A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Making healthy pie, plus a pumpkin pie recipe

During the holiday season, a signature dessert that pairs well with the turkey and ham is, of course, pie. Pumpkin, apple, blueberry or pecan – these signature dishes should not be part of your regular diet. However, there are ways to make pie healthier, including this healthy pumpkin pie recipe.

plate of pumpkin pie

RELATED RESOURCE: Download the healthy pumpkin pie recipe

“Although Thanksgiving is one day out of the year, it is a day when we tend to overeat, causing us to feel bloated, full and tired,” said Paula McIntyre, dietitian with Marshfield Clinic Health System. “Choose small portions at your Thanksgiving meal so you can enjoy a small piece of pie for dessert.”

How to make pie healthier?

Here are a few alternatives when making your pie or desserts for holidays.

  • Use evaporated skim milk or nonfat milk instead of whole or 2% milk, cream or half-and-half.
  • Use whole grain or whole wheat flour for crust. A crust made fully with nuts could have a lot of calories.
  • Skip the crust and only eat pie filling to save on calories.
  • Limit added fat in crust by using a mixture of canola oil and butter; or use canola oil in place of shortening, lard or butter.
  • Use two egg whites instead of one whole egg. Eliminating the yolk is a healthy choice and decreases saturated fat.
  • Save calories by having smaller or only one slice of pie, eating it slower and savoring the taste.
  • Reduce the sugar by ½ or use a no calorie sweetener in place of half of the sugar.

Here is a healthy pumpkin pie recipe to add to your holiday traditions.

Light Pumpkin Pie (serves 8)


  • 16 ginger snap cookies
  • 16-ounce can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup low-cholesterol egg substitute
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 12-ounce can evaporated skim milk
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup Splenda® sweetener


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grind ginger snaps in food processor. Lightly spray a glass pie pan with cooking spray. Pat cookie crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan. Mix remaining ingredients together and pour into the crust. Bake until knife comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature; refrigerate. Cut into 8 pieces.

Optional: Serve with fat-free whipped topping.

Nutrition information

Each serving contains about 165 calories; 6 g protein; 170 mg sodium; 32 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber.

Print Light Pumpkin Pie Recipe

For health recommendations, talk to a Marshfield Clinic Health System provider.

Learn more about Nutrition Services Find a nutritionist

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