Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

This vegan lemon meringue pie is made with a tangy-sweet homemade lemon pie filling and topped with a gorgeous vegan meringue. If you’re looking for the best lemon pie, this recipe is perfect.

A slice of lemon meringue pie on a plate sits in front of the rest of the pie.

I have long been a fan of the lemon pie, so when my opportunity came to create a vegan version, I jumped on it! Combining my love of baking with my admiration for the lemon pie was a natural fit.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Using aquafaba to make vegan meringue creates fluffy meringue that you can pile high on your pie
  • Adding a pinch of ground turmeric is a great natural way to add bright yellow color to your vegan lemon curd
  • Using a flaky vegan pie crust creates the perfect foundation for this delicious pie, giving each bite a contrast between buttery crust and sweet lemon filling
Looking down on ingredients on a counter, like sugar, water in a measuring cup, butter, lemons, etc.

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Pie crust — You can make this Vegan Pie Crust, or get creative and use a Vegan Graham Cracker Crust.
  • Aquafaba — This is liquid from a can of chickpeas. See more on this below.
  • Cream of tartar
  • Sugar — You’ll need both powdered sugar for the meringue and granulated sugar for the filling.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Lemon juice — You can use fresh-squeezed lemon juice or bottled.
  • Plant-based milk —  I used almond milk, but you can use soy milk or any favorite plant-based milk, whether plain or vanilla.
  • Cornstarch — You can substitute arrowroot powder.
  • Lemon extract — I find this near the spices in the baking aisle of most major grocery stores.
  • Coconut oil — Use refined or unrefined (refined has a more neutral flavor)
  • Ground turmeric — We’re using a bit of ground turmeric for color. Or you can add a little yellow food coloring if you’d to get an extra pop of yellow color.

Ingredient Spotlight

A glass holds chickpeas next to another glass with a strainer, with chickpea liquid in the bottom and chickpeas on the top of the strainer. Both glasses are sitting on a folded kitchen towel.

What is Aquafaba?

Aquafaba is the name given to the liquid in a can of chickpeas. It can be applied to other canned legumes, but chickpeas are the beans of choice when it comes to aquafaba. Because of its starch to protein content, aquafaba traps air as it’s whipped, causing it to create a foam. This is perfect for creating vegan meringues. I get the best results from regular canned chickpeas (not the low sodium variety).

How to Make Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

If you knew how easy it was to make the best lemon meringue pie, you’d be making them for every dessert. Why? Because this pie looks so gorgeous. There’s nothing like that beautiful meringue on top.

And, besides, most everyone I know loves lemon pies.

  1. Make the pie crust.
  2. Make the vegan meringue.
  3. Make simple lemon curd by stirring lemon juice, sugar, milk, and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat
  4. Bring it to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat, stir in the extract, coconut oil, and turmeric.
  6. Spoon the hot lemon curd over the prepared crust.
  7. Top with meringue while the custard is still hot.
  8. Use a spoon to push meringue to the edges of the crust and create wispy dollops of meringue.
  9. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the meringue has golden edges.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour.
  11. Refrigerate for one to two hours before serving.

Here are more detailed step-by-step instructions:

Step One: Make the Homemade Vegan Pie Crust

You can make the pie crust the same day or even up to 4 days before. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Prepare the vegan pie dough, cover, and refrigerate for up to 30 minutes
  2. Roll it out to about 1/8″ thickness and place in a 9″ pie pan.
  3. Crimp the edges of the pie and use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust several times (referred to as docking) to allow the crust to release steam as it based so it doesn’t puff up.
  4. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.
    A baked pie crust in a pie pan.
  5. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Step Two: Prepare the Vegan Meringue

If you haven’t made vegan meringue yet, you’re in for a treat.

I love this post from America’s Test Kitchen about using aquafaba for meringues and other baked goods.

Follow my instructions for making vegan meringue. It takes several minutes of whipping, but it’s well worth it! When the meringue is done, set it aside while you make the lemon curd.

  1. Shake an unopened can of chickpeas.
  2. Pour the liquid from the can of chickpeas into a mixing bowl, along with the cream of tartar.
  3. Mix for a minute or two until it becomes frothy.
  4. As you’re mixing, add the powdered sugar a little at a time.
  5. Continue to mix at medium-high speed until soft peaks form.
  6. Then add the vanilla and mix to incorporate it.

As with any meringue recipe for pie, be sure to spread the meringue over hot custard, and be sure it touches the crust around the whole pie. This prevents the meringue from weeping or pulling away from the pie crust.

Meringue on a pie before it's baked.
Use a spoon to press meringue up to the edges of the crust and to create peaks.

Step Three, Option 1: Tofu Lemon Curd

To prepare the lemon pie filling recipe with tofu, follow these steps:

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat stir together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Add the water, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract, and agar agar (if using).
  3. Stir occasionally, to make sure the custard doesn’t burn.
  4. Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until you have a thick mixture in the pan.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in vegan butter, lemon zest, and food coloring (if using).
    Overhead view of a food processor bowl containing meringue, a lemon, lemon zester and juicer.
  6. Pulse tofu in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  7. Add the lemon mixture from the saucepan and pulse it all together until smooth.
  8. Spread the lemon pie filling into a prepared pie crust (more on pie crusts below).

Note: You can add agar agar flakes to the above mixture for a thicker curd. You can find agar flakes at most health food stores and online.

Step Three, Option 2: Tofu-Free Lemon Curd

A traditional lemon pie has a more translucent lemon curd. After some experimentation, I came up with a simple vegan lemon curd without tofu.

So, if you want to make the lemon pie filling with the simple lemon curd, follow these steps:

  1. Stir together the lemon juice, sugar, milk, and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring the mixture to a low boil while stirring.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. The mixture should get fairly thick.
    Vegan lemon curd in a saucepan.
  5. If you get lumps in your curd, simply pulse it in a food processor or use an immersion blender.
  6. Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat, stir in the lemon extract, coconut oil, and turmeric.
  7. Spoon out the lemon curd over the prepared crust.
Lemon curd has been poured into a pie shell.

I used some of the same ingredients for homemade lemon pie filling as I did for my Vegan Lemon Bars because it provides a nice, firm custard when you slice it.

Step Four: Assemble and Bake the Pie

I like to set the oven rack a little lower than normal in the oven to prevent the meringue from browning too quickly.

  1. Spoon the hot lemon custard into the prepared pie crust.
  2. Top with meringue while the custard is still hot.
  3. Starting from the outside and working your way, spoon the meringue up to the edges of the crust (to create a seal) and create wispy dollops of meringue across the top of the pie.
    A bowl is pouring meringue over the top of a lemon pie.
  4. Use your spoon to create peaks in the meringue. These peaks will turn a nice golden color when baked.
    A lemon pie is topped with unbaked meringue.
  5. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the meringue has golden edges.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour.
  7. Refrigerate for one to two hours before serving.
A lemon pie sits on a plate with the rest of the pie behind it.

Homemade Vegan Pie Crusts

I’ve created the best Vegan Pie Crust recipe ever! This crust recipe makes two pie crusts so feel free to freeze half of the dough. Or you can cut the crust recipe in half to make only one pie crust. Either way, it’s is a delicious and flaky pie crust that will work perfectly for this lemon pie recipe.

Here are my favorite vegan pie crust recipes, any of which would work for this vegan lemon meringue pie:

Store-Bought Vegan Pie Crusts

Vegan pie crusts are now more readily available for purchase. The following are vegan pie crusts you can buy at the store:

  • Marie Callendar’s Pastry Pie Shells
  • Mrs. Smith’s Deep Dish Pie Crust
  • Whole Foods Wholly Wholesome Gluten-Free Pie Shells

Always check labels because sometimes these companies will change their ingredients.

More Delicious Lemon Recipes

If you love this vegan lemon meringue pie, here’s even more delicious vegan lemon desserts to try:

A lemon meringue pie has a slice cut out, showcasing layers of lemon curd and meringue on top.
A lemon meringue pie has a slice cut out, showcasing layers of lemon curd and meringue on top.

Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

Enjoy this Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie on your holiday dessert table with a simple list of ingredients and delicious lemon custard sure to please everyone.
4.93 from 14 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 slices of pie
Calories: 360kcal

Ingredients

Egg-free Meringue

  • ¾ cup aquafaba (brine from a can of regular salted chickpeas)
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Option #1: Tofu Lemon Curd

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 tablespoon agar agar flakes (optional)
  • 1 to 2 drops organic yellow food coloring (optional, see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 cup silken tofu or one small package

Option #2: Simple Vegan Lemon Curd

  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cup plant-based milk (I used almond milk)
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • teaspoon ground turmeric

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.
  • Prepare the pie crust as directed in the link above and roll it out to about 1/8" thickness and place in a 9" pie pan. Crimp the edges of the pie and use a fork to prick the bottom of the crust several times. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

For the Meringue

  • Shake an unopened can of regular chickpeas vigorously for a few seconds. Then strain the liquid from the can of chickpeas in a mixing bowl, along with the cream of tartar. Use a handheld or stand mixer on medium speed and mix for 1 to 2 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  • As you're mixing, add the powdered sugar a little at a time. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to mix at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Then add the vanilla and mix to incorporate it.

Option #1: Tofu Lemon Pie Filling

  • In a saucepan combine the sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir with a whisk to combine.
  • Turn the heat to medium-high and add the water, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract, and agar agar (if using). Stir occasionally, to make sure the custard doesn't burn. Bring this to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until you have a thick mixture in the pan. Remove from heat and add the tablespoon of vegan butter and food coloring (if using). Stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Place the tofu in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the lemon mixture from the saucepan and pulse it all together until a smooth consistency is reached. Return the curd to the saucepan keep it over low heat while you prepare the meringue.

Option #2: Simple Lemon Curd

  • If you're making your lemon filling with the simple lemon curd method, in a saucepan combine the lemon juice, sugar, milk, and cornstarch. Stir to combine the cornstarch. Place over medium heat. Stir constantly to dissolve the sugar and to prevent lumps as the mixture thickens.
  • Bring the mixture to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring regularly. The mixture should get fairly thick (see post photo). If you get lumps, simply pulse the curd in a food processor or use an immersion blender.
  • Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat, add the lemon extract, coconut oil, and turmeric. Stir to combine. Spoon out the lemon curd over the prepared crust.

Assemble and Bake the Pie

  • Spoon the hot lemon custard into the prepared pie crust. Top with meringue while the custard is still hot. Use a spoon to push meringue up to the edges of the crust (to create a seal) and create wispy dollops of meringue across the top of the pie.
  • Place pie in the heated oven and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the meringue has golden edges.
  • Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour. Refrigerate for one to two hours before serving.

Recommended Equipment

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Notes

This recipe makes one pie.
Note: Nutrition estimate includes crust, filling, and meringue divided into 8 slices.
Because this lemon tofu custard is made without eggs, it has less of that sunshine yellow hue to it. Adding a drop of organic (natural) yellow food coloring or 1/8 teaspoon of turmeric gives it a burst of yellow color.
Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 86mg | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 6.8mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1.1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

We recently updated the photos on this post. Here is one of the old photos:

A slice of lemon pie on a plate with a  fork beside it. A lemon and the rest of the pie is behind it.

53 Responses to Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJohané Reply

    Hi there! Is it okay if I do the simple lemon curd option instead of the tofu one or is there one that you prefer?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Johane. I actually prefer the simple lemon curd. It’s easy to make and I love the bright color it produces. That said, the tofu one is quite good as well. I just wanted to provide options because some people prefer using tofu. I hope this is helpful!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJenny Reply

    Can I make the aquafaba at home?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Jenny. Yes, I make aquafaba at home all the time!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlychristine poirier Reply

    5 stars
    Can we freeze this pie and if so for how long ?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Christine. Unfortunately, this is not a pie I recommend for freezing. The meringue, especially does not freeze well. However, you could make the pie without the meringue, freeze it (for up to 2 months in a freezer-safe container and/or bags), and then thaw it and serve with vegan whipped cream. Also, I would place this in the deepest part of the freezer, away from the freezer door where it can be exposed to different temperatures and start to build up condensation.

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKristi Reply

    Hi just wondering if the tofu is necessary? I think the filing looks and tastes good without adding the tofu. I sure if it was necessary for some part of the baking process?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kristi! The recipe provides two options for vegan lemon curd. The second one is made without tofu. Hope you enjoy it!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPauline Reply

    Hello! If you blow torch the meringue do you need to put it in the oven? Thanks a lot 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Pauline. I personally recommend baking the meringue because it helps dry it out. Without that step, the meringue may wilt and deflate quickly. However, if you prefer the torch, be sure to store the pie in an airtight container. Then freeze it. Then remove it the day of serving. This should help preserve the fluffy meringue. Storing it in the fridge without baking (only torching) will probably result in a flat meringue. Sugar absorbs moisture from the air naturally so adding the sweet meringue over the wet lemon base, is problematic. Baked meringues hold up better because the baking process dehydrates that moisture. I hope this makes sense!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlygretchen rolnicki Reply

    Hi Marly, I was wondering if there’s a way to sub agave for the sugar in both the meringue and the lemon curd? Also, what is the difference between the two lemon curd options? Do they taste different or is the texture different? Just trying to figure out which option to choose. Thank you.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Gretchen. I have not used agave nectar to make the aquafaba meringue before, so I did some research. I haven’t found anyone trying to make this type of meringue with a syrup sweetener. Most use finely ground sugar. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but I find myself feeling skeptical about it. An Italian meringue uses heated syrup, but I don’t think that would work with chickpea liquid. I think a vegan meringue needs the structure provided by sugar, but that said, if you wanted to give it a try, I would just consider adding minimal agave to it. Maybe add a tablespoon at a time? Regarding the lemon filling, I think you could use agave there for sure. I would use a little less sugar – a little more than half is what I recommend. OK. About the two different types of lemon filling. The tofu filling is what I made first – many years ago. It was delicious and I loved it! However, I love the translucent look of the cornstarch version. It looks more like a traditional lemon pie. I think both taste great, but I lean toward the cornstarch version because the texture is more traditional. Maybe someday I’ll delete the tofu version, but I like having it there for now for people who come back for that version and for people who have those ingredients on hand. I hope this is helpful!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAmy Reply

    5 stars
    I loved making this and am still in awe of how magical it was! This is so much easier than I thought it would be to make. I can’t believe how similar to non-vegan meringue this is, an added perk is there is no gross smell to it that you get with egg whites.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Amy! I’m so glad you liked this lemon pie! I agree with you that it’s wonderful to have a vegan meringue option and it’s much better than the egg variety! 🙂

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJenn Reply

    Can I use vegan butter instead of coconut oil?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Jenn! I haven’t tried using vegan butter with this, but I think it should work.

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