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Small Batch Pistachio Pudding Dessert

by on June 23, 2008 · 23 comments

This is based on a recipe I found while hunting for green and slightly garish St. Patrick’s Day desserts. I didn’t get around to making it March, but yesterday I stumbled across it again while looking for cold, no-bake refrigerator desserts. It did require a little baking, but only enough to set the shortbread crust on which the cream cheese and pudding mixture rests. The end result was better than expected and perfect for people who like things made with pistachio pudding mix. I’m actually not one of those people, but Todd is and he loved this. I might try making it again with a different flavored pudding layer.

This version is made in an 8 inch square pan and serves about 6 people.

Pistachio Pudding Dessert

Small Batch Pistachio Pudding Dessert

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt (omit if using regular butter)
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
4 oz. cream cheese – softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 1/2 – 3 cups whipped topping or sweetened whipped cream
1 (3.4 oz) box instant pistachio pudding mix
1 1/4 cups cold milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray an 8 inch square glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Beat together butter, salt and granulated sugar. Add flour and stir until almost blended, then stir in 1/3 cup of the pecans. Press evenly into the bottom of pan and bake for 13-15 minutes or until set. Cool completely.

Beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, and about 1 cup of the whipped cream. Spread this mixture over the cooled crust.

Whisk pudding mix and milk together in a medium bowl for 2 minutes or until thickened. Spread pudding over cream cheese mixture. Spread remaining whipped cream over pudding mixture, then top with remaining nuts. Chill for 2-3 hours before serving.

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Published on June 23, 2008

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana June 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

My mom used to make this with chocolate pudding, and it used to be my absolute *favorite* when I was a kid! I haven’t made it in years…thanks for the reminder. Maybe I’ll find an excuse to make it soon!

Jeanette June 23, 2008 at 10:11 am

Yes, my mil also makes this with Chocolate pudding…. quite often actually. I really prefer it with a different pudding. I’ve used Banana, Lemon, even the Cheesecake flavor. I’ve never tried it with Pistachio……… but I will now!!! That is so pretty, and we LOVE Pistachio!

Carole R. June 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

YUM!!! Will give it a try this week. May use butterscotch pudding because that’s the only instsnt pudding I have on hand.

VeggieGirl June 23, 2008 at 10:27 am

Oooh, so vibrantly green!

Michelle June 23, 2008 at 10:48 am

Anna,
This is my husband’s favorite dessert. He grew up with it in his family and I make it for him every year for his birthday. Our ingredient amounts vary slightly from yours and the crust is slightly different, but very similar. I’m not a pecan or walnut fan, but I make it with chopped almonds now, and we all love it! Very easy!
I have wanted to try it with chocolate as well!
Do you ever get Quick Cooking magazine? There is a fantastic looking recipe in their Nov/Dec 2002 issue that one the grand prize, called Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert. I’ve had it in my to-try pile for years. It might be one you’d like to try if you’re looking for something no-bake and cool for these hot days! Oh, here I just found it online for you:
http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Peanut-Butter-Chocolate-Dessert

Anna June 23, 2008 at 10:51 am

Dana and Jeanette, thanks for the flavor suggestions. I definitely want to make it with something other than pistachio.

Carole, butterscotch would definitely be good — especially with the pecans.

Veggiegirl, I think it’s scary green.

Michelle, your husband must like the same kinds of desserts as Todd. Thanks so much for that link! Of course if I make it, I will be the only one eating it because nobody else in the family likes peanut butter. Grrrrrr.

Michelle June 23, 2008 at 10:57 am

Anna, I wanted to ask you for your recommendation for great bar cookies to bring to be enjoyed by adults & kids together. I want to avoid needing plates & forks. I can’t bring peanut butter or nuts (kids there have allergies) and I want to stay away from chocolate because the kids will be eating dessert right before bed!
Any ideas? It seems all I have saved to try lately are recipes with peanut butter, chocolate or nuts!!

Anna June 23, 2008 at 11:03 am

Michelle, here are two that might be good.

Easy Cheesy Lemon Bars

http://www.cookiemadness.net/?p=1080

Pineapple Cheesecake Bars

http://www.cookiemadness.net/?p=1691

Natalie June 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

I love pistachios! I really like when you put the small batch ideas. I live by myself so its much better for my diet to make things in small quantities :)

Kristen June 23, 2008 at 11:33 am

So I’ve been lurking for months, but could not resist posting when I saw our family’s favorite childhood dessert- Pistachio Torte! It was always made for my brothers’ birthdays, with the pan of leftovers stored in the fridge with a fork. They would then just take a bite whenever they went to the fridge. A 15×10 pan- gone in a day or two. Unfortunately, my husband merely tolerates it- so I have to wait for my mom to make it for a special occasion. I like the small pan idea- I may have to try that! Thanks:)

Michelle June 23, 2008 at 11:44 am

Thanks Anna for those ideas. The lemon bars look great, I’m going to save those to try another time after I make a trip to the store to get cake mix!
I guess I’m just going to go back to just cookies for tonight. Last week I brought rice krispie treats, which were, as usual, the biggest hit with kids and I also brought a pan of butterscotch oatmeal bars, which were a new recipe for me to try. Those went over well. So that’s why I had bars on the brain again this week. But, I remembered one of the gals there tonight had a birthday yesterday and LOVES cookies, so I’m going for that!! I’m tempted to try making your most recent chocolate chip cookies you posted, but wonder if I could possibly like them more than the Jacques Torres ones?!

standing still June 23, 2008 at 12:42 pm

That looks so wonderful. I am definitely putting this on the short list for summer.

HeartofGlass June 23, 2008 at 5:47 pm

I thought you said Lizzie liked peanut butter–maybe you can find some non-chocolate containing desserts with peanut butter for both of you–or use vanilla or pb sandwich cookies for the Quick Cooking dessert!

I bet the pudding would be great with Instant pumpkin Jell-o pudding.

Anna June 23, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Ha Ha! She used to like peanut butter, but she seems kind of tired of it for some reason.

Julie O'Hara June 24, 2008 at 9:43 am

I love this type of dessert too. I still remember a version my friend made me in high school. It had a graham cracker base, a layer of caramel (just a jar of caramel sauce I think), chocolate pudding and whipping topping with mini chocolate chips mixed in. It was insanely good, but now I’m afraid I’m not remembering right. I don’t want to try recreating it and be disappointed!

Karen December 5, 2008 at 4:23 pm

I have been looking for this recipe for years. My Mom used to make this, but we used colored sprinkles on top.

Ivan Toledo December 17, 2008 at 5:28 pm

I love the pistachio pudding recipe, it is excellent. It is one of my favorite deserts.

Janessa March 19, 2009 at 10:17 am

I love this recipe! My mom is the coordinator of a grief support group where we live and one of the ladies that has joined recently brought it. I told her I would like to have her recipe, but I just found it here. Its just fantastic!

Kassy May 29, 2010 at 11:52 am

This looks good…we used to make a dessert with pistachio pudding mixed with ice cream and I can’t remember what else, but it had a ritz cracker crust and was fantastic! I’ll have to find my recipe – thanks for reminding me of it :)

Anna May 29, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I’d like to try using Ritz crackers in a crust one day. Great idea!

lindsey May 29, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Oh, this reminds me so much of my childhood. pistachio pudding was a favorite of my grandmother’s, so she made everything with it. YUM! I’ll be trying this soon.

cooksalotmn December 31, 2010 at 11:48 am

My mom has made this for years. One of her variations is using coconut cream pudding and then topping with toasted coconut…not everyone is a coconut fan but if you are it is spectacular!

DJR March 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

There are some awesome summer desserts that use a graham crackerpretzel type crust, a cream cheese layer similar to the one used in this recipe and a jello and fresh fruit mixture (I’ve used strawberry) and then that topped with whipped topping…I was leary of the crust, but the entire flavor combination was awesome and I always get requests for the recipe. It is very light for a summer dessert and has even been referred to as strawberry-pretzel salad…

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