Is There A Difference Between Pistachio Paste And Pistachio Butter?

Unless you're a trained chef or baker, you might not have ever heard of pistachio paste or pistachio butter. But you aren't alone. They are considered something of a luxury since pistachios are expensive and neither paste nor butter are typical pantry staples. Still, you may run across a recipe that calls for one or the other.

Both are healthy options since pistachios contain plenty of nutrients, including protein, fiber, potassium, manganese, and vitamin B6 (via Healthline). The skins of pistachios, especially, are full of antioxidants. When making paste or butter, some people choose to leave the skins on for that reason. However, according to American Pistachios, if you blanch the pistachios and then peel them before grinding them down, you'll get a deeper green color that is familiar to others as, well, pistachio.

If both the paste and the pistachio butter are made by grinding the pistachios does that mean they are the same? Not exactly. According to the Koshbin Group, even though pistachio butter and pistachio paste are both made with the same nut and ground to a desired consistency, there are some additions added to one that make it distinctly different than the other.

Pistachio butter

Pistachio butter is slightly different than pistachio paste. The paste has a very smooth consistency and works as a dip or spread on toast. The paste, unlike the butter, may have additives to make it sweeter. The Koshbin Group writes that pistachio butter is thicker than paste and sometimes supplemented with oil. People enjoy using pistachio butter in place of peanut butter or dairy butter, and, as such, the thick texture and is preferred over the paste in that case.

The good news is that both are interchangeable in recipes. Although the paste is a bit easier to work with when baking, the butter will work as well. If a recipe calls for pistachio paste and you only have butter, you might have to add some sweetener. American Pistachios suggests either pistachio butter or paste for use with ice cream or yogurt, atop a crostini, in a fruit tart, or as a filling for a danish or croissant.

Pistachio Paste

Pistachio paste is ground into a very smooth and creamy, pulp-like consistency and can easily be made at home with your food processor and whatever additives you desire. Pistachio paste is the more common choice for baking and makes a great addition to sweets, or as a healthy ingredient in cookies and muffins. It's used widely in European treats, such as ice cream and spumoni.

According to Natural Moreish, pistachio paste works wonderfully in baked goods and other desserts because of its smooth consistency and nutty flavor. It also has a long shelf life, which is great since it can be expensive to buy or make. Pistachio paste is becoming more popular than it used to be, which makes it easier to find. Still, if you decide to try your hand at making it homemade, you can keep your pistachio paste in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months (via Natural Moreish).