Chocolate Pumpkin Pie & Festive Chickpea Tart with Cranberry Sauce

I have another pumpkin recipe for you today – plus a couple of festive recipes perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all your holiday celebrations!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie by Dreena Burton #vegan

Let’s start with dessert.  Why not, it’s the chapter of cookbooks we flip to first, right?  This Chocolate Pumpkin Pie is one of my favorite recipes.  (Do I keep saying that?)  But, it’s true!  And, I know my readers have loved it over the years.  Why?  Partly because it is SO darn easy to make, and also because it doesn’t use things like vegan sour cream and vegan cream cheese (a lot of pumpkin pie recipes tend to).  This is a very rich pie, so as I say, a little slice will do ya’!

Chocolate Pumpkin Pie soy-free

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This pie is rich and decadent, so a little slice will do!

1 1/4 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
1 can (14-oz/415-ml) organic pumpkin pie mix (I use Farmer’s Market Organic brand)
2 tbsp unrefined sugar
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1/8 tsp (rounded) sea salt
1 prepared pie crust of choice (optional – this pie is so rich, you can really make it without any crust)
2 tbsp non-dairy chocolate chips, optional (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 425°F (220ºC). Fit a metal or glass bowl over a saucepan on medium-low heat and filled with several inches of water (or use a double-boiler). Add 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips to bowl and stir occasionally as water simmers (not boils), letting chocolate melt. While chocolate is melting, in a food processor, add pumpkin pie mix (scraping out everything from can), sugar, arrowroot powder, and salt. Purée until very smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Once chocolate is melted, add to food processor and purée with pumpkin mixture, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Pour mixture into pie crust (scraping out all filling) and tip pie back and forth gently to evenly distribute filling (if not using a crust, wipe/spray your pie plate with a smidgen of oil). Sprinkle on 2 tbsp chocolate chips.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350ºF (180ºC) and bake for another 35 minutes, until pie is set (the center may be soft, but it will set further as it cools). Carefully remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing, refrigerating if desired.

Note: You can use any pie crust of choice, including a wheat-free or gluten-free crust (see Let Them Eat Vegan for both wheat-free and gluten-free pie crusts).

Next, for your Thanksgiving dinner, the main course!  I have received rave reviews about this savory tart from Let Them Eat Vegan.  It is pretty easy to make, and you can even bake it without a crust if you prefer.  Definitely the centrepiece for your holiday dinners.

photo credit:

Festive Chickpea Tart gluten-free option, oil-free option

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Move over faux turkeys! This savory tart takes center plate with its combination of chickpeas, crunchy walnuts, spinach, and seasonings nestled together. This dish is elegant enough to serve for holiday gatherings, but also easy enough to make for a family dinner any time of the year.

1/2 – 1 tbsp olive oil (or water for oil-free)
1 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
4-5 medium-large garlic cloves, minced
1⁄4 tsp sea salt
Few pinches freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chickpeas, reserve 1/3 cup
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp tamari
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup rolled oats (optional, see note)
1 – 10 oz pckg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water (about 1 cup after squeezing)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp dried thyme added to puree)

1 prepared whole-wheat pastry pie crust, thawed (see note)
1/2 tbsp olive oil (optional, omit for oil-free)
1 tsp tamari
2 tbsp walnuts, chopped (for topping, no need to toast beforehand)

Add oil, onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and turning golden. In a food processor, add chickpeas (except reserved 1/3 cup), lemon juice, tamari, sage, salt, and sautéed mixture, and partially puree (not fully like hummus, but leaving some chunkier consistency). Add toasted walnuts and oats, and briefly pulse to lightly break up nuts. Transfer to a bowl, and stir in spinach, cranberries, parsley, thyme, and reserved chickpeas. Transfer mixture to pie shell (or lightly oiled pie plate, see note), smoothing to evenly distribute. Combine oil and tamari, and brush over top. Sprinkle on walnuts. Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until tart is golden on edges and top. Cool 5-10 minutes, then serve with cranberry sauce, a spoon drizzling of oil/balsamic vinegar slurry, or other sauce of choice.  Serves 4-5.

Note: The rolled oats, while lending some structure to the tart, can easily be omitted.

Note: This tart can be made without the pastry crust, if needed. Do not over bake as tart will tend to dry out without a crust.

And, I think you need cranberry sauce on the side.  This recipe is also a reader favorite, from eat, drink and be vegan.

Festive Chickpea Tart by Dreena Burton #vegan

Traditional Cranberry Sauce gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free

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You’ll never buy another store-brand cranberry sauce after you’ve tasted this one – and, it’s a breeze to make!

1½ cups fresh cranberries, rinsed (see note)
½ cup pure maple syrup
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (optional)

In a pot on medium-high heat, combine ingredients and bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer for 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cranberries have broken down. (Reduce heat is sauce is sticking or is simmering too rapidly.) Once sauce has thickened, taste test, and add balsamic vinegar for a touch of sourness if desired. Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 1 cup.

Note: Frozen cranberries can also be used; just continue simmering until cranberries break down into entire mixture thickens and becomes deeper in color.

Have you planned your holiday menu?… what are you making?


    • Dreena says

      Hi Sarah, not a problem! The tart will be totally fine. Toasting just brings out a bit of a deeper flavor for the nuts. Will still be delish – enjoy!

  1. Ashley says

    Made this for Christmas dinner tonight! It was a huge hit, even my non-vegan family members loved it! Thank you so much!!! New Christmas tradition! :)

  2. Nada says

    The chickpea pie looks yummy! If im not using a crust, for how long should I bake it? Or serve it as it is after processing? Thanks!

  3. Sherri says

    Hi i made this pie using dairy, nut & soy free dark chocolate morsels, organic pumpkin, pinch of ginger, pinch of cinnamon and all the other ingredients listed.. I’m concerned because it’s kind of bitter.. would you have any gluten free vegan topping suggestions that might counter the bitterness? Thank you.

  4. Angelica says

    I’m making this pie for Thanksgiving, looks amazing, thank you!
    Do you know if I can make the pumpkin pie in advance, like a couple days? Thanks

  5. Deb says

    i am excited to try this for the holidays! I bet the rest of the meat eating family will be so jealous of my meal, we will see if I share! Lol

  6. Kerry says

    Does the pie shell need to be baked first? And do you think a quiche/tart pan will work? I am using my only pie dish for apple pie, but I have a quiche pan. Thanks Dreena! You are amazing! Every recipe I have made from you has turned out fantastic.

    • Dreena says

      Kerry, no, don’t prebake the shell. Just fill and bake. I’ve never tried it in a quiche pan, but should be okay. Thanks for that cheer. :)

  7. Caitlin says

    Hi Dreena- I plan to make the chickpea tart for thanksgiving this week. I was wondering what you suggest for preparing the tart before hand and reheating it? I’ll be taking it with me and would rather avoid clogging up someone else’s oven space. Thanks!!!

  8. Eli says

    OMG! I made the chickpeas pie with the cranberry sauce and it is unbelievable good! Thanks a million for sharing!!! It is really worth the work!

  9. Kerstin says

    Hi Dreena,

    on your chocolate pumpkin pie, what did you use as the topping. It looks like (vegan) cream with poppy seeds, or is it something completely different?


    • Dreena says

      Hi Kerstin, it’s called “Celestial Cream”, and it’s also a recipe from ed&bv – not on my blog right now, sorry! You could also pair with a nondairy vanilla ice cream, very fab! :) (and what looks like poppy seeds – those are vanilla seeds, I looove them!)

  10. Marina says

    Just wondering if you have a suggestion for a spinach sub? My hubby is VERY averse to spinach, but this tart looks way too good to pass up!

    • Dreena says

      Marina, you could always just omit it. The spinach gets pulsed in, and it’s cooked, so it’s not that noticeable… but, if someone REALLY doesn’t want it, best to omit it. You could probably sub in some roasted or sauteed mushrooms (until most of water is out and they are concentrated down) – that would be good!

  11. Karen says

    Finally I was able to get the ingredients to make this delicious recipe! I live in Myanmar right now, so all things are not always available. This was amazing! Thank you…I am a HUGE fan!

  12. Rebecca Stucki says

    Oh, Dreena, you are definitely my favorite vegan wizard! I made the chickpea tart and loved it! Made your rosemary gravy to go with it (to which I added just a touch of truffle oil) – spectacular! Now I feel like I really need to do a Julie/Julia with LTEV and just make every recipe in the book. Thanks for being you!

  13. says

    Hi Dreena,

    I’m making my entire Christmas menu from your recipes! So excited! The chickpea tart is going to be the centrepiece and it’s just wonderful to have a wholesome, healthful meal to serve (rather than the traditional with excess fat, salt etc)

    Anyway, I’m trying to make my life easier by making some stuff ahead of time and wondered if you’ve had success freezing the chickpea tart and thawing it for dinner?

    Thanks so much for this blog. Love it.


    • Dreena says

      Hi Kelly!

      Yes, I know quite a few folks that have been freezing the tart and then thawing for Christmas Day. Another option is to make the filling in advance, store in a bowl, and then fill the crust when you are ready to bake it. Hope that helps – thanks for your kinds words. :)

  14. Rebecca Stucki says

    Thanks for posting the chickpea tart here, Dreena. I want to try it. I tried finding it in ED&BV but couldn’t locate it. Which section is it in? I have the Kindle version, which is difficult to search.

  15. Nancy Nurse says

    Hi Dreena, I live in Europe and cannot find non-dairy chocolate chips? Can you help or suggest a place I might purchase them online perhaps? Can’t WAIT to make that Chocolate Pumpkin Pie. It looks like something out of this world!

    • Dreena says

      Hi Nancy, sorry for the delay. Are you able to order through amazon? I know amazon (in US) sells non-dairy chocolate chips. Also, there is vegan essentials ( but I imagine shipping would be terribly expensive. Do you have any natural foods stores that can start stocking them? Sometimes if you ask for them to bring in a specific item they will do so. Not sure if that has helped… oh, one other idea, if you have some specialty chocolate stores, they usually carry bars or chips of dark chocolate – check the ingredients, usually dairy-free! Good luck.

    • Linda says

      Hey Nancy

      I live in Europe too, so perhaps I can help. In case you live in a German-speaking country or in Britain I can name some online stores for you. Also, you can find plain dark vegan chocolate almost everywhere. You could simply by that and chop it up – works fine!

  16. Overseas Vegan says

    Hi Dreena, I can’t get canned pumpkin or pimpkin pie mix over here in Europe. I have resorted to steaming and purreeing my own pumpkin to make pies, bread etc. Can you give a substitute for the pumpkin pie mix in the pie recipe? I assume it also has spices in it? Thanks for the help!
    I purchased LTEV a few weeks ago and so far we have been loving everything we made from it! By the way, I turned the gingered broccoli side dish into a great, easy and speedy lunch with the addition of chickpeas. Very tasty indeed!

    • Dreena says

      Yes, the pumpkin pie mix has spices – and also some sweetener. If you are using your own puree, I’d suggest adding about 2-3 tbsps of coconut sugar (or other unrefined sugar), and either 1 – 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice, or a combination of about 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/8 – 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and a few pinches of cloves. That should give you enough of that pumpkin pie flavor that is comparable to a mix – but def adjust to taste – puree the spices/sweetener and add more if you like (note that you won’t need it too sweet b/c the choc chips will also sweeten the pie). Hope that helps. :)

  17. says

    I just got Let Them Eat Vegan from the library and after looking through, I came online to see if the chickpea tart was online because I won’t still have the book by the time Thanksgiving rolls around (unless I buy it, which I very well may). I’m thinking about making this for Thanksgiving basically for myself and my China Study-reading uncle, but I’m not sure yet what to go with for the centerpiece. I like that it can be done without a crust. At first, I was thinking the chickpea cutlets from Veganomicon, but I don’t like that it has vital wheat gluten in it — this takes away that problem and also adds spinach, which I dig. Can anyone give feedback on how successful of a Thanksgiving certerpiece this is? I’m looking for TASTY and HEALTHY.

    • Dreena says

      Melissa, the tart is a pretty popular recipe. I first shared it when writing for VegNews years ago, and then on my older blog. If you google it you’ll come up with some reader reports giving many ‘thumbs up’.

  18. says

    As I’m writing, styling, photographing and disseminating copious pie leftovers for my upcoming pie book, I see pies in my sleep, LOL. But yours look absolutely phenomenal, Dreena. I think I can smell the savory tart beckoning me all the way here on the right coast. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving in advance!

  19. Lash says

    Hi Dreena, I’m so glad you posted this as I have a question about the chickpea tart. Is there something I can use instead of walnuts? Peanut and nut allergies in the family prevent me from using any nuts in anything (sad, cuz I love, and miss, me some walnuts!) I know in one of your other recipes you gave the option of using ground pumpkin seeds instead of almonds, so I’m wondering if this would work here as well?

    While I’m not vegan, I do have a few of your cookbooks and make many of your recipes consistently. I am trying to include more vegetarian recipes in our meals and you’re always the one I turn to. Too bad I saw this post too late or that chocolate pumpkin pie would have been on my Thanksgiving menu this weekend. There’s always Christmas!

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Dreena says

      Hi Lash, I think pumpkin seeds would be very good in this. I would toast them first to bring out a nuttier flavour, and pulse them through to break up just a little. I might try I myself with pumpkin seeds now! Happy Thanksgiving to you too. :)

  20. Jane says

    doesn’t look like you’ve slowed down yet Dreena : )
    Just wanted to share 2 things – first, I’ve had my eye on the chickpea tart for xmas lunch – thought I might serve with salad, maybe even cold, as it’s pretty warm here in Oz at xmas!
    Second I just made the triple layer choc cake, but because we can’t eat it yet while waiting for the frosting to chill, I made Pecan Date nibblers to keep everyone happy in the meantime……oh my GOODNESS – they are divine!!!!!
    Actually 3 things – do you have a recipe for a trad. xmas fruit cake??? Just a wishful thought!
    Thanks for inspiring me!

  21. Sun Flower says

    Came upon your recipes thru Healthy Eating Starts Here on FB. Very excited to try the tart, but I’m wondering about the pumpkin pie…do you taste both pumpkin and chocolate, or does the chocolate dominate the flavor? Thanks!

    • Dreena says

      Great that you found me via Heather. :) I’d say the pumpkin and chocolate come through fairly equally, you could always reduce the chocolate by about 1/4 cup, and it shouldn’t affect the texture tood much, will be just a touch softer texture.

  22. says

    Dreena, Thanks so much for the choco pumpkin pie up there!!!! I can’t wait to try it in a xgfx crust. I don’t like straight up pumpkin pie, but I’m thinking this combo would be really great!


  23. Kristen Cellana says

    These recipes look wonderful! I would like to make the chocolate pumpkin pie as you did in the photo but am wondering what the creamy concoction is on top?

    • Dreena says

      Hi Kristen, oh, that is the “Celestial Cream” from eat, drink & be vegan – sends everything way over the top (as if chocolate pumpkin pie wasn’t enough)! 😉

  24. says

    Not only do I make your Chocolate Pumpkin Pie (crustless) annually for Thanksgiving, I also make your Traditional Cranberry Sauce. Maybe I’ll round it out with a trifecta this year and also make the Festive Chickpea Tart!

    • Dreena says

      Love to hear that Vegyogini! :) I just added the note about making the pie crustless too – b/c really it stands on its own quite well – thanks for mentioning that! I also love making phyllo rolls with my ‘rawesome’ nut filling or the Moroccan Phyllo Rolls. Holidays always bring out the phyllo in me. 😉

  25. says

    How did I miss these recipes?? I have this cookbook and it is, by far, my favorite. (And I have a pretty hefty collection. I think I border on having a vegan cookbook addiction.) I’ll have to pull out Eat, Drink and Be Vegan tonight!

    • Dreena says

      Oh, thanks very much for that. :) It’s easy to miss recipes in cookbooks, I do the same all the time – even forget my own sometimes. 😉 Have fun rediscovering ed&bv!

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