Delicious Pistachio Dessert has a crunchy shortbread cookie base for the perfect combination of crunchy, creamy, sweet + salty.
Pistachio layered dessert
Pistachio Dessert is similar to Watergate Salad, which uses pistachio instant pudding mix, canned pineapple, mini marshmallows, nuts, and whipped topping.
If you love pistachio and shortbread cookies, Pistachio Pudding is a must-make dessert. It has so many delicious layers, including a shortbread cookie crust, cream cheese layer, pistachio pudding layer, and a topping of Whipped Cream.
How to Make Pistachio Dessert
This recipe is quite simple, and takes just 10-15 minutes to prep before refrigerating for at least an hour.
COOKIE LAYER. Smash shortbread cookies in a Ziploc bag until fine (you can even put these in a food processor if you want them super fine). Add melted butter to the bag with crumbs, and mix. Press into a 9×13 pan.
BAKE. Bake at 350°F for about 10 minutes in the oven, until golden. Let cool.
CREAM CHEESE LAYER. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and Whipped Cream together until smooth. Pour an even layer over cooled crust.
PUDDING LAYER. In another bowl, mix the milk and pudding together until thickened. Pour and spread over the cream cheese layer.
WHIPPED CREAM. Spread remaining cool whip or whipped cream over the top and refrigerate.
Chill. Refrigerate the dessert as you are making the next layer. It helps each layer set before adding on the next.
Pudding. Be sure to use INSTANT pistachio pudding mix. Do not make it into a pudding, you will just be using the powder in this recipe.
Shortbread cookies. I used Keebler Sandies, but any shortbread cookie should work. Golden Oreos, pistachio cookies, or any other kind of cookie would also work.
Crumby Crust. If you feel like your crust will be too dry and crumbly, add 1-2 more tablespoons of butter.
Milk. I recommend whole milk as it creates a creamy pudding mixture. However, you can use 2%, 1% or even skim.
Toppings. Here are some other great options:
- Toasted coconut
- Chopped pistachio nuts
- Mini chocolate chips
- Chopped nuts (we like to use pecans)
Make ahead of time. We typically do not make this more than 24 hours in advance, just so it’s fresh. Wait to add sprinkles or candies on top until right before serving, so they don’t discolor the Whipped Cream. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and store in the fridge until serving time.
STORE leftovers covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.
We really hope you enjoy this Pistachio treat, it really is a perfect dessert! If you’re feeling really nutty, try pairing it with a scoop of pistachio ice cream! This dessert has been a go-to recipes in our home, and we think you’ll love it just as much as we do.
For more layered desserts, check out:
Pistachio Dessert Recipe
- Smash shortbread cookies in a Ziploc bag, until fine. For extra fine crumbs, you can crush cookies in a food processor.
- Add melted butter to Ziploc bag with Put crushed cookies and mix around until coated. Press crumbs into a 9×13 pan.
- Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes in the oven until golden. Let cool.
- Smooth together cream cheese, sugar and 2 cups of your cool whip (or whipped cream). Pour an even layer over crushed cookie crust.
- Mix the milk and pudding mix together until thickened up. Pour over the cream cheese layer.
- Spread your remaining whipped topping over the top and refrigerate. Top with crushed pecans if desired.