This oil pie crust recipe is an easy low-stress pie dough that requires minimal prep. Use this recipe when you're looking for a vegan pie crust that doesn't use butter! It's delicious with sweet and savory pies.
When it comes to comfort food cooking, there's no getting out of knowing how to make a pie crust. I feel like pie is like the most elevated form of a casserole (which is one of my favorite kinds of comfort food): not only do you get a well rounded meal, or dessert, in one slice, but that slice is surrounded by flaky, indulgent pie crust.
Oil pie crusts are easy to work with because, unlike butter, the fat is already melted. This means that it incorporates into the flour more easily than a solid fat does. The end result is still a flaky, delicious, and satisfyingly rich crust.
Here's how to make a perfect oil pie crust that's flaky, easy to make, and just plain hard to get wrong!
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The Components of an Oil Pie Crust
Most oils that are liquid at room temperature work well in this pie crust recipe. Oils with a neutral flavor, like canola or vegetable oil, work best in pie crust.
Olive oil works in pie crust, but it may impart a slightly olive oil flavor to final product. Be sure that you're not heating the crust to over 375 degrees Fahrenheit, as this is the smoke point of many olive oils.
The takeaway: for a basic pie crust choose an oil that has a neutral flavor.
Low protein flours work best for pies because they yield a more tender crust. The higher the protein content of the flour, the tougher the dough.
- Pastry flour (8-10% protein) for a super tender pie crust, but it is more delicate and may be a bit more difficult for beginners to handle.
- All-purpose flour (11-12%) is a good middle-ground flour and also works well for pie crust. This is my favorite flour that is only available in the south (or online!).
- Bread flour (~13-14% protein) yields a tougher result, so I don't recommend bread flour for this recipe.
- Whole wheat flour will make a more grainy, crumbly texture. Because of this, it's trickier to work with whole wheat flour.
The takeaway: All-purpose flour is usually your best bet for a standard oil pie crust for beginners.
The primary role of salt is to contribute flavor to the crust. While it does contribute a bit to gluten formation, it's most noticeable effect is in taste.
The takeaway: Salt enhances the flavor of pie crust; use as little or as much as you prefer.
Ice cold water is used in pie crust because cold water makes the pastry dough easier to work with. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time, as the amount of liquid needed will vary based on kitchen conditions like humidity and temperature.
For actually ice cold water, add a few ice cubes to a bowl (or glass) or water and scoop water out from the dish a tablespoon at a time as you add it to the dry ingredients.
Making the Crust
The secret to rolling oil pie crust
Okay, maybe this isn't a secret. People have definitely been doing this for years. Personally speaking, my grandma has been doing this for years. Back in high school I tasked my grandparents with mailing me five of their favorite recipes.
One of those recipes was my grandma's "Pat in Pat Oil Pie Crust" (because you would pat the pie crust into place in the pie dish). This recipe is a little different, but is based on the same secret ingredient:
Simply place your pie dough between two pieces of wax paper before rolling it out. This is the wax paper that I use.
No extra flour means no extra gluten formation, which means tender, flaky pie crust. No direct contact with the rolling pin means no pie dough sticking to the rolling pin! Be amazed as your pie crust comes off of the wax paper easily as can be.
Okay, that's enough about oil-based pie crust for now. Check out my tried and true recipe below! It works well for sweet and savory recipes alike.
The steps to making an oil based pie crust
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt) in a medium mixing bowl (this is my go-to mixing bowl set). In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, add the oil and 5 tablespoons of ice water. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients.
Mix together with a wooden spoon until a rough ball forms; add additional 1 tablespoon of ice cold water if it is too crumbly.
Divide into two evenly sized dough balls. Cover and let rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Place each dough ball between a large sheet of wax paper (at least 12 in x 12 in).
Roll out with a rolling pin until the dough is 12x12 inches. I prefer to use a marble rolling pin like this one.
Invert the wax paper and center the pie dough on a pie dish. Carefully peel the wax paper off of the dough (as seen above). Cook according to your recipe instructions.
One of my favorite ways to use this crust is in my Vegan Pot Pie with Tofu and Veggies. It also makes a great vegan pumpkin pie crust!
How to Make a Perfect Oil Pie Crust
- 2 and ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup canola or vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons ice cold water
- Combine flour and salt in a medium mixing bowl. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the oil and 5 tablespoons of ice cold water; don't mix the liquids together.
- Add liquids to the flour and salt mixture. Stir with a fork until a ball forms; add 1 tablespoon of ice water if it is very crumbly and not holding. It is okay if the dough is not totally cohesive (some crumbles may exist).
- Divide the dough into two equally sized balls. Place in an airtight container and let rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- For one pie crust, place the dough ball between two pieces of wax paper. Use a rolling pin (I recommend using a marble one like this) to roll out until it reaches 12 inches in diameter.
- Carefully peel the top layer off of the wax paper. Invert the pie crust into a pie plate and carefully peel the wax paper off of the dough.
- Bake the pie dough according to pie recipe.
- Recipe makes 2 12" pie crusts. I usually use a 9" pie plate for baking, but you can also use disposable containers. Do note that different materials will bake the crust at different rates.
- These are my favorite glass mixing bowls.
- Pie dough can be frozen in an airtight container. Let thaw fully in the refrigerator prior to using.
- I have made this recipe several times without wax paper and I don't find the result as satisfying. This dough can be made without the wax paper step, but you will likely have to pat the crust into the pan with your fingers instead of transferring the pie crust in one piece.
- Calorie calculations reflect 6 servings for each pie crust, or 12 total servings.
Did you make this recipe?
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I made this dough yesterday and put in the fridge to roll out today for Chicken pot pie. It was very oily when I took it out of the fridge. Rolled out not too bad, with a few repairs...lol...I hope it's flaky as promised 🙂
Hi Shelley! Repairs definitely happen, haha- I hope it worked out for you!
I hope you get this soon as i'm planning on making this later today. Does this make enough dough for 2 deep dish crusts? Other recipes that I've been looking at have more flour in the recipe. Thanks!
Hi Shelley, It makes enough for two bottom crusts or a top and bottom crust in regular sized pie dishes. I'm not sure about deep dish- it definitely depends how much bigger that is. If it's much bigger than a regular pie crust then it probably won't be enough. I hope this helps!
oops sorry, i just realized I asked you again. My pie dish says 9.5" Any idea how I can increase the ingredients to make more dough for this size ? Thanks
I don't think you will need to add much extra flour. Maybe try 1/2 cup extra flour and add 2-3 teaspoon cold water at a time until it's the right consistency. I can't say for sure if this will work but I hope it helps!
I love the oil pie crust I use syran wrap to roll between
Heretofore I’ve only made all butter or butter / shortening crusts. I have a pie in the freezer resting to bake off using this method. I was with care able to make a wide lattice for top.
I’m excited to soo how it comes out.
I liked how easy it was to make and handle.
I would love to hear how the lattice turns out, I am sure it will be delicious. Thanks for trying this recipe.
I came back to give your lovely pie crust the 5 stars it deserves! I made maple pecan pie with it and the crust was fabulous, thank you again!!!!!0
Thanks so much! Glad you liked it, that sounds like a delicious pie!
I totally agree with CKO, thanks for the non-fluff of getting right to the recipe. I'm 82 and know of no other pie recipe than the oil-based one....it has served me well. However, I never used ice-cold water before until I used this recipe. It has made a world of difference in handling the dough. Without the water, I always had to patch. Once, without Wax Paper, I was forced to use Parchment. It worked even better....it's wider than Was Paper.
Thanks for the review! I actually tried using parchment paper recently (at the recommendation of a friend) and you’re right, it is a great alternative to wax paper because it’s so wide.
Thanks for this recipe - I use this all the time. I find it doesn't work to freeze the dough, though--mine came out crumbly after freezing.
I have made this pie crust several times. My first pie crust ever and it turned out perfectly. I have since shared it with my friends. Love it. Thanks.
Awesome! Thanks so much for the review.
Hey, I thought this was my Mom's recipe! Seriously, it is the best way to make crust. My Mom's pies used to sell for $40 each at our fundraisers.
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
Awesome! Thanks for the review 🙂
Hello, I am going to try your recipe based on the reviews. The other oil recipes I've seen call for milk instead of water. Have you tried milk? Wondering what the difference in taste/texture is. Or, is it water to keep it vegan?
Hi Kathleen, I actually recently had someone tell me that they like using milk instead of water in this recipe. I haven’t tried it myself but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It might even make the crust more tender. Let me know how it works if you give it a go!
I lightly flour the wax paper thats how I keep it from sticking. But if you use too much flour it will move around too much. Just following what my mom taught me a very long time ago. Still works for me! I live in southwest texas!
Enjoyed your site, thanks!
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
That is a great idea! Thanks.
I have been baking for 40 years but some years ago my daughter became vegan and it was nor easy. I have tried several recipes for pie crust with oil but I didn't quite like them. This recipe is a "champion" as we say in Medellin! Absolutely perfect! Thank you very, very much. and you can easily precook it without cooling it before, as others for 10 minutes and then putting the filling either salt or sweet. your Grandma was a genius!
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
Thanks so much for the review! I’ll have to pass it on to my grandma, I know she’d appreciate it.
Can olive oil be used?
Yes, you can use olive oil. Enjoy!
I used 3 parts grapeseed oil and 1 part extra virgin olive oil and it tastes great! I thought about doing all olive oil, but then I thought i wanted something a little more subtle.
I tried the oil crust, but when after baking the crust wouldn't hold together. It crumbled into a million pieces. I had no problem rolling it, though. What could have gone wrong?
It sounds like the dough may have needed a little bit more water/moisture. Or perhaps the oven temp is too hot and dried it out (I usually recommend using an oven thermometer to confirm the oven temp)? Another thought is that it could have baked too long. I hope this helps.
Thanks I had the same problem. I added four because the dough seemed too wet. hmm. Thought it might be because I didn't use salt (heart failure)
Perfect. I normally don’t get along with pie crust, but this recipe turned out great. It will be my go to recipe now. I’d be interested to hear how you recommend doing a blind bake with this recipe.
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
Thank you! I haven't tried blind baking this pie specifically but here is what I would likely do: Roll the dough out in the pie dish and let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes before baking it (can hopefully prevent it from shrinking down while baking). Fully cover the bottom and sides with parchment paper and weigh it down with dry beans. Bake at 350 until the edges start to brown. I'll be sure to report back if I try it out!
I am wondering if I could do have melted butter and have canola oil?
No. If you're using butter, this is the wrong recipe for you. Use a standard recipe.
You are a genius!!!!!! I cannot tell you how much I loved trying this recipe!!!!!!
I only had olive oil and I was really leery if it was going to work or not because it was kind of greasy but oh my goodness it was absolutely fantastic so flaky and beautiful I was blown away...had no olive oil taste either...now I’m gonna try it with canola oil and compare...thank you thank you for this fabulous recipe!!!!!!
Thanks so much for the review!! So happy to hear you liked it and glad that olive oil worked out well.
Can I use my processor instead of a bowl for this receipe?
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
I haven't tried it out myself but think it should work fine. Let us know how it goes if you try!
Quick, easy, tasty and flaky it is a keeper. My grandma's recipe is the same one.
Can you use parchment paper instead of wax paper to roll out dough?
I have only ever tried with wax paper but I do think parchment paper will work.
We are in AZ & have made oil pie crust before but seems like I just can't get it to work here. Do you have suggestions as to what I need to consider or changes in this hot dry climate? I enjoy and use your site often & appreciate how you handle your site. Would sifting the flour be wise or needed?
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
I don’t have experience baking in drier climates (it’s very humid here!) but I’m guessing you might need to add an extra teaspoon or two of water. What problems are you running into with the crust?
Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LD
Also, I am not sure if sifting flour would help but it’s definitely worth a shot!
I’ve live in So. Utah, not quite as hot and dry as AZ. I start with a tablespoon more of water than the recipe, and and another if needed. Works out well. Also the “ice” in the water makes a difference!