Pecan Pie…Without the Pecans

Pecan Pie Without the Pecans - 7

Last year for Thanksgiving, I really wanted to try pecan pie. The obvious problem with having a peanut/nut allergy is that, of course, I can’t eat pecans. I toyed with the idea of making the pie anyway and just leaving the pecans out, but then I figured that nobody would touch the pie but me. So, I didn’t bring my pecan-less pie to the dessert table last year, and for the most part, I forgot all about it…that is, until about a week ago. I was watching TV one night and catching up on blogs when Christy’s post popped up in my reader and grabbed my attention. Pecan pie with pretzels instead of pecans?! It was just the small bit of brilliance I was looking for to make my pecan pie sans pecans a reality. The next day I got to work in the kitchen, putting my own pecan pie recipe to work using lightly salted pretzels, and I have to say that I’m kind of in love with the resulting pie. I hope you will be, too!

  • 1 pie crust
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 1/4 cups pretzels, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the pie crust dough to 1/8″ thick. Fold it in half to make it easier to transfer to the pie dish without tearing.

Pecan Pie Without the Pecans - 1

Press the dough into the pie dish. Since this dish already has a wavy edge, I let it do the work of making the crust fancy for me.

Pecan Pie Without the Pecans - 2

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, salt, butter, vanilla extract, and agave syrup.

Pecan Pie Without the Pecans - 3

Smash the pretzels into bits and pieces. I used a meat tenderizer to do the job.

Pecan Pie Without the Pecans - 4

Sprinkle 1 cup of the pretzels over the bottom.

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Pour the mixture over the pretzels, and then sprinkle the remaining pretzels on top.

Pecan Pie Without the Pecans - 6

Bake about an hour. Cover with foil about halfway through if the crust is beginning to brown too much. Cool completely before serving.

Pecan Pie Without the Pecans - 8

44 Responses to “Pecan Pie…Without the Pecans”

  1. 1 Casey@Good. Food. Stories. Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Hey, I have that same pie dish in green! :) And this is seriously amazing. I think I love pretzels MORE than pecans, and my husband is nut-allergic, so it’s a win-win.

  2. 2 Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 11:31 am

    You are such a smarty pants! Tracy, this for real looks gorgeous, and I seriously think it must be as good if not better than regular pecan pie. I can’t forsake pecans all together, them being one of the largest cash crops in Texas, but I certainly think this is sheer genius.

  3. 3 Connie Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 11:39 am

    You’re a genius! I can’t eat tree nuts either, this is a great idea to get that pecan pie look without the pecans.

  4. 4 Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Not only is it free of those pesky pecans, but it’s got the whole salty/sweet thing going on.

  5. 5 stephchows Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Brilliant idea! And it even looks like pecan pie from a distance! Love it! I think I might actually like this version better than the original!

  6. 6 Cookbook Queen Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    What a cool idea!! I never would have thought of it but it makes total sense.

  7. 7 Misa Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    My fondest memories of pecan pie always involved me picking the pecans off the sugary goodness underneath and tossing them. Does that make me unSouthern? LOL Although I’m not the biggest fan of pretzels either, I could do this a whole lot easier than pecans! Will try this one!

  8. 8 Jenna Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    What a brilliant idea! I think your Pecan-less Pecan Pie would be a hit with anyone (allergies or not)! And your crusts–they always look so amazing.

  9. 9 Jessica Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Brilliant. Freaking brilliant!

  10. 10 d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I have the exact same pie dish!!

    Absolutely LOVE this idea – I like pecan pie but I’m not a huge fan of the pecans… I usually pick around them to eat the goo. So pretzels instead? brilliant!! Especially great for those with nut allergies, of course :)

  11. 11 Rachel @ Baked by Rachel Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Brilliant substitution! :)

  12. 12 Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    This looks great! Did you feed it to anyone who can eat pecan pie? I’m wondering if the texture and flavor of the rest of the filling is about the same. Also, that pie plate is super cute!

  13. 13 Lindsay Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    I always love every part of pecan pie except the pecans…This WILL be made in my kitchen very soon!

  14. 14 Jamie | My Baking Addiction Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I LOVE pretzels, so honestly, this looks waaay better to me than pecan pie – definitely pretty darn brilliant!

  15. 15 Becca Says:
    November 17th, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    wow, this seems like the most inventive pie recipe I’ve come across. I myself have never tried pecan pie, but it looks tasty, as does this pie :)

  16. 16 Maria Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Aww…I’d hate to have a nut allergy, but using pretzels is like genious!!!

  17. 17 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Huh, who would’ve thought! This reminds me of that whole, make an apple pie with Ritz crackers, thing. I like it :)

  18. 18 Katrina Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 9:30 am

    This is such a great recipe for non-nut eaters and nut eaters alike. I would totally make this for myself even though pecan pie is fine to eat in my house. Thanks!

  19. 19 shelly (cookies and cups) Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Where has this been all my life?
    I am seriously cheering in my house right now!
    I have always wanted to like pecan pie, but the whole pecan thing…well…isn’t my thing.
    Brilliant, genius!
    Can I shake you hand?

  20. 20 Debbie Driggs Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 10:16 am

    sounds wonderful!! thanks for sharing.

  21. 21 bridget {bake at 350} Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 10:27 am

    This is SO smart!!! Perfect for nut allergies! And gorgeous, too! Love pie week!

  22. 22 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 10:28 am

    what a great alternative

  23. 23 Judy P Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I happen to LOVE pecans but they are fairly expensive this year (isn’t everything?) ; so, since I love pecan pie, love pretzles, can’t afford pecans…..I am going to try this ! Thank you for a brilliant idea !

  24. 24 Jaan Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I LOVE IT!!! We live in Pakistan, and Pecans aren’t available here. Being from Texas, this is the next best thing to having Pecan PIE!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  25. 25 Razor Says:
    November 18th, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Yes! The last few years I have developed a nut allergy, and I miss pecan pie. Not any more! =D thank you!

  26. 26 Teresa Says:
    November 19th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you!!! My peanut-allergic son will get to try this at Thanksgiving. I love your blog!

  27. 27 Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction Says:
    November 19th, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Yum!! Even though I don’t have a nut allergy, I’m loving this pecan-less pecan pie. Pretzels? Brilliant. I just love it. And, I love your pie plate… I need one with the pretty wavy edge.

  28. 28 Kelly Says:
    November 20th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    WOW!!! Love this!!

  29. 29 Cara Says:
    November 20th, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I made this too and am making it for Thanksgiving! It was so good!

  30. 30 Always Wright Says:
    November 21st, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. It looks great! It will be one of the dishes that I take to my daughter’s for Thanksgiving dinner. THANKS!

  31. 31 Julie Says:
    November 22nd, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Pecan pie was always a favorite in our family, but my son has a peanut/tree nut allergy, so it’s been years since we’ve had it. Will be making this tomorrow!

  32. 32 Jenifer Says:
    November 23rd, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Wow! I can’t wait to try this. I was going to bring a pecan pie to my Mom’s tomorrow and was lamenting over having to buy the pecans…so expensive! I think I’ll give this a try just for fun. Thanks!

  33. 33 Liz Root Says:
    November 23rd, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks so much for this! My Father loves pecan pie but unfortunately is not supposed to eat nuts. So looking forward to making this tonight. Happy Thanksgiving!!

  34. 34 Robert Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Is there something I can use to replace the agave nectar?

  35. 35 Robert Says:
    November 7th, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I meant syrup, agave syrup.

  36. 36 Tracy Says:
    November 8th, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Robert – Yes, you can substitute corn syrup, or brown rice syrup. Happy baking!

  37. 37 Gratefulfoodie Says:
    November 29th, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    You are my new queen….I am trying this out tomorrow night. I miss pecan pie the most, but my little cherubs are allergic!

  38. 38 Kelly Says:
    December 5th, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    This is an amazing and inventive idea!!! I bet the whole sweet, salty thing is just amazing!! I’m dying to try this. My son has a nut allergy and my husbands all time fav is pecan pie, he misses it since we had to forsake all nuts for our son!! Sad thing is, my son also has an egg allergy, so we may not be able to pull this off! Anyone try this with egg replacer or silken tofu? I may have to experiment but would love to know if anyone has tried!!

  39. 39 Eileen Charbonneau Says:
    December 5th, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    We make pecan pie without the pecans, but we call it sugar pie LOL, but I love your idea of pecanless pie, LOL, will try your recipe it certainly sounds and looks great!!! Great job!!

  40. 40 Gratefulfoodie Says:
    December 5th, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Okay, I did not get to try this out as bad weather, power outages and flooding hit (not as worse as it sounds, but it did stop any baking)!

    So, the best I could at this point was to include your gorgeous photos and website in my pecan less pecan pie round up on my blog…

    Your site is amazing! Your work is amazing! Keep up the great work. We need you!

  41. 41 becky Says:
    December 5th, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    I made this last year for Christmas and it was amazing!! No one could tell the difference! I got weird looks when I brought it in (my 4 year old son is allergic to nuts) until I told them what it was!

  42. 42 LindanFargo Says:
    December 6th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Wow, wow, wow!!! Can’t believe I can make my family a “pecan” pie again!!! They tease me all the time because they miss my famous pecan pie since one Hazel Nut almost killed me! That was the night I made my last one…what a nice Christmas treat this will be for them and ME!

  43. 43 Julia Says:
    October 13th, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Awesome! I’m not allergic to nuts, I just don’t like them. But I do like pretzels! Why didn’t I think of that?? Now I have to go buy me a pie dish so I can make this LOL Kinda like how I keep meaning to make that home-made Snickers but with Grape Nuts cereal instead of peanuts in it…

  44. 44 Joelle Says:
    November 17th, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    I was considering substituting cashews or almonds in a “pecan” pie; I think this might taste just as good. The only nuts I can’t eat are the ones in the same family as walnuts and pecans. This may be a more economical substitute.

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