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Cool, creamy, and full of nutty pistachio flavor, this Layered Pistachio Pudding Dessert is both delicious and beautiful! This is one simple dessert that your family will ask for again and again.

Slice of pistachio pudding dessert on a white plate, with the rest of the layered dessert in the background.

I don’t know if it’s the exhaustion of the last couple of years catching up with me or what, but these days I am all about desserts that impress but were super easy to throw together.

I still love baking for people and love taking desserts when we visit family and friends, but I’m definitely in a “the easier the better” phase of life.

Thankfully, I’ve got this Layered Pistachio Pudding Dessert recipe in my back pocket. It’s one of those desserts that people always love and always ask for the recipe, but it’s so easy that I can throw it together in about 45 minutes.

And really, that’s just a win for everyone.

Ingredients for pistachio pudding dessert arranged on a marble countertop.
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What is Pistachio Pudding Dessert?

You took the best things about no-bake cheesecake, eclair cake, vanilla pudding, and watergate salad and put them all together, you’d end up with this pistachio pudding dessert. 

This no-bake-adjacent dessert is made up of 4 perfect (yet totally simple) layers:

  • A pistachio crust
  • A sweetened cream cheese layer
  • A pistachio pudding layer
  • A Cool Whip topping with crunchy chopped pistachios

I call this “no-bake adjacent” because you do bake the crust – but that’s the only thing you bake! And while you could make this with a graham cracker crust, taking the time to bake the pistachio crust is totally worth it for the texture and added pistachio flavor.

Crust for pistachio pudding dessert in the bottom of a metal pan, set on a marble countertop.

In fact, I could totally just eat this crust all on its own and be happy. But that’s just me!

Once you bake the crust, everything else gets layered on top and chilled, so your oven will probably only be on for about 30 minutes total. 

The end result when you cut into this dessert is an impressive one. You’ll see each of the layers, with the lovely green from the pistachio pudding in the middle. 

If you ask me, layered desserts (like brownie trifle) always make a statement, so this is definitely a recipe you’ll want to make when you have company over. No need to admit to them that it was super easy to make!

Pistachio pudding being whisked together in a white mixing bowl on a marble countertop.

How to Make This Recipe

I’ll walk you through making each of the layers, but you’ll soon see for yourself how easy this recipe is to make.

Ingredients you’ll need

Even though there are 4 layers in this pistachio pudding dessert, a few of the ingredients overlap, so there aren’t a lot of things you’ll need to buy.

You’ll need:

  • Chopped pistachios: Shelled, chopped pistachios add some great pistachio flavor and a lot of texture to this dessert. We’ll use them in both the crust and as a topping.
  • All-purpose flour: Make sure you know how to measure flour properly so your crust turns out perfect every time! 
  • Granulated sugar: We’ll only need a small amount of granulated sugar for the crust; making the crust a bit less sweet helps to balance the sweetness of the other layers.
  • Unsalted butter: Butter holds the crust together and adds a rich, buttery flavor that is hard to beat.
  • Cream cheese: Make sure the cream cheese for the cream cheese layer is at room temperature before you start mixing it together. Learn how to soften cream cheese if you need some tips for doing this quickly!
  • Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar works best in the cream cheese layer. You can learn more about the types of sugar if you aren’t sure about the difference between granulated sugar and powdered sugar.
  • Vanilla: It’s rare for me to make a dessert that doesn’t have vanilla in it. It adds so much depth to anything it’s in!
  • Frozen whipped topping: We’ll use thawed whipped topping in both the cream cheese layer and on the top of the dessert. You can use any frozen whipped topping you like best for this. 
  • Instant pistachio pudding mix: I like to use instant pistachio pudding mix to get that beautiful green color in this dessert. You could use homemade pistachio pudding for this layer if you want, but this is definitely easier!
  • Whole milk: I prefer to use whole milk to make the pudding layer, and recommend you do the same. You could likely use reduced-fat milk if you need to, though.
Assembling pistachio pudding dessert in a metal pan. The layer of pistachio pudding is on top in the photo.

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Making this simple dessert

Making the crust layer is probably the most difficult part of this pistachio pudding dessert recipe, and it’s really not hard at all!

Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine all of the crust ingredients until you have a crumbly dough. You can also use two forks or a pastry blender to do this if you don’t have a mixer.

Press the dough evenly into a greased 13×9-inch pan and bake the crust for about 12-15 minutes. Make sure you let the crust cool completely before you move on to the next layers!

Assembled pistachio pudding dessert in a metal pan, ready to be chilled.

Once your crust has cooled, make the cream cheese layer by beating together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Once that is smooth and creamy, fold in a container of the whipped topping.

Spread this layer evenly over the crust.

Whisk together the pudding mixes and milk and let this thicken for about 5 minutes before you spread it on top of the cream cheese layer.

Overhead view of sliced pistachio pudding dessert topped with chopped pistachios, ready to be served.

To finish, spread the remaining Cool Whip on top, then refrigerate the whole dessert for at least 6 hours.

Right before serving, sprinkle on the rest of the chopped pistachios. Wait until serving to add these so they don’t become soft!

And that’s it! A simple yet delicious pistachio pudding dessert that I know will make all of your friends ask for the recipe.

Sliced pistachio pudding dessert on a marble countertop with a piece being removed from the corner.

More Pistachio Pudding Dessert Recipes

Do you love pistachio desserts and want more ways to use pistachio pudding mix? Give these pistachio pudding dessert recipes a try!

Overhead view of sliced pistachio pudding cake on a marble countertop

Pistachio Pudding Cake

4.52 from 143 ratings
Pistachio Pudding Cake is a simple bundt cake to make any time of year. Made with a cake mix and pistachio pudding mix, this cake can be topped with a simple glaze or any number of frostings for a delicious crowd-pleasing dessert.
View Recipe
Pistachio Pudding Linzer Cookies on My Baking Addiction

Pistachio Pudding Linzer Cookies

5 from 2 ratings
Pistachio Pudding Linzer Cookies couldn’t be more adorable or perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t skimp on the sprinkles!
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Pistachio Pudding Parfaits

Deliciously creamy layers of graham cracker crust, pistachio pudding, whipped topping and chopped pistachios equal dessert perfection.
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Pistachio Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate

Made with pudding mix and drizzled with dark chocolate, these are not your everyday Rice Krispie Treats! Try this pistachio dessert that puts a new twist on your childhood favorite.
View Recipe
Slice of pistachio pudding dessert with a bite taken from the corner, set on a white plate.
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Layered Pistachio Pudding Dessert

By: Jamie Lothridge
4.61 from 63 ratings
Prep: 45 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Cool, creamy, and full of nutty pistachio flavor, this Layered Pistachio Pudding Dessert is both delicious and beautiful! This is one simple dessert that your family will ask for again and again.

Ingredients

For the Crust

  • ½ cup shelled pistachios very finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature

For the Cream Cheese Layer

  • 1 8- ounce package cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 8- ounce container frozen whipped topping Cool Whip or TruWhip, thawed

For the Pudding Layer

  • 2 3.4- ounce packages instant pistachio pudding mix
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk

For the Topping

  • 1 8- ounce container frozen whipped topping Cool Whip or TruWhip, thawed
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pistachios

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the finely chopped pistachios, flour, granulated sugar and butter. Beat on low speed until you have a crumbly dough. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can use two forks or a pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture. Evenly press the dough into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely before proceeding with the following layers. 
  • Once the crust layer has cooled completely, prepare the cream cheese layer by beating the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Use a rubber spatula to fold in an 8-ounce container of whipped topping. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the crust.
  • Next, whisk together the pudding mixes and milk and allow the mixture to thicken for about 5 minutes before spreading on top of the cream cheese layer.
  • Finally, top with an 8-ounce container of whipped topping. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  • Just before serving, sprinkle with the finely chopped pistachios. 

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 414kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 27g, Saturated Fat: 18g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 45mg, Sodium: 122mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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28 Comments

  1. C says:

    Yum, we always referred to it as “4 Steps to Heaven”. Love it with pistachio or chocolate pudding or both!

  2. Lorri says:

    Love, love, love this! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. Jamie says:

      So glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback.
      -Jamie

  3. kylie says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! Made this for Christmas last year and I will be making it again this year.

    1. Jamie says:

      So glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback.
      -Jamie

  4. Stacey says:

    Hello! Can this be made the day ahead? (I saw to leave the pistachio topping off until serving, but will the rest be ok?)

    1. Jamie says:

      Yes, definitely!