These soft and chewy pistachio cookies are easy to make, and you need just a few ingredients. They are loaded with chocolate chunks and chopped pistachios for extra flavor. The taste and color are all-natural from ground pistachio. Without artificial colors and no pudding mix. These cookies are a showstopper and crowd feeder. Be prepared to get asked for the recipe all the time.
Learn everything you need to know about making cookies in my chocolate chip cookies post.
Different kinds of pistachio
The color appearance and taste of these pistachio chocolate chip cookies will depend greatly on the type of pistachio you use. Pistachios can vary in taste, color, and size. The majority of produced pistachios come from Iran and the US. Depending on where you live, you will have just a few different types of pistachios available or maybe only one. I'm currently living in Europe and have pistachios available from Iran and the US.
I use two types of pistachios for this pistachio cookies recipe, but just because I have them available. It will work with any pistachios but keep in mind that the color of the cookies will vary greatly depending on the type of pistachios you use, and your cookies may not turn out as green as mine. Here are the two different types I use:
The pistachios on the left side, I use to chop up and mix into the cookie dough as an add-in. These are Californian roasted, salted, in-shell pistachios. The pistachios on the right, I use for grinding and are part of the pistachio cookie dough. These are green peeled pistachio kernels grade A from Iran. They have a dark green color because they are harvested before they are fully ripened and therefore don't turn yellow.
If I used the Californian pistachios for the cookie dough, the cookies would be less green or not green at all but yellowish. I ground and tried the recipe with both, and both worked great and tasted delicious. So please don't worry too much about the pistachios and their color and use whatever you have available. However, raw shelled pistachios are preferred. The whole point in showing and telling you about the differences is that you understand why your cookies might not turn out as green as mine.
Note: even though I edit all of my photos, I did not enhance the green or alter the color of the cookies. In the video, you see unedited footage. Differences between the appearance in the video and the photos are because of different lighting situations.
Ingredients notes and substitutions
- Baking soda - these cookies are thin and soft with crispy edges and a chewy texture throughout. If you want your cookies to be a bit thicker, replace the baking soda with baking powder, and you will see, they spread less.
- Sugars - I use ¾ cup of sugar and ¼ cup of light brown sugar. I found this to be the best ratio. Every change of ratio will eventually change the texture and thickness of the cookies. However, you can use ½ cup of both sugars if you prefer cookies that are a bit thicker and spread less.
- All-purpose (plain) flour - you can make them gluten-free as well. I recommend Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour.
- Butter and egg - If you practice a vegan diet, please use my recommended butter and egg replacements for vegan cookies but follow this pistachio cookies recipe as directed.
- Green peeled pistachio kernels - You can use any type of pistachio for the dough you have available. I grind them on my own in a food processor. If you prefer to use already ground pistachio or pistachio flour, that is perfectly fine as well. If you would like to try this recipe with other nuts, then research the fat content of the nuts you want to use and compare it to pistachios. They would need to be almost of the same fat content. If you use fatter nuts, like walnuts, for example, the cookies will be very greasy. I imagine that cashews would work fine but did not test it yet.
- Add-ins - I love to add dark chocolate chunks and salted roasted pistachios to the cookies. But you can add any add-ins you love or skip them altogether. I don't recommend adding more than 1 cup in total.
Slowly grind the pistachios in a food processor by only pulsing once, then pause, pulsing once, pause, and so on. If processed too fast, the nuts get too warm and turn into a paste.
You need ½ cup (65g) of ground pistachio for the dough in total.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ground pistachio, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy.
Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined and creamy.
Then add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed just until combined.
Add the chopped pistachios and chocolate chunks, if used, and mix just until well distributed. Cover and chill.
Scoop equal-sized balls of cookie dough,...
roll into balls, and bake.
I wrote a thorough guide on how to make cookies where questions like why cookies turn out flat, don't spread, turn out hard, or how chilling affects the taste and texture are answered. I also share mistakes to avoid and tips for success. So whatever your question, check out my chocolate chip cookies post and find the answer. If your question is still not answered, simply leave a comment below.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
You can prepare the dough for up to 2 days in advance and keep it covered in the fridge. Before you bake it, let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes until it is a soft and spoonable dough. If you wish to freeze the dough, prepare, chill, scoop, and roll the dough as directed and place the dough balls in freezer bags. Let thaw at room temperature for 1-2 hours before baking or in the fridge overnight.
More cookie recipes
Find here some of my favorite recipes which are loved by family, friends, and readers around the world:
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
- Brownie Crinkle Cookies
- Brown Butter Cookies
- Chocolate Cookies
- Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe and Video
Pistachio Cookies Recipe
- ⅓ cup green peeled pistachio kernels (raw shelled pistachios)*
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup roasted, salted pistachios, roughly chopped
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
- Slowly grind the pistachios in a food processor by only pulsing once, then pause, pulsing once, pause, and so on. If processed too fast, the nuts get too warm and turn into a paste. You need ½ cup of ground pistachio in total.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, ½ cup ground pistachio, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with a whisk or paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar on medium-high speed until creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined and creamy, about 1 minute. Then add the flour mixture and mix on medium-low speed just until combined, about 30-60 seconds. Add the chopped pistachios and chocolate chunks, if used, and mix just until well distributed. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours.
- Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Scoop 16 equal-sized balls of cookie dough (2 tablespoon / 45g each cookie), roll into balls, and place them 4 inches (10cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-11 minutes until the edges are lightly browned and set and the centers look underbaked, pale, and puffy.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. They continue baking on the baking sheets. Once they are firm enough to move, transfer them to a cooling rack and let cool completely. They stay fresh and soft for up to 4 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. You can freeze them for up to 3 months.