From frozen shells to box mixes, these taste test winners are here to save your holiday season.
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Fall apples, pumpkin mania, Thanksgiving feasts, and Christmas holiday dessert tables… this is peak pie season (although don't forget those peach pies of the summer). But for many home cooks, the difference between making pie and not making pie is crust panic. If you do not make pastry regularly, homemade pie crust can be daunting and results spotty.

Apple Pie
Credit: Getty / Ekaterina Smirnova

Can any store-bought crusts really stand up to scrutiny? The short answer is yes, and you should never let lack of crust confidence keep you from pie-making! I tested a round-up of store-bought pie crust options, and here were the top five from frozen shells to boxed mixes. Let the baking begin! 

Betty Crocker
Credit: Courtesy Amazon

Best boxed pie crust mix: Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix

You could have knocked me over when I discovered that a crust I tested and loved would come out of a box. But Betty Crocker pie crust mix delivers great flavor and serious flakiness with just-add-water simplicity. I recommend rolling between sheets of parchment, but I was really happy with the results of this boxed mix and would absolutely seek it out again if I needed fast and easy pie crust.

Buy it: Betty Crocker Pie Crust Mix ($14.99 for 3 pack),

Maine Pie Co.
Credit: Courtesy The Maine Pie Co.

Best frozen pie crust shell for sweet pies: The Maine Pie Co. Frozen Shells

The Maine Pie Company makes a frozen pie shell that is available in the freezer section of your grocery store (or online direct from the company below), and I liked it best of the pre-formed shells for sweet pies. It has a crisp texture and sweet finish that is almost like a pate sucre or cookie-like crust and is ideal for fruit fillings or cream pies alike. And did I mention that it's gluten free?

Buy it: The Maine Pie Co. Frozen Shells ($7.99 for 2-count),

Marie Callendar Pie Crust
Credit: Courtesy Marie Callender's

Best frozen pie crust shell for savory pies: Marie Callender's Deep Dish Pastry Pie Shells

Marie Callender's deep dish pie shells in the freezer section are just what you want for a pot pie or quiche. Nice buttery flavor, tender crumb and subtle saltiness make it a good match for those savory flavors.

Buy it: Marie Callender's Deep Dish Pastry Pie Shells ($3.79 for 2-count),

Kroger Pie Crust
Credit: Courtesy Kroger

Best already rolled pie crusts: Kroger Ready-To-Bake 9-Inch Pie Crusts

Kroger pie crusts were my favorite of the already rolled discs of dough. Nice flavor and good texture, it works well for both blind baking and raw baked pies. Easy to use, and readily available, not to mention super affordable, it was the best of all the rolled crusts I tested.

Buy it: Kroger Ready-To-Bake 9-Inch Pie Crusts ($1.79 for 2-count),

Ready to Roll Pie Dough
Credit: Courtesy Ready to Roll Dough

Best homemade style: Ready to Roll Dough

The crust I keep stocked in my freezer at all times is Ready to Roll Dough. This Chicago-based company is now available in 9 states across the Midwest in Whole Foods and other local markets, and they are expanding their reach every day. Every disc is made by hand from premium ingredients and comes in both sweet and savory versions for all your pastry needs. Since you roll it yourself, you have maximum control over thickness and size and to be honest, if you are not making your own pastry frequently, this dough will be superior to any you might craft yourself. If you are not living in the Midwest, I seriously would ask a flyover state pal to overnight you some. It was a complete game-changer for me.

Buy it: Ready to Roll Dough (price varies), at Whole Foods and other retailers