Easy No-Bake Key Lime Pie

I love a pie that you don’t have to turn your oven on for. Ha! This easy no-bake key lime pie is the perfect warm-weather treat, being super simple to make and totally delicious (or try the banana cream version if you’re a banana lover like me)!

If you cannot find key limes you can absolutely make this with standard limes—it will still turn out great and no one has to be the wiser.

Often when I make no-bake pies (like this no-bake peanut butter pie), I will use a store-bought graham or cookie crust. This makes things SUPER easy and I like that they usually come with a cover, so they are easy to pop in the refrigerator or freezer for chilling. But sometimes I opt to make my own crust, which I did here. In the recipe card below, I’ll include the vanilla wafer crust ingredients and directions. But if you want to use a store-bought crust, feel free!

The filling could not be easier to make—you are essentially just whisking a few ingredients together and then letting the whole thing chill in the crust shell. The only “trick” to it is you’ll want to use softened cream cheese (so set it out the night before you plan to make this.) Otherwise, you can end up with lumps—and although it will still taste delicious, it’s not quite as cute.

Pie should be cute, IMO.

You can decorate or garnish the top of this pie lots of different ways. You may want to use way more whipped cream than I did, or just try other looks and variations. Enjoy! xo. Emma

4.34 from 3 votes
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Easy No-Bake Key Lime Pie

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword key lime, pie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 pie
Author Emma Chapman

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter, melted

Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding (3.4 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar

Instructions

  1. To make the crust, use a food processor to crush the vanilla wafers. Then, stir in the melted butter and press firmly into a pie pan. Freeze until the filling is ready.

  2. To make the filling, whisk together the instant pudding and milk. Then whisk in the softened cream cheese, lime juice, zest, and sugar.

  3. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and refrigerate or freeze overnight (see note). Garnish with lime wedges and whipped cream before serving.

Recipe Notes

You can refrigerate or freeze this pie before serving. If you refrigerate, it will thicken/harden but will remain soft, like a very soft cheesecake. If you freeze, it will harden more, like an ice cream cake. 

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I made the recipe and the pie never set up. Should the liquid be reduced?

  • We used to make one that used 3/4 cup fresh lime juice, a can of sweetened condensed milk and folded in cool whip. We added a few drops of green food coloring to make it look more a little greener. Pop into a purchased graham cracker crust and cool until set. Yours looks good too. I will have to give it a try.

  • 3 stars
    Another very American recipe, there are many followers outside America so some recommendations on alternative ingredients would be useful starting with ” instant vanilla pudding”???

    • Hi Derek,
      I live in the EU and no instant vanilla pudding here either – except two suggestions (I am not sure where you live?); Bird’s Custard Powder from the UK is similar but will colour desserts a darker yellow or you try some of the EU American or Canadian shops on line, they often have instand vanilla pudding (but expensive)….I use Bird’s Custard for most recipes……

  • 5 stars
    Is there a gluten free version of the crust that anyone can recommend? My dad and husband have celiac disease but this would be perfect for this weekend when we are all together, just not sure if there is a good alternative graham cracker/cookie crust recipe out there.

    • Hi Audra — we have used these vanilla wafers many times in banana pudding and other dessert recipes. I can’t speak to this recipe specifically as I haven’t tried it GF (yet!) but I thought I’d throw this alternative out there in case you wanted to try it. 🙂

    • Look for an almond flor recipe or one made with crushed almonds. You can buy a nut based remade shell on the nut isle at the store. Maybe a combo of almond flor and crushed almonds

  • It looks delicious, thank you!
    Please don’t leave cream cheese at room temperature for more than two hours though, as bacteria rapidly grows between 40-140°F. The USDA Food and Safety recommends max of 2 hrs.

    • I know, right‽ Please don’t leave the cream cheese out overnight!

  • I use a similar recipe for key lime pie, and I mix the filling in a blender so I don’t have to worry about softening the cream cheese.

  • I honestly never knew key limes were a different variety of lime…I’ve been making lime-lime pie this whole time! This looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it.

  • This looks great! I love key lime pie and am curious – how tart is this recipe? I like a tart key lime pie. 🙂

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