Vegan Pumpkin Tart. Recipe by Desiree Nielsen. Photo by Melissa Quantz

A love of pumpkin does not come naturally to me.

I did not taste pumpkin pie until I was 18 years old and at the home of a family friend for Thanksgiving dinner.

You see, my Portuguese grandmother never adopted the pumpkin pie tradition the way she did Shake ‘n Bake and Jello (I wasn’t a big fan of the Jello molds either). We had fruit pies galore but no pumpkin. So I still find the texture and the heaviness of the flavour a bit odd. However, I really love pumpkin in other forms. For example, my pumpkin oats and pumpkin chia pudding are pretty to die for, IMO.

With the Thanksgiving holiday this weekend (we don’t celebrate in November like our American neighbours), I wanted to try and reimagine the pumpkin pie as a healthy, luscious, totally plant-based dessert.

Oh boy, did I enjoy making – and eating – this one. The filling is silky, rich and decadent. As long as you have the cashews soaked, it doesn’t take a long time to make and you can easily make it the day before so it’s one less thing to stress about on feast day.

Have a happy thanksgiving, my friends!

Vegan Pumpkin Tart. Recipe by Desiree Nielsen. Photo by Melissa Quantz

Spiced Pumpkin Tart with Oat Crust

Super silk, rich and decadent. What more can you ask for a pumpkin dish?
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  • 3/4 cup oats, (learn about the benefits of oats!)
  • 1/4 cup sprouted whole wheat flour , (you can sub for GF, no problem!)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Tart Filling

  • 1 cup soaked (4 hours) and rinsed cashews
  • 1 can unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup coconut manna, (coconut butter … not coconut oil)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with oil, top with a circle of parchment paper.
  • Pulse crust ingredients in the food processor until about 50% of oats are chopped and mixture is uniform. Press crust into bottom of pan and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool.
  • Clean out food processor and then add all tart ingredients, processing until very smooth and silky, about five minutes. Pour over cooled crust and smooth top. Refrigerate for at least four hours.

Photo Credit: Melissa Quantz