I Made Joanna Gaines’ Pecan Pie and It Has a Secret Ingredient That People Can’t Resist

Take notes from the home and lifestyle connoisseur herself for a clever twist on your classic pecan pie.

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It’s impossible to resist celebrity recipes. Like Ina Garten’s famous chocolate cake recipe, they offer a fun escape from our usual weekly fare and inspire us to try something different. Take this Joanna Gaines pecan pie recipe, for example.

The home improvement genius, lifestyle curator and HGTV star never disappoints, and this pie is sure to surprise you. With the addition of one secret ingredient, the flavor of this classic pie is taken to a whole new level. Just a pinch of this unconventional spice brings out the notes of brown sugar, cinnamon and pecan for a better-tasting pie that’ll have everyone at your Thanksgiving dinner coming back for seconds.

What’s the Secret Ingredient?

Joanna adds two teaspoons of ground ancho chile to boost the usual flavor profile of a classic pecan pie. The dried version of the poblano pepper packs mild heat, but an interesting fruity flavor as well.

Traditional pecan pie is delightful as is, with notes of brown sugar and cinnamon, and a luscious bite with a subtle pecan crunch. The ancho chile powder adds to the complexity of the pie’s flavor, while breaking up some of the sugary taste. It doesn’t add heat to the pie, but rather introduces great balance.

Love pecans but don’t want to make a full pie? Try these pecan pie bars instead.

The Famous Joanna Gaines Pecan Pie Recipe

Joanna Gaines Pecan PieMolly Allen for Taste of Home, Getty Images

Joanna Gaines’ pecan pie recipe is from her Magnolia Table cookbook. The recipe utilizes traditional pecan pie ingredients, but with a twist. While there are only 2 teaspoons of ancho chile powder in the filling mixture, it amps up the flavor of this pecan pie ten-fold.


Joanna Gaines Pecan Pie IngredientsMolly Allen for Taste of Home

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell


Step 1: Prepare the filling

Joanna Gaines Pecan Pie filling in glass bowlMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup and melted butter. Whisk in the eggs, then add in the cinnamon and ancho chile. Stir the pecans into the mixture.

Step 2: Pour and bake!

Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell. Bake the pie for 55 minutes to one hour. Test to make sure the pie is done by inserting a knife into the center. The knife should come out clean. Once baked, remove the pie from the oven and set it aside to cool on a wire rack for two hours.

And that’s it! This stellar pie is definitely going into our rotation of Thanksgiving recipes.

Tips for Baking Pecan Pie

Joanna Gaines Pecan PieMolly Allen for Taste of Home

Don’t under bake. While pecan pie is made up of simple ingredients, it can be a bit tricky to master. One of the most common issues with pecan pie is not baking the pie long enough. Be sure the pie is fully baked before removing it from the oven. Check the pie with a knife and let the pie fully cool to room temperature before slicing and serving it.

Use a pie crust shield. Pecan pies need to bake for close to an hour. If you find that the crust is browning faster than the speed of your pie baking, use tin foil. Wrap tin foil around the crust to prevent it from browning further while the pie finishes baking. This is known as a pie crust shield.

Add more flavor. Want even more flavor? Increase the amount of cinnamon and even ancho chile in your pecan pie. Toasting the pecans will also take the flavor of pecan pie to the next level.

Store your pecan pie in the fridge to keep it fresh for 3-4 days. Unlike some pies that can be kept on the kitchen counter, this one needs to be kept cold since the filling uses eggs.

Molly Allen
Molly Allen is a previous bakery owner and former event planner. Now, a freelance writer and editor focused on food and beverage, lifestyle, travel and parties, she brings her years of experience and industry knowledge to readers across a variety of platforms.