Pumpkin pie is one of the peak experiences of the feasting season, no matter what holiday you're celebrating. Sure, you can turn your leftover Jack-o'-Lantern into a homemade pumpkin pie if you're feeling ambitious after Halloween takes its leave. But how many mistakes are you likely to make in the process? And more importantly, how many hearts are you willing to break if the pie doesn't live up to the promise? It's much safer to pick up a pumpkin pie made by an expert, or at least one made by a company with a proven recipe and a reputation for proficient pastry production.
There's a veritable patch of pumpkin pies to pick from, selections from reputable names in the pre-made dessert world, as well as store-crafted options made fresh by happy pie elves with a magical touch for crafting masterpieces of custard and crust. Do you know which of these pie possibilities would be most suited for your table? We've sliced into the information and ran a ranking of the best store-bought pies on — and in — the market. For home chefs looking to forgo the pie enterprise in favor of taking the easy path, we've got you and your guests covered.
Read more: 20 Frozen Foods Costco Shoppers Swear By
If you shop at upscale grocery retailers and don't mind paying higher prices for your holiday desserts, Whole Foods may just have the pumpkin pie for you. Some locations even stock a vegan version that reviewers on A Billion rave about. One pie lover proclaims, "This pumpkin pie was smooth and creamy with the right amount of pumpkin flavor and spices yet not overly sweet." With no ratings to be found on the company website, the assumption is that the traditional pumpkin pie is of similar quality. Whole Foods also gets high marks for stocking this pie in its fresh bakery, a plus in the pastry world.
But if price is a deciding factor in your search, keep this one out of your cart. 2019 prices came in between $10.99 and $16 for a 9-inch pie, both whopping numbers when added to the other expenses of your Thanksgiving or Christmas spread — and compared to the pie possibilities at other retailers. The long and short crust of this option: While there are a whole lot of reasons why shopping at Whole Foods isn't the most budget-friendly choice, this pricey pumpkin pie may be the whipped cream on top.
You may not be familiar with this smaller brand bakery, but Rubicon Bakers is a part of the big box world regardless. The company stocks Target locations with its fresh pumpkin pies, eliminating the need for the big-box retailer to fund its own in-store bakeries. Rubicon has been in operation for 30 years, a solid history for a relatively unknown name. A high customer rating sounds like high praise until you realize the total count on the Target website is less than 30, at the time of this writing. It seems like a small but loyal following for a pie that relatively few people may have heard of.
You may find yourself a victim of the "Target Effect", trolling the aisles for things you don't really need in addition to pumpkin pies that you do need. You can pick up an 8-inch pumpkin pie for $8.99, making this seasonal sweet a more mid-priced small pie. If you can't pull yourself out of the red-circle vortex without buying one, you'll be getting a decent treat to add to your dessert tray. You'll get more for your money elsewhere, though, and you won't be hypnotized into buying rugs or Crocs in the process.
There's no way Walmart would stand on the sidelines while competitors bring pastries galore to busy shoppers and not have its own pumpkin pie present and accounted for. While the reviews on the company listing may not give this pastry a fully favorable review, the product is a fresh pie that's available without having to launch a pumpkin hunt. Rather than steering clear, you can take it under advisement that this pie might require a taste test before deciding whether it's the right option for your festivities. You may be pleasantly surprised at how fitting a Walmart pie can be among your homemade dishes.
The box in the bakery holds a 10-inch pie priced at around $6.50, a delicious bargain when compared to similarly-sized fresh pies found at other outlets. You'll find a few odd ingredients listed on the label, but nothing you haven't seen used in other pastries in the running. If you're entertaining your Friendsgiving crew or hosting a larger dinner, you'll have plenty of pie to go around, even enough for seconds. If those seconds happen to come at midnight after your guests have all gone home, that's perfectly fine. Pie rules are flexible like that.
The little outlet with big health ambitions, Sprouts also serves up pumpkin pie to give customers alternatives for their dessert table. You won't find anything offensive on the ingredient listing, which is entirely expected for a store that touts its organic options. Even mindful eaters indulge in sweets when the holidays roll around, so it's a relief to know there are options that make that choice feel like less of a sacrifice. It may not be as controlled as crafting a pie of your own, but if you're in the market for store-bought, this treat will tick off as many boxes on your list as possible.
This thoroughly average 9-inch pie is highly priced at $12.99, a premium to pay even considering the freshness of the ingredients. Limited reviews make it challenging to gauge how satisfied customers have been with their pie purchases. Seekers of quality treats may not mind dragging out their wallets to add this one to their feast, even with similar options found in larger grocery chains. If you go with Sprouts, double up the suggested six-slice serving so you can make the pie go further around the table and avoid having to buy a second one.
Safeway makes a point of providing superior home-brand baked goods for its shoppers, and the pumpkin pie created by the company's in-store bakery upholds that standard. Professional baker Molly Allen performed a taste test and gave Safeway's pie a nod for its flavorful filling. "The balance of the pumpkin filling with the cinnamon and other spices was spot on," she says (via Insider), with Safeway being named her favorite overall out of four pies sampled. If you can prove your worth with a real baker, you probably have a pretty primo pie on your bakery shelves.
Make that a potentially price-prohibitive primo pie, actually. $13.99 is the price you'll pay, which is quite a pretty penny for a pumpkin pie when compared to other store-bought options. You'll be getting a fresh-baked 11-inch pie, made from a familiar combination of ingredients highly similar to what you'd use if you were to bake one of your own. Pick one up as a special dish if you're a guest at someone else's dinner. If you're playing host and skipping the baking in favor of this flavorful treat, whip up an easy three-ingredient homemade ice cream and make it à la mode.
You'd expect a supreme pumpkin pie from the largest grocer in the U.S. The pumpkin pie available in Kroger bakeries and those of its subsidiary chains does its best to fit that description. The pies are part of the fresh bakery section rather than being found in the frozen foods, a welcome touch in the world of pre-made desserts. You can pick one up and have it ready to serve with just a little warming in the oven, or serve it cold if preferred. My Recipes gives Kroger a taste test honorable mention, declaring, "This was a very serviceable pie." It sounds like you can make far more satisfying choices when pumpkin pie shopping.
Between $4.99 and $5.49 for a 21.5-ounce version and $7.99 to $9.99 for a larger, 37.5-ounce version, it's a fairly-priced pie that might make a decent last-minute option if you're caught without dessert at the last minute. But there are more odd ingredients listed on the label than you might be comfortable consuming, much less sharing with those at your table. If you have time to find a better pie, think about making the effort so you'll be happier with the reception your dessert gets.
If anybody doesn't like Sara Lee, you wouldn't know it from the jingle that haunted the airwaves in the late-1900s. Sara Lee pumpkin pie remains a staple in the freezer section, ready and waiting for home cooks who need a dessert but have little time to play baker. When pumpkin pie moments arise, this famous name may be one of the first go-to brands shoppers clamor for to take the meal prep pressure off, as this beloved dessert brand has been doing since 1935.
Sold for as little as $6.99 at Albertsons and as much as $8.49 at Amazon, you'll have a bit of wrangling to do if you're hoping to find a Sara Lee pumpkin pie at a proper price for your needs. You will have a bit of baking to do to get your pie fully ready, though you can move it from the freezer directly to the oven without thawing first. This 34-ounce pie is recommended to be served in eight slices, but slivering into smaller pieces can make your pie go even further. Looking for a homemade touch to elevate your finished pie? Cooking up a batch of candied pecans to sprinkle on top.
The island-themed aisles of Trader Joe's may not be your first thought when deciding where to shop for pumpkin pies. But put a dot on your map and head for the outlet if you're in the market for a fresh alternative to serve your holiday revelers. As with its other products, the company strives for a more mindful recipe that shoppers will feel good about serving their loved ones. Thawed, sliced, and topped with homemade whipped cream, Trader Joe's pre-made pastry is a perfect choice for cooks looking to skip the baking altogether. The attention to detail in the crust may even fool your guests into thinking you put in the work if you're into that sort of thing.
Priced at about $6.00 in prior years, Trader Joe's offers a 27-ounce pumpkin pie without unpronounceable chemicals or additives on the ingredients list. It's such a traditional version of a pumpkin pie, in fact, the only surprise you're likely to find on the box is the suggestion of serving it in six slices rather than eight. Grab two if you're serving a larger crowd, or simply slice into smaller pieces to get more out of a single pan.
You may be confused about Mrs. Smith's pies in general, let alone the particular pumpkin pie you might be dependent upon to make your holiday season even sweeter. It seems to be a traditional take on pies, while brands like Edwards offer all the contemporary flavors. The truth is that Schwan's makes both Mrs. Smith's and Edwards pies, keeping the two lines separate. Thankfully, Mrs. Smith's is a frozen pie with a trim list of recognizable ingredients, which is always a delight in a pre-made food product. It's also popular with customers, racking up almost a 5-star average among over 200 reviews on Influenster.
Priced from $5.94 at Walmart to $8.49 at Kroger, Mrs. Smith's gives a pretty wide range for a dependable pie, though neither end of the spectrum is outrageous for a prepared dessert. You'll be baking this one for an hour or more and cooling the finished pie for at least 2 hours, so prepare accordingly to make sure you'll be serving it on time. Anyone who can work the schedule will be rewarded with a well-crafted pie; anyone on a tighter schedule should think about picking up less particular pumpkin pastry instead.
Sam's Club sets itself apart from its non-warehouse Walmart counterpart with its own version of a holiday-ready Member's Mark pumpkin pie. Aside from a few thickeners on the ingredient listing, you'll find a familiar mixture that features pumpkin as the first element. That may seem like an obvious point to make, but some pie brands use a mix of pumpkin and squash in their recipes, changing the name and the trust factor. It's nice to know that with this pumpkin pie, you're getting all the pumpkin you can handle. At 58 ounces and 12 suggested servings, that's plenty of pied pumpkin to get you through the holiday.
You'll pay $6.98 for a 12-inch pie at Sam's Club, the warehouse-style home of the Member's Mark brand. That's a mighty nice price for a large pie that garners a 4.5-star overall rating with over 460 reviews on the company site. Considering the price, size, and popularity among Sam's Club shoppers, this pie is a grand choice for making your holidays merry and sweet. If getting indulgent is on the menu for your special occasion, craft a chocolate gravy to drizzle over slices for a luxurious finish to your meal.
It's always Pie Month when Marie Callender's pies are in your grocer's frozen dessert section. With Marie Callender's pumpkin pie, the manufacturer of homestyle favorites gives an American staple for its fall and winter holiday tables. Among the variety of Marie Callender's pies that have tempted dessert lovers for years, pumpkin is one that's easy to find, thanks to its presence in both restaurants and grocery stores. With eateries remaining only in Utah, California, and Nevada, you'll be hard-pressed to find the fresh versions in most of the U.S. Thankfully, you can count on most retail food store chains to have stock on hand to make your dessert prep easier.
Priced between $8.99 and $10.99, this 36-ounce pastry is a moderately priced yet nicely sized pie. Reviewers on the company website rank most of the over 700 reviews as 4- and 5-stars; a near 5-star average with over 1,000 ratings on Amazon speaks similarly of the pie's popularity. Marie's listing for the pie provides a suggestion for using the remaining pie to make pumpkin s'mores by sandwiching slices between graham crackers with chocolate and a marshmallow, and passing it under the broiler. Not a bad way to finish off your leftovers!
The warehouse powerhouse provides one of the most popular versions of one of the most popular pies in the world of sweets and treats. The Costco pumpkin pie is the stuff of legends, an oversized beast that takes up more than its share of space on the dessert cart. Made with recognizable ingredients that are conspicuously printed on the price label, any chef looking to supplant their own recipe with something close to homemade can play as sneaky as they wish with this prime pre-baked 12-inch pie. Fans look forward to pie season so they can stock up as soon as the pies first appear in their local stores on September 1st, long before holiday menu plans have been solidified.
Though lore abounds about these oversized creations, the truth about Costco's pumpkin pies is that they're high-quality, affordable, and available At $5.99, you have a bargain of a beautiful pre-baked treat that's sure to satisfy a large crowd. You can buy them ready-to-serve, but if you happen to see them next time you're shopping bulk, grab one and put it in your freezer until you need it. You'll have a vital piece of the holiday dining puzzle in place.
Read the original article on Mashed.