Seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower, make great peanut or tree nut substitutes in recipes, and roasted soy or garbanzo beans are tasty snacks and salad toppers. Another nut replacement some people swear by are broken or crushed pretzels. They can be sprinkled atop ice cream or other desserts, used in chicken coatings, baked goods, and pie crusts.

You can even use pretzels to make one of life’s most sweet and blissfully decadent desserts, pecan pie—and here’s a recipe from Christy Jordan’s Southern Plate website to prove it.

Faux Pecan Pie

If you experiment with this recipe now you will have plenty of time to tweak it to your liking before the next Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner rolls around.

You will need:

  • A deep dish pie shell, unbaked
  • For the Filling:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the Topping:
  • 1-1/2 cups crushed pretzels (not pulverized, just broken up into very small pieces)
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Filling: put the filling ingredients into a large bowl (make sure the butter is cooled); combine well using a wire whisk, and pour into the pie shell.
  3. Topping: in a medium bowl, combine melted butter and sugar, then add the pretzel pieces; stir with a spoon to coat the pretzel pieces. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the pie.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, covering it with foil after 30 minutes to prevent over browning. Let it cool completely prior to serving.

This pie can be made one or two days ahead of time and stored in the fridge.

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