Barefoot Contessa Pecan Pie Recipe

Matt R.

This is a seriously delicious pecan pie recipe. Let's all thank the Barefoot Contessa for it!

Ina Garten, known affectionately as the Barefoot Contessa, is famed for her delicious desserts and simple savory dishes worthy of any occasion.

The fabled Barefoot Contessa pecan pie recipe is the stuff culinary folklore is based on - it is truly the crème de la crème of pecan pie recipes.

Our copycat Barefoot Contessa pecan pie recipe is our very favorite pecan pie. Give it a try and it's quickly going to become your new family favorite!

Barefoot Contessa Pecan Pie Picture

What is Pecan Pie?

Everyone's favorite dessert at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or just about any special occasion, pecan pie is a divine mixture of pecan nuts, sugar, eggs and butter all baked in a pie crust. 

No one is quite sure where pecan pie originated. Pecan nuts are native to the southern United States, whereas 'sugar pies' were originally made in Europe.

Some people say that the French were the first to bring the two together, after settling in New Orleans, but either way — we're big fans of pecan pie.

This delicious dessert has now become synonymous with the southern states, where its existence is celebrated with National Pecan Pie Day!

If you're like us and you love pecan pie, you can also make delicious pecan pie cinnamon rolls for your next brunch or holiday celebration.

Whole Pecans or Chopped?

This delicious, foolproof recipe simply calls for 'pecans,' so the question becomes, should you use whole or chopped pecans?

Well, this is a contentious issue with pecan pie aficionados, so our advice is to go with what you like best! There's truly no wrong answer on this one.

Chopped nuts are perhaps a little easier for some people to eat — and it's also much easier to cut a neat slice if the nuts are chopped. 

Whole nuts, on the other hand, give you a nicer crunch and are the popular choice for true pecan lovers!

When learning how to make pecan pie, follow your gut — or your taste buds, as the case may be — when choosing pecans. You'll be happy either way.

Whatever you choose, here’s a great tip for a perfect old-fashioned pecan pie: use toasted pecans when making pecan pie and you will never be disappointed.

Using toasted pecans ensures they are heated throughout and gives your pie the perfect texture you’re looking for, as well as enhances the drupe’s flavor.

Paleo Chocolate Pecan Tart Image

Worried About Your Pie Crust Burning?

It's important to bake a pecan pie until the pie crust is properly set. If you find this sometimes means your pie crust becomes too dark or even burns, use a pie crust shield and just remove it for the last 15 minutes of the cooking time.

Uneven baking can ruin a perfectly good pie, so keep a close eye on your pie as it bakes and get to know your oven over time.

You can either buy a pie crust shield, or make your own with aluminum foil.

As the crust starts to brown, cover the edges completely with strips of aluminum foil, folding the pieces over the edges.

Some recipes call for cutting out the center of the foil, but this will waste expensive, precious materials!

Save your pie and your budget by cutting your foil into strips that can easily wrap around the edges. Try it; it's a game-changer!

Paula Deen Pecan Pie Photo

Pecan Pie - Top Tips

  • For speed you can add your pecan nuts just as they come - but to really intensify their flavor, try roasting them first! Just spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees F, until you begin to smell them.  You can get the pastry ready while they're roasting!
  • Another great tip? Keep your ingredients chilled until it is time to make the pie. Using warm ingredients can make the crust soggy and distract from the flavor.
  • You will know your pie is done when the filling has a slight jiggle but the edges are stable and set. If it waves or reaches the edges, it is not yet done.
  • If you want to make pecan pie but forgot to pick up corn syrup, or just don’t care for it, replace it with pure maple syrup.
  • Allow the pie to completely cool before slicing it. This keeps your pie slices firm and not runny.
Paleo Chocolate Pecan Tart Pic

Variations on Pecan Pie

This pecan pie recipe from the Barefoot Contessa produces a classic pie with an instantly recognizable flavor. There's a reason why it is such a favorite!

Whilst we think that it's not easy to improve on the original recipe, there are a few variations you might like to try to keep things interesting!

One is to add chocolate - after all, what doesn't taste better with the addition of chocolate? Chocolate pecan pie is never going to be the wrong decision.

Throwing in some semisweet chocolate chips works well, or you can achieve an even deeper, richer flavor with some 70% cacao chocolate, chopped roughly.

You should definitely try our Paleo chocolate pecan tart recipe, too!

If you want a classic pecan pie but want to mix things up alongside each slice, serve  your pecan pie with a scoop of chocolate ice cream!

Another option is to add butterscotch chips - or better still, butterscotch and chocolate chips - for a deliciously decadent touch. And I mean decadent.

If you want to give your pecan pie a real Southern kick, why not add a little bourbon?

The alcohol burns off as the pie is baked, but the flavor becomes so much more rich and complex.

You could even spice things up a little by using Cinnamon Whisky like Fireball instead!

Love pecan pie but need a quicker way to get your fix? Try our pecan pie overnight oats recipe.

Paleo Chocolate Pecan Tart Picture

Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?

How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?

We’ve got you covered in our ever-growing Facebook group! If you’re not a member yet, why not?!


We’re chatting cooking techniques, dessert ideas, and everything in between. If you’re already a member, invite your friends to join us too!


Barefoot Contessa Pecan Pie Recipe

    12 Servings


Pie Crust:
  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable Shortening
  • 1 large Egg, lightly beaten with a fork
  • 1 tablespoon Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Light Corn Syrup
  • 1/3 cup Salted Butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 large Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Pecans



  1. Stir the flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add the butter and shortening.
  3. Work the butter into the flour using a dough cutter until the mixture resembles tiny pebbles.
  4. Add the egg with five tablespoons cold water and the vinegar.
  5. Stir the mixture until just combined. Divide the dough in half and chill until needed. Once chilled, sprinkle the cutting board or counter liberally with flour.
  6. Roll half of the dough into a large circle and place in a standard pie pan. Crimp the edges according to desired look. Reserve the other half of dough for another use.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350.


  1. Mix the white sugar, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup, butter, vanilla and eggs together in a bowl. Pour the pecans in the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.
  2. Pour syrup mixture over the top. Cover top and crust lightly/gently with foil. Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, and then continue baking for 20 minutes, being careful not to burn the crust or pecans.
  3. The pie should not be too jiggly when you remove it from the oven. If it shakes a lot, cover with foil and bake until set, an additional 20 minutes. Required baking time seems to vary widely with this recipe.
  4. Sometimes it takes under an hour to cook, other times closer to 75.
  5. Allow to cool for several hours or even overnight. Serve in thin slivers.
The Barefoot Contessa
Food Network
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Recipe Yields:
12 slices
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Related Post:
Author: Matt R.
Source: The Barefoot Contessa
Recipe Yields: 12 slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 270 minutes

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 slice
Servings Per Recipe 12

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 208
Calories 517

% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g
  Saturated Fat 7g
Sodium 332mg
Total Carbohydrate 63g
  Dietary Fiber 2g
  Sugars 24g
Protein 6g

* Percent Daily Value are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
** Nutrition Facts are estimated based on ingredients and data provided by Fat Secret. Please consult a doctor if you have special dietary needs.
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