The beloved dessert of the season goes no-bake and make-ahead, saving you time and oven space this Thanksgiving.

By Ananda Eidelstein
October 30, 2018

I have a confession to make: I really don’t like pumpkin pie. But I have learned there's one caveat to my distaste, which is that if there’s chocolate in there, I love it. Better yet, if the recipe saves me oven space and it’s make-ahead, I love it even more. This No-Bake Pumpkin Pie is made for those looking for a delectable pumpkin pie recipe, but especially for those wanting to save time and space on Thanksgiving and those intimidated by making pie altogether. The solution to all of our problems is here.

A press-in crust that requires no heat from the oven to set up is the first step. Graham crackers pulsed to fine crumbs in a food processor and then mixed with melted butter and a pinch of salt is the trick here. The melted butter sets up in the press-in crust while it sits in the freezer binding all of the ingredients together. This pumpkin pie filling is divine, but feel free to use this crust as the pie base for other no-bake fillings, too.

While the crust is chilling, make the pumpkin pie filling. Typically, pumpkin pie filling is a custard base made of eggs, pumpkin puree, and cream or milk. In this no-bake rendition, there’s definitely pumpkin puree but there’s also white chocolate! Melting white chocolate until smooth, letting it cool, and then mixing it with pumpkin puree is the simple base for this pie. The white chocolate sets up with cooler temperatures, much like the butter does in the crust, yielding a smooth and airy pumpkin pie filling. But there’s also cream cheese that gets beaten to bring out the airy texture and help the filling set up, too. And like a classic pumpkin pie recipe, this one includes all the expected warm spices like ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves that make pumpkin pie what it is.

That’s it! Then the cool temperatures of the refrigerator do all the work once the creamy, luscious filling is spread in the graham cracker crust. Now you’ve saved space in the oven and can get Thanksgiving dessert out of the way the day before. Win-win.