Since this is a pecan pie recipe, you’re going to need about 14 cups of corn syrup, 8 cups of white sugar, 17 whole eggs, and 6 sticks of butter. Okay, maybe not. But really though, if you’ve ever looked up a pecan pie recipe, the ingredient list is kind of horrific, isn’t it? You can almost sense Paula Deen lurking in the shadows, ready to hand you a few more sticks of butter at a moment’s notice.

Here at One Ingredient Chef, I think we can do better, much better. Traditionalists will say you need those eggs and corn syrup to create a gooey filling, I say all you need is dates: nature’s perfect, gooey, whole-food sweetener. There’s a certain kind of magic that happens when we combine dates with pecans and a little vanilla in a food processor. All those amazingly rich pecan pie flavors come bursting through – no Paula Deen required.

Pecan Pie Bars

Makes 9 squares


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 5 tablespoons applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 medjool dates
  • Pinch of salt
  • 15 medjool dates
  • 2/3 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • Pecan pieces, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350ΒΊ F

Step One

To make the crust, first combine the applesauce, coconut oil, maple syrup, 3 dates, and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times, scraping down the sides after each run, until the ingredients are somewhat integrated. Next, add the 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup rolled oats and pulse the mixture repeatedly until you have an even dough that is somewhere between sticky and crumbly. Note: if it’s too dry, add 1-2 tablespoons more applesauce.

Lightly oil a nonstick 9×9 pan (or a super-cool baking pan with square molds, as pictured) and add this dough to the base of the pan, about 1/3 inch thick and press it down evenly.


Step Two

Make the incredibly simple and unprocessed pecan filling by combining about 15 medjool dates with 2/3 cup raw pecan pieces, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt in the food processor. Let this run for a full 2-3 minutes to break down the pecans into a deliciously gooey filling that tastes just like pecan pie. Spoon on top of the crust layer and press it down evenly.


Step Three

Top with a few pecan pieces and press them into the surface. Then, bake at 350ΒΊ F for approximately 18-22 minutes, just until the pecan filling begins to turn slightly darker around the edges. Allow to cool slightly, but for best results, serve warm.


Pecan Pie Bars Bite

Pecan Pie Bars Stacked