How to Make Homemade Pistachio Paste

5 from 9 votes

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Super easy homemade pistachio paste. Sharing my proven tips to get a smooth texture and vibrant green color every time!

A glass jar of smooth pistachio paste.

To make the most incredibly gorgeous pistachio paste, you only need ONE ingredient: pistachios!

Would you believe this beautiful nut butter has zero food coloring? True story!

And the color wasn’t even painted in Photoshop. I promise! It’s naturally this vibrant green! And oh my goodness, so deliciously pistachio-y!

Over the years, I’ve made pistachio paste of many different shades, from dark brown (eek!) to bright and green. While a lot depends on the varity of pistachios you’re working with, I have some tips for you to up your chances of nice and green pistachio paste.

What kind pistachios to use:

Beautiful and delicious pistachio paste starts with the right kind of pistachios!

If you want bright green pistachio paste, choosing the right kind is the key!!

Roasted salted shelled pistachios with skin-on make a brown paste that’s super unappealing, I might say. Frankly, it does taste good. But keep those for snacking!

You’ll need raw pistachios. Raw pistachios means unsalted and not roasted. Also, pistachios from different regions result in different final product.

  • Raw Shelled Pistachios: I’ve used these California shelled pistachios. They’re decent quality, but you’ll need to blanch and peel the brown skin to ensure brighter green paste.
  • Slivered Pistachios: Now, if you want to avoid blanching and peeling step (because it can get pretty tedius!!), you can pay a little extra and get slivered pistachios.

The Secret to Vibrant Green Pistachio Paste:

There’re many different varieties of pistachio from different regions. And they all vary in color and taste.

California pistachios are the most common in the U.S. And unfortunately, they do tend to yield a darker, less vibrant green paste.

But there’s a way to make them less brown and encourage the brighter green color, even with California pistachios!

  1. Blanch the pistachios: the green color instantly brightens.
  2. Peel off the brown skin: removing any impurities helps to keep the beautiful green color of the pistachio.

How to remove brown skin off of pistachios:

1. Blanch the pistachios

  • Bring a pot of water to a boil
  • Add the pistachios, and remove the pot from the heat. 
  • Soak for 30 seconds and transfer into a bowl with ice water.
  • Transfer the cooled pistachios to a clean kitchen towel.
A pot of water with pistachios.

2. Rub off brown skin

  • Gently rub the blanched pistachios between the cloth to peel off the brown skin.
  • You may need to help some stubborn ones by peeling individually with your fingers. Separate the peeled pistachions from the brown skin. This process can be a bit tedious, but I promise it’s worth it! 
3 images of peeling blanched pistachios on a white towel.

How to make pistachio paste:

  1. Add the prepared pistachios into a food processor.
  2. Process until nice and smooth, adding a little bit of water to get things going smoother.

During this process, pistachios go through the following stages: whole nuts -> crumbs -> powder (or pistachio flour) -> paste. And the entire process takes less than 5 minutes!

Cost effective, incredibly delicious, healthy homemade pistachio paste!

Smooth pistachio paste in a food processor.

How to use homemade pistachio paste:

This flavorful pistachio butter can be used in so many delicious desserts, like my pistachio macarons, pistachio ice cream, pistachio buttercream, and so much more.

I can’t wait to make amazing desserts incorporating this tasty nut butter.

Pistachio paste also makes an awesome snack! Spread it on a toast, or cracker, or just grab a spoon and dig in.

Pistachio paste in a white bowl with 2 spoons.

Storing Tips:

  • Store pistachio paste in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
  • You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

My Favorite Pistachio Recipes:

Video Tutorial

A glass jar of smooth pistachio paste.
5 from 9 votes

Homemade Pistachio Paste

Super easy homemade pistachio paste. Sharing my proven tips to get a smooth texture and vibrant green color every time!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Yields: About 180g pistachio paste



To peel the brown skin off:

  • To remove brown skin, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add pistachios and remove from heat. Soak for 30 seonds or so and transfer into a bowl of ice water.
  • Drain the pistachios onto a clean kitchen towel. Rub it gently and peel off the brown skin.

To make pistachio paste:

  • In a food processor, put cleaned pistachios and process for 2 minutes, until pastey.
  • Add up to ¼ cup of water and continue to process for another minute, or until nice and smooth.
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: Use unsalted raw pistachios.
– Raw Shelled Pistachios: I’ve used these California shelled pistachios. They’re decent quality, but you’ll need to blanch and peel the brown skin to ensure brighter green paste.
– Slivered Pistachios: Now, if you want to avoid blanching and peeling step (because it can get pretty tedius!!), you can pay a little extra and get slivered pistachios.


Serving: 1batch, Calories: 117kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 207mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 53IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: filling
Cuisine: American

This recipe was originally published on March 6, 2015.

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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  1. Hi.. thanks for the recipe. But I have roasted and salted pistachios can I use these nuts to make the paste or I have to use raw nuts?

    1. Hi, Thanusha. Yes, you can make it with roasted and salted pistachios, but it’ll be brown color. I’ve included the comparion picture above. Please read the post for more details. Thanks!

  2. Instead of a little water is it ok to use a little pistachio oil, or will that alter the correct texture?

    1. Hi, Francesca. Unfortunately, I’ve never tried adding pistachio oil instead of water and I have no idea how it’ll affect the texture.

  3. I decided to purchase the nuts still in their shell thinking it would be no big deal to remove the shells myself since I only needed one cup to make this recipe. Never has a one cup measuring utensil seemed so deep! It seemed to take forever, but really only 20 minutes. I knew it was worth it, though, to achieve the bright green color. I am using it to make a strawberry tart with a pistachio and almond cream filling for the 4th, today. I sooo appreciate your showing both the green and the brown results of preparing the pistachios – it really sealed the deal to go the extra mile. Thank You!!!!!

    1. Haha, I know exactly what you mean, Debbie! Shelling pistachios seems to take way longer than if we would have been eating them. Your tart sounds fantastic! And I’m so glad my tip was helpful. Thank you for your feedback!

  4. Mine keeps coming into a ball in the food processor and doesn’t look quite as smooth as the pic. But since it keeps coming into a ball I can’t process it further. Asses a little more water but hesitant to add too much. 

  5. That’s actually pistachio butter. Pistachio paste is a different thing, made with sugared/caramelized nuts.

  6. Hello! I’m excited to try these this weekend but I need to make more than 20. Is it okay if I just literally double the recipe? 

    1. Hi, Sarah. Are you making pistachio macarons? If so, I usually never double macaron recipe. But if you’re experienced and confident with folding technique, you sure can double it.

      1. Hello again. Yes, I was planning on making the pistachio macaron. I’m definitely neither experienced or confident with the folding technique so I will plan on making two batches just to be safe. Thanks for responding! 

      2. I also just realized I was switching back and forth between the pistachio macaron recipe and the paste and accidentally posted my original question about macaron here. Sorry for any confusion!!

  7. hello! thank you for the great tip for getting a lovely green paste. Would it taste even better if the skinless pistachios are roasted before they are ground?

    1. Hi, Anna. I haven’t tried that, because I’m afraid they’ll turn a little brown and we may lose that bright green color. You can give it a try though. If you do, please let me know how it turns out.

    1. Hi, James. So, if my math is right, you’ll get about 2.5 cups of pistachio paste from 1lb of shelled pistachios. Hope this helps.