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Make-Ahead Instant Pot Pumpkin Pie Makes Thanksgiving Just That Much Easier

published Oct 29, 2019
Instant Pot Pumpkin Pie
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Credit: Photographer: Ghazalle Badiozamani Food Stylist: Brett Regot Props Stylist: Jenna Tedesco

By now, your Instant Pot is likely your best friend for weeknight dinners. But what if I told you that it’s about to become your best friend for dessert, too? This pumpkin pie recipe is going to convince you exactly that.

The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker — a warm pressurized steam capsule. And yes, it’s perfect for making a pumpkin pie exactly the right consistency. Not only does the Instant Pot cook the pie flawlessly, but it also cooks it in about 40 minutes. There’s no watching the oven or risk of overcooking it along with all of your other Thanksgiving preparations.

When prepping for Thanksgiving, I often like to bake my pies the day before to make the actual day a little less hectic. This recipe is the perfect make-ahead dessert because it requires very little work and causes no stress thanks to your Instant Pot. After making the pie, just cool to room temperature and store in the refrigerator overnight (if you manage to not dig in before then).

Credit: Photographer: Ghazalle Badiozamani Food Stylist: Brett Regot Props Stylist: Jenna Tedesco

The Key to Making a Successful Pie in the Instant Pot

Making pies in the Instant Pot may sound surprising, but this magical machine can make custard or egg-based pie fillings to the perfect consistency. There are no water baths to fuss over and no overcooking in the oven. The Instant Pot gives you the hands-free solution that makes the pie incredible every single time.

When making pies in the Instant Pot, I like to use a 7- or 8-inch springform pan (depending on your model). Use the Instant Pot rack and fill the bottom of the pot with one cup of water to make the perfect steam chamber. Be sure to wrap the bottom and top of the springform pan with foil before cooking to avoid excess water getting into the pie filling and ruining the final product.

Instant Pot pies also work best with a crumb crust, like graham cracker or your favorite spiced cookie. I’ve found that two methods work: You can freeze the crust for 10 minutes before filling and cooking. Or, you can bake it for 14 minutes at 350ºF until lightly golden, and then let it cool completely. This allows the crust to set before cooking the pie filling.

Once the pie is cooked, remove it from the Instant Pot and allow it to cool to room temperature on a baking rack. Refrigerate the pie for a few hours to make sure the filling is extra set before enjoying it.

Credit: Photographer: Ghazalle Badiozamani Food Stylist: Brett Regot Props Stylist: Jenna Tedesco

Instant Pot Pumpkin Pie

Prep time 25 minutes

Cook time 36 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


For the crust:

  • 6 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups

    graham cracker crumbs

  • 1 tablespoon


  • 1 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 1 (15-ounce)

    can pumpkin purée

  • 1/2 cup

    evaporated milk

  • 1/3 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 large


  • 1 large

    egg yolk

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons

    pumpkin pie spice

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Whipped cream, for serving


  1. Wrap the outside of an 7-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Melt 6 tablespoons unsalted butter. Place the butter, 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture into the pan and press into an even layer into the bottom (not up the sides) with the bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass. Freeze the crust for 10 minutes to set.

  2. Wipe out the bowl. Add 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin purée, 1/2 cup evaporated milk, 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 large egg, 1 large egg yolk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and whisk until smooth. Pour into the pan and smooth out the top. Cover the pan tightly with foil.

  3. Place 1 cup water in a 6-quart Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker and add a heatproof rack. Place the pie on the rack. Lock the lid on and make sure the valve it set to seal. Set cook time to 39 to 40 minutes at HIGH pressure in IP. When the cook time is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.

  4. Remove the pie to a wire rack, uncover, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate uncovered until completely chilled, at least 3 hours. Serve with whipped cream.