With a quick homemade graham cracker crust and a creamy filling made with cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk and fresh lime juice, this no-bake key lime pie is an easy recipe that’ll have everyone begging for the recipe.
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Best Key Lime Pie Recipe
There are so many reasons you’ll fall in love with this delicious pie – but the two that come to mind (other than not having to turn on your oven) are the creamy sweet and tart flavor combination in the yummiest buttery graham cracker crust. It’s very similar to a key lime cheesecake pie!
The cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk combined make this key lime pie so light and creamy and perfect for not only a hot summer day but any special occasion and holiday. It is so good topped with whipped cream!
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
For the Pie Crust
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: Use about two packets of crackers for the homemade crust recipe. Do this either in a food processor or in a plastic zip closure bag with a rolling pin for smashing.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best in my opinion but you can use what you have on hand. It holds the crust together once set.
- Sugar: Adds extra sweetness to the crust. Use brown sugar if you’d like.
- Salt: This is optional, but it enhances the flavor of the crust.
For Key Lime Pie Filling:
- Cream Cheese: Use full fat cream cheese to get the richest consistency. Bring it to room temperature for 30 minutes for the perfect softened cream cheese.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk: This adds moisture, creaminess, and sweetness to the filling. Make sure it’s full fat sweetened condensed milk and NOT evaporated milk.
- Lime Juice: Authentic key limes are harder to find than Persian limes (ie. regular limes). There is a taste different, but not enough to forego the pie if you can’t find them. They can certainly be used interchangeably and still give the filling a wonderful fresh lime flavor.
- Lime Zest: You’ll use the zest on top of the pie for extra flare. You can also add a few lime slices on top if you’d like.
- Cool Whip: It comes frozen, so make sure it’s thawed beforehand.
- Use a different kind of cookies for the crust like vanilla wafers, golden Oreos, shortbread cookies, or gingersnap cookies.
- If you want a crispier crust, you can blind-bake the crust at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes.
- Again, use true key limes if you are trying to capture the flavor of the Florida Keys. You may be able to find bottled key lime juice in a grocery store.
- Make homemade whipped cream. It’s easier to buy a tub of Cool Whip, but homemade whipped topping tastes amazing!
- You can also buy a store-bought crust from the store.
- Make mini key lime pies by pressing the cracker mixture into muffin tin holes and then dividing the cream cheese mixture between them.
How to Make this Key Lime Pie
This no-bake pie is so easy to make, that you can even whip it up on those busy days. Then, just let it chill in the fridge, and it will be ready when you are!
Step 1: Pulse the crackers in a food processor or crush them in a bag with a rolling pin.
Step 2: Place the crumbs in a bowl and add in the melted butter, sugar, and salt.
Step 3: Mix well until it resembles wet sand and then press the cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of your pie plate. Then place it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until the filling is ready.
Step 4: In a large mixing bowl, add the softened block of cream cheese and blend with an electric mixer on medium high speed until it is smooth. Add the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and some of the zest and keep mixing until it is combined. (you can also use the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
Step 5: Gently mix in the thawed Cool Whip, being careful not to overmix it.
Step 6: Then, pour the pie filling into the graham cracker crust. Carefully spread it over the entire crust.
Chill the pie in the refrigerator for about at least 4 hours for the filling to set. When you’re ready to serve it, garnish with extra lime zest and whipped cream if desired.
- Use a citrus juicer to juice the limes.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
- For perfect slicing, place the pie in the freezer for about an hour or two before cutting. Then, allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
- Clean edges. You can also make sure to wipe the knife blade off with a wet paper towel between each slice.
This recipe can be made a day in advance and is best eaten within 1-2 days of being prepared. The longer it is refrigerated, the crust may become less crispy.
Freeze this pie for up to 2-3 months. Cover with plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil for extra protection. Thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before serving.
This recipe makes about eight slices of pie. This, of course, depends on how big your slices are.
No Bake Key Lime Pie
For the Crust:
- 1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs approximately 2 packets
- ½ cup unsalted butter 1 stick melted
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt optional
For Pie Filling:
- 24 ounces cream cheese 3 blocks full fat ,softened to room temperature
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk 1 can
- ¾ cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime zest
- 8 ounces Cool Whip thawed
- Spray a 10 inch pie plate with non-cooking spray.
Make the pie crust:
- In a food processor, add the graham crackers and pulse a few times until they turn into fine crumbs. (use a high speed blender or crush in a zip closure baggie with a rolling pin)1 ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
- Pour the cracker crumbs into a small bowl and add the sugar and salt.2 tablespoons granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add the melted butter and mix until combined completely.½ cup unsalted butter
- Add the crumb mixture to the pie dish and press it evenly into the bottom, going up the sides as well.
- Place the crust in the freezer for at least 10 minutes to set.
Make the filling
- In a large mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and beat on medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer until smooth.24 ounces cream cheese
- Add in the sweetened condensed milk, lime juice, and zest and beat until combined.14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, ¾ cup lime juice, 1 tablespoon fresh lime zest
- Then add the thawed whipped topping and gently stir with a spatula or wooden spoon.8 ounces Cool Whip
- Remove the pie crust from the freezer and pour the filling onto the prepared crust.
- Spread evenly, lightly pressing down in a back and forth motion.
- Place the pie in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight o set.
- Garnish with whipped cream and fresh lime slices or freshly grated lime zest prior to serving.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
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