Homemade Pistachio Pudding is made from scratch using real pistachio nuts. It’s a creamy, velvety custard that’s naturally green with no pudding mix and no food coloring!

Homemade pistachio pudding in a white ramekin with spoon

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! Time for all things green – homemade shamrock shakes, mint chocolate cupcakes, and this Pistachio Pudding.

Pistachio pudding is probably my favorite pudding, mostly because it’s the base of my favorite Watergate Salad.

You may notice something though. It is NOT neon green like the pudding box makes you think.

This, my friends, is what homemade pistachio pudding from scratch using real nuts looks like.

A bit muted and not the prettiest shade of green, but it’s the tastiest.

Homemade pistachio pudding also has a more natural pistachio taste as opposed to the artificial flavor often associated with pudding mix and ice cream.

The challenge was – how exactly do you make instant pudding from scratch and still retain that pistachio flavor?

The answer – homemade pistachio paste! Grind up the nuts in a food processor with some sugar and water then it’s off to make the pudding.

Homemade pistachio pudding in white ramekin

Ingredients For Pistachio Pudding

To make this pistachio pudding recipe from scratch, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Pistachios: The star of the pudding! I started with salted nuts, but if you’re using unsalted you will need to add a big pinch or two.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness and helps make the pistachio paste
  • Water: Helps thin out the pistachio paste
  • Whole milk: Use whole milk as you’ll need that milk fat for a silky smooth custard
  • Egg yolk: Adds creaminess and richness
  • Cornstarch: Helps thicken the pudding
  • Salt: Brings out the pistachio taste. If using unsalted nuts, you may need to add more.
  • Vanilla: Enhances the pudding flavor
  • Butter: Finishes the pudding with a bit of richness

Green pistachio pudding with whipped cream

How To Make Pistachio Pudding

Here’s how to make homemade pistachio pudding:

  1. Grind pistachios, sugar, and water until a paste is formed.
  2. Add milk and pistachio paste to a saucepan then heat until hot.
  3. Whisk together sugar, egg yolk, cornstarch, and salt then temper with the hot milk.
  4. Cook until thickened then whisk in vanilla and butter.

Chill for 4 hours before serving with homemade whipped cream on top.

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Homemade pistachio pudding with spoon

Pistachio Pudding FAQ

How do I prevent a skin from forming on top?

Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding before refrigerating. This helps create a seal and prevents a skin from forming.

Can I make pistachio pudding ahead of time?

Yes, pistachio pudding can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, double the ingredients. Cook time may need a few more minutes to thicken but will remain roughly the same.

More Pudding Recipes

If you loved this pistachio pudding recipe, you’ll also love these:

Homemade pistachio pudding in white ramekin

Pistachio Pudding

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 35 minutes

Homemade Pistachio Pudding is made from scratch using real pistachio nuts. It’s a creamy, velvety custard that’s naturally green with no pudding mix and no food coloring!


  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons salted pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt, preferably kosher
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Homemade Whipped Cream, for garnish


  1. In a mini food processor, grind up 1/4 cup pistachios until they are in tiny pieces. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and water then grind until a paste forms.
  2. Add the paste and milk into a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat until hot and it starts to steam, whisking often.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, egg yolk, cornstarch, and salt. Add a little bit of the hot milk to temper the egg, whisking constantly. Pour the entire mixture into the saucepan.
  4. Continue cooking the mixture until thick and bubbly, whisking constantly, roughly 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and whisk in vanilla and butter until butter has melted.
  6. Divide pudding between two ramekins or similar serving vessels, cover with plastic wrap (ensuring it touches the surface to prevent a skin), and chill for at least 4 hours. Serve with whipped cream and remaining 2 tablespoons pistachios.

    Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.


Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you think! Rate the recipe above, leave a comment below, and/or share a photo on Instagram using #HITKrecipes

Adapted from Joy The Baker

First published February 9, 2014