How to Make Homemade Pistachio Paste

5 from 15 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 15 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.


Servings: 1 batch
Calories: 117kcal
Carbohydrates: 6g
Protein: 4g
Fat: 9g
Sugar: 2g
Sodium: 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.

5 from 15 votes (8 ratings without comment)

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  1. I made this with raw pistachios and it came out very nice and green. I pulsed it in the cuisinart for the time stated, but it was a little grainy when done. Any harm in pulsing it for twice as long?

  2. 5 stars
    I made this recipe with roasted shelled pistachios. I’ll have to try it with raw next time since my final color was a lot less green, but still more green than not removing the skins. It was definitely more work to remove the skins than I expected, but maybe that had to do with the roasted pistachios. I might also work in smaller batches (1/2 cup at a time) next so the blanched pistachios have more chance to rub against the towel. Thank you for posting this recipe!

    1. I haven’t tried this recipe but I did use one that has you blanch the nuts. They made it sound as if those skins were going to come right off but like you I didn’t experience that. It took longer to get them off than it did to make the paste and use and finish it in the dessert I was making. I had to do the rubbing in small patches but when that didn’t work either I had to do them one by one. I just want others to know that this is something you’re going to come up against if you decide to blanch them to get the color. I’m not a big fan on using food coloring unless I have to but that’s exactly what I did the last time I made a batch, lol. It saved me A LOT of time and frustration so that made it so worth it…

  3. I was so relieved to find this recipe! I needed pistachio paste for a ricotta cheesecake I had planned to make for Easter, but had forgotten to obtain by the time Saturday rolled around and I needed to do the baking. To all those who only have roasted pistachios on hand (as was the case with me): worry not! I saw another comment posted that the roasted nuts are indeed still green, so I forged ahead. As the author of the recipe notes, roasting actually gives the nuts MORE flavor, and as I experienced, shelling the nuts causes much of the skin to come off (and if you rub even a little more, can be almost totally removed). With much less work or time than going through the blanching process (or running out to the store in search of raw pistachios) I had perfectly green, tasty pistachio paste to use in this recipe – which worked perfectly. Thank you!

    1. I’m so happy that roasted nuts worked for you! Thank you so much for sharing your tips and feedback, Sonja!!!