Pistachio Pudding Recipe

If you are a fan of pistachio ice cream, you'll probably enjoy pistachio pudding, as well. You may also aware that both the ice cream and the cake get much of their flavor from almond extract, while the pretty green hue is courtesy of the magic of food coloring. Well, not in this extra-healthy version of pistachio pudding! Recipe developer Miriam Hahn has chosen to give her pudding recipe the "green smoothie" treatment by using spinach because, as she explains, it's "a much safer alternative to artificial food coloring," and it adds a nutritional boost. She does say, though, that "you honestly can't taste it at all. I add raw spinach to my smoothie every day so I know there is no taste!" Other healthy ingredient swaps she's made in this pudding include using maple syrup instead of sugar, something she says is "absolutely perfect in this," as well as coconut milk in place of dairy milk, something that makes this a vegan dessert.

Gather your ingredients for pistachio pudding

This pudding is made with real pistachios to give it some nutty crunch. The color, as we've already mentioned, comes from fresh spinach. Hahn does caution against using frozen spinach, however, explaining that it does "not [have] the same affect." So, be sure to pick up some fresh spinach for this recipe. You'll also need a can of coconut milk, something Hahn says "has a very mild flavor and does not scream coconut," but will provide a creamy consistency. You'll also use tapioca flour for thickening, plus almond extract to add what Hahn calls "a very nutty pistachio taste." If you don't need your pudding to be so nutty, you could use vanilla extract instead. If you have access to pistachio extract, that would also be a great substitute for the almond flavoring as well.

Prepare the pistachios

If you are beginning with pistachios that still have their shells on, you'll need to de-shell them, for starters. If, instead, you're using the pricier but more convenient pre-shelled kind, just measure out the necessary amount. Hahn does use the standard roasted and salted kind, which is available in most grocery stores, so there's no need to track down raw pistachios.

Grind the pistachios until they resemble fine crumbs — Hahn says you can do so in a blender as well as a food processor. Whichever implement you use, though, take care not to over-grind the nuts as doing so might leave you with pistachio nut butter. Delicious, yes, but not what is called for in this recipe.

Make the pudding

Combine the coconut milk with the spinach, blending them together until you have smooth, green milk. Pour this into a saucepan and stir in the tapioca flour. Cook the milk mixture over medium-low until it starts thickening up, a process that Hahn says should take approximately eight minutes. Once your pudding is looking sufficiently pudding-y, turn the burner off so the milk stops cooking.

At this point, you basically have spinach pudding, so you'll need to add the rest of the flavorings now. Sweeten the pudding with maple syrup, stir in the extract, and blend in the ground nuts. Now you've got a healthy vegan pistachio pudding.

Chill the pudding

Pour the pudding into whatever type of pudding cups or molds you want to use. Teacups or mugs are just fine, though Hahn says, "I love to use the little jars as they keep so nice in the fridge and the amount is just enough." She also notes that you can make a double batch and pour it into a crumb crust, then freeze it for an hour to make a pistachio pudding pie. If you're sticking with pudding, though, let it sit in the fridge for at least three hours to chill and set up before you attempt to eat it.

Hahn likes to top her pudding with whipped cream and additional ground pistachios, but says it's "also great with fresh raspberries or strawberries." She describes it as "the perfect dessert for St. Patrick's Day" (since it's green), but says it would also be "nice as an Easter or spring treat."

Pistachio Pudding Recipe
5 from 44 ratings
This pistachio pudding gets its vibrant green color from spinach — but don't worry, it still has an impeccably sweet and nutty taste.
Prep Time
Cook Time
pistachio pudding in jar
Total time: 13 minutes
  • ½ cup pistachios
  • 1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Optional Ingredients
  • whole pistachios as garnish
  • whipped cream as garnish
  1. Grind the pistachios in a food processor or blender to make fine crumbs, then set aside.
  2. Blend the coconut milk and spinach until smooth.
  3. Combine the tapioca flour with the milk mixture in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 8 minutes, until thickened.
  4. Remove the thickened spinach milk from the heat and stir in the ground pistachios, maple syrup, and almond extract.
  5. Pour the mixture into pudding cups, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours until set.
  6. Use whipped cream and/or additional pistachios as a garnish, if desired, and serve.
Calories per Serving 290
Total Fat 23.7 g
Saturated Fat 16.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.0 g
Dietary Fiber 1.3 g
Total Sugars 10.6 g
Sodium 15.5 mg
Protein 4.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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