Mini pecan pies have been my go-to Thanksgiving dessert for years now. I absolutely LOVE them. They have a buttery crisp mini pie crust with creamy maple pecan butter, sea salt and toasted pecans! A yummy sweet ‘n salty dessert that’s FULL of pecan flavor — without the corn syrup. Or gluten, dairy, eggs, or sugar. (Vegan/Paleo/Low-Carb/Keto)
Originally published Nov 2018. Updated Nov 2021.
Oh. my. goodness, friends. These little tarts are un-be-lievable! It’s SO hard to fathom these aren’t made with flour/sugar/butter!
These delicious little pies are the perfect dessert to delight your family over the holidays. Nobody will guess they’re low-carb after tasting them. This buttery sweet/salty toasted pecan goodness is sure to be a crowd-pleaser, special diet or not!
This versatile recipe can be made into individual portions, a mini pie that serves 2-3 (pictured), bite-size cookies, or even a standard-size pie!
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6 SIMPLE INGREDIENTS
Six little ingredients. Six delightful little foods that combined transform into an AMAZING dessert.
- Almond flour instead of wheat flour, so it’s gluten-free and grain-free
- Avocado oil instead of butter so it’s dairy-free (may sub another neutral oil)
- Flax instead of eggs so it’s vegan
- Pecans for the KEY flavor
- Pink salt to enhance the flavor profile (+ adding extra salt makes it even BETTER, imo!) love sweet + salty. YUM.
- And last but not least, my latest OBSESSION: Lakanto Maple Syrup!!
The BEST Sugar-Free Syrup!
Candy, candy canes, candy corns and SYRUP
I’m in LOVE and I don’t care who knows it. 😀 (How many ELF quotes can I squeeze into this post? lol)
But seriously. this syrup! IT TASTES LIKE THE REAL DEAL but there’s NO SUGAR (omg omg omg). I am so blown away by this stuff you guys. No funky aftertaste or flavor.
BEST OF ALL: No artificial sweeteners. It’s sweetened with fruit (monk fruit!) and has only ONE net carb per serving, and there’s only 1.5 servings in the whole recipe! Click here to grab a bottle (use code PRETTYPIES for 20% off)
If you’re not low-carb? No problem. Simply sub regular (pure) maple syrup! Easy-peasy.
How to Make TOASTED PECAN BUTTER
Perhaps one of the most incredible nut-butters, EVER: toasted pecan butter!
And you *don’t* have to spend $15 on a fancy-pants jar of pecan butter from Whole Foods. You can MAKE it. In minutes! YEAH. (WHY did it take me so long to taste this?!?)
Step 1: toast your pecans (either in the oven or a skillet)
Step 2: blend them in a food processor for a minute or two.
Step 3: try not to eat the whole darn batch with a spoon! lol.
This stuff is good! And it gets BETTER. Yeah! Sweeten it. Salt it. Oh.my.word. DIVINE.
SO BUTTERY (without butter!) Dairy-Free Perfection
That’s the #1 adjective that’s come up when my family and I have described these tarts: Buttery! The crust tastes buttery. The filling tastes buttery. It must be the richness of the nuts that gives it such buttery flavor.
The almond flour crust tastes like a buttery crisp chewy sugar cookie. Not too sweet, not crunchy. Just perfectly crisp and firm.
And the pecan butter filling has a smooth and creamy consistency that almost tastes like a soft frosting.
Then you add the buttery toasted pecans on top with some sea salt. I DIE. Definitely going down as one of my favorite recipes to date!
A FAMILY WINNER
I’m going to make these again for my family’s big Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house. I know they’ll be a hit! My family’s not sugar-free like I am, but recipes with monkfruit are a winner. I may have to double –or triple!- the recipe though, ha.
To serve a crowd, it would be easiest to make them into bite-size tarts (2″ instead of 5″). You can do that with a mini muffin pan (just be sure to line it with parchment wrappers so they’re easy to remove) Basically like frosted pecan cookies! YUM.
But this recipe is versatile enough to be made in any shape or form you like from tiny to standard. Simply adjust the baking time as needed.
How to Store Pecan Pie Tarts
You can store these mini pies in the refrigerator for about 1 week, or freezer for 1-2 months in an airtight glass container.
For the best results and to retain a crisp texture in the crust, assemble and serve the same day.
The crust may be made ahead and frozen in a glass container lined with a paper towel to keep fresh.
Need to swap an ingredient? It should be fairly simple to do.
- Instead of almond flour (if you have a nut allergy) try pumpkin seed flour – found on Amazon here! It adds a mild nutty type of flavor, but I like it.
- Instead of pecans, you can use any other nut or seed you like. This will obviously make it no longer taste like or resemble a pecan pie, but you do you 😉
- Instead of monkfruit syrup, try another sugar-free syrup such as Besti alluose blend. Or if you’re not low-carb, use pure maple syrup.
- Instead of flax, try ground chia seeds.
- Instead of avocado oil, use any oil you like. I recommend one with a neutral flavor so it doesn’t overpower the taste.
- Have a question? Leave a comment below! I’m here to help.
Click the image below to save this recipe on Pinterest:
Dairy-Free Keto Pecan Tarts
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 375. Use 4 mini (5") tart pans with removable bottoms for easy release.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flax and water. Set aside to thicken for a few minutes. Add maple syrup and oil into flax mixture and whisk.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Pour wet over dry and mix well. (If too dry, add a small splash of water until a dough forms.)
- Scoop 1/3 cup dough into each tart pan and press evenly with a flat measuring cup and/or your fingers to form a crust around the edges.
- Prick dough all over with a fork to prevent bubbling.
- Bake for about 10 min until the edges are lightly golden. Set aside to cool before filling.
To make the filling:
- Toast pecans in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden and fragrant (about 6-8 minutes)
- Let pecans cool for 5 minutes, then blend 1 1/2 cups pecans in a food processor until smooth (about 1-2 minutes). Scrape down the sides as needed.
- Let pecan butter cool, then stir in maple syrup and salt (do not overmix). Taste and adjust to your preferred sweetness/saltiness.
- Spread about 2-3 Tbs filling on each tart. Top with extra pecans. Chill tarts for about 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle on flaky sea salt and/or coconut shreds. ENJOY!
Want more low-carb Thanksgiving dessert recipes?
Check out these:
Pumpkin Pie (Low-Carb/Keto, Paleo and Vegan)
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars (Nut-Free, No-Bake, Low-Carb/Keto, Paleo and Vegan)
Chocolate Pie (Low-Carb/Keto, Paleo and Vegan)