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EASY Pistachio Cookies

Soft and chewy pistachio cookies made with only 6 ingredients including instant pistachio pudding mix and maraschino cherries. Add a little green food coloring and they become the perfect cookie for Christmas!

Pistachio pudding cookies stacked on white plate.
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Cookies with Pudding

Today I am bringing you these easy pistachio cookies made with pistachio pudding mix. They are one of my new favorite dessert recipes to make for the holidays.

These paired with molasses cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies and chocolate chip pudding cookies would make the perfect addition to your Christmas dessert board.

I was recently on a quest for a pistachio cherry cookie that was not only festive looking but actually tasted good too. I love meltaway cookies and thought that a pistachio version would not only taste amazing but would have the Christmas green color that I wanted.

The result was melt-in-your-mouth perfection! The color resembles my grinch cookie recipe and would also be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day along with my pistachio dessert!

Recipe Ingredients

Traditional meltaway cookies do not contain eggs and are made from butter, powdered sugar, and cornstarch. Since pudding mixes already have cornstarch in them, it’s the perfect component in these pistachio cookies.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Butter: Softened butter is best, not melted. A quick way to soften the butter is by microwaving the butter in a bowl for 15-20 seconds at 50% power.
  • Powdered sugar: Gives these that melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Instant pistachio pudding mix: Adds wonderful pistachio flavor to these cookies.
  • All-purpose flour: For structure.
  • Almond extract: Compliments the nutty flavor of the pudding and is clear in color so will not impact the color of the cookie. You could use clear vanilla extract.
  • Maraschino cherries: Chopped finely and patted dry. You could omit for plain cookies.
  • Green food coloring (optional): For darker green pistachio cookies add a drop or two of food coloring.

How to Make Pistachio Cookies

These pistachio pudding cookies are easy to make and loved by everyone who tries them. Just 4 simple steps and you can have homemade cookies in no time.

Pistachio cookie dough with chopped maraschino cherries.
  1. Mix ingredients: Cream butter until light and fluffy then add powdered sugar, almond extract, green food coloring, and pistachio pudding mix and continue to mix. Next, add in your flour and mix until just combined. Last, add in your chopped cherries.
  2. Chill dough: Wrap cookie dough in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until slightly firm.
  3. Roll into balls: Use a medium cookie scoop to place dough on parchment lined baking sheets. Alternately, use about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough to roll into a ball. Gently flatten balls with your palm or the bottom of a cup.
  4. Bake: Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes or just until the bottoms are light browned. Cool on pan for 3-5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack. Once cooled completely, dust with powdered sugar.


  • Try mixing in white chocolate chips to the pistachio cookie dough instead of maraschino cherries, this would be great for Easter!
  • For more of a nut flavor, mix in an extra 1/2 cup chopped pistachios.
  • Drizzle or dip half of the cookie in white chocolate.
  • Mix in red sprinkles instead of cherries.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven and top with a Hershey kiss.
A close up of a green pistachio cookie

5 star review

“Wow! Just finished dusting these beautiful cookies. Ate just one as I am hoping these will not disappear before Christmas day. They are as yummy as they look. Kind of unique actually. Yay for this recipe!

– Dan

Baking Tips

Here are a few tips that will help you have the best success while making this pistachio cookie recipe.

  • Do not over mix the dough. Once it’s combined, stop mixing to prevent dry cookies.
  • Maraschino cherries. Chop your cherries finely so they are not chunky. Pat the cherries dry with a paper towel before and after you have chopped them. If you don’t remove the juice it could die the green dough.
  • Don’t skip chilling the dough. Freeze the dough for at least 10 minutes so it isn’t as sticky to work with. Alternately, place in the fridge for an hour or overnight. It will also help the cookies to stay nice and fluffy while baking.
  • Do not over bake. You want these cookies to be soft in the middle so they’ll melt in your mouth. Remove from the oven when the bottoms are just lightly browned and allow them to finish cooking a few more minutes on the pan.


Should I use salted or unsalted butter?

Either works, but if you use unsalted butter you will need to some salt to the dough.

Do I have to add maraschino cherries?

While I love the flavor of maraschino cherries and think flavor goes so well with pistachio, you can definitely make these without or make different variations with the dough. White chocolate chips and chopped pistachios are popular additions.

Why are my cookies flat?

Thickness of your pistachio cookies will depend on the temperature of your butter as well as how long you chilled your dough. Your butter should be room temperature and give slightly when pressed with your finger (leave a small indent). Chill your dough for at least 15 minutes. This solidifies the butter so your cookies spread less while baking.

Stacked pistachio cookies.


Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 – 5 days. You can also freeze baked cookies in a freezer safe bag up to 3 months.

You may also love these other cookie recipes that are easy and delicious! Almond Joy cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, or chocolate crinkle cookies are just a few other favorites.

More Cookies To Try

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stacked pistachio cookies

Pistachio Cookie Recipe

4.97 from 85 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Soft and chewy pistachio cookies made with only 6 ingredients including instant pistachio pudding mix and maraschino cherries. Add a little green food coloring and they become the perfect cookie for Christmas!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Freeze: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 24


  • 1 cup butter ,softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar , more for sprinkling on top
  • 3.4 ounce package instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • ½ cup maraschino cherries , chopped finely (see note)

Optional: green food coloring


    • Beat the butter in a large bowl with a mixer, until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, almond extract and pudding mix and beat until combined. Add food coloring now if you prefer a darker green. Next add in the flour and mix until combined.
    • Gently mix in the chopped cherries into the dough. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until slightly firm. Alternatively you could refrigerate the dough for an hour, or overnight
    • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Take a medium scoop or about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Gently flatten dough balls with your palm or the bottom of a cup. Place cookie on the cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining dough.
    • Bake for 9-11 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes. Once completely cooled sprinkle cookies with dust with powdered sugar.


    Cherries: The cherries can be left out of desired. When using, make sure to finely chop the maraschino cherries. Use a paper towel to pat the cherries to remove all of the juice and excess liquid. You want to make sure you dry all of the red juice or you may turn your cookies a not so pretty color. You can also place the chopped cherries in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to make sure they don’t stain the dough. 
    You can definitely leave the cherries out of this recipe if you prefer the pistachio cookies plain. 


    Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 125mg | Potassium: 11mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.4mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    This recipe was originally a guest post by The Girl Who Ate Everything.

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