How to Store Pumpkin Pie

Whether you’re making it ahead or lucky enough to have leftovers, discover how to safely store your pumpkin pie.

Many baked goods—we’re looking at you, homemade cakes, brownies, and cookies—are totally fine to store at room temperature for a few days. But if you’re baking Thanksgiving pies filled with custard, such as pumpkin pie, the food safety rules shift. 

“How to store pumpkin pie” is one of the most common questions our editors receive from readers each year, especially just before Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you’re making pumpkin pie with fresh pumpkin or canned pumpkin, read on for important information that every baker who whips up a homemade pumpkin pie needs to know. 

In this complete guide for how to store pumpkin pie, our Test Kitchen experts explain how to store a pumpkin pie after baking to keep it safe and tasty for up to 4 days. If you need more time and are wondering, can you freeze pumpkin pie? we’re diving into that topic as well.

Sara's Silky Pumpkin Pie
Peter Frank Edwards

Does Pumpkin Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

Since it is made with eggs and milk (plus squash, sugar, and spices), pumpkin pie filling is technically considered a custard. That makes it slightly more similar to a quiche recipe than a fruit pie. (Those classic fruit pies, by the way, have enough sugar to act as a natural preservative and include zero eggs in the filling, so the USDA says they should be fine at room temp for up to 2 days.) 

So the answer to does pumpkin pie need to be refrigerated? is a resounding yes. Just as you wouldn’t leave leftover eggs out overnight, your pumpkin pie should chill out.

According to the USDA all egg-rich custard pies, including pumpkin, pecan, and meringue pies, should be stored in the refrigerator after baking and cooling.

How to Store Pumpkin Pie After Baking

If you purchased a pumpkin pie from a bakery, you can simply keep it in the container you brought it home in and pop it into the fridge. 

Here’s how to store a pumpkin pie after baking if you DIY with something like one of our 24 best 24 best pumpkin pie recipes:

  1. Once your pie passes one or more of these tests for how to tell when pumpkin pie is done, remove it from the oven and transfer the pie to a cooling rack.
  2. Allow the pie to cool for 2 hours, or until it feels around room temperature to the touch.
  3. Wrap loosely in plastic wrap or pop into a pie plate with a lid.
  4. Place the pumpkin pie into the refrigerator. Enjoy within 4 days.

Test Kitchen Tip: It’s important to let the pie cool to room temperature before covering and cooling. If you wrap or top the pie while it’s even just a tough warm, this may trigger condensation that can lead to a soggy crust. If you’re unsure if the pie is cool enough but need to leave your kitchen for any reason and don’t anticipate being back before you enter the danger zone (more on this below), place it in the refrigerator uncovered. Once you’re back, top with a lid or wrap loosely with plastic wrap to avoid any “off” flavors.

Can You Freeze a Pumpkin Pie?

You sure can. And you can choose your own adventure: Freeze our make-ahead pastry and pie filling packets separately, then thaw, assemble, and bake before serving. Or after baking and cooling the fully-assembled pie, put the whole thing on ice. To extend the holiday celebrations one wedge at a time, feel free to freeze baked slices individually. 

Check out our complete guide for how to freeze pumpkin pie for more Test Kitchen secrets and details about how long all of the above can stay on ice.

FAQs About How to Store Pumpkin Pie

Now that we’ve covered how to store a pumpkin pie after baking in the fridge and the freezer, we we couldn’t resist sharing a few more timely tips and tricks.

How long does pumpkin pie last?

Refrigerated pie should be safe to eat for up to 4 days after baking, the USDA confirms. Our leftovers rarely last even half that long!

How long can pumpkin pie safely be kept at room temperature?

As with other refrigeration-required foods, pumpkin pie can safely reside at room temperature for up to 2 hours, according to FDA food safety guidelines. After that point, the pie has been within the USDA’s “danger zone” of 40° F-140° F long enough that bacterial growth can occur. While that is the upper limit, and is important to keep in mind, it should leave plenty of time for you to enjoy the pie at your holiday table, and safely return it to the refrigerator with the other leftovers.

How do you heat up a refrigerated pumpkin pie?

The quickest and easiest way to warm pumpkin pie is by the slice and in the microwave. Transfer your desired portion to a plate, microwave for 15 to 30 seconds, garnish and enjoy. If you have more patience than we often do, preheat your oven to 350° F. Place the portion of the pie you want to enjoy now onto a sheet pan lined with parchment, then cover the top of the pie lightly with a layer of foil. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the leftover pie reaches your desired level of warmth.

Do the instructions for how to store pumpkin pie change if I purchase the pie from the supermarket?

Perhaps you’ve seen pumpkin pies at the supermarket in a shelf-stable aisle, rather than all in the fridge or freezer? Commercial pumpkin pies (not to be confused by ones you might purchase from a local bakery or farmers market stand) are often packed full of preservatives that allow it to hang safely at room temp for longer than homemade varieties. If you buy a pie that has been sitting out at the grocery store, you should be A-OK to store it at room temp until at least the sell-by-date. That said, you can also store these in the refrigerator for extra food safety “insurance.”

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles