Gluten Free Pistachio Cookies Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on August 22, 2010

There are so many reasons I love this recipe it is hard to know where to start.  So let’s start with the star of this show, pistachios.

Pistachios are positively addictive and yet it is an addiction one can indulge in guilt free. They are high in protein, have no trans fats and may actually help you reduce cholesterol. They also happen to contain they highest number of nuts per serving than any other nut, great news if you are on a diet.

The second reason I am so enamored with these cookies is they are simple to make and the food processor does all the work.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and grain-free. These are cookie you can feel pretty darn good about eating but of course no matter how good for you something is, if it doesn’t taste great, who cares?

Which brings me to the final reason I love these cookies, they taste delicious; intense pistachio flavor, not overly sweet, crispy on the outside with a hint of chewiness inside. In fact I loved the flavor so much I decided to make then two ways, plain and with a layer of chocolate sandwiched between.

For the Pistachio Chocolate Sandwich Cookies I decided to add a pop of red by topping with a bit of dried cranberry. I know we are currently in the dog days of summer but I am already thinking these are going to make fantastic Christmas cookies!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pistachio Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Filled Pistachio Cookies

Gluten Free Pistachio Cookies Recipe


Pistachio Cookies

2¼ cups roasted, salted pistachios – use divide
1 cup granulated sugar plus more for sprinkling
2 large egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 drops green gluten free food coloring – optional


½ cup dairy free dark chocolate chips
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Pistachio Cookies

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper.

Roughly chop ¼ cup of the pistachios and reserve for garnish. Place the remaining 2 cups pistachios in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process the pistachios until they turn into a paste, this will take 2 or 3 minutes, scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times during the processing.

Add 1 cup sugar to the pistachio paste and process in long pulses until combined. Add the egg whites, vanilla and food coloring if using and pulse to combine. You should have a thick batter. Using a small ice cream scoop or two teaspoons, drop the cookies onto the prepared pan, spacing two inches apart. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with a little granulated sugar and the reserved chopped pistachios. Gently press the pistachios into the cookies.

Bake for 12 – 14 minutes for chewy cookies, 15 – 17 minutes for crispy cookies. The cookies should be lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.


Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds until just melted. Keep the chocolate in the warm bowl and stir in the vanilla. It may start to seize up a little, that’s ok, just keep stirring until smooth again and thickened. Let cool. The chocolate will thicken more as it cools.

Spread some of the cooled chocolate on the flat side of the plain cookies. Top with a cookie that has the chopped pistachios and cranberries or cherries, flat side down.

Gluten-free Pistachio Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Same recipe as above
6 dried cranberries or cherries, halved

Prepared the cookie batter as in the recipe above. Top half of the cookies with granulated sugar, chopped pistachios and a bit of dried cranberry or cherry. Leave the other half of the cookies plain. Bake and cool as above.


A gluten free recipe that makes 12

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Ready for dessert?

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Categories:    Cookies & Candies
  • Christy

    Thanks, Carol! These look amazing! I especially love that they're completely grain free. I'll be trying these as soon as I can get my hands on some pistacios.

  • Carrie

    These look really yummy Carol! I love that they are grain free!

  • gfe–gluten free easily

    Terrific recipe, Carol! Beautiful photos and presentation, too. :-) I still think you should bring some to Seattle. ;-)

    Still can't get my subscription to your site to work … that's why I have not been visiting. Will try again …


  • Jenn/CinnamonQuill

    Pistachio cookies–what a good idea! I, too, really like pistachios, but have never had them in cookie form! I am alllllways needing cookie recipes that don't involve chocolate. I'm working on 'thinking outside the box' ;-) Thanks, Carol!

  • Diane-The WHOLE Gang

    OH Yeah, You should absolutely bring some to Seattle.

  • Stephanie

    Wow, such a simple, delicious-sounding recipe! I'm a huge pistachio fan as well. Gotta try this one soon, for sure!

  • Foodessa

    Carol…thanks very much for this recipe…especially since I can see myslef adapting these cookies to so many of my other nut favourites.

    Flavourful wishes,

  • Tasty Eats At Home

    Wow these look good! I can't wait until christmas…

  • Sandy

    I have never seen a pistchio cookie recipe before that did not use flour! And the fact that it has no dairy either is just even better! I am bookmarking this recipe for sure. Thanks!

  • Kat

    I too love that these are grain free! Beautiful and I never thought you could use pistachios this way. Love, love, love these :)

  • Donna

    These look amazing! Thanks!

  • InTolerant Chef

    Look really yummy. I like the idea of 2 options!

  • Rollin' Oats Market & Cafe'

    Hi Carol! We linked back to this page on! Great recipe featuring a nutritional powerhouse of a nut!

  • michelebusch

    Hello,I recently found your blog on a search for some gluten free recipes. I just made the pistachio cookies! They are melt in your mouth goodness! Thank you.

  • cooking rookie

    Hi Carol, I made your cookies yesterday and they were (stiil are,but only very few ;-) ) really delicious! I tried the chewy version with less baking and sandwiched some whipped cream / cream cheese mixture between them. YUM! I also added a little bit orange blossom water to the cookies for a little Eastern flavor. I posted my version on my blog and linked back to you. I hope it’s ok with you.
    I just discovered your site yesterday when I was looking for pistachio cookies recipes, but I am already a big fan! You have a fantastic collection and amazing photos. And if all your recipes are as good as this one, I have to come back every day :-). Thanks so much!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Oh, thank you so much and of course I don’t mind. So happy you enjoyed the cookies!

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