These Frozen Thanksgiving Pies Taste Closest To Homemade

If you have a craving for pie but no craving to bake, try these three grocery store options.

In our household, Thanksgiving is as much about dessert as the main course—either a fruit pie like apple, cherry, or raspberry, or a decadent option like pumpkin or key lime to round out that turkey and stuffing. Yet while baking delivers the most delicious smells throughout the house, it can also be exhausting, and potentially wasteful.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that about 30-40% of food is wasted every year, which adds up to "approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010." My unscientific brain concurs that a lot of that waste occurs around the most food-centric holidays, and Thanksgiving is at the top of that list.

With inflation knocking on our door in the form of high grocery and gas prices, perhaps it's time to reconsider your Thanksgiving holiday meal choices. Perhaps you want to do it the Gen Z way. Or save yourself some time by hosting dinner Trader Joe's style. As for me, I'm choosing one course to buy premade at the supermarket: desserts. Here's why I plan to buy instead of bake this year.

The case for serving supermarket desserts on Thanksgiving

Buying only what you plan to eat means you won't have leftover flour, sugar, and spices idling in your pantry for months without being used. This reduces the opportunity for waste. And of course, with less cleanup and less stress, you can instead focus on quality time with people you love.


And when it comes to holiday pies, the goal is to select something warm and comforting with a flaky, golden crust, its sweet fragrances warming up your kitchen. At their best, these pies might call to mind happy gatherings and celebrations from your childhood—but they won't if you grab something subpar, which many store-bought pies can be.

Here are the ready-to-bake pies in the freezer aisle that look and smell delicious from the moment they come out of the oven. I'd say these classics will get you 80% of the way to tasting homemade, and that's not bad at all for the price.

Sara Lee Dutch Apple Pie

I turn to Sara Lee for many of my hassle-free dessert needs. Sara Lee has two different apple pies available; both are delicious, but Dutch Apple wins out over Oven Fresh Apple in my household every time. The streusel crumble on top works well with the smoothness of the apple filling and bridges it with the flaky and flavorful crust. Eating a Sara Lee Dutch Apple Pie reminds me of eating a Shari's pie or a slice of diner pie—just sweet enough.


The proclamation that this pie is "made in batches from scratch" was what initially drew me in. I was wary of that promise, but it really does taste like it was made in someone's kitchen. It succeeds in embodying a fall classic.  

Marie Callender’s Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie is one of the most picturesque pies that's ever landed in the freezer case. Marie Callender's has been around for seven decades, and it's a company that knows its stuff. The pie's "made from scratch" extra flaky crust is enough to wow anyone who doesn't think $7 can buy you a worthwhile dessert.


While I'm not the biggest fan of pumpkin pies in general, this one is a delight to eat. The blend of cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg worked together to create a warm and inviting bite, and the pumpkin itself was smooth and creamy upon baking. The instructions say to bake in the oven for 65-70 minutes, but after only 55 minutes, I determined that my pie was ready to come out of the oven and waft its welcoming smell around my home.

Edwards Georgia Style Pecan Pie

Founded in Atlanta by Tom Edwards in 1950, Edwards pies are always a pleasure to eat. Like Marie Callender's pumpkin pies, Edwards' pecan is a roller coaster of flavors and textures. While this pie has more calories than other fruit pies and desserts, it's also the easiest to prepare: You can choose to thaw it out for 4 hours, or you can place it directly in the oven and bake from frozen for about 15-20 minutes.


If you enjoy a classic, Southern-style pecan pie with a wholesome, flaky crust that surrounds a beautiful configuration of caramelized nuts, then this product is a perfect way to end your holiday meal.