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EASY Pistachio Cookies

Pistachio cookies made with a pistachio pudding and maraschino cherries. These are the perfect Christmas cookie and a true crowd pleaser! These are so soft and will literally melt in your mouth. 

Pistachio pudding cookies stacked on white plate.
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Today I am bringing you these easy pistachio pudding cookies. 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. Meltaways don’t have any eggs in them but are made from butter, powdered sugar, and cornstarch to create that melt in your mouth taste. Since pudding mixes already have cornstarch in them, I thought it would be the perfect component in my version of a pistachio meltaway cookie.

Pistachio and maraschino cherry cookie dough.

How to Make Pistachio Cookies

This recipe is easy to make and loved by everyone who tries them. just 3 simple steps you can have homemade cookies in no time.

  1. Chop the cherries: Make sure to chop them finely and remove any excess with a paper towel
  2. Prepare the dough: Use the printed recipe below to prep this 5-ingredient dough by mixing together the butter, powdered sugar, almond extract, pistachio pudding dry mix and flour.
  3. Bake: You’ll want to bake these cookies just until the bottoms are light browned. Then move to a cooling rack and dust with powdered sugar once cooled.


I love the flavor of maraschino cherries and the flavor goes so well with pistachio, so I added them to the cookies, but you can definitely make these without or make different variations with the dough.

  • Try mixing in white chocolate chips to the dough
  • For more of a nut flavor, mix in an extra 1/2 cup chopped pistachios.
  • Drizzle of 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

Tips for Perfect Results

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

  • Start with softened butter (not melted) for a good consistency. A quick way to soften the butter is by microwaving the butter in a bowl for 15-20 seconds at 50% power.
  • Do not over mix the dough. Once it’s combined, stop mixing to prevent dry cookies.
  • Chopping the cherries finely so you don’t have too big of chunks
  • 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.
  • Freeze the dough for 10 minutes so it isn’t as sticky to work with. 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 once they are removed from the oven.
Stacked pistachio cookies.

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

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stacked pistachio cookies

Pistachio Cookie Recipe

4.97 from 29 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
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! 
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Freeze: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
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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