Faux Pecan Pie


This is a fun recipe to feed people. At first glance, it looks like a pecan pie and folks usually don’t take a second glance before digging in for a bite and telling you how good it is. My husband’s exact words were “That is the BEST pecan pie I’ve ever tasted!”. Then I got to tell him it didn’t have any pecans in it…


A similar situation happened at my kid’s school when I took a few of these up there. One of the teachers came into the office talking about how good the pecan pie was and the secretary said “You mean the pecan less pecan pie?” she replied “Oh no, I got the one that had pecans in it…” ~snickers~ Of course, I hadn’t taken anything with pecans in it to the school.

This is a fabulous pie for those with nut allergies but that isn’t why I developed it, I actually didn’t even think about that until someone asked for the recipe, stating that they had a friend with allergies who would be excited to get pecan pie again! I developed it as a way of saving money. Have you seen the cost of pecans lately?

Right about now, making this pie with my recipe instead of pecans will save anywhere from five to seven dollars, depending on where you shop. Most folks I know can cook an entire supper for that amount of money!

So I guess there is a double bonus involved, but in hindsight having a faux pecan pie for those with nut allergies is a much greater purpose.

I have seen some varying recipes for faux pecan pie around the web. The most common one utilizing pinto beans in place of pecans. I have that on my list to try someday and I’ll probably do it around about the time I try raw oysters, but I couldn’t bring myself to suggest you put pintos in your pie so I set about developing my own faux pecan pie.

I started with my Mother’s No Fail Pecan Pie recipe and then blended it a bit with that crust of my Strawberry Pretzel Salad (which is in my cookbook, but not on SouthernPlate.com). Everyone is always surprised that the crust isn’t made of pecans, so what a great inspiration to add to my pie! It took about seven pies to get the proportions and cooking time just right, because this pie really needs to be made as a deep dish but I’m finally ready to bring it to you today in it’s final form.

I’m gonna start this post out with a disclaimer that I’m sure is obvious to just about everyone reading this: Pecan pie is not a health food. It’s not supposed to be. A good pecan pie is gonna contain butter, sometimes lots of it. It will also have sugar in various forms, usually granulated and corn syrup. A good pecan pie is not for the faint of heart but it is the golden nugget of pies. Rich, buttery, delicious. Unlike any other. This Faux Pecan Pie lives up to all of those expectations.

If you’re on a diet, just have one or two bites and make sure you savor them, then be sure and make it again when you’re not on a diet anymore. If you have a family member or friend with a nut allergy, this would be a welcome treat for them at your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner! But I suggest not telling anyone it doesn’t have pecans until they eat it, mainly because it is fun seeing the look on their face :).



You’ll need: A Deep Dish Pie Crust, Light Corn Syrup, Butter, Pretzels, Sugar, Eggs, and Vanilla.

I recommend unsalted, real butter in this recipe.

I also recommend not spelling “recommend” unless you have to because it is one of those annoying words to spell. I really think it needs two “c” ‘s but Websters never listens to me. ~sigh~

Note: If all you have is margarine or you just can’t afford butter, go for it. Trust me, I’ve been there! The pie will taste slightly different but t’ain’t nobody here gonna judge because we were raised better than that. ~Grin~


Following my recipe below, place the butter for the pie filling in a large bowl and microwave it until melted. Allow to cool.


You ever hear the saying “Do as I say, don’t do as I do?” Well that applies here. Normally you could just dump all of your other filling ingredients in and give them a stir but I don’t really have time to allow my butter to cool so I’m gonna stir in my sugar real good to cool it down a bit before I add everything else.

If I just dumped everything in with hot butter, it would cook my eggs a bit, leaving me with thin ribbons of cooked egg mixed in with the custard of my pie and that isn’t very fun!

So at this point you can add in all of your other ingredients and give it a good stir until well combined.

But if you’re impatient like me, add your sugar first and stir that up a bit until your butter is cooler. 

Like this.

Now add all of the other filling ingredients and give it another good stir.

I’ve had a few questions about my flat whisk pictured here. I bought this when my friend Maralee McKee told me about it. It came from Williams Sonoma and is the only thing I have ever bought from that store, lol. I go in there from time to time just to look around and really enjoy it, but I find that specialized tools and pots aren’t a good use of my money when standard things I have around my kitchen will do just fine and I don’t have to find the storage space for them. I can just see my great grandmother staring at a wall of peculiar utensils and asking “Now what do ya need all them thangs for?”

You can also find these whisks on Amazon by searching for “flat whisk”. They really do work well and I prefer it over a traditional whisk.


Here is our pie filling all mixed up. Ready for an action shot now?

Isn’t that pretty? I’ve learned how to do a lot of things left handed since having to venture into the wonderful world of food photography.

Whoops, I was being a bit sarcastic there when I said “wonderful”. Food photography is actually the one thing I don’t really enjoy that much about blogging. Food is very uncooperative. I have yet to ask any item of food to pose pretty and not been met with a blank and vacant stare.

It doesn’t help that I’m not one to be more impressed with a piece of say, banana bread, just because it is encased in a soft focus vignette. I find banana bread on an old corelle plate, presented as is, has more heart. ~sighs~ I know, but I have to at least attempt pretty food pictures. I put a wee bit of my heart into it from time to time.

But if you ever think some of my food isn’t pretty, just imagine a sweet granny standing behind it, handing it to you with a loving expression.

That is how I picture all of my food, and it makes it quite beautiful. Tricks of the camera or photo shop can’t add an effect like that.


Oops, got sidetracked. Okay so here is your filling in the crust. :)

I know it looks yellow now but it will be that beautiful golden color once baked.

Now we need to crush our pretzels.

I’m using my heirloom rolling pin that my great grandmother bought for my mother with green stamps when Mama was just thirteen years old.

At thirteen, her parents divorced and she went to live with her father to take care of him. She cooked all of the meals and kept house until he remarried a few years later.

At thirteen, I was listening to bad eighties music, hanging out at the mall, and spending my spare time becoming proficient with aqua net hair styling techniques.

Never hurts to contrast your life with others in order to see how good you got it. 

Place your pretzels in a gallon zipper bag and crush those puppies. They don’t have to be pulverized, just broke up kinda good.

I took this rollin pin with me when I went to film at Paula Deen’s house and we used it on the show. I told her all about it and we talked green stamps for quite a while. That show airs this Saturday for the first time. November 5, 2011. Check the Food Network for times in your area and click here to rsvp on my Facebook page if you plan on watching and read a few behind the scenes stories I’ve posted.


Melt your butter for the topping (see recipe) and add in your tiny amount of sugar.

Add in pretzels and stir until coated well.

Sprinkle evenly over the top of your pie.

I know it will seem like a lot of pretzels but they sink down a bit as we cook, which is why I made this a deep dish pie. The first pie I tried wasn’t deep dish and it seemed like there was hardly any filling when the pretzels sunk down a little bit. This will come out in perfect proportions to the top crust and the filling.

Place pie plate on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for one hour, covering with foil after the first thirty minutes to prevent over browning.

Allow to cool completely before serving. 

This is a piece of pie posing on a Jewel Tea, Autumn Leaf plate.

This is a closer shot that shows the filling a little better (because I couldn’t pick which one I liked the most)

This post is dedicated to my sweet friend, Alyssa, who has a nut allergy.

I got to meet her yesterday when I had a book signing at a local elementary to support their book fair.

I mentioned today’s post and she was so excited for a nut free pecan pie!

Special thanks to everyone who invited me and were so kind yesterday.

I enjoyed getting to meet you all and what an honor it was to see a table filled with food from my cookbook!

Notice one piece of the pie is unaccounted for. ~looks innocent~

I hope you get to make this soon and enjoy your faux pecan pie!

Don’t forget to add this pie to your holiday menu!

If you’re coming to my Holiday Cooking Show on November 10th (see poster below this recipe), this is one of the many recipes I’ll be serving the entire audience!

Advance ticket purchase is recommended but you can also pay at the door. 

Faux Pecan Pie
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Deep Dish Pie Shell, unbaked
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 2 T sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. For Filling:Place first five ingredients in large mixing bowl and mix with wire whisk until well combined.
  3. Pour into pie shell.
  4. Combine all topping ingredients in medium bowl and stir well with a spoon to coat pretzels.
  5. Sprinkle topping evenly over pie.
  6. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour, covering with foil after 30 minutes to prevent over browning.
  7. Allow to cool completely before serving. Can be made a day or two ahead of time and stored in refrigerator.
Copyright 2011, Christy Jordan All rights reserved.

Sara submitted a great quote on our Give A Penny Page that I think really puts you in the right frame of mind for dealing with life sometimes. We can’t just go out meekly with a weak smile and hope for a good day, we have to do it with Gusto!

“Tackle the world with a smile, and the world will tackle you back with more than one.”

Thank you Sara! Submit your quote by clicking here. 


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  1. Lisa M. says

    Oh thank you so very much for this recipe!! I have little ones allergic to nuts. I have missed the traditional pecan pie at Thanksgiving and was just wondering what or how I could make something similar to a pecan pie. So, when I saw this recipe, it made me smile and I look forward to trying pie! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Janet Haywood says

    I am trying to figure out how to make this into a Chocolate Faux Pecan Pie. My Mom alway made Pecan and Chocolate Pecan Pie for the holidays. I have been trying to find her recipe with no luck. I can’t have any nuts and I have try this recipe and it was very good, just trying to make it Chocolate. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  3. Debbie says

    Can’t hardly wait for the pies to bake, I have two of them in the oven now. My husband wasn’t excited about the idea of pecanless pecan pies and the pretzels made him even less of a believer. We’ll see in a few hours if it’s a hit or a flop….Thanks for the recipe I’m just that adventureous to try a pretzel pie and (Confession good for the soul! : actually I’m too broke to buy pecans-what’s up with the price of nuts? Between the only child’s first year of college tuition and gasoline prices_this Kentucky Moma needs to come out of retirement and “get a job”. Okay not gonna happen just to make a pecan pie-who am I kiddin? LOL!)

  4. Melissa says

    I made this and it was AWESOME! I added 1 tsp of butter and 1 heaping tsp of brown sugar to the pretzel mixture and it was a huge hit at our family party! Thank you for taking the time to make safe alternative foods for kids with peanut/nut allergies!

  5. Charlotte Brush says

    This looks delicious and I love the pretzel strawberry desert so I know I would like this. Looks so pretty on the Jewel Tea plate. I have collected that for several years and have a nice collection and I use mine too. Thank you for all of your great recipes and stories, enjoy both.

  6. wendyb says

    LOVE my flat whisk! OXO Good Grips makes affordable, durable kitchen tools which they have cheerfully replaced when cracked or fall apart. An added bonus is their ergonomic design especially for those of us who have arthritis or hand pain. Each one except the salt and pepper grinders (still a bargain at $20) has been less than $10. Many grocery and big box stores carry most of them.

    Though a staunch northerner, my sons live in NC and are married to lovely southern ladies. I am learning and loving the culture and traditions. ty

  7. Peggy says

    In response to a post above about how to make this a chocolate pecan pie, just add dark chocolate chips. (Dark is better than milk chocolate for this, because this is already a very sweet pie, and the dark chocolate chips cut the sweetness in a lovely way.) There are many recipes online that are essentially all the same on how many chocolate chips to add and how to add them. The chocolate melts in the baking.

  8. Rebecca says

    Thank you, Christy for this recipe because I’m allergic to pecans. At Thanksgiving I would try to eat just the custard and crust of the pie. Not easy. Now I can eat the whole pie, well, all the layers at least.

  9. says

    Hi Christy. Thanks for recognizing there are lots of folks with nut allergies – we have one in our family. So we just don’t keep nuts around. It makes kids feel much less left out of things when there are some foods they don’t have to avoid.

    • Holly says

      Hey, Joyce! It’s part of a Pyrex set from the late 60s called Crazy Daisy Mixing Bowls. Four in a set, alternating between orange and yellow. Two have daisies on them. My mom got them when she got married in 1969, and I used them EVERY time I helped bake or cook. Or serve the dinner’s veggies in the smallest bowl… I LOVE them!

  10. Robbie Mock says

    I have diverticulitis. I miss munching on nuts. I made this last Thanksgiving and let me tell you no one knew the difference.. I made 2 of them and I got the last piece. It is delicious and just enough crunch!!

  11. Sharon Carson says

    Thanks Christy for a recipe safe for those with nut/ tree-nut allergies. My niece Kate ( you have Katy Rose, I have Katie-Boo!) is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts so I have become the baker for family get-togethers. I do cake decorating and I’ve made many nut-free cakes, but it’s so nice to have a pie recipe that is safe for those around Kate to eat, even if she won’t try it herself! Oh, and I absolutely cracked up about your mention of bad 80’s music and using Aqua-Net hairspray to hold those classic 80’s big hair styles! Oh how I remember the days…. Def Leppard, BonJovi, denim jackets and big, stiff hair, thanks to Aqua-Net! I have a blast looking at myself and my highschool classmates everytime I open my yearbook. They shoulda called us “The Aqua-Net Generation”. Good thing nobody ever lit a match near my hair at one of those Def Leppard concerts, cause I’d a looked like a tiki torch! Thanks for the funny memories.

  12. corinna says

    I made this today and as I was cutting into the pie it was still runny on the inside,
    Even though I let it cool. What could I have done wrong? I have my second one in
    the oven now and I took the foil back off in hopes it will bake through.

  13. says

    I just want you to know that I have a son with a nut allergy and this is our Thanksgiving dessert this year! SO EXCITED about it. I’ve always liked the middle of the pecan pie but I don’t love pecans so I am just thrilled. Thank you!

  14. Elaine Whitt says

    I first made this last Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit! Not only it is delicious but also very economical … have you seen the price of pecans lately? lol I love you website and have used many of your recipes. There is nothing better than just good country cooking! Thank you so much for all the time & effort you put into this website … you are much appreciated. I hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving & a very Merry Christmas! ♥

  15. Dana Nichols says

    I am so excited to see this recipe! My adult daughter has developed a nut allergy and one of the things she misses most is pecan pie. I can’t wait to make her one. Thanks! Oh, and those Jewel Tea plates- near and dear to my heart. I have my grandmother’s set that my dad bought her when he worked for Jewel Tea.

  16. a says

    Same questions as before: salted or un salted pretzels? measured before or after? I measured after. I baked for 1 hour and 10 minutes covered with foil at 30 minute mark and pie was very runny. No, I didn’t place in the fridge, as other baking sites state not to place pecan pies in fridge, I thought this would pertain to this.
    I did poke some holes on bottom of crust prior to baking, could this have affected the baking?

    • says

      Salted, measured after :). we have always put pecan pies in the fridge and I don’t poke holes but I don’t think that’s a problem. Did you let it cool completely (a couple of hours)? Oven temp may be a variance as well. Hope you liked it either way!

  17. Jessica says

    Man oh man, do I LOVE this pie! I’ve made it numerous times over the last 2 years since seeing this post, it always comes out great! I do love pecan pie, however my son has nut allergies and I don’t like to have something we can enjoy and he can’t. I love that he can now know the flavor of a pecan pie and be safe at the same time. Planning my list for Thanksgiving now and this will ALWAYS be a part of our home. Thank you SO much!

  18. Nancy McAuliffe says

    This was AWESOME! I have never had pecan pie because of a nut allergy, but my husband has and he said this pie was great. I used salted butter (only because I don’t like unsalted) and salted thin pretzel sticks. Also used my Pampered Chef hand chopper to make it easier.

    All I can say is this is a pie that will be made year after year.


  19. Carl C. says

    Wow! I’m excited to try this recipe this weekend. I have been making pecan and derby pies for years! Unfortunately, I have a set of family friends who are allergic to nuts BUT love pretzels. So, they never got to try my *nutty* pies. LOL! They invited me this weekend for lunch so I hope to bring this great option. Thanks!

  20. Jon says

    I have this cooling right now! Very excited because I’ve always wanted pecan pie, but I am allergic to nuts! Thanks for the recipe! About how long will it store for and do you put it in the fridge?


  1. […] My favorite was the Faux Pecan Pie. It tastes exactly like a pecan pie but instead of using pecans she uses pretzels. Your just going to have to trust me on this. It was crazy good. It’s more economical than pecan pie and people with tree nut allergies can go to town on it. My only problem with it though is that when I make a pecan pie… It’s one thing I actually can make. …I like to think that it’s healthy because it has pecans in it.  I mean, come on! Nuts are healthy! Right? So pecan pie is healthy! Why do I hear crickets chirping in the background? Anyway, you should try the recipe because it is great. So, what does all this have to do with Uneasy Rider? Well, I’m certainly no stranger to getting lost. And after the Southern Plate event Mom and I got lost on the way back to Huntsville. Stinkin’ Google maps.  Google maps hates me. I was driving and got super turned around and we ended up going down the same street three times. It was a bit ridiculous considering Florence and Huntsville really aren’t that far away from each other. Well… At least we didn’t get into any altercations in bars like poor Charlie Daniels in Uneasy Rider. If we had though… It would have been worth it.  Because that’s just how good that pecan less pecan pie was. Filed Under: Laugh Jane Laugh […]

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