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Vegetarian Recipes

Best Pumpkin Pie

A smooth, spiced pumpkin filling and sweet, nutty pecan crust make this pumpkin pie recipe the absolute best –  two slices for me, please!

Growing up, my favorite part of Thanksgiving was the pumpkin pie. All year, I’d look forward to that creamy, cinnamon-y, custardy filling. I loved pumpkin pie filling so much that I’d scoop it right out of its pie crust, leaving a triangle-shaped shell of pastry on my plate. I’d then pass it to my Dad (who ate everything my sister and I left behind), and ask for another slice.

As an adult, I often opt for apple crisp because I don’t think Jack will eat all of my empty crusts (ok, actually, he might), but either way, that’s not an issue anymore! Today, I’m here to tell you about the BEST pumpkin pie recipe, which uses a delectable brown sugar pecan crust in place of traditional crust. Toasty, nutty, and crisp, this crust contrasts perfectly with the creamy filling… and, of course, the flavors of pumpkin pie spice and pecans just belong together. This is pumpkin pie perfection and you won’t want to leave a crumb behind!

The recipe comes from Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer’s gorgeous new book Fraiche Food, Full Hearts, which came out at the perfect time. Not only is it filled with delicious looking (mostly plant-based) recipes, but it’s organized around celebrations. Right now I have my eye on their vegetarian Thanksgiving menu, which has a Mushroom Wellington recipe as the main course, and their Christmas menu, which includes Potato Garlic Cauliflower Mash, Sticky Apple Date Toffee Pudding, and Vegan Eggnog. Tori’s recipes have a healthful slant (she’s a registered dietician), and she also has a a beautiful blog, Fraiche Nutrition, that I recommend you check out!

Now let’s make pie!

Pumpkin pie recipe ingredients

Best Pumpkin Pie Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this homemade pumpkin pie recipe:

  • Pumpkin puree – Use canned, or make your own.
  • Cashew cream – This homemade cream takes the place of evaporated milk, and it makes the pumpkin pie filling wonderfully rich.
  • Eggs – They give the filling richness and structure.
  • Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves combine to create an amazing homemade pumpkin pie spice for this recipe. They give the filling a warm, full, and well-balanced flavor.
  • Brown sugar – I’ll never make pumpkin pie with granulated sugar again! Brown sugar adds a deeper, caramelized sweetness to both the crust and the filling.
  • Pecans – Toasty pecans + pumpkin are a match made in heaven. This gluten free pie crust is so delicious, you won’t miss a traditional pie shell at all.
  • Oat flour – You can use store bought oat flour, or make your own by blending whole rolled oats in a food processor until they form a fine powder.
  • Butter or vegan butter – It acts as the binder for the nutty crust. Use whichever you keep on hand!


How to Make Pumpkin Pie

Ready to bake? Here’s what you need to do:

First, make the crust. In a food processor, pulse the crust ingredients until they are finely ground and stick together when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch pie pan and press it evenly and firmly over the bottom and sides of the pan to form the crust.

Next, bake the crust in a 350-degree oven for 12 minutes, until it looks slightly cooked, but not brown. The crust may puff up a bit as it bakes, but don’t worry! There’s no need for pie weights here – it will deflate as it cools.

While the crust cools, whisk together the filling. Combine the pumpkin puree, spices, cashew cream, brown sugar, and eggs in a large bowl, and whisk until smooth.

Then, assemble and bake the pie! Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the center is set, 30 to 40 minutes. Allow it to cool completely before slicing. I recommend serving it with whipped cream or coconut cream. I also like to sprinkle mine with extra toasted pecans for crunch. 🙂

Pumpkin Pie Recipe Tips

  • Let the crust cool before adding the filling. After the crust pre-bakes, allow it to cool slightly before pouring in the filling. It doesn’t need to be completely cool, but a piping hot crust will start cooking the filling before it goes in the oven. Giving the crust a few minutes to cool will help the pie bake evenly.
  • Use a glass to make an even crust. To ensure that your crust has an even thickness, Jillian and Tori recommend smoothing it with the flat bottom of a glass. If the crust mixture sticks to your glass, cover it with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Make it ahead! Like all the best Thanksgiving recipes, you can make this pumpkin pie ahead of time. Just make the recipe from start to finish, allow the pie to cool, and store it in the fridge, covered, for up to 3 days. I made a double recipe when we took these photographs, and I can attest that it still tastes great on days 2 and 3 (and even on days 4 and 5).


Without question, I’ll be making this pumpkin pie recipe for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner, and I hope you do too! If you want more ideas for putting together a beautiful, plant-forward holiday meal, I heartily recommend you check out Fraiche Food, Full Hearts!

More Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

If you’re looking for more ideas for your Thanksgiving feast, try any of these favorite recipes:

Best Pumpkin Pie

Total time

Author: Tori Wesszer and Jillian Harris

Recipe type: dessert

  • 1½ cups raw cashews, soaked 4 hours or overnight*
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter or vegan butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1½ cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1½ cups Cashew Cream (recipe above)
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Make the cashew cream. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. In a high-speed blender, blend the drained cashews and the water on high speed until very smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Make the crust. In a food processor, combine the pecans, oat flour, brown sugar, melted butter, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground and sticks together well when pressed between your fingers.
  4. Tip the pecan mixture into a 10-inch pie pan and, using the flat bottom of a glass, press it evenly and firmly onto the bottom and up the sides to form the crust.
  5. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the crust looks slightly cooked but not brown. Set aside.
  6. Make the filing. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, Cashew Cream, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and salt. Whisk until smooth.
  7. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the center of the pie is set (a butter knife should come out clean), 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Store, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.

*You can skip soaking the cashews if using a Vitamix Blender.


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Vegetarian Recipes

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Here’s a quickie recipe for those nights when you just need something fast and delicious. This Lemon Ricotta Pasta is super fast, light, and fresh, which makes it perfect for an easy weeknight dinner during the summer. The bright lemon flavor perfectly compliments the light and creamy ricotta, and the little pops of sweetness from the peas make every bite a little more interesting. Simple, fresh, and easy.

Originally posted 3-4-2011, updated 6-8-2022.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta with a fork and lemon wedges.

Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemon?

This is one of those recipes where you really do want to use a fresh lemon instead of bottled juice. The zest from the lemon adds a ton of bright, summery lemon flavor to the pasta without making the sauce too sour. We add just a little of the juice to balance the creaminess of the ricotta, but the zest is where you’re getting all that gorgeous sunny lemon flavor!

Not All Ricotta is Created Equal

I find there is quite a bit of variation in the quality of ricotta from brand to brand. Some are smooth, mild, and sweet like fresh milk, while others are bland and grainy. My preferred brand is Galbani, but they didn’t have any at the store when I went, so I got the generic Kroger brand. It was definitely a bit grainy, but the pasta was still quite delicious despite that!

Also, make sure to get whole milk ricotta. Low-fat ricotta just doesn’t hit the same in this recipe.

What Else Can I Add?

This simple pasta is a great jumping-off point for making a more elaborate pasta, if that’s what you’re in the mood for. Try adding some sliced chicken breast, fresh basil, or fresh spinach. Garlic butter shrimp would also go great with this pasta!

What to Serve with Lemon Ricotta Pasta

This pasta is so light and fresh that I suggest keeping any side dishes really simple, light, and fresh as well. I would go with a super simple side salad, or maybe some roasted asparagus and tomatoes.

Overhead view of lemon ricotta pasta in a skillet.

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta.

Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Lemon Ricotta Pasta is light, fresh, and quick to prepare, making it the perfect pasta for weeknight dinners in the summer.
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine American
Total Cost $4.27 recipe / $1.07 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 400kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes


  • 1 lemon $0.89
  • 8 oz. pasta* $0.67
  • 1 cup frozen peas $0.50
  • 1 clove garlic, minced $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta $1.60
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan $0.36
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (or to taste) $0.02
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper (or to taste) $0.02


  • Zest and juice the lemon. You’ll need about ½ tsp zest and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Before draining, reserve about 1 cup of the starchy water from the pot.
  • Place the frozen peas in the colander before draining the pasta so the pasta will thaw the peas as it drains.
  • Add the butter and minced garlic to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add the drained pasta and peas, and about ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water to the skillet with the butter and garlic. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.
  • Add the ricotta, Parmesan, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon lemon zest to the skillet. Stir until everything is well combined, the residual heat from the skillet and pasta have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has formed a creamy sauce. Add more of the warm reserved pasta water if needed.
  • Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Serve warm.


*Use any short shape pasta.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 14g | Sodium: 335mg | Fiber: 4g

close up side view of lemon ricotta pasta in a bowl.

How to Make Lemon Ricotta Pasta – Step By Step Photos

A zested and juiced lemon on a cutting board.

Zest and juice one lemon. You’ll need about ½ tsp of zest and 1 Tbsp juice.

Boiled pasta in a pot, water being scooped out with a measuring cup.

Cook 8oz. pasta according to the package directions (boil for 7-10 minutes, or until tender). Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water before draining.

Peas and cooked pasta in a colander.

Add 1 cup of frozen peas to a colander, then pour the boiled pasta over top to thaw the peas as you drain the pasta.

Sautéed garlic in butter in a skillet.

Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 clove garlic to a large skillet. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic becomes very fragrant.

Pasta, peas, and pasta water added to the skillet.

Add the still-hot pasta and peas to the skillet along with about ½ cup of the hot reserved pasta water. Stir to combine, then turn off the heat.

Cheese and lemon added to pasta.

Add 1 cup whole milk ricotta, ¼ cup grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp lemon zest to the pasta. Stir until the ingredients are combined, the residual heat from the pasta and skillet have warmed the ricotta, and the ricotta has turned into a creamy sauce.

Salt, pepper, and red pepper added to the pasta.

Add more of the reserved pasta water if the mixture is too thick or too dry. Season the pasta with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste.

Finished lemon ricotta pasta in the skillet.

Enjoy the lemon ricotta pasta while still warm!

Overhead view of a bowl of lemon ricotta pasta.

The post Lemon Ricotta Pasta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

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