16 sweet and savory ways to use pistachios

From mini cheesecakes to weeknight pasta, we've got you covered

Published May 17, 2022 12:15PM (EDT)

 (Rocky Luten / Food52)
(Rocky Luten / Food52)

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Though almonds and walnuts receive their fair share of admiration, the bright, funky pistachio is arguably the most versatile nut in your pantry. Great as a snack on their own, these nuts can also coat meat and poultry, dress up a simple sandwich, and upgrade any and every dessert. Even better, their vibrant green hue turns the simplest treat into a stunning dessert. So stock up, shell away, and give pistachios the praise they deserve with these sweet and savory recipes. — Taylor Schwartz

1. Strawberry and Pistachio Knafeh Cookies

PIstachios aren't all that beautiful used whole. It's when you expose that saturated green interior that things really get going, as in these no-bake cookies (along with rose petals and melted white chocolate) they're simply stunning.

2. Smoky Eggplant with Whipped Ricotta and Pistachios

Summer starts with this starter. Eggplant, which is in season all summer long, is cut in half and grilled until charred on the outside and totally tender in the middle. It's then served over a bed of whipped ricotta and sprinkled with pistachios.

3. No-Bake Pistachio Mini Cheesecakes

When you can't bear the thought of turning on your oven and making your walk-up apartment hotter than it already is (sorry, I'm making this about me), there are these easy individual cheesecakes that are made in muffin tins.

4. Nectarine and Pistachio Crumble

You asked for fruit crumble and we delivered in a big way: with a pistachio streusel sprinkled generously over the stone fruit filling.

5. Pistachio Cookies (Pastine di Pistacchi)

These traditional Sicilian cookies only need seven ingredients, but each one is just as important as the next — pistachios bring color and body, sugar and honey work in tandem to make these sweet, and the zest of oranges and lemons introduce some needed brightness.

6. Food-Processor Pistachio Cake with Raspberry Cream

A fluffy, moist cake that's not made in a stand mixer? You better believe it. There's a lot of pistachio paste in this recipe, which not only gives the cake its earthy green hue, but also brings nutty flavor to every bite.

7. Lacy Honey-Pistachio Florentines (aka Nutty Nudes)

Florentine cookies are notoriously intimidating and fragile in nature, but Rick Martinez offers a convincing case for why you should make them anyway: They require basic pantry ingredients, can be made in one bowl, and are delicious when made with any kind of chocolate.

8. Mint-Pistachio Pesto

Our readers voted this their favorite recipe made with mint, but we also think it's one of the best recipes made with pistachios. This pesto is slightly chunkier than classic basil pesto, but we love the texture (especially when twirled into pasta or smeared on crostini).

9. Asparagus Pasta with Pistachio Aillade

We welcome spring with open arms and this green-as-can-be pasta dish. In addition to the pistachios, tarragon, parsley, asparagus, and spring onions join forces for one zippy recipe.

10. Chocolate-Dunked Pistachio Shortbread

I can't think of any cookie that doesn't benefit from being dipped in chocolate. We love how the vibrant green pistachios look against the dark chocolate and buttery shortbread cookie.

11. Pistachio Cake with Lemon, Cardamom, and Rose Water

Equal parts of ground pistachios and almond flour form the base for this absolutely lovely lemon-rose cake that tastes like how a sunny, 60-degree spring day feels.

12. Fried Feta with Pistachios and Hot Honey

In a similar format to halloumi or your favorite cheese ball, a block of feta is crusted with dried herbs, pistachios, hot honey, and lemon juice. Serve with a lot of pita or crostini because everyonewill want to try it.

13. Pistachio Cream Puffs

Confession: I've never baked cream puffs before. It's not that they're unappealing to me, I swear. It's just that they're a little fussy and less practical than a batch of cookies or even cupcakes. But leave it to Erin Jeanne McDowell to convince me otherwise.

14. Jeweled Butter Cookies

More chocolate-dipped cookies for the win — this time inspired by your favorite fruitcake!

15. Olive Oil Blondies with Salted Caramel

You definitely don't need to add chopped nuts like pistachios to these rich blondies…but you definitely should anyway.

By Kelly Vaughan

MORE FROM Kelly Vaughan

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