Can I Freeze Pumpkin Pie to Beat the Holiday Baking Rush?

Follow these steps to freeze pumpkin pie from scratch so you can savor a made-with-love slice (with less stress) this holiday season or any day of the year.

No Thanksgiving menu feels quite complete without a slice of pumpkin pie with fluffy whipped cream, right? We firmly agree, but we'll gladly admit that we don't always bake it the day of. Who has oven space—and to be honest, the time to putz with homemade pastry—when you're dealing with roasting a turkey, baking the sides, and attempting to entertain your guests with Thanksgiving apps and cocktails? Enter: One of our favorite sanity-savers is freezing pumpkin pie. Learn how to freeze pumpkin pie after making it from scratch, snag tips for thawing for just-like-fresh-baked results, and get the answer to "Is it better to freeze a pie before or after baking?"

Double-Pumpkin Pie with Oat Crust
Andy Lyons

How to Freeze Pumpkin Pie

Let's tackle that last question first. Is it better to freeze a pie before or after baking? You can freeze the separate elements prior to baking (more on that later), but for the most efficient holiday time-saver, we like to freeze pie already baked.

First, follow the instructions to prep and bake your favorite pumpkin pie recipe. Then follow these tricks to ensure it tastes as if you're pulling it fresh from the oven after you thaw and reheat your pie.

  • Use a recyclable aluminum pie pan. When freezing pumpkin pie, you can save your fancy ceramic pie plates for another time. Stick to an affordable, recyclable, or disposable pie pan. These designs are thinner and allow the pie to freeze faster and form fewer ice crystals on the exterior of the pie as it freezes.
  • Allow the pie to cool completely after baking. This might take longer than you'd guess! Once you remove the baked pumpkin pie from the oven, set it on a wire rack to cool for about 3 hours or until the entire pie is at room temperature. Touch the bottom of the pan to feel for warmth—it should be fully cooled before proceeding to avoid any excess ice crystal formation on, or odd textures within, the pie.
  • Wrap the cooked and cooled pumpkin pie in several layers of plastic wrap. After it's completely cooled, tear off several 3-foot-long sheets of plastic wrap and wrap the pie tightly in several layers to seal.
  • For extra security, finish with a layer of foil or tuck it inside a freezer-safe zip-top bag. If desired and to put up a stronger barrier against potential freezer burn, finish with a final layer of aluminum foil or pop the wrapped pie in a freezer-safe zip-top bag.
  • Label the pie with the date and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Use a permanent marker to write the name of the pie recipe and the current date before freezing the pumpkin pie. Plan to use it within 14 days for the best flavor and texture.

Can You Freeze Pumpkin Pie Filling, Pumpkin Puree, or Piecrust Separately?

You bet! If you want to make a big batch of pumpkin pie filling using a real pumpkin or have extra puree from canned pumpkin, transfer it into a freezer-safe zip-top bag, close the bag, then press until as flat as possible. Freeze the pumpkin "packs" on a sheet pan, then remove the pan once the pumpkin is solid and stack the packs on top of each other for efficient storage. (Psst...score more genius refrigerator and freezer organization ideas.) Freeze for up to 2 weeks and thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours before proceeding with your baking recipe.

Can you freeze piecrust? Yes, you can do that, too. Follow our Test Kitchen's advice for make-ahead pastry.

How Do You Reheat Frozen Pumpkin Pie?

Once you've completed all the steps above to freeze pumpkin pie and are ready to serve it (the results are best when you do so within 1 to 2 weeks of freezing), remove the pie from the freezer. Place it in the refrigerator—not on the counter—to thaw overnight or at least 8 hours ahead of when you plan to serve it. Reheat in a 300°F oven until warm.

Or, if you're serving single slices, feel free to slice the pie, pop one piece on a plate, and reheat in the microwave in 15-second increments until warm.

Freezing pumpkin pie is a total holiday game-changer! Once you've thawed and reheated your pie or slices, cover up any potential imperfection on the top with a dusting of powdered sugar and/or cinnamon, or add a dollop of whipped cream. Add a fork, and dessert is ready to devour!

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