Kitchen Stewardship | A Baby Steps Approach to Balanced Nutrition

Recipe Connection: Walnut-Oat Pie Crust

June 30th, 2009 · 33 Comments · Do It Yourself, Recipes, Super Foods, Upgraded Nutrition

Walnut-Oat Gluten Free Pie Crust Recipe

I’m a huge “from scratch” person, and if I see a recipe that calls for something bought pre-fab, I usually figure out if I can do it cheaper and more nutritiously at home.  Graham cracker crusts for pies was one of those easy-t0-do at home (for a lot less $) things that I always made from scratch, using my Betty Crocker cookbook recipe.  I recently came across a whole grain, healthy substitute for graham cracker pie crusts, and I was thrilled with how rich and delicious it tasted. The fact that it is also gluten-free is a huge bonus.

Between the whole grain oats, omega-3 packed walnuts, and real butter, there’s got to be a complete protein in this thing as well.  Nice!  Plus you get to avoid the trans fat that is almost always in graham crackers (recently replaced by the likely equally evil interesterified fat).

Walnut-Oat Pie Crust Recipe
Recipe type: Desserts
  • 1⅓ cups old-fashioned or quick oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup diced walnuts
  • 6 Tbs melted unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread oats in a shallow layer in an ungreased round cake pan.
  3. Spread nuts in a shallow layer in another ungreased cake pan.
  4. Bake the nuts until they smell toasty and are beginning to brown, about 8 minutes.
  5. Bake the oats until they’re starting to brown, 15-18 minutes.
  6. Watch both carefully; they go from brown to burned quickly.
  7. Remove them from the oven and transfer to a food processor.
  8. Add the butter, sugar and salt.
  9. Process until the oats and nuts are finely ground and the mixture is cohesive.
  10. Remove the mixture from the food processor and press it into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch regular (not deep-dish) pie pan that’s at least 1 ¼ inches deep.
  11. Bake the crust until it’s just barely beginning to brown, 14 minutes.  Remove it from the oven and set it on a rack to cool.

Now you can fill the crust with any pie that calls for a storebought graham cracker crust. I use the crust for my Healthy Pumpkin Pie recipe, but you could use it for any cheesecake, pudding style pie, etc.

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Other Recipe Connections:

Find more pies at Love the Pie!

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33 Comments so far ↓

  • Sherry

    What a yummy sounding pie crust substitute!

    Sherry’s last blog post..Wilted Lettuce/Spinach Salad

  • meatlessmama

    Great pie crust recipe, thanks for sharing! I am also big on from scratch and avoiding most processed foods.

    meatlessmama’s last blog post..Vegetarian Spaghetti Pie

  • Jenna @ Newlyweds

    Thats a great idea, I usually don’t like the graham cracker crusts that much anyway. I will have to try this.

    Jenna @ Newlyweds’s last blog post..Outback Steakhouse Bushman Bread

  • Carrie

    Yay for the King Arthur cookbook! I just returned it to the library after my renewals expired, and now I should really just buy it. :) So many great whole-grain recipes, and they’ve all been super for me.

    Katie Reply:

    Thank you for recommending it to me! It’s def. going on my birthday wish list. I didn’t love the whole grain cupcakes we tried for Lovey Girl’s birthday…they were a little dry, and hubby says they tasted “healthy”. They were good, but I want something more moist.

  • Brenda

    Thats a great idea, so much healthier than the cookie crust

    Brenda’s last blog post..Brined BBQ Chicken for TMTT

  • Lisa@BlessedwithGrace

    Thanks for the recipe and thanks for linking up to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday.

    Lisa@BlessedwithGrace’s last blog post..Tempt My Tummy Tuesday….Sloppy Joe..BBQ.. I don’t care what you call it.. Just call me to dinner ’cause this is good!

  • Mother Hen

    I’m so glad I found your blog! I love this recipe. I’ve been wanting some way of making a sub for the graham crust, but drew a blank. Thanks!

    Mother Hen’s last blog post..Pancakes Without Sugar

    Katie Reply:

    The only other way I did it before was with Oreos, but I don’t suppose they are a healthy sub, right? :)

  • Mary

    This is a fabulous recipe. Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a great holiday weekend.

    Mary’s last blog post..Salmon with Cilantro and Lime – Foodie Friday and Pink Saturday

  • Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut

    Wonderful, now I can make some of those no-bake pies I gave up because I stopped eating graham crackers a number of years ago because of the trans fat! I thank you, my waistline? Not so much.

    Rhonda @ Shellbelle’s Tiki Hut’s last blog post..Foodie Friday — Chicken Mango Wrap

    Katie Reply:

    Some say fat doesn’t make you fat…although I suppose it depends what you’re filling these relatively healthy crusts with! :) Welcome!

  • Kathryn@BonafideSouthern

    Thanks for sharing this great alternative. I’m going to definitely try this.

    Kathryn@BonafideSouthern’s last blog post..Foodie Friday: Oriental Salad

  • Darnold23

    I’m so glad to find your blog. I will have to spend some time going through your previous posts because I am so impressed with this crust recipe. Thanks for sharing it. I hope you will join me beginning in August for Crock Pot Wednesdays @

    Darnold23’s last blog post..RED SKELTON AND THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

    Katie Reply:

    Thanks for joining me, Debbie! I’ll make a note of Crock Pot Wednesdays and link up whenever I post a crock pot recipe. Are you accepting “old” posts, too, or just recent ones?

  • Mallory

    I can’t wait to try this!!! Do you think it would work to substitute real maple syrup for the brown sugar? I am trying to limit refined sweeteners and have read that maple syrup is a “healthier” choice, if there is such a thing!

    Katie Reply:

    I think maple syrup is def. healtier than brown sugar. I wonder how it would impact the crust. ?? Maybe lower the butter, just a smidge, to make up for the added liquid. I may have overdone the butter because I didn’t measure perfectly, and my crust was a little slippery – it fell down into the pan as it baked – so I don’t think you want it to liquid-y. Good luck! Come back and comment if you try it and it works, if you wouldn’t mind! I love avoiding white sugar as well.

  • Mallory

    Thanks for your advice! I have been saving my money for a bottle of real maple syrup (it’s liquid gold) and this will be the first recipe I try with it!!! It may be a week or so until I have enough saved up, but I will come post my results as soon as I can!

  • christina

    I wish I had found this recipe yesterday! My husband asked for a cheesecake for his birthday. The recipe I have is naturally gluten free except for the crust. I just made it without, because I didn’t have time to try and figure out a substitute. Next time I’ll try your idea. We buy certified gluten free oats, so it should be safe. Thanks so much for sharing.
    .-= christina´s last blog ..My Dad’s Favorite Applesauce Cake – Now Gluten Free =-.

  • Emily

    I’m still waiting for that frozen peanut butter pie recipe. :-)

  • K @ Prudent and Practical

    Hi Katie!
    I was looking for an alternative and this worked ~ Thanks!

    I used sucanat instead of regular brown sugar and sunflower seeds instead of walnuts because that’s what I had lying around. It tasted great!

    Katie Reply:

    That’s great to know about the substitutions working! :) Katie

    Jessica Reply:

    I have a child with nut allergies, so thanks for the information on substitutes! I’ll have to try it with the sunflower seeds!

  • Torey

    Such a great idea for making a gluten free crust (provided you have gf oats). I’ve been wondering what decent subsitution we could use for graham cracker crusts (and couldn’t come up with any, so just didn’t make anything that called for a graham crust). Yay for a yummy gf subsitution. Thanks so much for taking the time to develop this!

    Katie Reply:

    I wish I had “developed” it, but really it’s right from the King Arthur cookbook (cited). They know their stuff and rarely need tweaks! Glad it’s helpful for you, though. :) Katie

  • Rebecca

    Hi Katie,

    I love this recipe but wanted to check before I proceed – I bake just the crust by itself even if I’m going to use a filling that needs baking? I want to make a pumpkin pie but wasn’t sure if I should fill the crust before baking – I would like the crust to be on the softer side when it’s done.

    Katie Reply:

    Yes, bake it first anyway, I would think. It shouldn’t really get “crispy” or anything… :) Katie

  • Val

    Sounds yummy – but OUCH big mistake in the title. These are NOT GLUTEN FREE unless you specify using GF oats, which can still be a problem for those extra sensitive to gluten.

    Katie Reply:

    This is such an old recipe, so I really didn’t know much about gluten-free…but I would hope that folks who need to be gluten-free would know to simply use the right oats. In our now-low-gluten household, my gluten-sensitive DH has no problem with regular oats (thank goodness).
    :) Katie

  • Leanne

    Do you think subbing the walnuts for almonds would work?

    Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship Reply:

    I don’t see why not, but I haven’t tried it. :) Katie

  • Angela via Facebook

    I vote cheesecake ;-)

  • Kris via Facebook

    Hhmmm….french silk pie – 3/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 3/4 cup choco chips, 3/4 cup raw eggs. In a stand mixer: Cream the first two, melt, cool and add the chips. Once combined, whisk eggs and slowly add to mixture. Beat until set and put in crust. Refrigerate. (SOOOO evil that my father in law requests it instead of a birthday present)

Welcome!  Meet Katie.

I embrace butter. I make homemade yogurt. I eat traditional real food – plants and animals that God created, not products of plants where food scientists work. Here at Kitchen Stewardship, I share how I strive to be a good steward of my family's nutrition, the environment, and our budget, all without spending every second in the kitchen. Learn more about the mission of KS here.

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