How Many Pumpkin Pies Are Eaten On Thanksgiving

How Many Pumpkin Pies Are Eaten on Thanksgiving?

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

During Thanksgiving, loved ones come together to enjoy a scrumptious meal. A must-have dessert on the table is pumpkin pie, which tends to steal the attention.

It’s a time-honored tradition, and the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked pies fills the air. But sometimes, I wonder how many pumpkin pies are eaten on Thanksgiving.

I recently attended a Thanksgiving feast and was surprised at how many pumpkin pies people consumed. With that, I’ll share how many pumpkin pies are enjoyed during Thanksgiving.

How Many Pumpkin Pies Are Consumed On Thanksgiving?

Pumpkin Pie on a Glass Pan

People in the United States consumed about 50 million pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving. It’s a classic part of the holiday, though not everyone is head over heels for it. 

Some folks see pumpkin pie as a vessel for whipped cream and aren’t too crazy about it. 

“Autumn. Pretty leaves, pumpkin pie and sweaters. Perfect weather for reading. Winter is great but I hate shoveling.”

Eden Robinson, Canadian Writer

But the fact remains: pumpkin pie is a massive Thanksgiving tradition, and millions of us enjoy it as the sweet ending to our Thanksgiving feasts.

Find out why people eat pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving here.

Why Was There No Pumpkin Pie On The First Thanksgiving?

The absence of pumpkin pie [1] at the first Thanksgiving in Plimoth Plantation can be attributed to the lack of baking ovens during that time.

However, the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag folks did enjoy pumpkin and similar squashes in other ways. They might have cooked it by boiling or roasting it. 

So, while pumpkin pie wasn’t a part of their feast, it was there in some form, playing a role in their Thanksgiving meal before it became the famous pie we know today.

How Long Before Thanksgiving Can Pies Be Made?

For optimal freshness, it’s advisable to bake your pies no more than two days ahead of Thanksgiving if you intend to store them in the refrigerator or at room temperature. 

This rule applies to all pies containing eggs and dairy products, such as milk, cream, cream cheese [2], or sour cream – and yes, that includes beloved classics like pumpkin pie or cream pies. 

By adhering to this timeframe, you can ensure your pies remain delicious and safe to savor when the Thanksgiving feast finally arrives.

But how much do pumpkins cost at the pumpkin patch?

Can Pumpkin Pie Be Left Out Overnight?

Yes, pumpkin pies can be left out overnight. Specifically, leaving homemade pumpkin pie at room temperature is safe for up to two hours, as the FDA recommends.

Beyond this timeframe, the risk of harmful bacterial growth increases. 

This precaution is crucial because pumpkin pie contains perishable ingredients, particularly dairy and eggs, which can become breeding grounds for bacteria when unrefrigerated.

How Is Pumpkin Pie Stored For Thanksgiving?

After baking, homemade pumpkin pies should be allowed to cool to room temperature. If you don’t plan to consume them within two hours, storing them in the refrigerator is essential. 

While in the fridge, keeping the pies loosely covered is advisable. Pumpkin pies can be safely stored in this manner for three to four days. 

Proper storage is crucial to maintaining the pie’s flavor and safety, ensuring that your Thanksgiving celebration remains delectable and healthy for days to come.

Check out these tips on disposing of pumpkins after Halloween here.

How Long Does A Pumpkin Pie Stay Good For?

Baking Pumpkin Pie

When stored in the refrigerator, a freshly baked pumpkin pie maintains its quality for approximately three to four days. 

Covering the pie loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap is advisable to preserve its freshness. 

The beauty of pumpkin pie is that it remains delightful when served cold, eliminating the need for reheating. 

“Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Unthinkable! The numbers speak volumes about our love affair with this classic dessert.”

Howkapow Gift Site

Whether enjoyed as a post-Thanksgiving treat or a midnight snack, a well-preserved pumpkin pie can satisfy your taste buds for several days after the holiday feast.

What Do Pumpkin Pies Represent?

Pumpkin pies, deeply rooted in the history of the Americas for centuries, serve as symbolic reminders of the gratitude and appreciation our ancestors held during each bountiful harvest season.

These pies connect us to our farming history when early settlers and Native Americans celebrated the land’s abundance. 

Today, when we enjoy pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, we keep this old tradition alive, remember our past, and celebrate gratitude.



What is America’s most popular pie?

Apple pie is America’s most popular, claiming over 27% of total sales nationwide. 

How many pies do you need for 20 people at Thanksgiving?

Plan one full pie for every six guests at the table for a Thanksgiving meal. 

This general rule accounts for larger portions typical of holiday feasts, with each person expected to enjoy one three-inch wedge from a standard nine-inch pie containing six such slices.

Is it necessary to refrigerate pumpkin pies?

Yes, it’s essential to refrigerate pumpkin pies. The USDA recommends refrigerating all “egg-rich pies” like pumpkin pie after they have been baked and allowed to cool. 

This practice ensures the safety and freshness of the pie’s ingredients.

What’s the second most popular food on Thanksgiving?

Mashed potatoes claim the second spot as the most beloved Thanksgiving dish. With their buttery, cheesy, or garlicky goodness, they’re a staple on the holiday table. 

A whopping 250 million pounds of various potato varieties are consumed during every Thanksgiving celebration in the United States.

Final Say

Thinking about how many pumpkin pies vanish on Thanksgiving is quite a journey. 

Around 50 million of them are eaten each November, highlighting just how much we adore this classic dessert.

Looking back at history, we realize the first Thanksgiving didn’t have pumpkin pie. They lacked the ovens we use today. 

Still, they enjoyed pumpkin in other ways, laying the groundwork for the pie we love today.

So, Thanksgiving and its pumpkin pie show us how our traditions evolve, blending old and new while keeping our delicious past alive for the future.


Kimberlee Johnson
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