slices of healthy pecan pie bars on a black table
Healthy Treats

Healthy Pecan Pie Bars

Healthy pecan pie bars are exactly what you would expect in a pecan pie, but with no refined sugar, and gluten free. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas desserts.

overhead shot of healthy pecan pie bars on a black table surrounded by whole pecans

I’ll be totally honest. I’ve never been that big of a fan of pecan pie. I always reach for something like pumpkin pie or my all-time favorite, cherry pie, during the holidays.

I don’t know if it’s the overload of nuts or sugar that come along with pecan pie, but it’s never my first choice.

This might have changed now with these healthy pecan pie bars.

With no refined sugar {and a lot less of it}, my sweet tooth is perfectly satisfied.

If you’re a true pecan pie fan, you’re definitely going to love this healthy spin on a holiday classic.

How to make healthy pecan pie bars

Gluten free crust

Your typical pecan pie bar recipe makes a crust from all-purpose four, butter and sugar.

I followed this similar format, but instead used almond flour, butter and coconut sugar.

Almond flour provides that nutty taste, and sandy texture you’re expecting from the bar base, but in a gluten free format for all your gluten intolerant friends who still want to enjoy dessert.

I love using coconut sugar as a refined sugar alternative. It gives the base of the bars a more caramelized flavor, which pairs super nicely with the pecan pie layer.

top image: bowl with almond flour and cubed butter being smashed with a fork. bottom image: crust pressed into a parchment paper lined pan

I still enjoy using butter for healthy recipes, but you could also use coconut oil {I would just freeze it for the same consistency of cold butter}. While coconut oil has more saturated fat than butter, it still has the ability to boost your good cholesterol.

Using both sparingly in healthier desserts is totally fine. You’re not going to eat the entire pan of pecan pie bars, so truly, the amount of butter or coconut oil in each bar is minimal.

Healthy pecan pie filling

This is where you’re going to see big changes between the traditional pecan pie filling and the healthier version.

We still start with eggs to give that gooey consistency and base you know and love.

up close photo of whole pecans

But now we’re changing things up. Instead of Karo syrup {which is honestly just straight sugar}, I opted for molasses.

This dark, rich, sticky substance gives the caramelized flavor that you’re looking for in a pecan pie, but in a more natural way.

Then a bit of coconut sugar, in place of all the brown sugar that usually goes into these bars.

Not only are we using healthier alternatives, we’re also using a lot less than you would find in the traditional.

bowl full of healthy pecan pie filling

While the crust bakes, we just let the filling sit and become nice and thick to create the gooey texture that’s going to make these bars sing in your mouth.

Holiday classic turned healthy

These bars are rich and decadent, and don’t take much to satisfy your sweet tooth.

slices of healthy pecan pie bars on a black table

I knew they were a hit when Burken couldn’t stop eating them. He’s usually not much of a sweets eater {not so great for a home baker}. But when he kept going back for little bites, I knew I had a winner on my hands.

Not only is this a healthy pecan pie bar recipe, but it’s a super easy recipe to pull together if you’re short on time.

It took me just 10 minutes to prep, and I was on my merry way while the smell of caramel and toasted nuts floated through our kitchen.

three stacks of healthy pecan pie bars

I can bet your family won’t be able to tell the difference between the healthy and non-healthy version of these pecan pie bars.

I can’t wait to hear what they think after you make them for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year!

Looking for more healthy holiday favorites? Check these out:

Healthy Sweet Potato Pie

Healthy Cherry Cheesecake

Healthy Apple Pie Cheesecake

These healthy pecan pie bars are a gluten free dessert that has no refined sugar. It tastes just like the real deal, but contains no refined sugar. Enjoy this holiday dessert classic any time of the year. #pecanpie #pecanpiebars #healthydessert #thanksgivingdessert #christmasdessert #glutenfreedessert #refinedsugarfree #homemadepecanpie
Healthy Pecan Pie Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
Healthy pecan pie bars are exactly what you would expect in a pecan pie, but with no refined sugar, and gluten free. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas desserts.
Servings: 24 bars
Crust Ingredients:
  • 2 ½ cups almond flour
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter cubed
Pecan Pie Filling Ingredients:
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup molasses
  • cup pure maple syrup
  • cup coconut sugar
  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. all-spice
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9”x 13” pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with baking spray.*
  2. For the crust, in a medium bowl, add the flour and sugar and whisk to combine. Using a fork, blend the cubed butter into the flour mixture until it resembles a sandy-like texture.**
  3. Press the mixture into prepared pan and bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly browned around edges. Remove from oven.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy. Beat in remaining ingredients, except for pecans.
  5. Fold in pecans and pour mixture over the top of the baked crust.
  6. Return to the oven and continue baking for 30-35 minutes, until center is set.
  7. Remove and let cool for 1 hour before slicing.
Recipe Notes

*Note: lining with parchment paper will allow you to easily pull the bars out once they have cooled.
**Note: you can also use a food processor to blend in butter.

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