This vegan key lime pie recipe is a plant based, dairy-free, egg yolks-free, no-cook twist on classic key lime pie. Just blend up the key lime juice, sugar, and silken tofu based filling and pour it into a pre-made graham cracker crust, chill, slice and enjoy! It’s that easy! This simple key lime pie recipe is also protein packed thanks to the silken tofu. It’s a great vegan summer dessert you’ll never know is vegan. Perfect for parties or gatherings!
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I only know two things about Key West: There’s a Hemingway House for six-toed cats, and that’s where key limes come from…or so I thought.
Introduced to the United States via the Florida Keys by a horticultural enthusiast in the 1800s, these days it turns out the majority of key limes are, in fact, not grown in Florida. The six-toed cats are still there though.
The traditional key lime pie is said to have been created in the early 1930s – almost one hundred years after the introduction of the citrus hybrid, but that’s mostly a guess.
The key lime is believed to have been used because it is smaller, thinner-skinned, and more aromatic than regular limes and has a more yellowish juice instead of “lime green” – and many people don’t like deep green food.
Honestly, key limes (or bartender limes; Persian limes, etc) can be kind of difficult to juice, so I’m super happy they make bottled key lime juice to cut down on the effort required and to help keep this super easy recipe easy. And you will be shocked at just how good this dairy-free version is!
Why We Love This Easy Key Lime Pie Recipe
- It’s no-cook. So it is just perfect no-bake dessert for the hot summer months when you don’t want to have to turn on the oven to be rewarded with an amazing pie
- The flavor is fantastic. The perfect balance of zesty/sweet is something you’ll want more and more of. This sweet treat transports you to a private cabana where you’re sitting under a palm tree looking at the ocean!
- THAT TEXTURE. The only way to describe the texture of this dairy free key lime pie is EXCITING! It’s firm enough to slice but soft and fluffy and almost melts in your mouth. It almost has this “whipped’ texture quality that is the perfect complement to the zesty key lime juice!
Ingredients for Dairy-Free Key Lime Pie
You’ll need a prepared graham cracker crust for this recipe. You can either make a homemade vegan graham cracker crust in a pie pan or tart pan, or check out the vegan-friendly options at your local grocery store.
The options for vegan graham crackers crust may surprise you! Look out for things like added dairy or honey, but many popular brands (like Keebler’s brand) are “accidentally” vegan!
For the key lime pie filling, you’ll need:
- Soft tofu – You want this at room temperature so it doesn’t interfere with the texture of the oil. And make sure you’re using a 14-oz container or weighing out 14 oz. Lots of tofu comes in 16-oz containers, so this is an easy mistake to make!
- Refined coconut oil – Melted. Make sure you’re using coconut oil that’s labeled “refined” and NOT one labeled “unrefined” or “virgin”. Refined coconut oil has no flavor or smell. Alternatively, if you want your key lime pie to have a coconut flavor, feel free to ignore this advice.
- Key lime juice – We used bottled key lime juice we found at our local grocery store. The brand is called Nellie & Joe’s.
- Powdered sugar
If you don’t have or can’t tolerate one of the above ingredients, here are our best substitution tips. Remember though, substituting any of the ingredients may lead to a varied degree of difference in the final product. Let us know in the comments if you try any subs and how they work out for you!
For the soft tofu: Silken tofu can be used instead of soft if needed, but this could affect the texture slightly. Just make sure it’s a 14-oz container and not 16! Potentially, you could use raw cashews but you would have to also add water if you did that, so you’d have to play around with the amounts a bit.
For the refined coconut oil: Vegan butter or vegetable shortening could maybe be used, but the texture would not be as firm.
For the key lime juice: Regular lime juice will work too, but the flavor isn’t as strong! To ammend this, you could add 1/2 – 2 Tbsp lime zest. The color may be a little greener, but it’s subdued by the sugar/tofu mixture and tastes great!
A Biscoff cookie crust could be a great option. Or just a regular old vegan pie crust. Always check ingredients to make sure the pie crust brand you’re using is vegan. You can also make your own gluten-free graham cracker crust with gluten-free graham crackers!
Powdered sugar is best for this recipe, but you could potentially use organic cane sugar or perhaps even raw sugar. The texture may be thinner and a bit grainier if doing that. I would stay away from brown sugar, coconut sugar, and date sugar because they could alter the color of the final pie. Light agave or maple syrup could be an option, but you’d have to play around with the amounts and remember liquid sweetener would affect the final creamy texture making it less firm.
How to Make Key Lime Pie Vegan
STEP 1 – MAKE THE FILLING: Add all the filling ingredients to a high speed blender like a Vitamix. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is creamy and shiny. That shiny part is super important because it means the oil has fully emulsified. The mixture will look super liquidy at this stage which is A-OK! You’ll be amazed how much it firms up in the fridge – eek! I’m so excited for you!!
STEP 2 – ASSEMBLE AND CHILL: Use rubber spatula to pour mixture into prepared graham cracker crust, create a swirl pattern on top. Cover with lid or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or about 5-7 hours until chilled all the way through and thickened enough to slice.
How to Serve This No Bake Pie
Cut the pie into wedges with a large sharp knife, rinsing the knife under warm or hot water between slices.
Then, carefully slide a pie server under the crust of the first slice, making sure it reaches all the way to the tip of the wedge in the center of the pie plate. Lift the slice up and out of the pie gently and plate. The first slice will be the most difficult and messy to remove of the whole pie, so once that’s out, it’s all downhill from there!
Serve this no bake pie as-is or top with dairy free whipped cream, graham cracker crumbs, and/or lime slices and lime zest.
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover dairy free key lime pie covered in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it for up to 8 weeks.
If you are freezing the pie, it’s important that you fully emulsify the silken tofu and coconut oil. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s creamy and SHINY. If you defrost frozen key lime pie and it has a lumpy or gritty texture, this is where you went wrong.
Another tip: Freeze leftover pie in slices rather than as an entire pie because they defrost faster that way and you can just defrost what you need and leave the rest. This will keep your pie fresh!
To defrost: Transfer the slice(s) to the fridge in an airtight container until fully defrosted. This only takes about 2 hours!
More No-Cook Vegan Pie Recipes
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Happy (non)cooking, my friend!
For the filling:
- MAKE THE FILLING: Add all the filling ingredients to a food processor or Vitamix. Blend on high for 3-5 minutes until the mixture is creamy and shiny.
- ASSEMBLE AND CHILL: Use rubber spatula to scrape filling into prepared graham cracker crust, create a swirl pattern on top. Cover and refrigerate overnight or about 5-6 hours until chilled all the way through and thickened.
- SLICE AND SERVE: Serve as-is or top with lime slices and dairy free whipped cream. Cut the pie into wedges with a large sharp knife, rinsing the knife under warm or hot water between slices. Then, carefully slide a pie server under the crust of the first slice, making sure it reaches all the way to the tip of the wedge in the center of the pie plate. Lift the slice up and out of the pie gently and serve. The first slice will be the most difficult and messy to remove, so it’s all downhill from there!
- STORE: Store leftover pie covered in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze individual slices for up to 8 weeks*. To defrost: Transfer the slice(s) to the fridge in an airtight container until fully defrosted. This only takes about 2-3 hours!
- TOFU: You can use either soft or silken tofu in this recipe interchangeably.
- PIE CRUST: You can either make your own (check out our Vegan Graham Cracker Pie Crust recipe!) or check out the vegan-friendly options at your local grocery store. The options may surprise you! Look out for things like added dairy or honey, but many popular brands (like Keebler’s and Shoprite store brand) are “accidentally” vegan!
- LIME JUICE: If you can’t find key lime juice, regular limes/lime juice will also work! You may want to add some lime zest if you go this route.
- COCONUT OIL: Unless you want your key lime pie to taste like coconuts, make sure you’re using a coconut oil that is labeled “refined” and NOT one labled “unrefined” or “virgin”.
- * FREEZING NOTES: If you are freezing the pie, it’s important that you fully emulsify the silken tofu and coconut oil. You’ll know it’s ready when it’s creamy and SHINY. If you defrost frozen dairy free key lime pie and it has a lumpy or gritty texture, this is where you went wrong.
Serving Size:1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 109mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and may not always be accurate.
Watch our 5-Ingredient Key Lime Pie photo tutorial on Web Stories!