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Light Pecan Pie Tartlets (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

I’m about to make you the star of your holiday dessert party with these light Pecan Pie Tartlets. Gluten free, around 100-150 calories each, and perfectly portioned, I dare you to have just one. And I dare you, after having more than one, to feel bad about it! NOT POSSIBLE.

My mom’s favorite desert is pecan pie. She says that she “only gets to have pecan pie once a year,” but that is a complete lie, and she knows it. She gets her pecan pie on Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, her birthday, the day after her birthday, as well as any other times that she can squirrel one away. 

These Gluten Free, Dairy Free Light Pecan Pie Tartlets are the perfect dessert for your healthy holidays! Get the recipe at Suzlyfe.com @suzlyfe

Growing up in Georgia, you better believe that Pecan Pie was a staple. Add to that my mother’s (and my father’s!) affinity for the decadent dessert, and, well, I was pretty familiar with it! I don’t know whether it was because I kind of “understood” that the pecan pies were for my parents, or if it was because I just wasn’t as big a fan of them, but I never really developed a taste for pecan pie. I like my pie kind of deconstructed over ice cream, as you can imagine. Plus, with my stomach sensitivities, pecan pie was a bit overload for me (that isn’t to say that I didn’t pick off some of the good gooey bits of nuts and pie crust). 

Lightened Up Pecan Pie Tarts (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)

When it was time for Alex and I to host our first Thanksgiving, I knew that, especially with my mom coming, I had to attempt to make my first pecan pie. And it was an ugly, but resounding, success. With Mom and Chris invited for Thanksgiving again this year, I knew it was time to break out the baking mitts and make pecan pie 2.0. But this year, I wanted to improve upon the recipe so that even I and Alex (who is trying to cut back on sweets and things) could enjoy some of the deliciousness. 

These Gluten Free, Dairy Free Light Pecan Pie Tartlets are the perfect dessert for your healthy holidays! Get the recipe at Suzlyfe.com @suzlyfe

So how do you lighten up a notoriously heavy and decadent dessert? 

Step one: Portion Control

I made mini pie/tarts in regular sized muffin tins so that everyone could have one or two without feeling unsatisfied or oversated. 

Step Two: Lighter Pie Crust

To make my pie crust lighter, I immediately thought of phyllo dough, but I’ll tell you what, apparently it is impossible to find mini premade phyllo shells now! No matter, I made my own! Each pie “crust” is 4 layers of phyllo dough, held together with cooking spray and prebaked before I added the filling.

These Gluten Free, Dairy Free Light Pecan Pie Tartlets are the perfect dessert for your healthy holidays! Get the recipe at Suzlyfe.com @suzlyfe

 

Step Three: Lighten up the Filling Itself

Ok, now the pecan pie filling itself. Essentially fat and sugar with a side of nuts. And no, (Mom) your argument that peanut M&Ms are healthy because of the nut protein doesn’t hold here, either. Then I made the simple swap of cow’s milk butter for coconut butter and BOOM dairy free! Working with ratios and a different form of sugar (this time, in the form of all natural, gluten free vanilla syrup) meant that I could still use enough of the good stuff for that authentic flavor and texture but not suffer the (digestive) consequences!

Light Pecan Pie Tartlets (Gluten Free, Dairy Free)
Serves 12
These gluten free light pecan pie tartlets will make you the start of your next healthy holiday dessert table! Indulge without the digestive consequences!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 8-12 Gluten Free Phyllo Dough Sheets (the number needed depends on the size of the sheets)
  2. cooking spray
Pecan Pie Filling
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 2 TBSP all natural, gluten free Vanilla Syrup (I like Jessica's Natural Foods syrup)
  3. 1 cup chopped natural Pecans
  4. 2 TBSP coconut butter, melted
  5. 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  6. pinch salt
  7. 1/2 TBSP Cinnamon
  8. pinch nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Create the crusts by laying out one sheet of phyllo dough, spraying with cooking spray, and then layering the next, and so on to layer 4 sheets of dough. Cut into squares with a pizza cutter or knife and lay into pre-sprayed muffin tins.
  3. Bake crusts for 10 minutes while making pie filling.
  4. Next, create the filling by combining remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  5. Distribute pie filling into crusts and return to oven for 10-20 minutes, rotating halfway through. If you like a firmer set filling, let go for up to 20 minutes
  6. Finish off with a little bit of extra brown sugar!
Notes
  1. Optional: add 1 TBSP bourbon for a true southern treat!
Suzlyfe http://suzlyfe.com/
Result: GREAT SUCCESS!

We all loved them, they passed the Mom Pecan Pie test, and they were perfect with vanilla ice cream (dairy free or otherwise). They would be perfect for a holiday dessert party or your own holiday table. And psst, feel free to make them with bourbon–you know I made a few like that!

These dairy and #glutenfree Lightened Up Pecan Pies make the perfect #healthyholidays #dessert Click To Tweet

What is the one dessert that your family insists on having every year? Or that your mom/husband/friend insists they “only” get “once” a year?

Thank you Heather for Friday Favorites as well as I am joining up with Meatless Monday (Tina and Deborah) + Meatless Monday (Running on Happy & The Fit Foodie Mama) + Foodie Friday (Fit Foodie Mama, Hello to Fit, Fairyburger, and Chocolate Runner Girl).

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66 Comments

  • Reply Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    Totally not a fan of pecan pie, but I love pecans! Pecan butter…omg…so good!

    December 11, 2015 at 6:44 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I love maple roasted pecans 😀

      December 14, 2015 at 9:48 am
  • Reply Anna @ Piper's Run

    Oh my that looks good! Now my mouth is watering for Pecan Pie and it’s not even 9am 😉 I’m a big fan of cherry pie but make a mean vegan apple pie my husband loves.

    December 11, 2015 at 6:47 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Ohhh my favorites…

      December 14, 2015 at 9:48 am
  • Reply Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home

    Ooooh! My husband would love these! His mom used to make nut cups for Christmas but they are so decadent. I may have to make these!

    December 11, 2015 at 6:59 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Just slightly better for you, and portion controlled!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:48 am
  • Reply Michele @ paleorunningmomma

    Pecan pie is one of our favorites and makes an appearance in November and December. Love the idea of tartlets, cute 🙂

    December 11, 2015 at 7:07 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Cram them in your mouth 😀

      December 14, 2015 at 9:47 am
  • Reply rachel @ athletic avocado

    oh yes these tarts are so cute and look so decadent! Great job making them a little lighter so that I can eat more of them 🙂

    December 11, 2015 at 7:24 am
  • Reply lindsay

    where did you find the phyllo dough??? I NEED!!

    December 11, 2015 at 7:30 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I think at whole foods? I’m surprised you haven’t made it yourself before!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:47 am
  • Reply Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

    I may have to get some coconut butter and try these! Ryan loves pecan pie and I’ve never made it (or had it myself).

    December 11, 2015 at 7:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Um, as a baker and recipe maker, you must.

      December 14, 2015 at 9:46 am
  • Reply Julie

    Coconut butter!! I adore coconut butter!! And of course portion control is important for me. I eat dessert pretty much daily.

    December 11, 2015 at 8:02 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      We would be great friends.

      December 14, 2015 at 9:45 am
  • Reply Sarah

    This looks pretty brilliant. I am not a pecan pie fan, which is good because it is so bad for you and I have no self control. But I could see making these to take to a party for sure.

    December 11, 2015 at 8:29 am
  • Reply Jess @hellotofit

    Call me cray, but traditional pecan pie has always been too sweet and…too nutty…for me. I like fruit and pumpkin pies, but not pecan 🙁 don’t judge! hehe. I love the sub of phyllo dough, though. Great idea for making it lighter!

    December 11, 2015 at 8:50 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Hey, I’m the same way!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:44 am
  • Reply Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood

    These look delicious! Single serving everything is the only way I can ever stop myself from eating like, 30 servings worth and justifying it hahaha.

    December 11, 2015 at 8:58 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Thus why I like broken chips 😀

      December 14, 2015 at 9:43 am
  • Reply Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

    Why haven’t I thought of this? Love the phyllo cups!

    December 11, 2015 at 9:29 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Phyllo cups are the JAM

      December 14, 2015 at 9:43 am
  • Reply Suzy

    Oooooooh, NICE! I love pecan pie too. Love love love it. I can take or leave fruit pies and I abhor pumpkin pie (the texture alone just kills me) but pecan? Sign me up, give me a number and push me into the crowd. YUM.

    December 11, 2015 at 9:37 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’d send you some, but I dunno how long it takes to get stuff to Canada

      December 14, 2015 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Suzlyfe's mommy, Clare

    You are correct–Mom loves pecan pie, but mom is very picky.
    I do not like chocolate pecan pie, I’m not wild about bourbon in my pecan pie. I prefer it warm with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, and a very flaky homemade crust….. and I try to have it only during the holidays. That keeps it special, however, I have been forced to enjoy it at other times!
    Years ago, before Susie and Alex were engaged, they were visiting us in Atlanta for my birthday weekend.
    Alex and I went out to lunch on my birthday, at a little spot in our neighborhood, and Alex ordered a cheeseburger and fires. I had pecan pie a la mode. He was absolutely floored! I told him, its my birthday, I can have whatever I want….and I want pecan pie!
    Now, when we are together and Susie makes her pecan tartlets, Alex just stands back and lets me have at’em first. He values his life! Smart man!

    December 11, 2015 at 9:57 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      He’s an idiot, but he’s a smart idiot 😀

      December 14, 2015 at 9:42 am
  • Reply Michelle

    YUMMY!!! I need to try these!

    December 11, 2015 at 11:23 am
  • Reply Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

    I would shovel these in my face so fast… I’m a super picky pecan pie person. If it’s done right I will bathe in it though.

    December 11, 2015 at 11:52 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      You said you like it gooey–so half bake it, and you will be in heaven 😀

      December 14, 2015 at 9:41 am
  • Reply meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles

    These are so cute!

    December 11, 2015 at 12:03 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Too cute to eat? I THINK NOT

      December 14, 2015 at 9:39 am
  • Reply Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner

    How cute are those!? Great for a party

    December 11, 2015 at 12:20 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      A pecan pie party!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Heather@hungryforbalance

    These are the cutest little pies I’ve ever seen!!My husband love pecan pie in a big way, so I always make one for Thanksgiving, but that’s the only time of year he get’s it (unless he buys one…). These look so cute and easy that I could see surprising him with these just for fun!

    December 11, 2015 at 12:48 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      And then you don’t have the whole entire pie to contend with, lol.

      December 14, 2015 at 9:40 am
  • Reply Smitha @ Running with SD Mom

    Where do you find gluten free phyllo dough? MUST HAVE!

    December 11, 2015 at 1:37 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Whole foods I think?

      December 14, 2015 at 9:39 am
  • Reply Erin @ Erin's Inside Job

    These look fantabulous. You just reminded me to make my maple spiced pecans that I make every year. THEY’RE SO GOOD. Also, bring me some of this.

    December 11, 2015 at 2:49 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I NEED THOSE. Swap?

      December 14, 2015 at 9:38 am
  • Reply dixya | food, pleasure, and health

    anything with phyllo dough makes me happy!!! if i have a party or get together, I am so trying these tarlets.

    December 11, 2015 at 3:30 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I hope you do! They are the perfect size and texture!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:37 am
  • Reply Sara

    I need to make these for my Mom! She grew up in the south & would love them.

    December 11, 2015 at 3:38 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      She definitely would!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:36 am
  • Reply Sam @ PancakeWarriors

    I’ve gotta try these! Your mom sounds a lot like me, I love pecan pie but you can’t have it too often or it’s not as special!! This recipe looks crazy easy, love anytime I don’t have to make crust!!

    December 11, 2015 at 5:16 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine

    These look amazing!! I think that my dad would love them and he is SO picky when it comes to desserts. I might need to bring them for Christmas this year:)

    December 11, 2015 at 5:33 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Please do! I would love to know what he thinks 😀

      December 14, 2015 at 9:35 am
  • Reply Sarah

    Yummy! My mom made a pecan pie cheesecake for Thanksgiving and it was so good, but made me sick. I have said I’m going to make a dairy free version when I get my kitchen back (which we are working on tonight and should have back in order completely this weekend, shh don’t tell my husband I am taking a break).

    December 11, 2015 at 9:11 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Pecan Pie Cheesecake? Now that is damn decadent. You are allowed to take breaks–you have been slaving away!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:35 am
  • Reply Kristen

    These look sooooo good! And I love that they’re mini. I might need to try this out!

    December 11, 2015 at 10:58 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      They are the perfect size–just enough for you to have all the other fun stuff!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:34 am
  • Reply Farrah

    These look magical and I want/need them in my life! <3 I haven't had pecan pie in forever!

    December 12, 2015 at 12:10 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      How have you been living (ish) in the South and not have had pecan pie in a while… shame!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:33 am
  • Reply Marcia

    The devil is in that darn crust, isn’t it? These look divine. My extended expects a certain cheesecake on holidays. I’ve been making it since forever.

    December 12, 2015 at 6:57 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      Seriously, it really is. Though I do love the crust. I’m not a big cheesecake person. I never have been. I’m a texture junkie!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:33 am
  • Reply Linda @ Veganosity

    I have to create a vegan pecan pie recipe. My father-in-law loves it. LOVE that you put the filling in phyllo cups, that really does lighten it up.

    December 12, 2015 at 9:16 am
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:31 am
  • Reply Liora (Allthingsloveli)

    I have never seen gluten free phyllo dough sheets! I love mini individual desserts, it so nice being able to serve more than once, to different people, versus a cake which is then cut into and no longer looks whole. These look so delicious!

    December 13, 2015 at 3:22 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      I’m all about the individual servings. Plus, then you can send the extras home with people at the end the night!

      December 14, 2015 at 9:31 am
  • Reply What Are YOU Bringing To Christmas Dinner? | A Recipe Round-Up | A Modern Shore Life

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    December 14, 2015 at 8:56 am
  • Reply Nicole @ Fitful Focus

    Are they still healthy if I eat them all? In one sitting? Over a giant bowl of ice cream?

    December 14, 2015 at 5:46 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    These look like really easy desserts to make! And pecan pie?! YES!

    December 14, 2015 at 7:55 pm
    • Reply suzlyfe

      So beyond easy, and so beyond delicious!

      December 15, 2015 at 10:06 am
  • Reply Healthy Holiday Baking Recipes

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    December 22, 2015 at 3:20 pm
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