Healthy Pecan Pie Bars are one of the best pecan pie recipes! Gluten free, paleo and refined sugar free – an easy holiday dessert you’ll love!
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Pecan pie is something I sadly didn’t grow up eating (my brother is allergic to nuts) but when I first tried it a few years ago I fell in love.
A buttery crust filled with sweet pecans.. uh yeah, count me in. This year we wanted to bring you a pecan pie that has ALL that flavor, with cleaned up ingredients
These taste just like the classic pecan pie while being totally paleo, dairy free, gluten free, grain free, and lower in sugar.
Note: This recipe is a bit more involved than compared to our other recipes – but it’s well worth the extra time! I think you’re going to love them!
Pecan Pie Bar Video:
What makes these pecan pie bars healthier?
Calorie for calorie, these bars are not very different from a classic pecan pie bar. Pecans are a high calorie food, and they’re the main ingredient.
These bars are not something we’d recommend eating every day, but they do have a few things that make them different from classic pecan pie
- Sugar: Most pecan pie bars have 40-50 grams of sugar, while these bars have 22g. 22g of sugar is still A LOT of sugar, but almost half the amount of classic pie!
- Ingredients: Classic pecan pie is made with a ton of corn syrup. These bars have no corn syrup and considerably less sugar.
- Lower Carb: These bars are not low carb, but classic pecan pie has about 65g of carbs per slice, while these only have 37g of carbs per bar.
This has nothing to do with them being healthier, but these bars are also A LOT easier to make than regular pie. Who has time for rolling out pie crust? Not me.
Ingredients for Healthy Pecan Pie Bars
To make these healthy pecan pie bars you’ll need:
These bars are gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free, refined sugar free, and grain free. You can’t substitute the flours in this recipe. See the green box below for notes on substitutions.
We recommend making these in a metal 8×8 baking pan.
How to make Paleo Pecan Bars
To make these Paleo Pecan Bars first we’ll make the crust.
- Mix together the ingredients for the crust.
- Press your dough into your pan & bake.
- While the crust bakes – make the filling.
- Pour the pecan mixture into the crust and bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes.
- Allow the bars to cool on the counter for 1 hour.
- Transfer to the fridge for at least 2 hours before you cut it.
Serving Gluten Free Pecan Bars:
These Gluten Free Pecan Bars are perfect on their own but we really love the Maldon sea salt at the end. The salty/sweet combo is so delish!
Serving: We recommend serving these with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. Feel free to sub in dairy free if necessary. These bars are also great plain!
Serving Size: I divided this into 9 pecan pie bars, but you can also cut them into 16 if you’d prefer smaller pecan pie bars.
Substitutions for Healthy Pecan Bars
You guys know we love to provide you with substitutions for recipes, but sadly – this just isn’t one where you can make substitutions.
If you make these bars as is you’ll wind up with perfect gluten free, paleo, healthier pecan pie bars – but if you make swaps you may wind up with a mess!
Baking pan: This recipe was tested in both glass and metal baking dishes. Metal conducts heat far better than glass so it got done quicker. Make sure you follow instructions to avoid the bars from sticking!
Flour: I don’t recommend other flours for the crust, especially almond flour. The crust is a tried and true formula of coconut and tapioca. The tapioca provides a binder along with the egg.
This crust is very cookie like and really reminds you of the holidays.
Eggs: You can’t substitute eggs in the crust for this recipe.
Ghee: Ghee was used for flavor. We don’t recommend coconut oil for a swap for two reasons -you don’t get that cookie flavor if you use it, and it also is really greasy. Grass fed butter, regular butter (if not paleo) are all fine subs for the ghee.
Maple Syrup: Honey can be used in place of maple syrup in the pecan filling but it will not have maple flavor to it!
Coconut Sugar: Brown sugar can be used in the pecan filling if not paleo
Doubling the recipe: I haven’t tried doubling this recipe but I’m sure it would work in a 9×13 pan.
Almond Milk: You can substitute regular milk in place of almond milk if you’re not dairy free
I mean… don’t you just want to take a bite?!
How to store paleo pecan pie bars:
Gluten Free Pecan Pie Bars should be stored in the refrigerator. They will last in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Heating: If you like warm pecan pie just heat in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.
Freezing: I haven’t tried freezing these pecan bars but I don’t think they would freeze well in an airtight container.
We hope you love these pecan pie bars just as much as we did!
We love to enjoy with a mug of warm Hot Chocolate!
Pecan Pie Bar FAQ
Pecan pie is loaded with sugar and fat which is what makes it ‘bad for you’. I believe in everything in moderation, but these pecan pie bars are lower in fat, sugar and carbs.
Yes! You can make pecan pie the night before! It’s actually better to do that so your pecan pie can set.
Other healthy dessert recipes:
If you’re looking for other healthier desserts – check out this blog post with 30 Healthy Holiday Desserts, or any of these!
Healthy Pecan Pie Bars
- Preheat Oven to 350 Degrees
- Prepare an 8×8 Baking Pan with parchment paper and spray the pan and parchment with cooking spray. It’s very important to prevent sticking.
- Mix together the maple syrup, ghee (be sure it’s cooled), egg, vanilla, coconut flour, tapioca flour and salt. It will seem loose, but trust that the coconut flour is like a sponge and it will quickly form a dough you can press in the pan.
- Press your dough into your prepared pan. Poke it lightly with a fork, but do NOT go through the crust completely.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Take it out and allow it to cool while you make the filling.
- Over medium high heat, in a medium sauce pan, add your ghee, maple syrup, coconut sugar and vanilla. Whisk constantly for about 4-5 minutes.
- Let the mixture come to a low boil for one minute so all the sugar dissolves. It’s very important that you whisk constantly because sugar burns fast.
- The mixture will be slightly thicker than pancake syrup consistency.
- Take it off the heat and add in the vanilla almond milk, pecans and the 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Stir it together and make sure your crust is cool to the touch. It doesn’t have to be cool to room temp, but you should be able to pick up the pan without it being too hot.
- Pour the pecan mixture into the crust and bake at 350 for 15-17 minutes. Note: the mixture will cook down in the oven and reduce. It will still however be a little loose when you take it out. You want to see a lot of bubbling and the pecans to kind of poke through the top.
- Sprinkle the top with the flaked sea salt (if using). I highly recommend this step because it really plays to the sweet and salty nuttiness of these bars.
- Allow the bars to cool on the counter for 1 hour. Transfer to the fridge for at least 2 hours before you cut it.
- Cut them into bars and serve. You can store these in the fridge wrapped in parchment in an air tight container for up to one week. I have not frozen them, but I’d imagine the moisture from freezing wouldn’t be ideal for texture.