Adorable, healthy Vegan Pecan Pie Bites are a delicious, plant-based, no-bake recipe that is naturally dairy-free and gluten-free.
These mini pecan pies are such a treat! This is a raw, vegan, plant-based recipe that is perfect for the holidays and also a great head start ingredient to have on hand for when you want a sweet bite during the week.
A combination of walnuts, dates and maple syrup make up the crust and it’s topped with a flavorful pecan filling (no corn syrup needed!), and these mini pecan tarts also happen to be super easy to make – no baking required. If you’re a pecan pie lover, you must add these little gems to your holiday menu! In my opinion, these are even better than traditional pecan pie!
And keep in mind that this is a very simple recipe – so even if you are a brand new, healthy home cook, you can 100% nail this recipe.
Ingredients in Vegan Pecan Pie
These healthy mini pecan pies aren’t sweetened with the typical mixture of corn syrup and sugar used to make classic pecan pie. Instead, the filling is easily made in a food processor with simple, real, unprocessed ingredients. More importantly, these mini pecan pies taste amazing and no one will be able to tell that they’re gluten free and vegan! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Raw walnuts – These give the crust a lovely nutty flavor and also provide structure.
- Pitted dates – Dates are needed to naturally sweeten and hold the crust together and they are also used to make the pecan filling.
- Maple syrup – Along with the dates, 1 tablespoon of maple syrup is needed for sweetening the crust.
- Sea salt – For flavor in both the crust and the filling.
- Toasted pecans – The star of the show! We’re using 3/4 cup to make the filling and then we’ll top each mini pie with a pecan half.
- Vanilla + cinnamon – For delicious flavor in the pecan pie filling.
- Warm water – To mix with the filling ingredients for the perfect smooth and jammy consistency.
- Dairy-free whipped topping – Totally optional, but so good! Look for almond milk or coconut milk whipped topping in the refrigerated dairy section of your grocery store.
How to Make Mini Vegan Pecan Pie Bites
This mini pecan pie recipe is super easy! And you don’t even have to worry about baking anything. You’ll just need to make sure you have a mini muffin pan.
- Prep – Prepare a 24-cup mini muffin pan by greasing with coconut oil and lining with parchment strips so the pies pop out easily (see image). Be sure not to use cooking spray because it will make the pies greasy.
- Soak dates – Soak 15 dates in warm water for 25 minutes.
- Crust – Add raw walnuts, dates, maple syrup and salt to a food processor and process until crumbly and sticky. Spoon one teaspoon of pie dough into each muffin cup and gently push and pat down to create a pie crust.
- Filling – Process 1/2 cup of pecans, 15 dates, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt in the food processor. Add in warm water and process until smooth and jammy. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.
- Fill crust – Spoon mixture into a large ziplock bag, remove excess air and snip an opening in the corner of the bag. Pipe the filling into each muffin cup, doing your best to fill them evenly. Top each mini pie with a pecan half.
- Chill – Place pan in the fridge to chill and set up for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Serve – Enjoy topped with a dollop of coconut whipped cream (or your favorite dairy-free whipped topping).
Tips for Recipe Success
- Toasting pecans – Lightly toasting your pecans will add so much flavor to them! I like to toast the pecans in a large nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Simply add them to the dry pan and shake them around every minute or so. They are done once they become fragrant and lightly golden brown.
- Greasing muffin pan – I recommend coating each muffin cup with some coconut oil. I find cooking spray makes the pecan pies a little greasy, so while it will work in a pinch, coconut oil would be my first choice.
- Parchment strips – Adding parchment strips into the bottom of the greased muffin cups provides a little pulley to help pop the pecan pies right out when you are ready to serve them. Simply roll a piece of parchment paper and then cut into rounds and then in half to create strips. Lay the strips criss cross in each muffin cup.
What Makes These Mini Pecan Pies Healthy?
- Pecans – All of the ingredients in these little pies have great health benefits, but let’s talk pecans. Pecans are rich in a number of important nutrients. Specifically, they’re a good source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Most of the fat found in pecans is a healthy type called monounsaturated fat, which can help lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol.
- Naturally sweetened – These pecan pies are naturally sweetened with dates and pure maple syrup. Dates have many health benefits and are a good source of selenium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and copper. And pure maple syrup is not only high in antioxidants, but it includes nutrients like riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, calcium and potassium.
- Vegan – There are no eggs, butter or cream in this recipe, so these mini pies are naturally dairy free and vegan.
- Gluten free – There is no flour needed to make these mini pecan pies. The base of the crust is simple mix of raw walnuts (which also offer nutrients), maple syrup and dates.
Go ahead and pop a couple of these cute pecan pies! You’ll know that you’re feeding your body lots of nutrients. And you can feel good about serving them to your family!
These little pecan tarts are a great dessert to make in advance because they need up to 4 hours of chill time and they easily last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
How to Store Vegan Mini Pecan Pies
To freeze – I love to serve these mini pecan pie bites straight from the freezer! Simply store them in an airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. You can eat them straight from the freezer.
In the fridge – These mini pecan pies are best stored in the freezer but the fridge works as well (they will just be a little bit softer. Pop them into an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
More Healthy Treats to Enjoy:
Looking for more delicious healthier treats? Give these favorites a try!
If you make these mini pecan pies, be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how they turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for me and our Clean & Delicious community (thank you!).
Vegan Pecan Pie Bites (No-Bake Recipe!)
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts
- 3 dates (60 grams) pitted
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup dry toasted pecans finely chopped (plus 24 pecan halves for topping)
- 15 dates (320 grams) pitted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2-4 tablespoons warm water
*coconut oil for greasing the muffin pan
- Prepare a 24-cup mini muffin pan by greasing with coconut oil and lining with parchment strips so the pies pop out easily. Be sure not to use cooking spray because it will make the pies greasy. Soak 15 dates in warm water for 25 minutes.
- Add raw walnuts, dates, maple syrup and salt to a food processor and process until crumbly and sticky.
- Add one teaspoon of pie dough to each muffin cup and gently push and pat down to create a pie crust.
- Add 1/2 cup of pecans, 15 dates, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt to the food processor and process. Add in warm water and process until smooth and jammy. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of chopped pecans.
- Spoon mixture into a large ziplock bag, remove excess air and snip an opening in the corner of the bag. Pipe the filling into each muffin cup, doing your best to fill them evenly. Top each mini pie with a pecan half.
- Place in the fridge to chill and set up for a minimum of 4 hours. Serve topped with a dollop of coconut whipped cream (or your favorite dairy-free whipped topping). Enjoy!
Curious…is there a reason you use walnuts for the crust vs pecans? Thanks! I’m going to try this as I am hosting and a no-bake sounds perfect!
I just wanted the crust to have s lightly different flavor from the center 🙂
Catherine Santulli says
These are the cutest! I love that they are vegan and no bake! I’m definitely making these for Thanksgiving. Thanks for all you do for us, Dani
It’s my pleasure! Enjoy them, Catherine.
Pamela Kemnitz says
Thank you &
You and your family have a really wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!
Thank you, Pamela! Same to you and your family.
Wow they look so tasty!
They are! I promise 😉
Can’t wait to try! Making these for my vegan daughter over the holiday – she loves these!!
Thanks, Bobby! I hope you and your daughter enjoy them.
These sound great . Since I am going to have a NEW and gluten free turkey day it will be a real treat to have. Happy Thanksgiving to All of us !
Enjoy them, Trudi! We really loved them.
Jane Baudelaire says
I’m allergic to dates (ugh!!) and these look so amazing. Any suggestions for substitutes for the dates?
I’m curious about the small volume of the ‘crust’ telling me to use “1 tsp of dough” for the base: this made a base of less than half of the height of the mini-muffin tins in about a single layer of nut mixture. (I would have more than half the total volume left over if I used 1 tsp. So, I enhanced the volume to closer to 1 TBSP to be able to have the ‘dough’ stick to itself appropriately and reach the top each tin indentation.. Might it have been a typo?
Interesting, Kathy. I used a hearty teaspoon when I made this – the crust did not come up to the top (as you can see in the photos) but it worked really well. I’m happy that you made it work for yourself as well!