This No Bake Turtle Pumpkin Pie is a wonderful Thanksgiving dessert – without all of the work involved in traditional pie! It takes 5 minutes to whip up the filling, then the pie chills in the fridge overnight for the ultimate make ahead holiday treat.
Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite traditional Thanksgiving desserts – but baking pie can be such a chore, so I make this tasty no bake variation instead.
This recipe is relatively cheap, easy, quick to whip up… And the oven stays free for the turkey and dressing. You can also easily make it a day or two ahead, which is perfect if you want to avoid too much cooking on the holiday itself.
Ingredients you’ll need
This is just an overview of the ingredients in my Turtle Pumpkin Pie. Skip to the recipe card at the bottom for exact quantities.
- Instant vanilla pudding: Do make sure to use instant (suitable for cold liquids), and not a pudding you need to cook. Otherwise the pie will not work.
- Evaporated milk: Feel free to use half-and-half, cream or milk in place of evaporated milk. I like to use it because I always have some on hand in the pantry. It also adds a richer taste than regular milk, which is nice in a dessert 😉
- Whipped topping: Feel free to use homemade whipped cream in place of the frozen whipped topping. I do recommend adding 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar to 1 cup of heavy whipping cream for the filling, and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch to 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream to top the pie with.
Step by step instructions
This pumpkin pie is so incredibly simple to make – it really only takes a few minutes to whip up!
First, scatter the pecan pieces over the bottom of the pie crust and drizzle them with the caramel sauce. Try to get an even layer to make sure every slice of pie will have a nice caramel/pecan bottom.
Next, make the pumpkin pie filling. For this, you’ll want to stir the evaporated milk, pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin spice until well combined. Then, fold in the whipped topping until it’s fully combined.
Just carefully spread the filling in the pie crust, then loosely cover and refrigerate the pie! 1-2 hours will do if you’re in a hurry, but overnight is really best for clean slices.
All that’s left to do right before serving is to decorate the pie with more whipped topping, pecan pieces and caramel sauce. And then save yourself a slice before you put it out for everyone – it vanishes FAST!
- Be careful when spreading the caramel/pumpkin filling in the crust. Graham cracker crusts tend to break easily and the filling is pretty thick, so you’ll want to make sure you get as little breakage as possible.
- Pumpkin amount: I make this pie with a full 15-oz can of pumpkin (It’s a pumpkin pie, after all!), but *some* of my family members prefer it with just half a can of pumpkin. Feel free to add the full or the half can according to your preference – the full can makes the filling more pumpkin-flavored, the half can makes it a little sweeter and pudding-y.
- Leftovers: Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.
More easy dessert recipes
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- 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
- 2/3 cup pecan pieces, plus more for decorating
- 6 tablespoons caramel topping, plus more for decorating
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 2 (3.4-oz) packages instant vanilla pudding
- 1 (15-oz) can pumpkin purée; or half the can for a less intense pumpkin flavor
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 (8-oz) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Add pecan pieces to bottom of pie crust, then evenly drizzle with caramel topping.
- Whisk evaporated milk, dry pudding mix, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in 2/3 of frozen whipped topping until combined.
- Spread filling in pie crust over pecans and caramel. Loosely cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, better overnight.
- Before serving, decorate top of pie with remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with extra pecans and drizzle with extra caramel topping, too, if you like!
I make this pie with a full 15-oz can of pumpkin (It’s a pumpkin pie, after all!), but *some* of my family members prefer it with just half a can of pumpkin. Feel free to add the full or the half can according to your preference – the full can makes the filling more pumpkin-flavored, the half can makes it a little sweeter and pudding-y.
Leftovers: Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 2 days.