Home » desserts » (Absolutely Legit!) Keto ‘Apple’ Pie 🍏

(Absolutely Legit!) Keto ‘Apple’ Pie 🍏

Expect from this keto apple pie a suuuper flaky pie crust paired up with an unbelievable zucchini filling… that might just give apples a run for their money! Pinky promise.

A slice of keto apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)

Low Carb & Keto ‘Apple’ Pie

The Real Deal!

This guy right here is surely top 5 of my favorite recipes on the site. Could also be because apple pie was my favorite dessert pre-keto… but this is honestly an exceptional ‘apple’ pie in whatever light you view it.

More than happy to provide friends and family references for the skeptics amongst you! (Or just go through your comments and raving reviews over the past year!).

The filling is essentially a less spiced-up version of the keto ‘apple’ muffins (from Keto Speedy Comfort Food eCookbook!), where it became clear that zucchini might just give apples a run for their money!

And it turns out that the texture of the zucchini might be even more suitable than apples for pie. You see, the tricky thing about a terrific apple pie is getting the apples to the perfect point: soft, but with a bite.

Meanwhile, zucchini seem to hold on to their bite even after and hour-and-something cooking time (stovetop + oven). So it’s honestly pretty much fool-proof. And imo, it works better than even chayote (which I used in our ‘apple’ crumble).

So I cannot recommend enough that you whip it up (asap!). Enjoy as is, or top with our vanilla ice cream and while you’re at it don’t skip the gooey keto caramel!

Mock keto apple pie with zucchini
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)

The Brown-Butter ‘Apple’ i.e. Zucchini!

As I said in the cookbook, my (keto) life will never be the same guys! I’ve always been a big time apple lover and this is just too ideal. Zucchini just became my favorite veggie! #applepieforlife

The essential trick? The acidity punch! You need to be sure to add enough lemon and give the zucchini ample time to absorb the brown-butter lemony juices.

And yup, zucchini impersonating apples isn’t a new thing… but with a few solid tips and tricks you won’t even need the help of an apple extract!

Filling up a keto pie crust with the mock apple filling
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)
Making the lattice of the keto apple pie
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)
Unbaked gluten free and keto mocked apple pie
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)

The Sweetener

You’ve got good options here! Allulose is my favorite for no aftertaste now (you do need to add 30% more though), Lakanto Golden (barely any cooling aftertaste here), xylitol (non-corn though to avoid tummy troubles!).

And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys!

The Deets

When rolling out the pie crust, you may want to use parchment or wax paper. Given the lack of gluten, the crust is more fragile and it will break easily if not handled with care. So I suggest rolling it out between two sheets of parchment paper. Easy peasy.

And talking about lack of gluten, this is the reason why the dough will crack slightly when baked. I’ve noticed that the cracking can be lessened by allowing the dough to rest overnight (rather than for an hour), though note that taste and texture will be the same. I also noted that by increasing the xanthan gum you can get a silky smooth crust, but at the cost of losing quite a bit of flakiness. So I most definitely sacrificed some aesthetics for the sake of taste and texture.

Some of you have reported back that it’s difficult to handle, be sure to check that your cream cheese has xanthan gum. And if you still can’t make it work, you’ll have to up the xanthan gum to 1/2 teaspoon.

One last thing. Like with any pastry dough, make sure not to over-process the dough. The mixture ought to resemble coarse breadcrumbs rather than cookie dough.

Freshly baked gluten free and keto pie crust lattice
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)

Just One Rule

Make sure the filling is completely chilled before filling up the pie. Otherwise you will (quite literally) see the pastry melt before your very eyes.

And remember that, like with any pastry dough, you need to work quickly and over a cool surface. Though do note that if the dough becomes too hard to manage, you can always pop it back in the fridge for 15 minutes before carrying on!

Freshly baked low carb and keto apple pie with zucchini
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)
A slice of keto apple pie with vanilla ice cream and caramel
Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)

And… the video story!

A slice of keto apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce

Keto Apple Pie (with our super flaky pie crust!)

Expect from this keto apple pie a suuuper flaky pie crust paired up with an unbelievable zucchini filling... that might just give apples a run for their money! Pinky promise.  
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices
Calories 361 kcal


For the keto pie crust

For the 'apple' filling


For the keto pie crust

  • See recipe video for guidance on the pie crust, and whip up a double batch! You can make it three days ahead, or even freeze it for a couple months (simply thaw it out in your fridge overnight and roll it out per usual!). 

For the brown-butter 'apple'

  • Heat up the butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium/low heat. Continue to simmer the butter, stirring once in a while, until fully browned (about 4-6 minutes).
  • Add in the zucchini, spices, salt and mix everything together. Add in the lower amounts of sweetener and lemon juice, cover, lower heat to low, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and taste for sweetness and acidity; you’ll most likely need to add more of both (don’t be afraid of the lemon juice, as it’s acidity is what will give it that apple kick once it’s thoroughly absorbed).
  • Cover once again and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove the lid, taste again, and allow to cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes longer to thicken up the juices. Allow to cool completely before filling up the pie! 

To assemble the pie

  • Preheat oven to 390°F/200°C. Lightly butter a 9 inch pie pan. Roll out 1 batch of pie crust into a roughly 13-inch circle, between two sheets of parchment paper. Feel free to lightly dust with coconut flour as needed. Transfer to the pie dish, using the parchment paper as an aid. Refrigerate while you prepare the rest. 
  • Roll out the second pie crust and trim to desired width for lattice (roughly 1 1/2 inch). Take your pie dish out of the fridge, fill up with chilled 'apple-zucchini' and weave the lattice, crimping the edges to seal. You'll have leftover pie crust, which I simply re-roll and turn into crackers!
  • Brush with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes. To get a shiny finish, take your pie out of the oven and brush it quickly and lightly again with more egg wash (grain free baking beautifying hack!). Return to oven and bake until fully golden (20-25 minutes longer). Allow to cool completely to allow the filling to set... or honestly try a slice lightly warm after roughly 20 mins (won't be fully set but oh-so-good!)!



*I find that you need to add waaay more apple pie spices when zucchini is involved... but the beauty of cooking your zucchini on the stovetop is that you can add them little by little to taste!
Please note that nutrition facts were estimated per very large slice (obviously more carb-y than other desserts on the site... but honestly one slice is a full meal!). Or you could always make it into (more diet-friendly!) hand pies... or do a single crust and shave off about 2g net. 


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 6.5g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 56mg | Potassium: 534mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 540IU | Vitamin C: 40.5mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Keyword keto apple pie, keto zucchini apple pie
Whip up this recipe?Comment below or drop me a line @gnomgnom._ and tag #gnomgnomyum!


  1. Leslie George says:

    Hi Paola, First off thank you so much for your recipes I am truly grateful for all you do for us. Now my problem. I just finished making the filling and it is very wet. Not at all like your pictures which look like real apple pie. I followed your directions and the liquid never reduced or got thick. So, I scooped out the zucchini into a bowl and let the liquid cook more in the pot, it reduced but never thickened. There was about 3 cups of liquid which came from the zucchini. If the liquid in the bowl of zucchini does not solidify a bit when I am ready to put it into the crust I will just drain that off. What am i doing wrong please, your help is most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read.

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      I’m sorry I’m a bit slower at answering cooking question Leslie (sooo many lol!). It sounds like your zucchini simply had a lot of water. I would either cook it down (the water will reduce pretty much completely) or just leave some out. You do want to make sure your filling isn’t watery.

      Alternatively, if you’ve got some arrowroot or Konjac powder you can add a little bit (always dissolving in cold water first!) and cooking for about 10 minutes until thickened. xo!!

  2. D says:

    I’m having surgery Nov 25, 3 days before Thanksgiving. Do you think this is freezable? an I make and freeze and then thaw day before Thanksgiving? I’m trying prep all my stuff so I can just rest and heal.

  3. Lori says:

    Do you think this would work to slice the zucchini thin and layer like french apple tart (and leave off the top crust, because I’m just not patient enough to attempt rolling out two)?Could the pre-cooking of the zucchini be skipped in this case?

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      I see where you’re getting out Lori… but I think that would be too hopeful? In my experience (because I’ve tried with chayote), pre-cooking the mix (and I would also suggest sticking to dicing for texture) I think are essential to actually get your zucchini to resemble apples. xo!

  4. Mir says:

    5 stars
    Trying to get a jump on thanksgiving. If I make these up as hand pie can I freeze them—before or after baking? OR would it be better and can I freeze just the cooked filling (I know the pie crust freezes) then assemble and bake later? Love your site! I tell everyone I know who is starting keto to check it out! Not sure if the filling will even make it to the freezer. I keep spooning it into a bowl, topping with a splash of heavy cream and eating it! I was so sad when Fall rolled in because I love apples — the filling does the trick!!

  5. JoAnne Leigh says:

    Your blog mentions apple extract but it’s not listed in the ingredients … do you use it and if so, how much?

  6. Siri says:

    Hiya! Could I use another squad like butternut or delicate? I also was thinking Jicama? (Can you tell what I have in my fridge? 😉
    Thanks for all you do, i really appreciate it!!!

  7. Lisa says:

    5 stars
    I had high hopes for this recipe because you are a low carb genius but I was prepared for disappointment. IT WAS AMAZING!!!! I made your base crust and the filling, then topped with a low carb “crumble” instead of second crust. You make living a lower carb lifestyle not just doable but ENJOYABLE!! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Lol what an awesome comment Lisa!! But RIGHT?!! Not gonna lie, I was equally surprised! This one and the ‘banana’ bread surpassed my expectations big time! Big kiss!

      • Lynda says:

        Ummm….well …. no….that didn’t seem to do it, to pull up measurements in cups … however… I later managed to re-activate my old broken scale! 😀
        So… I made it….. just the filling, not the crust. (I was just curious about zucchini being made to taste like apples.)
        I was quite impressed with the results.
        My husband … he was actually blown away!
        It wasn’t, to me, 100% like apple….I’m not fooled easily with “imitation food”….
        ….. but it was close enough!
        I didn’t have apple extract. Maybe that would help….and I already used the maximum of suggested amounts of lemon juice and sweetener. But I could try using more…
        I will definitely make this again. I don ‘t think I will bother with the crust…seems too time consuming and I have never been happy with any coconut or almond flour baking. Too gritty. Never fools me.
        I think I will just serve the filling warm with keto vanilla ice cream. Keep things simple.

  8. Jani Chayut says:

    5 stars
    Oh my gosh! Made this for turkey day. Tastes just like apples, and I hate zucchini! Loved this. Didn’t read the comments first and screwed up the crust with too much liquid but it was still fantastic!
    Now I’m going toi try zoodles next. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    PS. Just got your new cookbook. The PB pancakes look killer. Brunch this weekend 😀

    Update, just found the stars! I’d double it if I could.

    • Paola says:

      Thank you for your support Jani!! SO happy to hear this was a hit (and yup on the liquid, you always want to keep that in check as there’s no sweetener- but I’ll add a note to the recipe!). Hope you love the pancakes (they’re a fav of mine!) xo!!

  9. Jani Chayut says:

    Oh my gosh! Made this for turkey day. Tastes just like apples, and I hate zucchini! Loved this. Didn’t read the comments first and screwed up the crust with too much liquid but it was still fantastic!
    Now I’m going toi try zoodles next. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    PS. Just got your new cookbook. The PB pancakes look killer. Brunch this weekend 😀

  10. Colleen says:

    I am planning on making this recipe in hand pie using your crust recipe. Can I make them (not bake them) and put them in the fridge overnight or will the moisture from the zucchini ruin the pie dough?

  11. Emily says:

    5 stars
    This apple pie truely is legit, especially with your vanilla ice cream on top! I’ll have to try the caramel sauce as well next time! The only problem I had was my bottom crust didn’t seem to cook at all so the pie didn’t come out in slices, more of a crumble, but still delicious. Do you think I didn’t roll it thin enough? The filling was quiet watery going in as well so that may have been the issue. I’ll be making this again soon so any tips to make it work better next time is greatly appreciated! I love all your recipes!

    • Paola says:

      Hi Emily! The watery filling was the thing (it kept the crust from cooking). You want to reduce your zucchini on the stove-top until it’s no longer watery (you may need to turn up the heat for about 5 minutes at the end to push the evaporation). That will do the trick ;)! so happy to hear you enjoyed the taste though!!

      • Emily says:

        Thank you! I figured that was my issue, I was afraid the zucchini would get too soft (it didn’t) and didn’t cook it quite long enough. I’ll do that next time, thanks!

        • Leslie says:

          What am I doing wrong?? 😩 I’ve been reducing the liquid for over 35 minutes and I even cranked up the heat as suggested. Help!

    • Lynda says:

      Oh my word. The caramel sauce was just awesome. Not in the least fake tasting. And I don’t fool easily.
      But when it cooled, it went all granular.
      It must be the erythritol.

    • Paola says:

      Did it break for you? Honestly I was surprised it didn’t break, I just laid the pieces over one another and hoped for the best. If you are having a few issues (check that your cream cheese has xanthan gum), otherwise you can always double the xanthan gum and it should help (lose a bit of flakiness, but will barely be noticeable here) xo!

  12. Denise says:

    Wow, this looks so good and beautiful too! I would like to have it for Thanksgiving. How is it the second day? Does the bottom crust get soggy easily? I really don’t want to be making it on the big day. Thank you, thank you for all you do!

    • Paola says:

      Honestly barely any difference! My house is quite cool, so I have just covered it with cling film and let it sit out overnight (no difference really)… then for third and fourth days I popped it in the fridge and it was still delicious! So up, make it ahead ( I did so for Friendsgiving!) xo!

  13. texasgirlfarfromhome says:

    5 stars
    Paola, I lived in the Philippines for some years, and a friend of mine had worked at McDonalds. He said their apple pies were not made with apples but with chayote, so your hand pies surprised me not at all. Is there a special reason you switched to zucchini instead of chayote in the pie recipe?? What would be your opinion on adding a teaspoon of apple extract or flavoring? I am interested in keto more than the gluten free or paleo. Keep up the good work, I love what you are doing.

    • Paola says:

      Whaaaaat?! Trust Mickey D to always find the cheapest local alternative 😂 but yeah, chayote and zucchini can both impersonate apples to the t! I just have a preference for zucchini here as it keeps a nice bite and doesn’t turn into mush!

      And thank you for your sweet comment! How kind of you to say!

  14. Debbie says:

    I’m not so much n apple pie eater, but I do love me some apple crisp. Any ideas for a keto topping for that, and I totally eat it with vanilla ice cream, so you recipe for that will be a dream.

  15. Lisa says:

    O-M-to the G!!! This is a thing of beauty!!! I got a single tear in my eye when I saw the pic of the pie a la mode… with caramel sauce no less! WOW! WOW! WOW! To think I can now eat like this virtually guilt free and maintain my health goals is overwhelming.

    And don’t get me started on the pics of the crust. That lattice is gorgeous… Both raw and baked! I am mesmerized.

    Btw… Just days before I learned of your zucchini trick, I had used your pop tart recipe to make mock apple pop tarts with chayote. The filling recipe called for cream of tartar to mimic the acidity in apples. I liked the idea because it didn’t require more liquid. I think I still added a little lemon juice for good measure and feel it should be in every apple pie, real or mock.

    • Paola says:

      It’s wonderful what you can still enjoy on the keto diet right?! Silly of me when I think back, but I literally burst into tears when my doctor told me I would have to be grain free and hopefully I could manage a keto diet… I surely eat better now and keep my autoimmune in check 🙂 Totally get you!

      And a big ‘OOOOH’ on the cream of tartar! But of course! it ads acidity in baked goods.. say snickerdoodle cookies and the yeast bread! It could prob even lower the carbs a bit (no idea on its carbs, but prob less than lemon juice!). How brilliant Lisa thanks for sharing xo!

    • Paola says:

      I actually think it’s probably one of the least scary baking recipes on the site Gina! You see, you cook the zucchini prior (i.e. you can make sure it tastes good before putting it in the oven!)… unlike cakes in general were you cross your fingers and hope for the best 😂

      You can also just do a trial with one zucchini, no need to whip up the entire batch! 😉

    • Paola says:

      The crazy thing is that it doesn’t at all (this is written in the intro). I was afraid I had overcooked it as I left it covered too long (forgot to set my alarm!) BUT the final pie had an awesome bite!

  16. Maddy Avena says:

    You people are just amazing. Thank you for all the given away knowledge, hacks, recipes, enthusiasm. Wow. I am a big fan 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      I would like to second that! There is some straight up hocus pocus going on in this website.

      I aim to learn every last trick Paola has to offer!

    • Cristina says:

      5 stars
      I’m not sure where I went wrong but the zucchini was super soft by the time it was done cooking on the stove (i cut the zucchini into approx. 3/4 to 1 inch cubes and cooked the recommended time) I was afraid if I continued to cook in the oven the filling would be mush, so we ate the filling as is with your keto vanilla ice cream….omg soo good!! I really want to give this pie another go bc I love all your recipes, literally the best (i.e. I’ve memorized the recipes for your cinnamon rolls and burger buns bc I make them so often lol) Next time I’ll cut the zucchini a little bigger, cook it for less time on the stove and let the juices reduce separately. Thank you for all you do!

  17. Jess says:

    5 stars
    Your mock apple zucchini is absolutely incredible!! I made the muffins just this weekend, didn’t tell the fam they were zucchini, and no one questioned they weren’t apples LOL!

    • Paola says:

      Jess how awesome to hear you were able to fool the fam!! I totally did it with friends over Friendsgiving this past weekend 😜

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