It’s still hot where I live, so no-bake desserts will still be part of our rotation for a bit longer. My husband and I both love peanut butter pie, but so many recipes are too sweet, dense, and rich for our preferences. After several iterations, I finally landed on a healthier version of it that we both like and strikes a balance of everything we want out of peanut butter pie. This is the recipe I’ve been making at home this summer.
Now, a caveat before we really dive into this recipe… this isn’t what I would call a “healthy” recipe. But it is healthier than other similar recipes, and healthier than most pies. It’s all relative. This version fits my and my husband’s diets, so for us, it’s a good choice.
When I was working on this recipe, I wanted the peanut butter flavor to be the most prominent, rather than sweetness. Natural peanut butter yielded the best result in that case. I always use creamy peanut butter, but if you want a little more texture variety, try it with your favorite crunchy peanut butter.
When I was shooting videos and photos for this recipe, I was trying to be fancy by holding the slice up on the server. Then I dropped the slice face down right on top of the rest of the pie. Oops. But I went with it, and it still tasted delicious.
The crust for this pie is no ordinary crust. When I was growing up, my mom made a lot of low-carb desserts with a pecan crust. Literally just substituting crushed pecans for the graham crackers. I tried a version with a nut-only crust, and a nut version with some cocoa powder mixed in. I didn’t love either version. The best result was a crust that was half crushed nuts, half crushed cookies. It’s toothsome and holds its structure, but has some flavor and dimension. Of course, if you want to go with a classic cookie or graham cracker crust, go for it.
Peanut butter pie is a great dessert for any occasion: Friday night treat, dinner party, holiday meal, or really, if you just want to treat yourself with something special. We love peanut butter pie as a dessert option at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Sometimes you gotta break up all the baked stuff with something lighter!
The good thing about this pie is you can easily make it the night before you plan to serve it. It freezes really well, and it holds in the fridge until it’s eating time. Freezing is especially helpful if you have to transport the pie. Just make sure it’s well covered!
Here’s how to make my healthier version of Peanut Butter Pie!
To make it, you will need these ingredients:
- Peanut butter (either creamy or crunchy works)
- Greek yogurt (low fat or non-fat)
- Cream cheese (low fat or non-fat if needed)
- Heavy whipping cream
- Honey or maple syrup
- Chocolate sandwich cookies
- Butter or coconut oil
- Pie dish or springform pan
First, make the crust. If you want to keep this recipe lower carb, you can use crushed pecans for the “crumbs” and mix in a little cocoa powder. For mine, I do half crushed pecans, half crushed chocolate cookies. That texture works well for me. Anyway… mix your crumbs with melted butter or coconut oil and a pinch of salt. When fully combined, it should resemble wet sand.
When that’s mixed, press the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish or springform pan. Make sure it’s as evenly distributed as possible. Put the pie dish in the freezer while you prepare the peanut butter filling.
Make the filling. First, whip the heavy cream until medium peaks form and it holds its shape. This cream doesn’t need to be sweetened! Next, mix the cream cheese, yogurt, peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Chill the pie. Transfer the pie filling to the prepared crust. Smooth out the top to make sure it’s even. Cover lightly and chill for at least two hours, or until ready to serve.
Serve and enjoy! I like to top mine with some whipped cream and chocolate chips or a drizzle of chocolate sauce. But that’s totally not necessary! This pie is delicious without any extra flair.
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Peanut Butter Pie (a Healthier Version)
For the crust:
- 3 cups crumbs (cookies, nuts, or a combination)
- 4 tbsp melted butter or coconut oil (or combination)
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the pie filling:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 4 oz low-fat cream cheese (half a block)
- 1/2 cup sweetener of choice
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped into medium peaks
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Combine the crumbs, melted butter, and salt in a small mixing bowl. The texture should be similar to wet sand. This will be the crust mixture.
- Press the crust mixture into a 9-inch pie dish or springform pan. Try to get it as even as possible.
- Place the pie dish with crust in the freezer while you make the peanut butter filling.
- Pour the heavy cream into a chilled bowl. Using a whisk or electric mixer, whip the cream until medium peaks form. It should hold its shape on a spoon, but not be too stiff.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl: peanut butter, cream cheese, yogurt, sweetener, and salt.
- Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Try not to beat out the air created by the whipping!
- Get the chilled crust out of the freezer. Transfer the peanut butter filling into the dish. Smooth it out on top.
- Cover loosely and place the pie in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to set.
- When ready to serve, slice the pie with a sharp knife. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate sauce, if desired.
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