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Thanksgiving Recipes: Pecan Pie

Updated on October 31, 2015

Traditional Pecan Pie

Traditional Pecan Pie
Traditional Pecan Pie | Source

Pecan pie has become a traditional favorite during the holidays and is one of the most sought after Thanksgiving recipes. While a tried and true pecan pie recipe is always a hit, this holiday season, why not shake things up a little and try a new twist on an old favorite. Here you will find a nice selection of pecan pie variations from bars to tarts that are sure to please. These handy deserts ar not just holiday fare either. They are a welcomed site at potlucks, family gatherings and dinner parties as well.

History of the Pecan Pie

When it comes to the origins of the pecan pie, there are two very different theories. Southern tradition holds that the pecan pie was invented by the French settlers in New Orleans, Louisiana after the Native Americans introduced them to the pecan. Because of this, many people consider pecan pies a more cajun type of food.

The Karo Syrup Company contends that the dish was invented by one of the sales executive’s wives in an attempt to find new uses for corn syrup in the 1930s. In fact, the earliest pecan pie recipes are dated from 1925, so there could be some truth to this version. Either way, the fact remains that pecan pies are always in season in the south.

Pecans for Pies

Many pecan pie recipes call for chopped toasted pecans. In order to achieve the traditional look, halved pecans should be reserved for placing on top of the pie. After the pie filling has been poured into the unbaked pie shell, artfully lay out pecan halves on the top of the filling. Gently push each nut half into the filling slightly, then bake as the recipe states. This step can be skipped if pecan halves are used instead of chopped pecans.

If you are blessed enough to have fresh raw pecans, remember to roast them lightly in the oven before adding them to your pie. Roasting or toasting the pecans will ensure your pie has the right texture.

Pecan Pie Recipes

Try out some of these scrumptious pecan pie recipes that are not only super easy to make, but also offer variations that will help to shake up the Thanksgiving menu a little bit. Keep in mind that pecan pies are easy to give as gifts too. The pecan tarts are especially appreciated and easy to add to any cookie plate or box of homemade goodies for shipping.

Traditional Pecan Pie

The basic pecan pie is a southern favorite that can easily be spiced up a bit by adding a few tablespoons of dark rum, bourbon or brandy to the mixture prior to baking.


  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves (toasted)
  • ¾ cup Dark Corn Syrup
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In large bowl, mix eggs, corn syrup, sugar, vanilla, butter and salt. Mix until well blended.
  • Fold in pecan halves.
  • Pour pie filling into an unbaked pie shell.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until filling is set. Center of pie should only jiggle slightly. If the filling is not set enough, cover pies with aluminum foil and place back in over, checking every 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Cool completely on wire rack for ease in serving.

Bar Pans Make Excellent Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan Pumpkin Pie Bars

These pecan pumpkin pie bars are equally at home for family holiday gatherings or church and office potlucks.


  • 2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1 10-oz package English Toffee bits


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the inside sides and bottom of a 9” X 13” baking dish. In large mixing bowl combine sugar and flour, and then cut in the butter until the mixture looks like a course corn meal.
  • Press mixture into the bottom of greased baking dish.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
  • In large bowl beat egg, milk, salt and vanilla until smooth. Add pecans and toffee to the mixture and stir well.
  • Spread pecan mixture over the baked crust.
  • Return to oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until browned lightly. Cool completely on wire rack then cover and chill. Cut into bars and store in the refrigerator.

Pecan Pie Tart

Great little Pecan Pie Butter Tarts
Great little Pecan Pie Butter Tarts | Source

Pecan Pie Tarts

These little tarts are the perfect size for sharing at the office holiday party as well as holiday gift baskets. The flaky, buttery crust is a stand-out favorite. It is important to chop pecans pretty fine as the tartlets are small.



  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • 1 3-oz package of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose)

Pie Filling

  • 2/3 cups pecans (chopped)
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter (softened)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • In medium bowl mix butter, cream cheese and flour for crust. Thoroughly mix with hands until a dough forms.
  • Shape dough into 24 balls about ¾ inch in diameter.
  • Use fingers to mold each ball into the cup of an ungreased miniature muffin pan, pressing the crust to the bottom and edges of cup.
  • In large bowl add all filling ingredients except nuts. Cream together well.
  • Add nuts to mixture and stir well.
  • Fill tart shells with pecan pie filling.
  • Bake at 350 degree for 30 minutes.
  • Cool completely on wire rack before removing tarts from muffin pan.

If you Enjoyed These Pecan Pie Recipes

You might be interested in a traditional sweet potato pie recipe or a combination sweet potato and pecan pie. Happy Baking!


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    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      Thank you Lola. These recipes are quite simple and really a big hit.

    • AlmostLola profile image

      AlmostLola 6 years ago

      all the recipes look delicious! thanks for sharing!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

      The pecan tarts would be nice in a holiday gift basket. I suppose it could even be a pecan-themed basket. Thanks for the idea.

    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      Ktrapp, the pecan tarts also make a fantastic addition to a gift basket. They are easy to make and keep very well. Thank you for your vote!

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

      The pecan tart looks like a really nice alternative if you don't want to make a pie. Voting up and useful.

    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      I am not a huge chocolate fan, but this is a very nice variant on the traditional pecan pie. Thank you for commenting.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Pecan pie is one of my favorites, the idea of chocolate being included makes it better. ( I love Chocolate too ) Thank you for sharing good recipes..

    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      Thank you Sueswan! I love to make pecan pies because they are so quick and easy.

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      I love pecan pie. Haven't had some in awhile.

      I look forward to trying the recipe.

      Voted up and awesome.

    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      You will love it. Pecan pie is so easy to make, just takes a few minutes then pop it in the oven. Thanks for the comment.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I vicki, I have never tried Pecan pie, it looks and sounds so delicous I will have to make it!

      Thank you for sharing some great recipes!

    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      Thank you for your comments.

    • Karry Campbell profile image

      Karry Campbell 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I just love pecan pie. I was just thinking the other day I was so glad that Thanksgiving is next month so I'll have an excuse to bake one. Thanks!

    • nancynurse profile image

      Nancy McClintock 6 years ago from Southeast USA

      Thanks your for great recipes with the holidays coming. My father love pecan pie I would love to try your recipe. Awesome

    • Vicki99 profile image

      Vicki99 6 years ago from Meridian Idaho

      Thank you so much for your kind comment and votes. I love to cook and especially love baking. These pecan pie recipes are mouth watering good.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 6 years ago

      Voted up, useful, interesting, bookmarked and AWESOME. This recipe is well-written and illustrated. Instead of just one recipe, it also includes helpful variations. Outstanding!!!