This Chocolate Pecan Pie is a truly delicious holiday dessert! A totally gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, no corn syrup and paleo pie that is such a special treat! A rich and decadent chocolate filling with a perfectly flakey crust. All the gorgeous crunchy pecans-your family and guests will love this pie!
Over the years I’ve not only had to bake something vegan during the holidays (like my really popular vegan maple pumpkin pie) but now with other family member’s special diets, I’ve ventured into paleo baking.
I made this paleo pecan pie for the first time last year, and it was a massive HIT. My non-paleo family members/friends had no idea that it was grain-free.
If you’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you know I have a thing for pies and Italian crostatas. They’re my favorite desserts! I never say no to a slice of any pie! And once the temperatures drop and the holidays are approaching, I always like to try out one or two new pie recipes.
It is pretty much the traditional pecan pie recipe I’ve been making since I first started experimenting with pie baking back in my college days. It’s a riff on my Chocolate Espresso Pecan Pie.
I followed along A Saucy Kitchen’s recipe, which is a better for you version of the original pecan pie that appears on the Karo corn syrup bottles. She basically subbed out the refined sugar and dairy, and she uses a recipe for a totally grain-free crust.
And not to forget the star of the pie: it’s filled with crunchy PECANS!
Oh, and yes…there is no CORN SYRUP in this pecan pie. Yes!!
A pecan pie is one of those pies that looks like you slaved over it, and really all you need to do is whisk all the filling ingredients together. The gorgeous pecans can be chopped and stirred into the filling. or you could make a pretty design on top of the filling. Whatever you decide, the pie will be just delicious!
Why you’ll love this chocolate pecan pie
- Totally grain-free/gluten-free and tastes like your traditional pecan pie.
- Even better when it’s prepped ahead of time, which is perfect for holidays.
- A rich and gooey filling with a lovely almond flour crust that is so nice and flakey!
- It’s a pie I’ve made multiple times with total success…and even my non-paleo people LOVED it so much!
- So now you can make this pecan pie that is dairy-free, gluten-free, and a bit healthier than the traditional pecan pie. There is sugar in the pie, but it’s not refined sugar.
- You could even make the crust vegan, so this is a super delicious pie that everyone at the holiday table could enjoy!
- Super FLAKY Pie Crust
What ingredients are in this delicious paleo pecan pie?
- Pie Crust: you could use your favorite gluten-free ready made pie crust or recipe, or try out this fool proof almond crust. There is an egg in it, but you could replace the egg with iced cold water to make it vegan. Best to use super fine almond flour to get a texture similar to regular pie crust. Almond meal could also be used.
- Pure Maple Syrup: traditional pecan pies are made with light corn syrup (or golden syrup). To make this paleo friendly, we used pure maple syrup.
- Coconut Sugar: to stick with paleo-friendly ingredients, coconut sugar was used. You could use white or brown sugar, if you’re not making this paleo-friendly.
- Cornstarch: Starch assists the filling in setting. Potato, arrowroot or tapioca starch could be used.
- Eggs: eggs help the filling become extra rich and helps it all bind together.
- Vanilla Extract + Salt: the pure vanilla extract and salt enhance the filling flavors. I always use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and ¾ teaspoon of sea salt
- Dark Chocolate: You could omit the chocolate, but it makes the pie extra decadent and rich!
- Coconut Oil: melted coconut oil is used in place of butter, but if you’re not dairy-free (or paleo, you could use real butter). The coconut oil gets combined with the melted chocolate.
- Pecans: all the crunchy and lovely pecans are the star of this pie. There are roughly chopped pecans and whole pecans on top.
How to make the best paleo pecan pie:
Once you gather all your ingredients, you begin by making your totally grain-free crust.
First thing is to prep the almond flour crust. Prep the crust and press it into your greased pie baking dish. Crimp the edges or press with edge of a fork. Place in the freezer to firm up a little.
While the crust is chilling in the freezer for a bit, prep the filling.
Second, melt the chocolate with the coconut oil (use butter if you’re not paleo or dairy-free). Let it chill for a few minutes.
Once the chocolate has cooled down a little, combine with the other ingredients.
Third, in a large bowl, add the melted chocolate with coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut sugar, cornstarch, eggs, vanilla extract and salt. Stir to combine it all together.
Fourth step is to place the chopped pecans on the bottom of the pie crust.
Fifth step is to pour the filling on top of the pecans in the pie crust.
Sixth step is to place some whole pecans around the perimeter of the filling. You can create whatever design you like.
What makes this Paleo Pecan Pie healthier?
Since it is a totally Paleo pie (filling and crust), it is made without grains, gluten, refined sugar, and butter. Feel free to use your favorite ready made gluten-free crust.
Can I make this paleo pecan without eggs?
I’ve never made this pie replacing the eggs with flax eggs. So I can’t say how it will be. And the eggs truly add to the lovely texture of the filling.
Does the pie taste like coconut from the coconut sugar?
No, it does not. The coconut sugar gives a slight caramel flavor. Which is amazing! Does the coconut sugar make it taste like coconut?
Is pecan pie served warm or cold?
It’s recommended usually to chill a pecan pie. This lets the filling set better and makes for cleaner slices. A pecan pie is one of the desserts I always make an effort to bake ahead. If you’re not making it for company, you could slice it while it’s still a little warm. They will be messy and super delicious slices of pie!
How to make a vegan pecan pie?
The crust has one egg, which could be replaced with iced cold water. The filling eggs could be replaced with flax seeds. Simply combine 2 tablespoons of flax seeds with 4 tablespoons of water. Stir together and let it sit to thicken up.
Can you make this pecan pie ahead of time?
Yes, it is a wonderful make ahead pie. Which is one less thing to worry about the day of Thanksgiving. As soon as the pie has completely cooled down, cover it and store in the refrigerator even 5 days ahead of time.
Can pecan pie be frozen?
Yes, this pecan pie can be frozen. Let it completely cool down. Once it has cooled down, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and also aluminum foil paper. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw it overnight. Bring to room temperature on the counter when you’re ready to slice it up.
Some top pecan pie tips:
- Pie dough is easier to work with if it’s chilled for about 30 minutes.
- Prep pie baking dish with baking spray or with some coconut oil before you add in the crust.
- Tent the pie with some foil paper so the pecans do not burn.
- Best to let pie completely cool before slicing. Chilled is even better for perfect slices!
Some other delicious pie recipes:
Chocolate Pecan Pie (Gluten-Free)
- 2 cups blanched almond flour not almond meal
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 large egg
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch or tapioca
- 2 eggs whisked until very smooth
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 3 oz. unsweetened dark chocolate coarsely chopped optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pecans chopped and with some whole pieces reserved to decorate top of pie
- Add the almond flour and salt to food processor. Pulse a couple times to mix.
- Add in the coconut oil and egg and pulse 4-5 times until it comes together in a bowl. The dough will be soft and similar to a cookie dough texture. It is ready when you pulse and it comes together in a ball. You could also make the dough stirring by hand in a large bowl.
- If doing by hand, add the almond flour and salt to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Stir in the coconut oil and mix until sandy clumps start to form. It is a lot easier to use your hands to combine. Add in the egg and keep mixing until the soft dough comes together. Mix until you get a soft, sandy-like texture. I find it easy just using my hands here.
- Add the egg and mix until a soft dough comes together. See notes for egg free version.
- Transfer the dough to a 9 inch pie plate. Use your hands to press the dough into the pie dish to form your crust. The dough may feel a little oily at this point.
- Scoop out the dough and press it into a greased pie pan (I used coconut oil to prep my pie pan).
- The dough will feel oily. Carefully patch up any cracks as your pressing it in.
- Crimp the edges of the crust or press with a fork. Poke the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Place in the freezer while you make the filling, or at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Place a metal bowl over a small pot of simmering water. Add in the chocolate and butter. Stir with a spatula until smooth and melted. Let it cool down a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, add maple syrup, coconut sugar, arrowroot starch, whisked eggs, vanilla extract, melted chocolate. Gently stir in the pecans (reserving some, if you like, to decorate the top). You could add the pecans in whatever design you like. *The addition of chocolate is optional, but totally delicious!
- Place the pie plate on a baking sheet (I like to bake on baking sheet so it won't spill when I transfer it to oven). Carefully pour the filling over the pecans until almost full (about 3/4 full). Transfer pie on the baking sheet into the oven and carefully pour the rest of filling over the pecans. Keep in mind the pecans rise up while baking.
- Cover the edges of your crust with foil before baking to prevent them from browning too quickly. Tent pie loosely with foil paper if you notice it browning too quickly.
- Bake on center rack of oven for 50-65 minutes.
- The pie is ready when the center reaches 200°F. Carefully and gently tap center surface of pie lightly (it is super hot) – when it springs back (a little jiggle is ok), it is ready.
- Yields: This recipe yields 1 9-inch pie.
- Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or at room temperature for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Baked pie freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw the pie overnight in the refrigerator. Then bring to room temperature before serving.