I cannot think of a better way to finish off a big holiday meal than with a slice of pecan pie! My No-Bake Vegan Paleo Pecan Pie Bars recipe is filled with plant-based protein and sweetened naturally with dates to create a dessert that tastes as good as it will make you feel.
I really love finding ways to enjoy traditional, nostalgic desserts in new ways. This No-Bake Pecan Pie Bars recipe is vegan, paleo, and sweetened naturally with dates (no refined sugar!). They're a decadent, delicious dessert that everyone in my house has fallen in love with. I am so excited to share these bars with you. The crust is not to be believed (and yet so easy!) and the filling is so ooey-gooey, creamy, caramel-y and sweet.
One of my favorite things about this dessert is you can make it well in advance and store it in your freezer for weeks before you plan to serve it. Another favorite aspect of this recipe is that no oven is required! For big holiday meal prep that is always a plus!
This simple recipe consists of three parts: crust, filling, and topping. They all come together into the most beautiful, tasty treat.
Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Crust
I started with a simple raw gluten-free pecan pie crust. It's made with pecans, dates, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. When pulsed in your food processor they'll create a crumbly, slightly sticky mixture that you'll press down into an 8x8 pan for the base of your Pecan Pie Bars. I like to put a sheet of parchment paper over the mixture and press it in with a small glass to make a uniform, even crust.
Vegan Pecan Pie Filling
The main event in these Pecan Pie Bars is the filling! It's thick, creamy, and filled with natural sweetness from the dates. You even get some plant-based protein thanks to the pecans and cashews.
Make this filling in your blender by combining already-soaked cashews, dates, coconut oil, vanilla, water, and a bit of salt and blending them from low speed to high. You'll see it turn into creamy, perfect pecan pie filling right in front of your eyes! Add pecans in for a few final pulses and it's ready to be poured over your crust and topped with more pecan halves.
All About Dates
Dates are used in both the crust and the filling of this recipe for their natural sweetness and distinct sticky chewy texture and caramel flavor. They are a fresh stone fruit that come from a date palm tree. They are not considered dried; instead, they are naturally “dehydrated.”
They are naturally sweet, moist, juicy and have a distinct caramel flavor that works so well in these healthier pecan pie dessert bar. They also taste amazing dipped in chocolate and stuffed with almond butter!
From a health perspective, dates are full of amazing benefits. They contain loads of fiber which aids in weight loss, digestion and heart health. Dates are fat-free, sodium-free and cholesterol-free while also containing nutritious vitamins and minerals including zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K.
And this fact blows me away: dates contain 50% more potassium than a banana (weight for weight). Potassium builds muscles, regulates your heartbeat, controls fluid balances and breaks down carbohydrates. We all need it.
All About Pecans & Cashews
Pecans add a nice plant-based protein boost along with healthy fats, so they’re great for making vegan meals well-rounded. They’re also a great source of fiber, so they’re good for digestion, as well as copper and zinc. Pecans have thiamine (or vitamin B1) that helps your body convert carbohydrates into energy. That makes them GREAT for eating after a big meal!
Cashews are an excellent source of copper and a good source of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K, phosphorous and zinc. Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post. And for more nutritional information on cashews, check out my complete guide on Cashews Benefits for Vegans (+ Recipes).
Don't you love a dessert that does good for your body?
Topping Vegan Pecan Pie
These bars are absolutely divine on their own! You could also top them with my Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream or a scoop of Blender Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream if you want to make this dessert something really special.
More Thanksgiving DessertsPrint
My No-Bake Vegan Paleo Pecan Pie Bars are filled with plant-based protein and sweetened naturally with dates. They're absolutely delicious and can be made in advance.
For the Crust
- 3 cups raw unsalted pecan halves
- 8 large soft room temperature pitted Medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
For the Pecan Pie Filling
- 12 soft room temperature pitted Medjool dates
- 1 cup soaked raw unsalted cashews*
- ½ cup filtered water
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup raw unsalted pecan halves
For the Topping
- 1 ½ cup raw unsalted pecan halves
- Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper in both directions. Set aside.
- For the Crust: In a food processor fitted with an S blade, place pecans, dates, coconut oil and salt. Process for 30 seconds. Stop, scrape down the sides with a mini spatula and process for another 10 seconds. Use the mini spatula to transfer the mixture to the parchment lined baking pan. Place a sheet of parchment paper overtop the mixture and use the bottom of a small glass to press it down into one even layer that covers the entire bottom of the baking pan. Set aside.
- For the Pecan Pie Filling: In a high-speed blender, add the dates, cashews, water, coconut oil, vanilla and salt. Process from low to high speed and then leave on the highest speed for one minute. Stop, scrape down the sides of the blender with a mini spatula and process for another 30 seconds. The mixture should be smooth and creamy. Add the pecans and pulse 10 times to break up the pecans and incorporate them into the filling mixture. Use a mini spatula to transfer this filling overtop the crust layer in the baking pan.
- For the Topping: Sprinkle the pecan halves overtop the creamy pecan pie filling payer. Gently press the pecans into the filling but leave some of the pecans exposed overtop the mixture for presentation.
- Place the baking pan in your freezer for two hours. Lift the parchment paper to remove from the baking pan, then slice into 16 squares. If you have been storing the bars in your freezer for more than a couple of hours you might need to allow them to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before slicing.
- Enjoy cold or at room temperature with your hands or a fork. Serve with vegan vanilla ice cream if desired.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to one week. Or, store in an airtight container in your freezer for up to 2 months.
* Learn more about How (and Why!) to Soak Cashews in this post. Cashews should be soaked overnight, or you can use my quick-soak method which uses boiling water.
- Prep Time: 20
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Food Processor and Blender and Freezer