Italian Pistachio Cookies are a classic Italian cookie with chopped pistachios that are so simple to make! You’re going to love the subtle pistachio flavor of these soft cookies that are ready in 20 minutes!

Italian Pistachio Cookies stacked on each other on a countertop.

If you love pistachios, these cookies are for you! They are soft and mildly pistachio-flavored with a sweet and melt-in-your mouth bite! 

If you love Italian cookies, be sure to try these super soft Almond Ricotta Cookies or these Italian Almond Chocolate Cookies. For a delicious nutty cake, be sure to check out this recipe for Almond Ricotta Cake. If you love fall flavors, be sure to try these Apple Spice Cookies!

You’ll Love Italian Pistachio Cookies!

This recipe has been tested and perfected! And, I can tell you they the best Italian Pistachio Cookie recipe out there with a delicious nutty flavor and soft center. 

Italian Pistachio Cookies are one of those cookies you make once and will make forever. They are also a great way to use up leftover pistachios you may have on hand. 

What makes these cookies so special is the focus on the pistachios. The pistachios really stand out and don’t get lost in the other flavors like almond extract or lemon. 

These cookies are also super soft and are a beautiful green color without any food coloring. It’s all the tastes of pistachio you love in cookie form! 

Close up of an Italian pistachio cookies with crushed pistachios on top.

Also, these cookies are made with simple ingredients like roasted and lightly salted pistachios. The roasted pistachios help to intensify the pistachio flavor without being overwhelming. 

Lastly, these Italian Pistachio Cookies are made with just a few ingredients and not too much added sugar. They really are intended to focus on the delicious pistachio flavors. 

Ingredients and Variations

Ingredients for recipe including sugar, flour, vanilla, and baking powder.
  • Pistachios: use the roasted and salted shelled pistachios for this recipe. The roasted variety adds a nice flavor and, by using salted, you don’t need to add any additional salt to the recipe. Raw pistachios can be used if needed. 
  • Extracts: vanilla extract is all you need for these cookies. Many different recipes call for almond extract and lemon zest. However, these tend to overpower the cookies in my opinion. Feel free to add them in if you are looking for a stronger nut flavor. 
  • Butter: use room temperature, unsalted butter. 
  • Baking Powder: make sure you are using baking powder and not baking soda.
  • Flour: all purpose flour works best in this recipe. If you can find pistachio flour, that would be a great substitute. Almond flour or almond meal would be too dense for this cookie and not a good substitute. 
  • Sugar: use regular granulated sugar for the cookie batter. Save the powdered sugar for sprinkling over the finished cookies.
  • Egg: you only need one large room temperature egg for these Italian pistachio cookies. 

How to Make Italian Pistachio Cookies

This recipe comes together fast and only requires a few ingredients. As for equipment, you will need a baking sheet, food processor, and mixing bowl. 

Process shots showing how to make recipe including grinding the nuts in a food processor.

Step 1: chop the pistachios

Firstly, you will need to chop the pistachios. Place the shelled nuts in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process the pistachios until they are finely chopped, slightly larger than the size of sand. Remove a tablespoon of the mixture for topping the cookie and set aside. 

Step 2: make the dough

Next, make the dough. Start by using an electric mixer to beat together the egg and sugar in large bowl. You want to mix until the mixture is fluffy and light in color. 

Then, add in the room temperature unsalted butter and vanilla. Mix until well combined. To the same bowl, add in the flour, baking powder, and ground pistachios. 

Step 3: mix the dough

Mix all of the ingredients until you get a smooth cookie dough. Use a rubber spatula to ensure that the ingredients are well incorporated.

Step 4: roll out balls of dough 

Use a cookie scoop to scoop balls of dough on a prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle the remaining crushed pistachios on top of the cookie dough balls. (You can also arrange the cookies into a crescent shape.)

Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, being careful not to over bake. You may need to adjust baking time depending on altitude. 

Pistachio Cookies laid out on a countertop with a cup of coffee.

Let the Italian pistachio cookies cool on the baking sheet for about five minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Store these delicious cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month.

Tips for Making Pistachio Cookies

  • Use roasted and salted shelled pistachios for these Italian Pistachio Cookies. If you can’t find them, you can de-shell the pistachios and then roast them in a 200 degree oven for a couple of minutes (until you can smell them). If all you have is unsalted, add a ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt to the cookie dough batter.
  • The dough for this cookie can be made ahead and refrigerated for a couple of hours before baking.
  • When warm, this is a very soft cookie. Be sure the cookies are completely cooled before moving them to a storage container.
  • Store completely cooled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze for up to a month. 
Pistachio cookies stacked on each other on a countertop.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you enhance pistachio flavor in baking?

Pistachio cookies will have a mild nutty pistachio flavor. If you did want a stronger flavor, consider adding almond extract along with the vanilla extract into the batter. However, note that the almond flavor has the tendency to be overpowering so use with caution when baking.

Are pistachios common in Italian cuisine?

Pistachios are very common in Italy and can be found in both sweet and savory dishes. Italians loves to use pistachio cream to sweeten their breads or as a filling for donuts of pastries. And, you’ll often find Italian using crushed pistachios as a coating for fish or in salads.

What can I make with leftover pistachios?

Make Italian Pistachio cookies! With just a cup of pistachios (146 grams) you can make simple and delicious pistachio cookies that are ready in just 20 minutes.

Italian pistachios cookies on a marble countertop with pistachios and a cup of coffee.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or review in the comments section further down the page.

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Italian Pistachio Cookies recipe.

Italian Pistachio Cookies

Italian Pistachio Cookies are sure to be your new favorite! This simple cookie with a mild pistachio flavor, comes together quick and has a delicious soft texture that melts in your mouth.
5 from 28 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 101kcal
Cost: 7-9

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • food processor
  • baking sheet

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shelled pistachios (146 grams)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (130 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick cooking mat; set aside.
  • In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add the shelled pistachios. Process until a fine crumb forms. Remove a tablespoon of the pistachios for topping the cookies and set the rest aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the sugar and egg until light and fluffy. Add in the butter and vanilla and mix until well combined. Pour in the chopped pistachios, flour, and baking powder, and mix until just combined.
  • Use a small cookie scoop or spoon to measure out cookie dough on to prepared pan. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the leftover chopped pistachios.
  • Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until cookies just start to turn color. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before moving to a cookie rack to cool completely.

Video

Notes

  • Pistachios: use the “roasted and lightly salted” variety of pistachios. If you can only find unsalted, add a ¼ teaspoon of kosher salt to the batter. 
  • Be sure to mix together the egg and sugar for at least a minute so that you get a fluffier cookie. 
  • Use room temperature butter so that it combines with the other ingredients without being lumpy. 
  • Almond Extract: if you prefer a stronger nut taste in your cookie, add a teaspoon of almond extract to the batter. 
  • Store completely cooled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze for up to a month. 

Nutrition

Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 62mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 151IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe Rating




30 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made these this morning to take to work. Everyone loved them. I forgot to save some of the ground pistachios, so I just topped each of them with a whole pistachio. Thank you for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    My new favorite cookie!! Delicious!! So easy to make, a real keeper and will be on my list for Christmas cookies!

  3. Love this recipe. I don’t have a food processor so I chopped pistachios with a mallet inside a ziploc bag. I decorated with one pistachio in the center of cookie instead of the crumbles, also added fresh orange zest when they come out of over which gives them a nice brightness.

  4. These cookies are delicious! As a family with celiac disease and vegans, we used pistachio flour (expensive but worth it!) and followed the recipe as provided otherwise. The recipe checked off all the boxes so everyone can eat these! Plan to try with powdered sugar too. Will be used for all holidays and special gatherings moving forward!

  5. I made these today as the recipe was written and they are so delicious. I did add the almond extract. I think that was a great idea as it really made the flavor pop.

  6. 5 stars
    These cookies are delicious! I shook powdered sugar over them while still warm and I added a smidgeon of green food coloring, which made them look amazing. I also doubled the recipe because. . .well, just because! And I chilled the dough for about an hour before scooping and baking. The cookies were beautiful and delicious!

  7. Your pistachio cookies look very delicious, can’t wait to bake with my daughter. I would like to ask 146g pistachios are with shell? What I have at home is the unshelled pistachio.

  8. 5 stars
    I love this recipe but was wondering if I can add instant pistachio pudding to the ingredients.
    Thanks for all the great Italian recipes.

  9. Holy moly this recipe is good! I love the simplicity of it – had all the ingredients on hand and was able to measure, mix, bake, and clean all within an hour!

    I added a little bit of pistachio syrup (usually used for lattes). I used a 1.5 tablespoon scoop and made 20 cookies. This will be a new household favorite, thank you for sharing!

  10. 5 stars
    Really enjoyed this recipe and its simplicity. It was very easy and tasty substituting gluten free flour (we like King Arthur’s Measure for Measure) I also added a 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom because, well, my kid loves that flavor too 🙂
    I think the idea of using almond extract or other almond would overpower the delicate deliciousness of the pistachio.
    Thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    Lovely easy quick recipe that results in yummy cookies. Will make these again and again (a pistachio lover)

  12. 5 stars
    I love the unique flavor of pistachios and really can’t think of a better way to eat them other than a cookie! Thanks for sharing!

      1. 5 stars
        Angela,
        Both my wife and I really enjoyed these cookies, and it was so easy to make! Can I make a gluten-free version, for a friend who suffers from Celiac’s disease? Would the gluten-free flour be measured at 1-to-1?
        Thank you for a great recipe,
        Art

      2. Hi Art! So happy you enjoyed the cookie. I always use a brand like King Arthur’s cup-for-cup gluten free flour when I’m baking GF. Just substitute equal amounts of GF flour and you should have a great result. Enjoy!

  13. 5 stars
    SO DELISHHHHH!!! I added a little almond extract as you suggested and it took them over the top! Will. make again for sure!

  14. 5 stars
    We are a family of pistachio lovers here, and the first batch was all gone in barely a day. I think I may need to bake multiple batches next time.

  15. 5 stars
    I love pistachio, so I can’t wait to give these cookies a try! They will be perfect for Easter!