Thanksgiving celebrates a season of gratitude, and what better way to feel grateful than while sampling a selection of carefully curated grocery store pies? Grocery chains are the premier innovators of unhealthy and fattening — yet inexplicably satisfying — baked goods that keep your cravings at bay on a budget. Although some of these quick-fix substitutes to homemade foods score touchdowns, others are an absolute and utter waste of ingredients. After sampling six grocery store pies, I am here to dispel the truth and spill the tea about which stores are actually worth shunning your mother’s cooking for.

Kroger Bakery Fresh Goodness Cherry Pie (5/5)

Aromatic and luscious cherries marry a buttery crumb topping to present an excellent pairing for a delectable pie that will occupy your thoughts for the entirety of Thanksgiving break. The suave smoothness and velvety goodness of the cherry filling will make resisting your temptation to savor and relish the entire pie in a single sitting a nearly impossible feat. With a fragrant and nostalgic scent of Midwestern cherry orchards, this $3.99 piquant pie is appetizing enough to replace an entire Thanksgiving feast.   

Kroger Bakery Fresh Goodness Sweet Potato Pie (4/5)

A crisp crust, a homely and wholesome filling, and a diet-friendly pie that won’t make you question whether you should have another piece — what more can you ask for at Thanksgiving? I tasted the decadent sweet potato, I felt the fragile dough crumble in my mouth and I heard melodious bells chiming in my ears as I bit into this delicious delicacy. At $3.99, this pie checked all my boxes in terms of its texture and flavor profile, and is a flawless choice for a low-calorie yet highly satisfactory Thanksgiving treat. 

Publix Lemon Meringue Pie (4/5)

You will find yourself being whisked away to the citrus groves of the Mediterranean with this tangy, rich and pungent pie that certainly packs a punch. The fluffy and fresh marshmallow meringue melted upon immediate contact with my lips and was like an orchestra serenading my taste buds with a delicate yet lavish taste of lemon. At $5.99, this handsome pie is a splendid accompaniment for a date with your Netflix account while rejuvenating in bed over Thanksgiving break.       

Publix Small Guava Pie (5/5)

This guava treat is an invigorating way to spice things up during your Thanksgiving festivities, especially if you are bored with the traditional pumpkin and pecan pie options. With a peppery and poignant guava jam filling and a tender crust, this pie will tingle your taste buds and stimulate your senses. Perfect when paired with some creamy vanilla ice cream, this pie is a surprising twist on a traditional Thanksgiving. As a hidden gem amidst a sea of conventional and ordinary flavors, this $1.59 pie offers a gratifying end to a refreshing and indulgent fiesta.  

Walmart The Bakery Mini Peach Pie (1/5)

Biting into this pie, the only thing that I felt thankful for, was its mini size. The crust was a stubborn piece of dough that refused to travel down my throat while the amount of peach filling reminded me of the level of generosity of the miniature desserts at Dobbs Common Table. Like a piece of clay covering a flavorless sludge of brown paste, this “pie” does not represent the savory and sensual flavor of peaches in the slightest. Purchasing this pie even at the nominal $0.50 price point will be a bigger mistake than actually sinking your teeth into it.

Walmart The Bakery Mini Lemon Pie (2/5)

Zesty lemon, heavenly cream and a succulent, flaky crust are merely three hallmark features of a quintessential Thanksgiving lemon pie that are missing from this purchase, which at first seemed full of promise. With an overload of sugar and a chewy crust, this pie took me back to the repulsive days of eating the desserts offered at my high school cafeteria instead of the sun-splashed tropics. Although this individually sized pie at $0.50 is terrific to satisfy a late-night craving right before bed, it will certainly not leave you lusting for seconds.

Conclusion

Thanksgiving is synonymous with pie: a ubiquitous presence in most households commemorating the period of gratitude. The halls of grocery stores are decked with fall-themed paraphernalia, scarce remnants of the spooky season, and of course, pies. However, some of these pies should be left on the shelves to be forgotten forever, and should never touch anyone’s lips. Ultimately, this Thanksgiving, keep your hearts happy and your stomachs full with plenty of pie, but be wary of those disappointing pastries which will empty your desire for a hearty and robust meal.