Pie isn't usually at the top of my dessert list, but when Thanksgiving rolls around each year, I'm reminded that a Thanksgiving meal wouldn’t be complete without pie, or several pies. While I was never a fan of my grandmother's pie recipes, particularly the pumpkin chiffon and mincemeat varieties, I was always fully on board with pie being included in the Thanksgiving tradition.
Now that I'm in charge of my own Thanksgiving menu, the pie needs to be a pretty special recipe in order to earn its place at the table. It has to be yummy, interesting and appeal to everyone on the guest list.
These eight pie ideas tick all the boxes — they are new or updated takes on Thanksgiving classics. From chocolate pecan to rosemary pear, you'll want to make room at the table for these sweet treats.
1. Triple chocolate pumpkin pie
With a graham cracker and grated chocolate crust, this spin on the traditional pumpkin pie might be exactly what the kids' table needs this year, with enough left over for the adults to enjoy as well. The recipe, from Love & Olive Oil, calls for similar ingredients as a standard pumpkin pie filling, but with the added benefit of bittersweet chocolate. And you really can't go wrong with melted milk chocolate drizzled over the top.
2. Chocolate pecan galette
For years, I somehow managed to forget to ever buy a pie plate, so I leaned hard on the galette category of recipes. And indeed, a galette is a great fix for that time you don't happen to have a pie plate handy or have used yours for another purpose. This chocolate pecan galette from Food 52 offers a fresh and delicious take on the traditional pecan pie by adding chocolate, which just makes it so much better.
3. Miso caramel apple pie
Miso is an excellent addition to a Thanksgiving menu. It adds that perfect umami flavor of satisfying saltiness, which is the perfect complement for a sweet caramel sauce. Cloudy Kitchen's recipes include an enviable lattice and braided crust, but if you're a pie crust novice, you can opt for a more straightforward version with equally yummy results.
4. Chai pumpkin pie
This genius recipe from Half Baked Harvest certainly shakes up that traditional pumpkin pie. Chai spices, including cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, all work perfectly alongside pumpkin. And the maple whipped cream will definitely give your creation a very special look and taste.
5. Rosemary pear pie
If you're on the hunt for a way to change up traditional apple pie, a pear pie could be a nice option. It's almost as simple as standard apple pie, but it benefits from a drizzling of rosemary and vanilla melted butter before baking. The recipe, from Coco Kelley, also gives a simple tutorial for a lattice crust, if you're working on perfecting that skill in time for the holiday.
6. Nutella-swirled sweet potato pie
Sweet potato pie makes an appearance on a lot of Thanksgiving tables, but a Nutella swirl through it takes this traditional pie to a whole new level. I've never known a child to turn down the chocolate nuttiness of Nutella, so they'll likely be on board as well. This recipe from Catz in the Kitchen is sure to be a hit with kids and grown-ups alike.
7. Maple bacon walnut pie
This maple bacon walnut pie has all of the right autumn ingredients, but it's a very unique Thanksgiving pie option. The recipe from Delish is a bit like a pecan pie, with a similar filling, but the addition of salty and crunchy bacon will give your guests quite a pleasant surprise.
8. Cinnamon pie
This recipe from Holly's Cheat Day sounds like it would be a perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table, especially if you're not a fan of pumpkin pie but are looking for something with the same consistency and those beautiful fall flavors.
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Editor’s note: This article was originally published in November 2019, and updated in November 2020.