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.

  • Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
  • Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
  • Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
  • Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
  • Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
  • Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
  • Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
  • Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
  • 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.
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.

Reader Reviews

★★★★★
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.

Amy

Vegan Meringue Tips

Making aquafaba meringue can be tricky because there are a variety of things that can impact the outcome, including the consistency of your aquafaba. Here are some tips I’ve found to be helpful:

  • Adding Sugar. Sometimes an aquafaba meringue will deflate if the sugar is added all at the same time rather than adding a little bit at a time. By the way, adding less sugar can also cause the meringue to deflate. That’s because the quantity of sugar helps with the texture of the meringue. 
  • Aquafaba consistency. Some cans of chickpeas have thicker liquid than others. Some may be the consistency of water whereas others are much thicker. I find the thicker liquid usually works best. If the consistency of your chickpea liquid is thinner, try cooking it in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Then simmer until it reduces by about half. Let that cool completely and move on to the next step in making the meringue.
  • Salt. I use regular chickpeas rather than the no-salt variety. I find the low-salt variety does not create the best meringue.
  • Expired Cream of Tartar. This product is important because it stabilizes the meringue. If your cream of tartar is old, it may not be providing that stabilizing effect. To tell if your cream of tartar is good, stir 1/2 teaspoon into a cup of warm water. Then add a pinch of baking soda. It should bubble and create foam. If it doesn’t, your cream of tartar has expired.
  • Xanthan Gum. If none of these tips work, this one will. Add a bit (1/2 teaspoon) of Xanthan gum to the meringue as you’re whipping it. I usually add this in at the same time as the cream of tartar. Why? Xanthan Gum is used in a lot of products to help make them shelf-stable and it’s that stabilization effect that works wonders with vegan meringue. You can find it at health food stores (it’s even in the health food section of my local grocery store) or online at places like Amazon.

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 are 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.
4.94 from 16 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
  • ½ teaspoon Xanthan gum (optional but recommended for stabilizing the meringue).

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.

Vegan Meringue

These are my favorite notes for making sure your vegan meringue bakes into a fluffy mountain of delicious on your pie:
  • Adding Sugar. Sometimes an aquafaba meringue will deflate if the sugar is added all at the same time rather than adding a little bit at a time. By the way, adding less sugar can also cause the meringue to deflate. That’s because the quantity of sugar helps with the texture of the meringue. 
  • Aquafaba consistency. Some cans of chickpeas have thicker liquid than others. Some may be the consistency of water whereas others are much thicker. I find the thicker liquid usually works best. If the consistency of your chickpea liquid is thinner, try cooking it in a saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Then simmer until it reduces by about half. Let that cool completely and move on to the next step in making the meringue.
  • Salt. I use regular chickpeas rather than the no-salt variety. I find the low-salt variety does not create the best meringue.
  • Expired Cream of Tartar. This product is important because it stabilizes the meringue. If your cream of tartar is old, it may not be providing that stabilizing effect. To tell if your cream of tartar is good, stir 1/2 teaspoon into a cup of warm water. Then add a pinch of baking soda. It should bubble and create foam. If it doesn’t, your cream of tartar has expired.
  • Xanthan Gum. If none of these tips work, this one will. Add a bit (1/2 teaspoon) of Xanthan gum to the meringue as you’re whipping it. I usually add this in at the same time as the cream of tartar. Why? Xanthan Gum is used in a lot of products to help make them shelf-stable and it’s that stabilization effect that works wonders with vegan meringue. You can find it at health food stores (it’s even in the health food section of my local grocery store) or online at places like Amazon.
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.

59 Responses to Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKate Reply

    Hi Marly – I love this recipe. I have made the tofu lemon curd twice. This time I’d like to make the tofu lemon curd and instead of meringue, drizzle melted chocolate on it. Would I have to bake the lemon curd anyway, or could I just put it in the fridge to firm and then drizzle the chocolate on it once it’s firm? I am just not sure if the time in the oven is for the meringue, or both the meringue and the curd. Thank you!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kate! I’m so glad you like this lemon pie! You know, I have never made it without the meringue so that means I’ve always baked it. But I feel confident in saying that the tofu lemon curd would firm up as it’s refrigerated. The combination of lemon and chocolate sounds divine!

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