How to Make Homemade Pistachio Paste

5 from 11 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 11 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. Hello!

    Does roasting the pistachios take away the potency of the flavor itself or no? I am just curious if the raw/slightly boiled pistachio has a stronger flavor than roasted.


    1. Hi, Jaime. No, actually roasting nuts enhances the nutty flavors. But I don’t use roasted pistachios purely for that bright green color.

  2. 5 stars
    I accidentally purchased dry roasted in the shell pistachios this morning instead of raw pistachios! I still moved forward and followed every step in your recipe. When peeling the skin I noticed that 90% of the pistachios were bright green. After adding pistachios to the food processor along with water I am happy to say that this pistachio paste is bright green like wasabi! Can’t wait to make this paste in to pistachio flavored Italian buttercream for my pistachio Macarons!!!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this to put in a pistachio cheesecake in place of store-bought pistachio paste! I halved the recipe and it worked great. It isn’t QUITE as green as yours, but probably 90%, which is a-ok with me since it’s going inside the cheesecake filling. Will be linking to this post when the post is up on my site! Thanks, Shinee!

    1. Thanks so much, Lynn! Glad it worked out for you. The color definitely depends on the pistachios. I’ve had less bright green ones as well in the past with different brands of pistachios.

  4. Hi, I saw another pistachio paste/butter recipe that said DO NOT add water and to add a little oil instead. I’m wondering which advice to follow as you both have the most clear recipe, can you clear up this confusion? Thank you

    1. Hi, Hattie. I wonder what’s the reasoning for not adding water? I’ve always added water (very small amount!) to thin out the mixture, and I never had any problem. So I’d ask the author of other recipe why he/she doesn’t advise adding water.

      1. If someone wanted to make a fat-based chocolate ganache with homemade pistachios per your recipe they could use a small amount of olive oil. Chocolate and water do not mix especially for ganaches. Also, the Aw (active water) is a serious detriment to shelf life stability.

        1. Hi, Alex. Oh, that makes sense!! Thanks so much for sharing that perspective, I didn’t even think of that. Though I’ve used my homemade pistachio paste for making ganache with great success, I agree the shelf life of the final product, especially if they’re meant for selling.

  5. 5 stars
    I followed this to make pistachio butter to then make ice cream and fill macarons. Great steps! It certainly was green! My husband thought it was guacamole.
    While I love pistachios (hence making pistachio ice cream and macarons) I was a little disappointed at the taste/texture of the pistachio butter straight. Can’t fault the recipe for that since that is what pistachio butter tastes like I guess, worked great in the ice cream.

    1. Haha I’m so happy your pistachio paste was so green that it passed as guacamole! 🙂 I bet it tasted too rich. Now, I’m craving pistachio ice cream. Thanks for your feedback, Mak!

  6. Hi, I would like to make this with the roasted salted pistachios I have on hand, I’m wondering if blanching and peeling them is worthwhile, have you tried peeling roasted pistachios?

  7. Hi, thanks for posting this recipe. I am making Paris Brest and I want to add this paste to my pastry cream. How much pistachios should I use if I am making about 3 cups of pastry cream?

  8. 5 stars
    I tried your recipe and it all came out very good. Thank you for the important tips on how to peel the pistachios to get vibrant green color. It works very well.

  9. I cannot find raw pistachios for the life of me. And I’m trying to make pistachio paste for coquito lol…. Can I use roasted unsalted ones instead?

    1. Hi, Maya. Yes, you may use roasted pistachios for pistachio paste. But beware, it won’t be this bright green colored paste. I’ve included the picture of the pistachio paste made with roasted pistachios in the post above.

  10. I been looking to make Pistachio “Coquito” (Puerto Rican holiday drink – Pistachio will give it a twist) and i want to do the paste from scratch not like recipes I seen from syrups and food coloring. THANK YOU. I will let you know how it comes out.

    1. OMG that is funny because I was looking for pistachio paste for the same reason to make coquito cheers and Shinee thank you for posting the recipe