Pistachio Cookies

5 from 60 votes

These pistachio cookies are a healthier version of my favorite Middle Eastern cookies. Gluten free with no added refined sugar. Delicious and easy to make.

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Pistachio cookies are very popular in the Middle East and this is an attempt at sharing a better-for-you version made without green dyes, so you can feel good making them more naturally. Pistachios are so festive during the holidays, so definitely try these pistachio butter cups if you are also a pistachio fan!

Plate of holiday pistachio cookies topped with pistachio pieces

This pistachio cookie recipe is always on my Christmas cookie menu! The kids (and adults!) love them, and they are so easy to make! I’ve always felt that pistachios are something that people either hate or love, no in-between. I absolutely love them, and if you love them too then you have to try these almond flour pistachio cookies. They are slightly crunchy on the outside, soft in the center, and have just the right balance of nutty flavor. 

The rolled oats give them a nice texture and the natural sweetness of honey complements the pistachio perfectly. Plus, they hold up well after baking – perfect for sharing in a cookie exchange party or storing for later.

Recipe At a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: Middle Eastern
Primary Cooking Method: Oven
Dietary Info: Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Low-Carb
Key Flavor: Nutty, Sweet
Skill Level: Easy

Summary

  • Better than store-bought: These healthy pistachio cookies not only are tastier than store-bought, but they’re also gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly, and free of dyes.
  • Simple 6 ingredients: No need for a long shopping list. You only need 6 ingredients to make this recipe.
  • Quick and easy prep: From mixing the dough to baking, the cookies will be ready in less than 20 minutes. Using a food processor really speeds up the process.
  • Sturdy and shareable: These cookies hold their shape, making them perfect for cookie swaps or packing in lunchboxes for the kiddos.

Ingredients to make pistachio cookies

  • Almond flour: These cookies are made with almond flour so they are gluten-free. Almond flour is widely available, but you can also make your own easily.
  • Pistachios: The pistachios need to be shelled, so you can do this yourself or buy ready shelled. They add a beautiful green tinge to the cookies. Opt for large pistachios which will have a brighter green color.
  • Rolled oats: If you are keeping a gluten-free diet, be sure to buy certified oats that have no traces of gluten. Most rolled oats should be naturally gluten-free though.
  • Honey: There is no added refined sugar in this cookies recipe; the honey adds a natural sweetness.
  • Egg: Use a fresh egg and have it at room temperature for best results.
  • Butter: Unsalted is best for baking so it doesn’t affect the taste too much, especially since the almond flour and the pistachios may have traces of salt in them
Ingredients to make the recipe: almond flour, pistachios, oat flour, honey, egg and butter

How to make pistachio cookies

  1. Place the pistachios in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until the pistachios are fine crumbs.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor: almond flour, oats, honey, butter and the egg.
  4. Pulse the ingredients a few times to combine well. The mixture will form into a ball and be very sticky.
Process shots of the batter in the food processor showing the steps for making it

Use a cookie scooper or your hands and shape them into a ball, then press them down to flatten. I also like to make a thumbprint inside in the cookies and add some raw pistachios on top, but that part is optional.

Cookies before baking

Tips for making the best pistachio cookies

  1. Buy large pre-shelled raw pistachios.
  2. Don’t overmix. When mixing the ingredients in the food processor, pulse just until they come together. Overdoing it can make your cookies tough instead of tender and soft in the center.
  3. Watch the bake time carefully. Since all ovens bake slightly different and baking sheets can yield different results, you want to start checking on the cookies as early as 8 minutes. That’s how you can make sure the cookies stay soft and don’t over-bake.
  4. Allow the cookies to sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes after they come out of the oven. They may look slightly undercooked when they come out, but they will continue to bake as they sit on the hot baking sheet.
  5. Use a small cookie scoop to get your cookies the same size so that they bake evenly and they’re ready all together at once.

Popular substitutions & additions

  • Try different nuts. While pistachios are the star in this recipe, you can add sliced almonds or walnuts on top of the cookies. Almost all nuts pair great with pistachios.
  • Mix in chocolate. Elevate the flavor by adding some chocolate chunks or chips. Chocolate and pistachio make a great combo, especially if it’s dark or semi-sweet chocolate.
  • Add dried cranberries. If you want a bit more sweetness or chewiness in your pistachio cookies, fold in some dried cranberries or raisins into the dough.
  • Opt for a different sweetener. Swap out the honey for maple syrup or agave nectar if you’re looking for a different kind of sweetness or want to use what’s on hand.

How to store pistachio cookies

To store these pistachio cookies, place them in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. They will remain fresh for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze these healthy pistachio cookies?

Yes, you can freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Just place them on a baking sheet in the freezer until they are completely frozen. Then, transfer them to freezer bags or an airtight container, and place them in the freezer. 

To reheat the frozen cookies, bake them in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes, or until warmed through.

Frequently asked questions

Can I freeze the cookie dough?

Absolutely! If you want to prep in advance, you can portion out the dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to bake, just add a couple of extra minutes to the baking time.

Why are my cookies dry?

If your pistachio cookies turned out dry, it might be because of a few reasons. One common cause is over-baking, so always keep an eye on them and check a minute or two before the suggested baking time ends. Another reason could be too much flour or not enough butter or wet ingredients. Make sure you’re measuring everything correctly!

Can I make these cookies vegan?

We haven’t tested a vegan version of this recipe, you can try to substitute the honey for maple syrup and the egg for a flax egg.

Pistachio cookies on a white plate - perfect for the holidays

These pistachio cookies are healthy, easy to make and taste amazing, and that’s why they are a family favorite! My kids love them, and even my friends who don’t like pistachio that much end up reaching out for an extra cookie. Give them a try, share with friends, or keep them all to yourself – I won’t judge!

If you try this healthy-ish feel good Pistachio Cookies recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

Pistachio Cookies

These pistachio cookies are a healthier version of my favorite Middle Eastern cookies. Gluten free with no added refined sugar. Delicious and easy to make.
5 from 60 votes
Servings 16
Course Snacks
Calories 128
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Video

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Pulse the pistachios in the food processor until they are fairly crumb-like – a few lumps are fine you just don’t really want large pieces.
  • Add the ground almonds, oats, melted butter, honey and egg and pulse a few times to mix well. The mixture will be fairly sticky.
  • Divide the dough into 1 ½ tablespoon-sized balls using a spring-loaded scoop. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until cookies are firm and slightly golden at the edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Notes

Recipe: This recipe was adapted from Caroline’s Cooking.
Storage: When the cookies are completely cool, they can be stored in an airtight container or frozen.
Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Place them on a baking sheet in the freezer until they are completely frozen. Then transfer them to freezer bags or an airtight container. To reheat the frozen cookies, bake in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes, or until until warmed through.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However, to make these vegan you can substitute the honey for maple syrup and you can swap the egg for a flax egg.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 104mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 135IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Course: Snacks

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Comments

  1. Step 3 references coconut oil yet this is not in the ingredient list. Perhaps this is keft over from the original recipe?

    1. Thank you for pointing that out! I was meant to type melted butter, so I’ve made that change to the recipe.

  2. I made these cookies today and they came out great. They are so nutty in flavor with just the right amount of sweetness. I added a teaspoon of rosewater to the cookie dough to give it an extra level of middle-eastern flavor. I will definitely make these again! Thanks, Yumna!

  3. Quick easy recipe. Satisfied my cravings for sweets without the guilt ! Not to mention Pistachios are good fat and all ingredients were clean. Love it 😍 this is a keeper !