Delicious homemade pistachio butter (pistachio paste) made with just one ingredient - pistachios!
I use pistachio butter all the time, it's one of my all-time favorite ingredients to use in desserts, but pre-made pistachio butter can be tricky to find and is usually quite expensive.
Since I love sharing all my pistachio dessert recipes, I thought I'd show you how to make your own pistachio butter at home so you can enjoy things like my Pistachio Cake recipe and my Pistachio Muffins.
- Homemade vs Store-bought
- What Kind of Pistachios To Use
- Pistachio Butter vs Pistachio Paste
- Pistachio Butter vs Pistachio Cream
- Ways to Use Pistachio Butter
- How to Get Really Green Pistachio Paste
- Can You Make Other Nut Butters With This Recipe?
- Is Pistachio Butter Healthy?
Homemade vs Store-bought
Real pistachio butter (or pistachio paste) only has one ingredient in it - pistachios. You can buy pistachio butter in specialty grocery stores, but make sure you check the product packaging carefully to see that the only ingredients are pistachios, and maybe a little salt and oil. If it's full of artificial flavors and added preservatives, the quality just won't be as good. This pistachio butter recipe will ensure you pure, high-quality pistachio butter to enjoy on your morning toast, as a dip, or to make all kinds of wonderful desserts!
Pistachios - As I said, there's only one ingredient, the pistachios really are the star of the show! See my section below on what kind of pistachios to use for more information on how to choose the best nuts for your butter.
- Before turning the pistachio nuts into a paste, we want to roast them in the oven for 10 minutes to help release all the natural oils in the nuts. This will help them to blend up into a lovely paste consistency. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C and lay your pistachios out on a baking sheet. The pistachios should be out of their shells for this, so either buy shelled pistachios or take all the shells off yourself.
- Roast the pistachios for 10 minutes, giving them a good shake halfway through to turn them over and move them around. It is possible to make your own homemade nut butter without doing the roasting step, but the nuts won't blend as easily and may not give you a nice creamy texture.
- After 10 minutes, remove the pistachios from the oven and allow them to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
- Put your pistachios in a food processor or high-speed blender and begin to blitz them. You'll see them go through several stages - first, they'll be small chunks of pistachio, then eventually a fine powder (pistachio flour). Keep going and the pistachio flour will start to get thick and moist and eventually clump together into a ball, keep processing and the ball will eventually turn into a lovely, smooth pistachio paste.
- If you want to use your pistachio butter to spread on toast or for a dip or something, you may want to add a little salt, if so, add it at this stage and then blitz for a few more seconds. Otherwise, remove the pistachio paste from the bowl and transfer to a jar until ready to use.
My pistachios are too thick and won't blend into a paste - This could be that your food processor or blender isn't powerful enough, or it could be that the pistachios weren't roasted long enough to release their natural oils. Try adding 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable oil, canola oil or coconut oil work best - olive oil adds too much of a flavor) and blend for a little bit longer.
My pistachios keep getting stuck - Some food processors may need you to scrape down the sides of the bowl more than others. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides every time it gets stuck. Do not try to move the mixture with your hands as the blades are very sharp!
What Kind of Pistachios To Use
There are so many different kinds of pistachios out there. Really, you could make this recipe with any kind of pistachios, but here are some tips to help you decide which kind is best for you.
Shelled or Unshelled?
First off, make your life easier and buy some shelled pistachios if you can. (Shelled means the shells have been taken off) You need a lot of pistachios to make pistachio butter, so save yourself from this tedious task and sore fingers! If you can't find shelled pistachios, there is no difference to the recipe to use unshelled ones, you'll just have to go through the process of removing all the shells yourself.
Salted or Unsalted?
If you intend to use your pistachio paste in baking, it's best to use unsalted pistachios, this way you can control how much salt goes into the end product. If you are using it to spread on toast or as a dip, you might want the extra salt. For the safest option, use unsalted and you can always add salt to taste later.
Raw or roasted?
If you want your pistachio butter to come out a really bright green color, use raw pistachios - they are slightly bigger and deep green all over. These are a little harder to come by but will give you a really vibrant green butter. If the color doesn't matter to you, you can use regular, roasted pistachios (the ones with all the pretty pink colors. I always use regular roasted pistachios and you can see the color result in my photos above. It still results in green nut butter, but it can have a brownish tint, which personally I don't mind.
Pistachio Butter vs Pistachio Paste
Pistachio butter and pistachio paste are just two different names for the same thing, they are both just pure pistachios that have been crushed up and made into a paste that can be used in baking or as a spread (like butter).
Pistachio Butter vs Pistachio Cream
Pistachio cream is different from pistachio butter. Pistachio cream is pistachio butter that has been combined with other ingredients to make a delicious pistachio-flavored filling, often used in eclairs and cream puffs. You can also buy pistachio cream ready-made.
Ways to Use Pistachio Butter
Let me count the ways! I use this homemade pistachio butter recipe in SO many of my bakes. Here are a few of my pistachio dessert recipes using it:
- Italian Pistachio Cake
- Pistachio Cookies
- Pistachio Cupcakes with Pistachio Frosting
- Pistachio Muffins
- Pistachio Cannoli
You could also use it to:
- Make ice cream
- Spread on toast
- Mix into your yogurt or oatmeal
- As a dip for fruit
How to Get Really Green Pistachio Paste
There are two things you can do to get a super vibrant green pistachio butter. The first is to do with the type of pistachios you buy (see section above). You want to look for raw pistachios, the slightly larger ones that are dark green all over.
The second thing is to peel the pistachio skins off. Many other blog posts will tell you to boil your pistachios for 10 minutes and then rub them with a towel and individually pick off all the little pieces of skin from each pistachio.
If you really want a pure green color, you can do this, but personally, I think life is too short to be picking skins off of pistachios, especially since you end up with an insanely tasty nut butter either way. The skins do not result in any kind of different flavor, it is purely aesthetic.
Can You Make Other Nut Butters With This Recipe?
Absolutely! This same method can be used to make all sorts of homemade nut butter recipes, such as almond butter, peanut butter, or cashew butter. You could even make some hazelnut butter with a little cocoa powder mixed in to make a nut butter alternative to Nutella! Just follow the recipe the exact same but with whatever type of nuts you like.
Is Pistachio Butter Healthy?
Although all nut butters have a naturally high (healthy) fat content, pistachio butter is lower in calories than other kinds of nut butters and is packed with antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin B. It can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, balance blood sugar, and even help you sleep! Get more nutrition information and health benefits of pistachio butter here.
You definitely need a strong food processor or high speed blender to make pistachio butter. The motor needs to be powerful enough to bring out the oils in the nuts and blend it together into a creamy pistachio butter. I am using a Magimix 5200xl and I love it so far.
Sweet Pistachio Butter - To take your pistachio butter to the next level, try adding some maple syrup or other natural sweetener to make a lovely sweet pistachio spread to put on toast or in your morning porridge. Liquid sweeteners work best for consistency, but you can add whatever you like.
Crunchy Pistachio Butter - The less you process your pistachio butter, the chunkier it will be. If you prefer to have some chunks in there, don't process it for quite such a long time.
Combine Nuts - You could try combining pistachios with some of your other favorite nuts, or even something like sunflower seeds to create different flavor combinations.
Keep your pistachio butter in a jar or other airtight container. It will be good in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Pistachio Butter (Pistachio Paste)
- 2 cups Pistachios without the shells (see notes)
- Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C and spread your pistachios out on a baking sheet.2 cups Pistachios
- Roast the pistachios for 10 minutes, giving them a little shake half way through to turn them over a bit.
- Remove from the oven and let the nuts cool completely.
- Once cooled, put the pistachios in a food processor and blitz them.
- You'll see the pistachios go through stages, from chunky, to a fine powder, then it will start to clump together, eventually form a ball, then finally it will turn into a lovely, smooth pistachio paste.
- If you want salted pistachio butter, add salt now to taste, then blitz for another few seconds. If you want unsalted pistachio butter, transfer it straight to a jar.
If you intend to use your pistachio paste in baking, it's best to use unsalted pistachios, this way you can control how much salt goes into the end product. If you are using it to spread on toast or as a dip, you might want the extra salt. For the safest option, use unsalted and you can always add salt to taste later. Raw or roasted? If you want your pistachio butter to come out a really bright green color, use raw (unroasted) pistachio nuts. These are slightly harder to come by, but will make it easier to have a super vibrant color. If the color doesn't matter to you, you can use regular, roasted pistachios (the ones with all the pretty pink colors. I always use regular roasted pistachios and you can see the color result in my photos above. Shelled or Unshelled? Definitely use shelled pistachios if you can to save you the trouble of taking all those shells off! You can buy pistachios already taken out of the shell so you don't have the tedious process and sore fingers afterward.