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A serving plate with pistachio baklava pieces.

Pistachio Baklava

Impossible-to-resist pistachio baklava with lots of phyllo pastry, syrup, and pistachios is a delicious Mediterranean dessert that everyone loves.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Greek, turkish
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 513kcal


  • Mortar and pestle or food processor.
  • 10"x15" deep baking pan.
  • Wire rack.
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Medium saucepan


  • 2 cups unshelled pistachio nuts
  • 2.5 sticks unsalted good quality butter or ghee melted
  • 1.5 lb phyllo pastry defrosted overnight in the refrigerator About 40 phyllo sheets
  • 3.5 cups sugar
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest some more for serving (optional)


  • Using a mortar and pestle, ground the pistachios until coarsely minced. You can also chop them by hand with a sharp knife.  You can use a food processor if you prefer but be extra cautious not to ground them too fine. The food processor method is not the most ideal because it releases the nut's oils and changes the baklava flavor.
  • Heat oven to 400° F.
  • Brush the inside of a deep 10-by-15-inch baking pan with butter.
  • Trim the phyllo sheets with scissors to fit the bottom of your baking dish. Always cover phyllo layers with a lightly damp kitchen towel and keep covered.
  • Place 2 pieces of phyllo on the bottom of the baking pan; drizzle with butter.
  • Spread the broken pistachios on the phyllo in an even layer, then layer with the remaining phyllo, using the same drizzling method with butter every two sheets until 20 or so sheets are used.
  • Carefully, using a sharp knife, score the pastry into square or diamond shape pieces. Make sure to cut all the way through to the bottom of the pan. Pour the remaining butter evenly all over the pan.
  • Bake baklava until the top is golden brown, for about 45 minutes, but it could take an hour or a little more depending on your oven.
  • When the baklava is baked through and has a lovely golden brown color, remove it from the oven and let it cool a little. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Keep oven hot.

Make the syrup and finish the baklava

  • In a medium pot, combine the sugar with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Pour the hot syrup all over the lukewarm baklava. Some may overflow, so place the baklava pan on a rack and a rimmed baking sheet. 
  • Put the pan back into the hot oven for about 5 minutes. Remove baklava and let it cool completely before serving. 


  • You can replace the pistachio with grated walnut or almond, mixed with 1 tbsp cinnamon.
  • You can layer the phyllo sheets one by one with the pistachio instead of putting it all in the middle.
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided is only an estimate and can vary based on the products used.


Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 94g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 276mg | Potassium: 260mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 91IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 3mg