The 15 Absolute Best Ways To Use Pistachio Butter

In spite of the fact that pistachios are quite expensive, the green-hued nuts are incredibly popular. Pistachios are rich in nutrients like copper, thiamine, and vitamin B6, are high in antioxidants, and provide a substantial dose of healthy fats in each serving (via Healthline). They can be eaten straight out of their shells as a snack, sprinkled on top of salads and grain bowls, added to a granola mix, and so much more (pistachio ice cream, anyone?). Like other nuts, pistachios can also be ground up and processed until they reach the creamy consistency of peanut or almond butter — the process is so simple that you can easily make your own pistachio butter right at home. Pistachio butter differs from other nut butters in the same way that pistachios differ from other nuts: It's a little nutty (of course), earthy, and unsweetened pistachio butter is only very slightly sweet.

In an era rich with nut and seed butters of all kinds, pistachio butter shouldn't be overlooked. Pistachio butter is incredibly versatile, and its potential applications to the culinary arts are not to be underestimated. Its consistency — usually pretty smooth and comparable to butter made from almonds or cashews — allows it to be swapped in for most other nut butters quite easily. Just as there are many unconventional uses for peanut butter, pistachio butter can be used as a tasty and unusual addition to sauces, sandwiches, smoothies, and many other food items. While applications range far beyond this list, we've outlined the absolute best ways to use pistachio butter.

Mix a creamy salad dressing

Nut and seed butters allow salad dressings and sauces to achieve a creamy texture without actually utilizing dairy products like cream, yogurt, or milk which are usually called on for creaminess. As a bonus, these butters inject dressings with a healthy dose of fat and a slightly sweet, earthy quality that some other ingredients lack. There are lots of recipes that call for peanut butter, almond butter, tahini, and similar nut and seed butters in order to reach an elusive, creamy quality, and pistachio butter can be subbed in for any of these.

Take this creamy lemon tahini dressing, for example — when prepared as the recipe states, it calls on tahini (a thick paste made from sesame seeds) for a thick, almost-whipped texture, but pistachio butter makes for a simple swap. Try it out on a salad or eat straight from the bowl with some pita chips. Alternatively, this easy peanut lime dressing uses peanut butter to help transform soy sauce, Sriracha, water, lime juice, ginger, and maple syrup into a velvety-soft sauce, but you could just as easily sub in pistachio butter here. Pair pistachio lime dressing with stir-fries, drizzle it over a bed of fresh greens and top it with chicken, or serve it with spring rolls to provide a nutty contrast to the veggies and herbs.

Throw it into a pesto

Pesto, as La Cucina Italiana explains, is an Italian sauce made from bright, fresh ingredients; it traditionally consists of basil, Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, salt, and pine nuts. In past years, many variations of pesto have come to light, and chefs, food bloggers, and amateur cooks alike have come up with incredible variations by experimenting with different herbs, cheeses (in a win for the lactose intolerant crowd, some recipes leave cheese out entirely), and nuts. Here's where pistachio butter comes into play: The addition of nutty, earthy pistachio butter makes for a really unique spin on traditional pesto.

Classic basil pesto is a cinch to make at home, whether you tough it out with the traditional mortar and pestle preparation method or throw everything in a blender – we're not here to judge. Simply swap out the equivalent amount of pistachio butter for the nuts (or nut butter) called for in a pesto recipe. We recommend using unsweetened pistachio butter in the case of pesto, as sweetness isn't the end goal of the sauce. Use pistachio butter pesto to marinate chicken, toss it with your favorite pasta noodles, or put a heaping spoonful on top of your steak. If you're looking for something really out there, consider using pistachio butter in an umami-rich pesto rosso (red pesto), which uses sun-dried tomatoes in place of basil or other herbs.

Make frosting with it

From sweet buttercream to decadent chocolate to tangy cream cheese, there are hundreds of types of frosting to choose from when it comes to coating cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. If you're tired of overly sweet icing, perhaps it's time to volunteer to bake the next birthday cake for a friend, family member, or coworker ... and perhaps, it's time to shake things up with a nut butter-based frosting. Don't be intimidated by the thought of making your own icing: The recipe can be as simple as this three-ingredient peanut butter frosting, in which the only ingredients are unsalted butter, peanut butter, and powdered sugar.

Any nut butter can be subbed in for peanut butter here, but pistachio butter has the added bonus of giving the frosting a nice green hue similar to that of pistachio ice cream. Pistachio butter frosting pairs well with dessert items such as sugar cookies, chocolate cupcakes, and classic yellow cake. Alternatively, use a knife to coat pretzel sticks with pistachio butter frosting for a sweet-and-salty after-dinner snack.

Swap it for nut butter in baked goods

Speaking of frosting, the applications for pistachio butter in desserts certainly don't end there. You can absolutely switch out pistachio butter for other nut butters in baked goods. Since its consistency is similar to that of peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, and others, pistachio butter can be swapped in equal parts to other nut butters in most every recipe. You'll still get that nutty, slightly-sweet flavor, but with the green tinge and rich, earthy taste of pistachios.

Try using pistachio butter in place of peanut butter in a classic peanut butter cookie or a decadent peanut butter pie (double up with pistachio butter frosting, too). Use sugar-free pistachio butter if you don't feel your baked goods need extra sweetness, or sweetened pistachio butter if they do. Don't stop with desserts: Many baked goods, like banana bread and some scones, can benefit from the addition of pistachio butter.

Use it as a dessert filling

Hey, jelly donuts, macarons, and Reese's peanut butter cups – the early 2000s called, and they want their fillings back. All jokes aside, you should seriously consider using pistachio butter as a filling in breakfast, dessert, and other sweet items. Depending on the recipe, pistachio butter can be used as a filling in a whole cornucopia of snacks and desserts. Both sweetened and unsweetened pistachio butter can be used — the earthy undertones of unsweetened pistachio butter are excellent for balancing out an already-saccharine confection, and a sweetened variety can complement desserts that might benefit from a little something sugary.

Use pistachio butter as a filling in desserts of all kinds, from decadent pistachio macarons to gooey-centered cupcakes to copycat Reese's peanut butter cups (or, in this case, pistachio butter cups). It can be swapped out for jelly, jam, chocolate ganache, other nut and seed butters, coconut cream ... the list is endless.

Use it as a topping or mix-in

Lots of recipes call for nut butter as a mix-in or topping, and pistachio butter is no different. Have you ever had warm, gooey, melted pecan butter on top of a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream? How about a warm bowl of oatmeal with a dab of creamy cashew butter swirled in? Surely, at some point, you've experienced the nostalgic joy of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Good news — pistachio butter can be subbed in for nut butter in all of these instances and more.

Pistachio butter is only slightly sweet, but it provides a wonderful nutty element to a dish. It can be used as a topping or mix-in for both sweet and savory foods. If you're craving something sweet, consider using pistachio butter to top a parfait, mixing it into your morning yogurt, or eating it with banana slices for a healthy snack. Looking for something more savory? Use pistachio butter for ants on a log or as a surrogate for peanut butter in what was rumored to be Elvis Presley's favorite sandwich (bacon, fried bananas, and peanut butter).

Add it to a smoothie

Pistachios and pistachio butter are packed with nutrients that make them great additions to a morning smoothie. According to Nutrition Value, a 32-gram serving of the Horizon Marketing brand pistachio butter contains 3 grams of dietary fiber, 6 grams of protein, and 1.4 milligrams of iron (8% of recommended daily value). That's an impressive amount of nutrients for a scoop of pistachio butter. When blended with other ingredients (think potassium and fiber-rich bananas, antioxidant-dense berries, and vitamin-heavy greens like kale and spinach), pistachio butter not only improves taste but also increases the nutritional value of a smoothie.

Try adding a scoop of pistachio butter to a peanut butter and jelly smoothie if you're looking for more of a treat, or toss it into your blender with sweet potato cubes, bananas, almond milk, Greek yogurt, dates, and seasonings for an unusual sweet potato smoothie. Pistachio butter's consistency helps the other ingredients in a smoothie to condense, but you can always add a little water or milk if you like your smoothies on the runny side (they're certainly easier to sip through a straw that way).

Create imitation peanut sauce

Have you ever had chicken, tofu, or vegetarian spring rolls? These light and delicate appetizers usually feature fresh vegetables like cucumber, carrot, and cabbage rolled up in wrappers with effervescent, fresh herbs such as spicy mint, herbaceous basil, and pungent cilantro ... and more often than not, you'll find spring rolls served with a side of peanut sauce. Most recipes for peanut sauce use similar ingredients: peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, oil, lime juice, and spices or seasonings.

However, many of these elements can be switched out depending on dietary preferences and what you have stashed in your pantry. Soy sauce can be replaced with tamari or coconut aminos (great choices for those steering clear of soy), all types of different oils can be experimented with (try peanut oil for a peanut boost or sesame for a little different flavor), and — you guessed it — all manner of nut and seed butters can be swapped in for peanut butter, including pistachio butter. The nutty taste of pistachio butter plays wonderfully off of the brightness of vegetables and herbs that make up spring rolls, although you may just find yourself eating the creamy pistachio sauce by the spoonful.

Make a hearty soup or stew

Although peanuts did not originate in Africa (as Our Everyday Life explains, the legumes were likely brought to the continent from South America), peanut (or groundnut) stew is known as a protein-rich staple food there to this day. Different countries and regions have their own takes on peanut-based dishes, such as Senegal's mafé, which can include beef or chicken or be completely vegetarian; and the broader West African peanut stew, which incorporates ginger, jalapeño peppers, and tomatoes.

By now, the idea of brothy, nutrient-dense peanut stew has spread worldwide, and you'll find variations ranging from Filipino kare kare to the American South's peanut soup, among others. While recipes vary between locations, the base for most peanut soups features peanut butter as a star ingredient. Here's where pistachio butter comes in: There are countless peanut stew recipes that might benefit from earthier unsweetened pistachio butter over peanut butter, which tends to be saltier and naturally a little more sweet (though not overpoweringly so).

Try a new take on hummus

The most traditional simple, creamy hummus is made using just a handful of ingredients (chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt). Somehow, blending together these basic pieces leads to a velvety bowl of delicious dip that manages to be tangy, garlicky, and nutty all at once. If you're short on tahini or just want to try a new take on classic hummus, pistachio butter is a fantastic substitute. The nut butter has a similar consistency to tahini, so no additional blending or processing is needed, and while sesame seeds have a different flavor profile than pistachios, they both have an earthy, nutty, and delicate taste.

There are many additions to pistachio butter hummus that can help elevate the healthy appetizer. Toss sun-dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers into your blender with the other ingredients to enhance color and add a rich taste, or swap chickpeas for white beans to increase your legume intake. Hummus purists may stick up their noses at the thought of adding beets or horseradish to the traditional garbanzos-and-tahini concoction, but there are plenty of variations of hummus that are well worth exploring when you feel like changing up your regular recipe.

Add it to your coffee

Thanks to the Internet, there are more ways to make a home-brewed cup of coffee taste like a gourmet coffee cup concoction than ever before. Many of these methods cost pennies on the dollar when compared to what you'd spend at an upscale coffee parlor, all without the fuss of waiting in line, wondering what to tip, and fretting about whether the barista will remember to substitute coconut milk. One such fancy-pants drink that's made its way around Tik Tok and food blogs lately is the peanut butter latte, which is easily made at home by heating milk, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla together in a saucepan and pouring the blend over freshly-brewed coffee.

For a different take on the peanut butter latte, try it with pistachio butter, which makes for a creamy, nutty, delicious cup of joe. Experiment with different blends of coffee according to your preference, and feel free to use oat, coconut, soy, or whatever kind of milk you usually turn to. Making a pistachio butter latte at home only takes about six minutes, and those who like a nutty element in their morning cup are sure to enjoy this fresh take. For a boozy kick, try it with a shot of Skrewball peanut butter whiskey.

Use it in energy bites

Energy bites or balls are easy to make and serve as a healthy, on-the-go snack, breakfast, or post-workout treat. They're easily tucked into a Ziploc bag or Tupperware container for easy transport to work, the gym, or school, and big batches can even be frozen for later use. Typically made with ingredients like rolled oats, nuts, dates, seeds, and other nutrient-dense add-ins, most recipes are high in protein and include some type of nut butter to help bind the bite-sized balls together.

The next time you've got a hankering for energy bites, substitute pistachio butter in for whatever nut butter the recipe calls for (if you've never made these tasty morsels before, start simple with these three-ingredient peanut butter energy bites, but use ½ cup of pistachio butter in place of peanut). Pistachio butter adds a healthy dose of fiber, protein, healthy fat, and iron to energy bites. Mix in some honey or maple syrup for natural sweetness, toss in some pecans or walnuts for crunch, and if you're struggling to get your bites to stick together, consider adding a teaspoon or two of gluten-free flour for extra binding power.

Put it on your charcuterie board

It's tough to imagine a time when charcuterie boards have been more in vogue. Instagrammers, recipe bloggers, food manufacturers, and everyday cooks have come up with elegantly-executed boards for every theme under the sun from epic butter charcuterie boards (yes, that's a thing) to candy-studded "charCUTErie" boards mass-produced by Lindt. Permutations aside, the standard meat and cheese board is a well-loved creation that's always a welcome addition to the table. Charcuterie boards typically contain meats and cheeses as main components, but also feature various sides and accompaniments like crackers and crostini for scooping, mixed nuts, jellies or jams, olives, pickled veggies, and nuts.

While nuts are a perfectly acceptable addition to a charcuterie board on their own (spiced varieties can be particularly enticing), it's possible to elevate charcuterie boards with nut butter in their stead — and pistachio butter is a prime candidate. It's easy to spread on snacking vehicles like crackers or crusty bread, and its rich taste plays well off the notes in certain cheeses and meats. Try pistachio butter on a cracker with rich, fatty mortadella, or use the nutty taste of the nut butter to enhance the sweet taste of Brie.

Spread it on crostini

Crostini, which literally translates from Italian as "little toasts" (per, are beloved for their versatility. These pieces of grilled or toasted bread are probably best known for their role in tomato bruschetta, but there's no limit to the creations one can dream up to top crostini. The little toast can be loaded up with sweet toppings, savory bites, and everything in between.

Pistachio butter-topped crostini make a great snack on their own, but why stop there? After spreading pistachio butter on the sliced and toasted pieces of bread, play around with adding more. Apples add a nice crunch and tartness to a pistachio-laden crostini, while sweet toppings like strawberries can transform an afternoon snack into a dessert. Smoky bacon can be paired with just about everything under the sun, and even sharp cheeses like aged cheddar can be surprisingly tasty when melded together with the rich, earthy flavor of pistachio butter. (Ever added peanut butter to a grilled cheese? Try it out with pistachio butter. You'll thank us later.)

Pair it with steak

We've mentioned some highly unconventional uses for pistachio butter up until this point, but this might just take the cake. Nut and seed butters aren't often mentioned in the same breath as high-quality steak, but with a little imagination, the combination can be a game changer. After all, it's not unheard of to slap a dollop of peanut butter on a burger — nut butter and beef manage to achieve that mouthwatering combination of salt and fat, and unsweetened pistachio butter's fairly mild taste (when compared with other nut butters) is a great place to begin experimentation.

Sauces, marinades, and even compound butters incorporating pistachio butter can bring a complex, earthy, nutty flavor to a beefy, juicy steak. Whip up a batch of pistachio butter pesto and use it as a dipping sauce for your filet, or drizzle pistachio butter "peanut" sauce over a salad of fresh herbs, greens, and veggies topped with sliced ribeye. Bear in mind that like pistachio butter, red meat tends to be quite high in fat (per Healthline), so those who are watching their cholesterol may want to steer clear of this particular combo or reserve it for special occasions.