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Costco vs. Sam's Club: Which Has the Best Pumpkin Pie?

America's leading warehouse clubs both sell big pumpkin pies at low prices, but which one tastes the best?
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While some people may associate pumpkin pie only with Thanksgiving, it's actually a great fall dessert for just about anytime you're having friends over, feeling like something sweet, or just want pie!

If you're a pumpkin pie lover, you know that a good one will be full of great spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, and cloves. This combo is the very definition of a warm and cozy dessert. You want the filling to be just right—not too soggy—and you need a perfect, flaky crust to hold it all together.

If you're planning on setting out a pumpkin pie this fall, you could bake one up at home, but since many major grocery stores are already making them in their bakery departments right now, why not take the easy route and just buy one?

Both of America's leading warehouse clubs, Costco and Sam's Club, offer very big pumpkin pies at very low prices. So, I wanted to know which store has the freshest, best-tasting rendition. In order to compare the two pies, I purchased both of them on the same day and then cut a slice of each to do a side-by-side evaluation.

Both pies looked big and inviting but I had the feeling that only one of them would be Thanksgiving table-worthy, and I was right! Whether you're a pumpkin pie fan, or just looking to expand your array of fall pumpkin-flavored desserts, read this before you buy!

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Pumpkin pie from Costco
Ronnie Koenig for Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (1/12TH PIE): 320 cal, 11 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 380 mg sodium, 48 g carbs (1 g fiber, 31 g sugar), 6 g protein

The look: This huge pumpkin pie had a dark orange color which was appealing, but looked very wet in the middle, which made me think that it was underbaked. If I were not doing this test, I would hesitate to even pick this pie up just due to the amount of moisture that is visible on top of the pie. The crust had a crumbly, graham cracker look to it, which I liked.

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costco pumpkin pie
Ronnie Koenig

The taste: Biting into a slice of this pie was like eating a mouthful of baby food! The filling tasted like straight-up pumpkin purée. Although it had a strong level of spice to it, I couldn't get past the consistency being so wet. I did prefer the crust on this pie, though, as it was crumblier and sweeter than the Sam's Club crust.

The value: At $5.99 for a nearly 12-inch pie this was a great value. You could easily feed a big Thanksgiving table full of friends and family with this pie–if, that is, mushy filling is your thing!

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Sam's Club

Pumpkin pie from Sam's Club
Ronnie Koenig for Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (1/12TH PIE): 370 cal, 15 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 420 mg sodium, 54 g carbs (1 g fiber, 34 g sugar), 7 g protein

The look: This huge pumpkin pie had a perfect orangey-brown color and a flaky looking crust. Cutting a slice, I noticed that the filling looked very firm, and was lighter in color than the Costco pie. The crust here looked a bit doughier.

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sam's club pumpkin pie
Ronnie Koenig

The taste: Biting in, the Sam's Club pumpkin pie had a strong mix of the spices that really shine in a pumpkin pie. The cinnamon and sugar were very forward, and the consistency of the pie was substantial, almost like a lighter version of cheesecake.

The value: At $6.98, this pie was almost exactly the same size as the Costco pie but cost slightly more. While I preferred the crust and the color on the Costco dessert, the proof is in the filling, and the Sam's Club pie was the clear overall winner. This Thanksgiving, you'll want Sam' Club's pumpkin pie on your holiday table.

Ronnie Koenig
Ronnie Koenig has written about food, drink, travel and culture for The New York Times, TODAY, The Atlantic and many others. Read more about Ronnie
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