Pistachio Dessert- 30 minute St. Patrick’s Day Recipe


I envisioned days, even weeks, stretched out in front of me, leisurely perusing Pinterest, looking for that perfect recipe (or even coming up with my own). Then the next thing I know, it’s closing in on me, only a few days away. Funny, when I first heard about the potluck, it felt like ages away.

I have a love-hate relationship with potlucks. I love the social part of course, sampling new and interesting dishes, not having to cook that day and deciding on what I’m going to bring. Yet I hate deciding on what I’m going to bring.

Take this weekend for instance:

I have a Valentine’s Day potluck coming up at work on Tuesday. It’s now Friday. And in between the invite and life happening, a stomach bug has infiltrated my abode, taken down my entire family and left me bracing to be its next victim.  I have tons to do this weekend, along with kids’ activities and I still haven’t an inkling of what I’m bringing to the potluck.

In my world, the potluck contribution bar is set pretty high. I already feel a ton of pressure to make something particularly awesome, to the point that it paralyzes me with indecision. Ugh!  Now there goes 3/4 of the ideas I pinned when I thought I had a lots of time. And there is certainly no way in hell a new fabulous recipe is going to happen before then.

My bar has just been lowered – at least a good foot.


If this has ever happened to you, not to worry, I’ve got your six! If you are looking for St. Patrick’s day green food, here is a beautiful and tasty green dessert just in time for your potluck or dinner party. This retro potluck dish was a pretty popular one back ‘in the day’ – about 15 -20 years ago. I haven’t seen it around for a while so I decided to resurrect it,  with a few changes.

You can make this St. Patrick’s dessert in less than 30 minutes, although it’s best to sit overnight in the fridge. If you have less time than that, 3-4 hours will do it. This Pistachio dessert is also versatile in that you can change up the topping  (use shaved toasted almonds, finely chopped pistachios, another chopped nut or chocolate shavings) and bring it to any potluck any time of year. I used to take it to summer, soccer team and work potlucks- back in the day, of course.

Happy Potlucking!

Pistachio Square

  • Servings: 18
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A quick, easy and delicious green dessert layered with whipped cream, cream cheese, pistachio pudding on a nutty shortbread crust - perfect for your St. Patrick's Day dinner or any potluck

Credit:  Author-Unknown ( via Terri’s Mom -circa ’99 ish)



1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup ground pecans (or can substitute ground almonds)

1 cup flour

2 Tblsp icing/powdered sugar


1 tsp vanilla 

2 pkg. (250 g) cream cheese, softened

1 and 2/3 cup icing/powdered sugar

3 oz  melted white chocolate (*Baker’s white chocolate squares, NOT white chocolate chips)

3 cups whipping cream (if you really want to, you can substitute Cool whip)

2 pkg. (4-serving size, 99 g each) Pistachio Instant Pudding

3 cups cold milk


green sparking sugar/sprinkles (or toasted shaved almonds, ground pistachios or chocolate shavings)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9X13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. For base: In a food processor, add ground pecans with butter, flour and 2 Tblsp icing sugar and blend until it clings together; press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 12- 15 minutes or until lightly brown around edges; cool completely.
  3. Beat pudding mixes and milk with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Set aside and let stand until thickened for 5 minutes.
  4. Beat cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Spread gently over cooled crust.* If the crust cracks a little,don’t worry it’s not a big deal.
  5. Pour pudding over cream cheese layer.
  6. Melt white chocolate in the microwave on 1/2 power for about 40 seconds or until melted. Put back in for 10 second intervals if not melted, stirring between.
  7. Beat whipped cream to soft peaks, then add melted white chocolate and beat to stiff peaks.
  8. Cover pudding layer with whipped cream by spreading gently, ensuring you keep the layers separate. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.
  9. Sprinkle with green sparkling sugar (or whichever topping you choose) just before serving.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes + 3-4 hours setting time in fridge

PIN ME & Follow my Pinterest Potluck Board for even more great potluck ideas:



About Food Meanderings

I’m Terri, a contest winning competitive home cook and baker and hobby cake decorator. I’m inspired by and enjoy the challenge of developing recipes for cooking competitions because I really have to push myself to be creative. I love all things food and spend much of my spare time thinking about food, cooking food, taking photos of food, writing about food, reading about food, making art with food and sharing my love of food. I also tend to ramble on about food. That’s why I started this blog.
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13 Responses to Pistachio Dessert- 30 minute St. Patrick’s Day Recipe

  1. Sue Slaght says:

    Oh the dreaded pot luck! Happy to be following your Pinterest board so the pressure is off!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Pistachio Dessert - Yum Goggle

  3. foodinbooks says:

    No doubt that would go down well with a large Guinness. Thank you for sharing. Yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One of my all time favorites! Pinned and Tweeted! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think potlucks are made for fun dishes, especially retro dishes as everyone loves them.


  6. Pauline S. says:

    Whip the cream cheese before doing the pudding!


  7. Clara Ma says:

    My whip cream layer flopped. I melted the white chocolate chips in microwave, it did not mix in with the whip cream at all. Thick and clumpy and parts were watery. Ended up melting more chocolate,then mixed that in with the cream cheese mixture. Went out to get more whipped cream and whipped it plain with powdered sugar and vanilla. Very disappointing!


  8. Clara Ma: Sorry it didn’t work out for you. I see you used “white chocolate chips” and those are different than the white chocolate that the recipe called for. White chocolate is tricky to begin with and if you don’t melt it slow and low it tends to seize. But “white chocolate chips” don’t cooperate at all when it comes to melting – they don’t melt on a double boiler and seize in the microwave for some reason. That’s why I only use them in things like cookies, where they don’t need to melt.
    In the future, if you have any other questions re: ingredients, please don’t hesitate to contact me! I would like to save you the trouble of making something that doesn’t turn out – I know how frustrating that can be!


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