From sweet to savory, pies are the answer for dinner and dessert.

But, admit it, do the seemingly complex and tedious instructions keep you from making this most American of concoctions? Not so with my pie recipes — I keep them simple.

My Lemon Pie is a chilled, no-bake dessert perfect to serve as the weather warms up. This favorite icebox dessert gets its luscious lemon creaminess by adding lemon juice and lemon rind. And the rind is important. A dash of zest goes a long way and really adds that burst of lemon flavor.

Holly Clegg's Well Done: Recipes for Lemon Pie, Buttermilk Streusel Pie, Chicken Tamale Pie

If chocolate is your thing, then the Mocha Fudgy Brownie Pie, on my site, is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Any chocoholic’s dream, this rich bakery-style pie is made with a brownie mix, instant pudding and whipped topping.

Another easy, mouth-watering dessert is my Buttermilk Streusel Pie, which is reminiscent of creme brulee. The buttermilk gives this pie a to-die-for creamy, custard-like thickness. I like to serve this pie with fresh berries. Be ready to make it often because if your family is like mine, they're going to request this dessert for years to come.

Now let's get to the savory side of pies.

The Chicken Tamale Pie from my "Guys Guide to Eating Well" cookbook will make you feel accomplished in the kitchen with time to spare as this satisfying, flavor-packed meal comes together quickly. Using canned vegetables and my favorite invention ever — rotisserie chicken — you will have this family meal prepped in just minutes. Spiced just right, this hardy one-dish meal has all your favorite Tex-Mex casserole flavors.

Terrific Tips

  • 1 medium lemon provides about 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 2-3 tablespoons of juice
  • Grate lemon for zest before squeezing for juice
  • One cup of lemon juice has only 61 calories, no fat and is extremely high in vitamin C and a good source of foliate and potassium
  • Room-temperature lemons yield more juice than refrigerated ones; microwave them a few seconds before squeezing to help extract more juice
  • With your palm, roll a lemon or lime around on the counter a few times before squeezing
  • If you don’t have buttermilk, mix 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice into 1 cup of milk

Holly Clegg, best-selling national cookbook author of the trim&TERRIFIC & Eating Well cookbook series, specializes in easy, healthy, everyday recipes. Visit her website, The Healthy Cooking Blog. Follow her on and Email her at