Butternut Squash Pie with Nut Crust is gluten-free and full of delicious chai spices. This pie tastes like the perfect blend of pecan pie and pumpkin pie -- only it's neither one and even better!
I remember the Thanksgiving when I was in culinary school. I was in my third month of the pastry course, and I made pie after pie for my family's feast.
Each one was more elaborate and prettier than the last.
I distinctly remember making dozens of intricately detailed maple leaves out of pie crust dough, and making fillings that took days to prepare. And I loved every single second of it.
More than 20 years, a husband, two kids, and two demanding dogs later, I don't quite have that sort of time anymore.
That's why this Butternut Squash Pie with Nut Crust is rustic looking -- and to me that means it's a bit messy -- but only in the coolest, most beautiful way.
What's in the Butternut Squash Pie?
- butternut squash purée
- Chai spices (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves)
- potato starch
What's in the Gluten-Free Nut Crust?
- pecans and walnuts
- cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
While I can't spend several hours delicately using the back of my paring knife to make tiny veins in the pie crust dough maple leaves, I can spend an hour or so assembling this sort of scrumptious pie.
Most of the prep time for my Butternut Squash Pie is refrigeration and baking time.
And let me tell you, it's really scrumptious!
The gluten-free nut crust recipe is made almost entirely of nuts and it tastes like a delicious pecan pie -- in and of itself!
Imagine topping that with another delicious pie -- full of creamy, sweet butternut squash and warming chai spices. I'm telling you, this is really over the top!
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- This pie is more orange in color the day it's baked. The next day it's equally as delicious, but less orange, and more brown. Again, it's rustic. 😉
- Yes, the top edges of the crust might fall apart a bit while serving - that's okay! This gluten-free nut crust recipe is so unique and delicious that you certainly won't mind a few crumbs falling out of place.
- The butternut squash can be roasted two days ahead of time -- and should be roasted at least 6 hours ahead. Here's How to Roast a Butternut Squash. (It is not included in the prep time for this recipe.
- If your squash purée isn't smooth, you can blend it in a food processor with the blade attachment for about 30 seconds.
- Though it's awesome to roast and purée you own butternut squash, to save time, you can buy butternut squash purée. (I don't judge!)
- If you don't have, or can't get potato starch, you can use corn starch. Mix 1 tablespoon with 1 tablespoon of water, before adding it to the filling.
Can you make the whole pie ahead of time?
Yes, you can make it the day before, keeping it at room temperature with foil loosely covering it.
And if what you really want is pumpkin pie, here's another gluten-free recipe with a twist: Caramel Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust.
Though I think this crust is quite special, if you really want to save time, you can of course use a prepared pie crust of your choice!
Enjoy every last bite of this oh-so-delicious Butternut Squash Pie with it's divine gluten-free nut crust!
Oh, and speaking of butternut squash desserts, this Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Pudding from Love & Lemons looks delicious, too.
Butternut Squash Pie with Nut Crust
For the crust
- 2 cups raw pecans
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the filling
- 1 (approximately 3 pound) roasted butternut squash (Click here for How to Roast a Butternut Squash), you will need 4 cups (see notes)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon potato starch (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon ground cloves
- pinch salt
For the crust
- Grind the nuts. Add the pecans and walnuts to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend until it's just becoming -- but isn't quite -- a paste. They should be somewhere between a powder and paste.
- Add remaining crust ingredients, mix and shape. Add the processed nuts to a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Mix until everything is evenly blended and then press it into a 10-inch pie plate. (It will be about ½ inch thick, thicker than a typical pie crust. Be sure to bring the crust on top of the top edge as it will shrink a bit during the baking time.)
- Refrigerate. Place the prepared crust in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes, and during that time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake. Once the oven is preheated and the pie has refrigerated for at least 45 minutes, place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until it's becoming golden and is sizzling, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Keep the oven on.
For the filling
- Combine filling ingredients. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, use a whisk to blend the 4 cups of butternut squash (see notes) purée with the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, potato starch, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves and pinch of salt.
- Assemble and bake. Once the crust is about room temperature, pour in the filling. Keeping the filled pie on the baking sheet, place it in the (still) preheated 350°F oven and very loosely, cover it with a piece of foil. (The foil should not be wrapped around the pie plate, it should be sitting on top, more or less.) Bake it this way for 1 hour, then remove the foil and bake until it's set, about 10 more minutes. When you move the baking sheet, it should no longer jiggle in the center. You can also stick a wooden skewer int he center -- it should come out clean when it's done. (Cooking times may vary.)
- Cool & serve. Cool to room temperature and serve.
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This looks absolutely amazing. I have some butternut squash at home. Yay!! You are the best!!!
Thanks so much, Blanca! I hope you love it! XOXO
This pie was amazing ... even though I burnt the crust. It gave it character. My co worker loved it too. Burnt crust and all!
Oh that makes me so happy, Blanca! I'm making it again this week for Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing. xoxo
Just so you know I have a pie in the oven right now. Thank you. I'm hooked!
Yay! This makes me so happy. (I just pulled mine out of the oven!!!) Happy Thanksgiving to you! 🙂
Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought
This pie tasted so amazing. I couldn't tell it was butternut. What a great way to sneak some vegetables into dessert. 😉
Thanks so much, Cathy! So happy I got to share it (& your pie!) with you. XOXO
Looks wonderful! I have always wondered about using butternut for a pie... and now I know!
Truthfully, if you didn't know, you would assume it's pumpkin. 😉 I just love using freshly roasted butternut and it takes on the spices so nicely.
Well if this doesn't take the cake (I mean pie). I love that it takes two expected holiday pies (pumpkin and pecan) and mashed them into one pie that's totally new to me. GREG
Greg, I consider you an authority on pies, so thank you so much!! 🙂
Valentina, this was so delicious - thank you so much for sharing it at our meeting. The funny thing is my family came to visit right afterwards and everyone loved it so much they were arguing over the last slice! I just shared this link with my mom and my sister. : ) Great seeing you!
Oh my gosh, Jeanne, that's SO nice! Thanks you! I'm so happy everyone liked it and thank YOU for sharing you delicious pies and your gorgeous home with all of us! XOXO
If I were going to use a different crust for this filling would you recommend traditional or graham cracker? We don't need gluten free in our house.
Hi Shannon, yes absolutely. I think a traditional pie crust would be great! Graham cracker delicious also, so whichever you prefer. Enjoy!
Making this right now for pie night and can't wait to try it!
Yay! I hope you love it!
Thanks for this recipe. I tried this at home and was amazing. Everyone loved it. The only problem is that I burnt the crust a bit. :-#
But that's alright, I'll (hopefully) improve my technique on the next attempt. 🙂
Thanks so much, Rafael. I'm so happy you enjoyed the pie and everyone loved it. Yay! (If you think the crust is getting too dark during the baking time, cover it loosely with foil, by almost just placing it on top, not wrapping it.) Thanks again for sharing, and for reading and trying my recipes. 🙂
Made the pie as directed for tomorrow's dinner.. Have not cut it yet. Looks like your picture. However, I had to bake MUCH longer and when tested with tooth pick, it never came out clean????? The tooth pick did come out clean on outer part of pie. Will let you know after tomorrow's dinner.
Hi Deanna. I made this pie tonight also. 🙂 As I say in the recipe, baking times can vary -- I'm sorry it took so long, and that the toothpick test didn't work. I would guess it's cooked through even though it didn't come out clean, since it baked so long. I hope it's delicious, and that it's a hit tomorrow. LMK! Happy Thanksgiving. ~Valentina
Follow-up Yes, it was a hit, flavor outstanding. The crust did not stay crisp, was it supposed to? Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you offer. Plan on making Chai spiced Carmel Coffee Cake next
So happy to hear it! Not the crust isn't super crispy, but it should've stayed solid and together. Thanks for the report.Cheers! 🙂 ~Valentina
Thanks for all the follow-up. Made a copy of our "conversation" to attach to recipe when I make this again.
Great idea! I hope you enjoy the holiday season! 🙂
I was wondering about the ingredients for a vegan version of this pie? Did anyone try it?
Hi Zed, I don't specialize in vegan baking -- however, my advice (and sort of an assumption), is that you could use coconut oil (melted first), for the crust instead of the butter, and a flax egg (1 tablespoon of flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons of water = 1 egg). Keep in mind I haven't tested this, but I'm optimistic. Let me know how it goes if you try it. Thanks for checking out the recipe. 🙂 ~Valentina
For me, too, rustic is a bit messy and that's exactly how it should be... to be honest, with all the things on my mind, a lot of things are rustic around our home LOL.
Ha! Here too! For sure. 😀 ~Valentina
Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop
I love rustic and I think this pie looks great. Pumpkin and pecan pies are two of my favorites and this is a perfect blend. Love that deep, rich color.
Thanks so much, Kathy! 🙂 ~Valentina
Jeff the Chef
You can say rustic all you want, I think this pie is utterly gorgeous! And I love the flavors, especially the chai.
Thank you, Jeff! I'm a fan of rustic. Enjoy. 🙂 ~Valentina
John / Kitchen Riffs
We love nut crusts for pies! Almost never make a regular flour one these days. We often make a sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin, but definitely need to try butternut squash. This looks great -- thanks.
The nut crusts are perfect for us with a gluten-free son. Happy to hear other people also love them. Thanks! 🙂 ~Valentina
Sounds amazing!!! I love to cook but I’m not a baker.... Any suggestions on making mini pies, maybe individual servings?
Hi Jenny, You could totally make mini pies. Love that idea. I haven't done this/measured it out with this particular recipe, so I don't want to guarantee measurements. I think it would make about 6 (5 12/ inch) mini pies. You could use something like this or this. I hope this helps! Enjoy! 🙂 ~Valentina
David @ Spiced
Hahaha...I totally had to laugh at your comment about pastry class vs. family. I used to make all kinds of things from scratch. Bagels, puff pastry, croissants. You name it. Then we had Robbie. I love that little dude, but he certainly has changed my baking habits! So I get where you're coming from here.
In other news, a pie with a nut crust sounds awesome! Delicious rustic, if you ask me! 🙂
I know, right!? I think anyone with kids (especially little ones, like you have) gets this. Kinda liberating to be more relaxed about some of the details. 🙂 ~Valentina
I’ve made this every year for the past several years and my family (who don’t prefer GF desserts) always loves it and request it!
Hi Katie. That's so awesome, and thank you for letting me know. It's definitely one our family favorites. Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂 ~Valentina