instead of processed sugar.
What Can I Substitute for Canned Pumpkin?
If you can’t find canned pumpkin at the store, you could substitute sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or acorn squash. They all have similar color and levels of sweetness to add to your no bake pie. The easiest way to make homemade pie filling is to roast your sweet potatoes or squash, let them cool, then puree them in a blender.
Just note that homemade pumpkin puree can have more water that canned pumpkin puree. If your pumpkin pie filling is too runny or watery, use a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth to strain some of the excess liquid out.
How to Make an Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pie
Gluten Free Pie Crust
The gluten free pie crust is made solely of cashews, pecans and dates, and it is incredible. The sticky dates hold the pie’s shape together and add a delectable sweetness, while the nuts add a satisfying crunch in each bite.
I recommend making the pie crust first in a greased pie tin, then letting it sit in the fridge while you prepare the pumpkin pie filling.
Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling
The no-bake pumpkin filling has zero dairy or eggs. So how does it get thick and creamy? Well, I’m glad you asked. Behold, the power of cashews! Cashews are soaked in water for several hours, drained, then blended to make the pie filling extra thick and creamy. This cashew cream is then mixed with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice to add the cozy flavors of Fall. And dates are blended into the filling as well to add natural sweetness without any refined sugar.
Vegan Whipped Cream
Toppings on a pumpkin pie are totally optional. I topped my no-bake pumpkin pie with vegan whipped cream made from aquafaba, which is the liquid in canned chickpeas. It’s much more airy than diary-based whipped cream, and it’s extra delicious if you pop it in the freezer for an hour to harden a bit. But as it warms, it softens pretty quickly and can become runny, so I recommend to add it onto your pie right before serving.
No Bake Vegan Pumpkin Pie
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 3 hours
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 1⅔ cup non-dairy milk, of your choice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Prepare the Cashews for the Pie Filling
- Soak 1 cup of the cashews for the pie filling in water on the counter for at least 3 hours.
Make the Pie Crust
- Blend the pitted dates in a food processor until they become a thick and sticky clump. Use a spoon to spread apart the blended dates in the food processor, and add the cashews and pecans. Pulse until the nuts are ground into fine pieces and the mixture holds its shape when you squeeze it in your hand.
- Pour out the crust mixture into a greased 8-inch or 9-inch cake or tart tin. A tin with a removeable bottom will help extract your pie more easily when it's ready to be served.Press the crust mixture into the cake or tart tin, using your fingers and palm. The crust should come up the sides of the tin about an inch and a half. Be sure to press all around so the crust is evenly distributed and there are no holes. Set the crust in the fridge while you prepare the pie filling.
Make the Pumpkin Pie Filling
- Drain the soaked cashews and blend them in a food processor until it's creamy. Set the blended cashews aside in a bowl.
- To the (now empty) food processor, add the pitted dates and blend until they become a thick and sticky clump. Return the blended cashews to the food processor along with the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, salt, milk and vanilla extract. Blend on high speed until everything is smooth and creamy.
- Pour the pumpkin pie filling into the crust. Use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth the top of the filling. Refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours, so it can become firm Top with optional vegan whipped cream, crushed pecans, cinnamon, etc. Enjoy!!