This Pistachio Dessert is one of those tried and true, go-to potluck desserts because it's out of this world delicious, easy and you can make it ahead. It's a simple and delicious green dessert layered with whipped cream, cream cheese, pistachio pudding on a nutty shortbread crust!
This pistachio pudding dessert recipe is great anytime of the year for potlucks or family gatherings, but it's also perfect dessert when you need a green dessert for a holiday like St. Patrick's day!
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. It's hard, so I often just fall back on the tried and true - this pistachio pudding recipe!
This layered dessert is naturally green, so you don't need to add food coloring. For this pistachio dessert recipe you'll need:
- instant pistachio pudding mix
- butter * I use unsalted
- ground pecans * you can use ground almonds as a substitute
- icing sugar - also known as 'powdered sugar' or 'confectioners sugar'
- cream cheese
- white chocolate *Baker's white chocolate baking squares, NOT white chocolate chips
- whipping cream * you can substitute whipped topping, but this will make it sweeter
This layered pistachio dessert recipe serves 18, but you can cut it in half (use a smaller pan) or double it (you'll need 2 pans). Simply click on the blue serving size in the recipe card, choose the number of servings you'd like, and the recipe amounts will adjust accordingly.
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Topping: You can change it up! (use shaved toasted almonds, finely chopped pistachio nuts, another chopped nut or chocolate shavings) and bring it to any potluck any time of year!
- Make it gluten-free: use gluten-free flour!
- White Chocolate: I add white chocolate because it gives it a really nice flavor that melds perfectly with pistachio. However, you can skip it if you don't have any or prefer not to use it.
- Whipped Cream - you can substitute a layer of Cool Whip
You'll need a hand mixer and a 9X13 baking dish for this pistachio pudding dessert, as well as a food processor (affiliate links). I like to use a glass baking dish with a lid. (affiliate link). The glass allows you to see the layers, which looks appealing and you can throw the lid on for storing in the fridge or transport!
If you don't have a dish with a lid, cover in plastic wrap and store this green dessert for up to 4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
🍀St. Patrick's Day Green Desserts
If this has ever happened to you, where it's the 11th hour and you're still not sure what you're bringing to the potluck, 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 creamy 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.
Looking for more St. Patrick's Day Dessert Recipes? Give my Shamrock Irish Cream Dessert Shots a try! They can be made with or without alcohol:
If you're looking for additional easy green desserts try my Watergate salad !
Here's what others are saying about this Pistachio Pudding Dessert:
"I made this for my ladies' group this week and it was a huge hit! I made it gluten free by using my home-made GF flour mix for the crust. Everyone had seconds. Will definitely make this again. Might try using some GF ginger cookies for the base for some extra zing!" ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
📋 Pistachio Dessert Recipe
- ½ cup butter * I use unsalted
- ⅓ cup ground pecans or can substitute ground almonds
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon icing sugar *also known as 'powdered sugar' or 'confectioners sugar'
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 250 g pkg cream cheese softened
- 1 & ⅔ 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. Pistachio Instant Pudding 4-serving size, 99 g each
- 3 cups cold milk
- green sparking sugar/sprinkles or toasted shaved almonds, ground pistachios or chocolate shavings
- *Heads up: This recipe needs to be refrigerated for 3-4 hours or overnight
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9X13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- 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.
- In a large bowl, beat pudding mixes and milk with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then increase to medium speed for 2 minutes. Set aside and let stand until thickened for 5 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Spread cream cheese mixture gently over cooled crust.* If the crust cracks a little, don't worry it's not a big deal.
- Pour pudding over the cream cheese layer.
- Melt white chocolate in the microwave on ½ power for about 40 seconds or until melted. Put back in for 10 second intervals if not melted, stirring between.
- Beat whipped cream to soft peaks, then add melted white chocolate and beat to stiff peaks.
- Cover pudding layer with whipped cream by spreading gently, ensuring you keep the layers separate. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.
- Add sprinkles or nuts to the top of the dessert.
📋More Pistachio Recipes
- Pistachio Frappuccino (Starbucks Copycat) (with pistachio pudding)
- Pistachio Fluff (with pistachio pudding)
- Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti
- White Chocolate Pistachio Cake with pistachio pudding filling