This Keto Low-Carb Key Lime Pie is an easy no-bake recipe that uses no eggs! This sugar-free dessert is made with a sweet graham cracker crust and zesty lime custard filling.
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FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.
What I love most about this recipe is it uses SIMPLE INGREDIENTS! Often times healthy dessert recipes are prepared with ingredients many people aren’t familiar with. This dish uses the basics….with the exception of the key limes!
The Difference Between Key Limes and Regular Limes
Key limes are a lot smaller than typical limes. They also are bolder with a lightly floral aroma and are also more acidic. They can sometimes be harder to find. My local Sprouts carries them. I have also seen them in local Mexican grocery stores. If you have trouble, regular limes can be substituted.
Because the limes are smaller, you will find you need to use quite a bit in this recipe. I used 1 pound of limes to yield 1/2 cup of juice. It doesn’t hurt to have extra on hand just in case.
How to Store Key Limes
The limes should be stored at a cool room temperature. Don’t use the fridge, that will cause them to decay faster. In general, they don’t last as long as standard limes. If you buy them, plan to use them fairly quickly. You can read more about How to Store Key Limes here.
What Type of Sweetener to Use
I like to use monkfruit sweetener. It is zero calorie, zero carb, and won’t spike blood sugar. It measures 1:1 like refined, table sugar. So if you don’t care about carbs and calories you can use the same amount of table sugar noted in the recipe.
If you use something like stevia, you can follow the standard method you use for converting refined sugar to stevia. Monkfruit sweetener measures 1:1 like refined sugar.
If you wish to use pure, organic maple syrup in the filling, use 1/2 cup (for 3/4 cup of sweetener noted) or 1/3 cup (for 1/2 cup of sweetener noted)
Gelatin is used in the pie filling as a thickener and to provide texture. It works great for no-bake pies because chilled and at room temperature it’s solid. When heated, it becomes liquid.
This is why the instructions have noted that you should warm the lime juice, but don’t get it too hot. You will dissolve the gelatin in the lime juice, but you don’t want it to boil and keep the juice in a liquid state. You want it to thicken.
I use this unflavored gelatin from Amazon, it’s also vegan and vegetarian. You can use something like Jell-O, but I avoid it because it typically has added sugar. The sugar-free versions usually have artificial sweeteners. You don’t need any additional sweetener here in this recipe.
How to Make Keto Key Lime Pie
Detailed serving sizes and full instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
- Microwave lime juice for 30-45 seconds. Then combine the warm juice with the gelatin. Stir and ensure the gelatin is dissolved.
- Add cream cheese, sweetener, lime zest, and Greek yogurt to a bowl or stand mixer. Beat.
- Add in the lime juice/gelatin. Mix well.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust.
How Does the Pie Taste?
The traditional pie uses eggs, sweetened condensed milk, and key limes for the custard filling. Sweetened condensed milk is used to balance out the tartness from the key limes. Sweetened condensed milk is often made with low-quality milk and high fructose corn syrup.
Instead of using it in this recipe I opt for cream cheese, plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream), and sweetener to balance out the key lime taste. Since this recipe doesn’t use eggs, you have direct control of the taste! Taste your filling repeatedly to ensure it suits your taste.
If this is your first time making the dish, go lighter on the key lime zest and sweetener. That way you can continue to build on and add more as you need it. Once you add an ingredient, you can’t take it away.
If you like bold key lime flavor (a more tart pie), use 1/2 cup of key lime juice, 1 tablespoon of key lime zest, and 1/2 cup of sweetener. There isn’t much sweetness here, it’s really bold.
If you like moderate lime flavor and a sweet pie, use 1/2 cup key lime juice, 1/2 tablespoon key lime zest, and 3/4 cups of sweetener. You may even opt to use 1 tablespoon of zest here.
Use both of these as guides for how you much you will need in the recipe and taste, taste, taste prior to loading the filling into the pie plate.
Store-Bought Graham Cracker Crust
This pie is made homemade low carb crust and is so easy to make and doesn’t require any baking. You can use store-bought crust if you wish.
- You will want to start by using blanched almond flour. Add it to a non-stick pan, with no oil on medium-high heat. Stir and toast for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. You don’t want to skip this step. This is where the graham cracker taste comes from.
- When toasted add it to a 9.5-inch pie plate along with sweetener, melted butter, salt, and cinnamon.
- Combine and press the crust into the baking dish.
Chilling the Pie is Important
The longer you chill the pie, the better the structure of the custard filling. Without adequate chill time, the crust and/or custard will fall apart.
I also recommend using full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream. This will also help with the structure of the pie. In my experience, low fat resulted in a wobbly filling.
How to Store the Pie
Store the pie in the fridge, tightly covered and sealed for up to 4 days.
You can freeze the pie, tightly wrapped in plastic or foil for up to 1-2 months. You can defrost it in the fridge overnight. Pull it out to defrost on the counter at room temperature for an hour or until defrosted.
More Healthy Pie Recipes
More Keto Low Carb Dessert Recipes
Keto Low Carb Pumpkin Cookies
Keto Low Carb Lemon Cookies
Keto Low Carb Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies
Keto Low Carb Chocolate Chip Cookies
Keto Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies
Keto Low Carb Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Keto Low Carb Double Chocolate Cookies
Keto Low Carb Macadamia Nut Cookies
Keto Low-Carb Key Lime Pie
Graham Cracker Crust
Key Lime Pie Filling
- 1/2 cup fresh key lime juice See notes for what "key limes" are. Key limes are small, this was 1 pound of key limes for me.
- 6 oz cream cheese Softened
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt I use full fat. You can also use sour cream.
- 3/4 cup zero calorie sweetener See notes.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin See notes.
- 1/2 tablespoon key lime zest See notes.
- whipped cream
- lime zest
- lime slices
- Place a skillet on medium high heat. When hot add the almond flour.
- Stir for 2-4 minutes to toast the almond flour until it’s golden and fragrant. This adds flavor.
- Add the toasted almond flour to a 9.5 inch pie plate, along with the cinnamon, sweetener, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Gradually add in the butter and mix to combine.
- Press the crust into the bottom of the pie plate.
- Microwave the lime juice for 30-45 seconds. (You want the lime juice warm, but not piping hot). Then combine the warm juice with the gelatin. Stir and ensure the gelatin is dissolved. This may take a few minutes.
- Add the cream cheese, sweetener, lime zest (see notes), and Greek yogurt to a bowl or stand mixer. Beat until smooth using a hand mixer or standing mixer.
- Add in the lime juice/gelatin. Mix well. Taste the filling to ensure it suits your taste. Make adjustments as necessary. Add more lime zest or sweetener if necessary.
- Pour the filling into the pie crust.
- Chill for a minimum of 2-3 hours until set. I prefer to freeze it for an hour and a half. Upon freezing I place the pie on the counter for 10 minutes and then slice into it.
- A 9-10 inch pie plate will make 10 standard slices of pie. If you cut larger slices that will impact the macros. Feel free to use the macro calculator of your choice for these calculations.
- Key limes, also known as Mexican or West Indian limes, are more aromatic, with tarter and more floral juice. You can substitute with regular limes if you want.
- Since key limes are so small, I sometimes struggle with zesting them. I like to zest them prior to slicing them up for the juice. I also keep 1 standard lime on hand for the zest, just in case I run into issues here.
- Key lime pie is usually pretty tart with a balance of sweetness. If you use 1 tablespoon of key lime zest and 1/2 cup of sweetener, you will have a zesty pie with moderate sweetness. There isn’t much sweetness here, it’s really bold.
- If you want a sweeter pie, start with 3/4 cup of sweetener and 1/2 tablespoon of key lime zest. Mix your ingredients and taste the filling. If you want it sweeter, add in an additional sweetener. If it needs more lime, add an additional 1/2 tablespoon of key lime zest, this is 1 tablespoon total.
- Taste the key lime filling repeatedly to ensure it meets your taste before adding it to the pie plate.
- I use a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet to toast the almond flour. I didn’t need oil. If you don’t use nonstick or a good cast iron, you may need oil.
- If you don’t toast the almond flour, the crust won’t taste like graham crackers.
- You can add a teaspoon of vanilla extract if you want vanilla flavor.
- Coconut oil can be substituted for butter in the crust. You can use the same amount.
- For the crust, you can use powdered (Confectioner’s) or granular sweetener. Typically, with no-bake recipes or crusts, I only use powdered sweeteners. Sometimes you can taste the texture of the sweetener when granular is used. Powdered is much smoother. I didn’t run into this issue with this pie and found they will both work just fine. If this is an issue for you, use powdered.
- I don’t recommend bottled lime juice. The taste is terrible in this recipe. It’s made from concentrate, has preservatives, and usually has a slight taste of metal.
- If your filling is too runny or the pie doesn’t set, you likely didn’t fully incorporate the gelatin into the lime juice.
- If you don’t care about the calories and carbs you can use store-bought graham cracker crust.
- You can use the same amount of refined table sugar if you aren’t concerned about the calories and carbs.
The longer you chill the pie, the better the structure of the custard filling. Without adequate chill time, the crust will fall apart.