Fresh Family Meals Made for Everyday Life

9+ Perfect Thanksgiving Pies

Collage of nine pies. A text overlay reads, "Five Stars! The Best of the Best Thanksgiving Pie Recipes."

Share this post:

We have the best Thanksgiving pie recipes—and two perfect crust recipes—for a great pie-baking day.

Ah, pie season! While other desserts reign supreme throughout the rest of the year, the holiday season (and in particular, Thanksgiving) is prime pie season. To make your holiday menu as easy as can be, we’ve pulled together our very best Thanksgiving pies for you to choose from. All these treats have been kitchen-tested to make sure they are top-notch for serving to all of your holiday guests. Let’s get baking!

How many Thanksgiving pies do I need?

We’re of the strong personal belief that there is no such thing as “too much pie.” This applies all the time, but particularly on Thanksgiving!

Typically, a 9-inch pie can be sliced into 6-8 slices—depending on the richness of the filling. Since Thanksgiving is a food holiday, many folks will enjoy more than one slice (especially if you have multiple types of pie to sample), so we recommend planning on at least two slices per person.

For a small group (under 10 people), that means we recommend at least two pies. For a larger group, plan on having one pie for every 5 or so people.

Wholefully Protip

At Thanksgiving, where the food is plentiful and you probably have a smorgasbord of Thanksgiving desserts, you can typically get by with slicing pies into even smaller servings—10 slices per pie or even more. This allows folks to take a sample size slice of pie to taste each dessert at the table.

Three baked Thanksgiving pies sit together on wire cooling racks.

What kind of Thanksgiving pies should I serve?

For dessert, offer a set of pies with a variety of flavor profiles and textures—that way, you’ll have something for everyone! Here are the classic categories to choose from. Use these categories as your guide, and choose one from each for a truly well-rounded dessert cart.

  • Custard Pies. A classic around Thanksgiving! Custard pies have creamy fillings typically set with eggs (but not always). This is where you’ll find Thanksgiving favorites such as pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, and sugar cream pie.
  • Fruit Pies. Apple pie is the classic choice here, but cranberry pie and pear pie are also fall fruits that can make a great pie! Or if you canned pie filling this summer, you don’t have to be limited to what’s in season—if you love a cherry pie, go for it.
  • Nutty Pies. The crunch of a nut-based pie can be a nice contrast to smooth and creamy custard-based or pumpkin pies. We love a bourbon pecan pie, but there are lots of walnut- or hazelnut- based pies out there too.
  • Chocolate Pies. It’s the rare person who doesn’t love something chocolate-y to round out their meal. French silk pie, chocolate chess pie, or even pies with chocolate chips will fit the bill here.

Wholefully Protip

Make sure to stock up on sweetened whipped cream for serving with your pies! You can make your own easily, but when serving to a crowd, it tends to be simpler just to grab the canned stuff and set it out by your dessert table.

Two Thanksgiving pies, side by side and ready to bake

When should I bake my pies?

If you’re trying to get ahead so you don’t have to do all your cooking and baking on Thanksgiving itself, dessert is a great course to prep ahead of time.

If you don’t want to assemble and bake the full pie in advance, even getting the dough for the pie crust made in advance can help cut down on Thanksgiving dishes and time in the kitchen on Turkey Day. Pie dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 3 months (if you can prep for the holiday that far in advance, more power to you!).

Fruit-based pies can generally be stored covered on the counter for up to three days, so go ahead and bake those in advance. Pies that are custard-based or otherwise contain a lot of eggs and dairy in their filling will need to be stored in the refrigerator. If you also have a turkey and ingredients for side dishes in your fridge, there may not be room for these pies—instead, you’ll want to freeze them or make them on the day of. More on that next!

Wholefully Protip

Pies are a great item on your Thanksgiving to-do list to delegate! When someone asks, “Can I bring anything to dinner?” happily take them up on their offer to help and ask them to bring a pie.

Hands crimp the edges of a latticed pie crust

Can you freeze Thanksgiving pies?

Generally, yes, but some pies will freeze better than others.

Pies that are custard-based may have texture changes when they come out of the freezer, so we recommend keeping anything with a creamy custard filling out of the freezer. We’ve had okay luck with freezing Pumpkin Pie and Sweet Potato Pie, but only when we freeze after baking. The texture changes slightly, but not enough to scrap the pie.

Fruit pies, in general, are excellent in the freezer—you can make them months ahead of time, freeze them unbaked, and then have them ready to go for Thanksgiving.

Wholefully Protip

We recommend freezing fruit pies unbaked—just assemble the pie in an aluminum foil pie plate, cover, and freeze as is. When it’s time to bake, no need to defrost. Just uncover and pop in the oven. Add about 20-30 minutes to the original baking time.

Now that we’ve covered all that, let’s move on to the pies themselves!

Best Pie Crust Recipes

We highly recommend starting off your Thanksgiving baking with homemade pie crust. It’s not that hard or time-consuming, it saves cash, and the flavor and texture are far superior compared to those of premade crusts! Over several years and countless trials, we’ve developed two pie crust recipes that will work for nearly any pie:

Apple pie with a lattice top, on top of a white towel

Close up of baked lattice crust sprinkled with sugar.

  • Perfect Pie Crust—This pie crust has been used to create thousands of pies across the globe! It’s flaky, it’s tender, and it’s a breeze to pull together.
  • Gluten-Free Pie Crust—We tested our gluten-free pie crust recipe for months before publishing it. You can serve this pie crust to anyone at your holiday table without them knowing it’s gluten-free!

Our Favorite Thanksgiving Pies

These are the pies that we serve at our own family Thanksgivings, and we’ve got a little something for everyone!

A single slice of pumpkin pie garnished with whipped cream sits on a plate with a teal-handled fork.

Close up of a slice of chocolate bourbon pecan pie on a white plate.

A spoon scoops apple pie filling from a Ball canning jar.

  • Pumpkin Pie—If you are only going to pick one pie to serve at Thanksgiving, this is it! Our pumpkin pie recipe has been passed down for generations, and it’s got a secret trick to making it the creamiest, silkiest pumpkin pie you’ll ever taste.
  • Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie—Chocolate, bourbon, nuts—what’s not to love? This rich and decadent pie is great served with after-dinner coffee.
  • Apple Pie—Pre-made apple pie filling makes pulling together a classic apple pie a breeze.

Garnished slice of caramel apple pie with extra caramel drizzling on top.

Bourbon-Vanilla Bean Apple Pie Filling

Close-up of a plated slice of hoosier sugar cream pie showing the topping.

  • Caramel Apple Pie—This creative twist on an apple pie elevates this classic Thanksgiving dessert into something decadent and delightful!
  • Bourbon Vanilla Bean Apple Pie—Bourbon is a theme here around the holidays, and this ready-to-use pie filling makes assembling your apple pie super fast and easy.
  • Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie—A tradition here in Indiana! Sugar cream pie is a rich and silky pie that has a sweet, buttery flavor that everyone should enjoy, no matter where they live.

A finished slice of pie garnished with whipped cream sits on a stack of plates with a fork.

Close view of a single slice of holiday tart garnished on a plate with a fork.

Front view of a slice of chocolate chess pie with whipped cream and chocolate curls on top.

  • Sweet Potato Pie—If you’re over the whole pumpkin spice thing, sweet potato pie might be your savior! Tender sweet potatoes are combined with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon to make a thick and rich filling.
  • Cranberry Curd Tart—This cranberry pie is as beautiful as it is delicious! The crust is a simple pressed crust made from ground almonds, and the filling is tangy and sweet cranberry curd. This is a great pie for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
  • Chocolate Chess Pie—This chocolate cream pie is for chocolate fanatics only! It’s rich, it’s thick, and it’s the perfect way to cap off a delicious Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Coconut Cream Pie—This might sound like a bit of an odd duck to put on a Thanksgiving list, but we’ve found that having a little bit of varied flavor from the heavily spiced tastes of the season can be a nice break!

Cassie is the founder and CEO of Wholefully. She's a home cook and wellness junkie with a love of all things healthy living. She lives on a small hobby farm in Southern Indiana with her husband, daughter, two dogs, two cats, and 15 chickens.

Leave a Reply

Meet Cassie
Meet Your Host

Hello. My name is Cassie, and I’m a healthy home cooking expert.

I'm a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and I've been developing healthy recipes professionally for over 15 years. Food is my love language, and my kitchen tips and nourishing recipes are my love letter to you!

Learn More About Me →

Close-up of a woman holding a divided glass container filled with a prepped meal.

No-Stress Meals!
Meal Prep Made Easy

Tips, recipes and time-saving secrets to magical meals