A Great Vegan Pumpkin Pie: Everything You Need to Make One

updated May 1, 2019
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Every host has at least one diner coming to Thanksgiving with a dietary restriction. While the main event isn’t vegan (although, if you need one, try this root vegetable pot pie), most of the other dishes on the table are easily adapted to be enjoyed by both vegans and non-vegans alike.

But what about the pumpkin pie? Pie crust is easily made vegan with a switch of butter to vegetable shortening or even oil. That gloriously spiced pumpkin filling is set with eggs and milk, though, and while it isn’t as simple as the one-to-one swaps for making the crust, you can bake a vegan pumpkin pie with ingredients already in your pantry.

(Image credit: Karla Conrad)

Vegan Pie Crust

Vegan pie crust really is as simple as swapping the butter called for with vegan-friendly fats. Vegetable shortening, olive oil, and coconut oil all fit the bill. Plus you probably have one or more of them in your pantry. For the best vegan pie crust, use a combination of vegetable shortening and coconut oil and make sure the finished dough is well-chilled before going into the oven.

The pie crust recipe in this vegan chocolate pie is near perfect. Blind bake it before filling it as you would for any other pumpkin pie recipe. Or pick up a vegan pie shell from the freezer section of your local Whole Foods.

How’d that vegan pie crust stack up against the rest? The Frozen Pie Crust Taste Test: We Tried 7 Brands and Here’s Our Favorite

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling

Traditional pumpkin pie requires dairy and eggs to set it, both of which are no-nos for vegan diners. You can quite easily substitute the milk or half-and-half called for in a pumpkin pie recipe with canned coconut milk (my favorite) or almond milk.

Replacing the egg is a little trickier. You’ll need a sturdy starch for replacing it in a pumpkin pie filling. Cornstarch, which many cooks keep on hand for cooking, is a great substitute, as is tapioca starch. A combination of starches is ideal.

Three Starch Suggestions for Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling

Vegan Whipped Cream

Since you simply cannot serve pumpkin pie of any kind without whipped cream, here are two quick suggestions, which again come from two pantry staples.

A Few Alternative Vegan-Friendly Dessert Ideas