These delightful Pistachio Macarons are filled with pistachio buttercream and remind me of our time in Paris and the famous French macarons we got from Ladurée. Let your tastebuds do the traveling without the jetlag by making these at home!
I'm slightly obsessed with macarons but I die a little at the cost of each one at most bakeries. So I prefer to make them at home! Be sure not to miss my Chocolate Macarons, Lemon Macarons, Peppermint Macarons, or Raspberry Macarons. What flavor should I make next?!
I always feel like I'm going rogue when I post about macarons because the honest truth is that I don't weigh my macaron ingredients before making them. Basically every blog post on the internet is going to preach about how macarons are so finicky and there is no possible way to be successful at making them if you skip the food scale and just use measuring cups.
Pshaw, I say.
A part of me feels the need to apologize since I feel like most classically trained pastry chefs will see me for the imposter that I am when I admit that, but it's the truth.
I've made dozens upon dozens of macarons without any formal training, eschewing the scale for good old measuring cups and you know what? They had those coveted little "feet" (the ruffly bottom of a properly made macaron shell), weren't hollow in the middle, and turned out delicious. So there.
These are easy to make pistachio macaroon cookies will impress everyone and you’ll wonder why you ever bought them from the store in the first place.
Save time and money making these soft and crisp little cookies at home and show off the culinary skills you didn't even know you had. Macaron recipes are often regarded as one of the more difficult recipes to master, but you've got this! Although I will keep your secret if you don't want your friends to know that it's actually really ridiculously simple and like only 5 ingredients to make these impressive and scrumptious pistachio macarons.
How to make pistachio flour for macarons
All of my macaron recipes have pretty much the same ingredient list of almond flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and egg whites. This one is just a little different in that I replace some of the almond flour with homemade pistachio flour that I ground up myself in my food processor (affiliate link).
Save yourself the hassle and buy a bag of already shelled, roasted pistachios to make your almond flour. Costco sells big bags of them and they are great for snacking.
Dump the roasted pistachios into your food processor (affiliate link) and pulse until they are finely chopped, but stop before they turn into a paste which can happen if you process them too far.
Then sift the pistachio flour through a fine mesh sieve to separate any larger bits of pistachio that didn't get chopped finely enough so you have enough of the super-fine pistachio flour to use for this recipe. The larger bits can be chopped up more or just used as is in the pistachio buttercream filling.
How to Make Pistachio Macarons
Sifting. My first key to macaron success to is sift the almond flour, pistachio flour, and powdered sugar together TWICE through a fine mesh sieve. Not only does this help lighten the mixture and evenly combine the ingredients, but it also gets rid of larger bits of almond and pistachio meal.
For me, this is the most tedious part of making macarons. It can take a while to sift everything, but it's one of my best tips for perfect macarons on your first try.
Beat the egg whites. In a large, clean bowl, beat aged egg whites on medium speed until they are frothy, about 1 minute. I always use my KitchenAid with a whisk attachment for this part of things, but you could do it with a hand mixer instead. I've had the best, most consistent success with macarons when I use aged egg whites, although I don't think they are totally necessary. To age egg whites, separate the whites and yolks, then put the whites in the fridge overnight. The next day, let them sit out on the counter for 1-2 hours before making the macarons.
Honestly, I don't always have time for this and will sometimes skip the overnight period in the fridge, but I always let the egg whites sit out for 1-2 hours so they really are room temperature at the very least.
Gradually add in the granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking for 20 seconds or so after each addition, until all of the sugar has been added. Continue to whisk on medium to medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
Don't overbeat the egg whites (which is why I don't recommend upping your speed any higher than medium-high) but definitely whisk until when you stop the mixer, the egg whites have a lot of volume and will hold their shape when you lift the beaters out.
Fold in the almond and pistachio flour mixture. Some people recommend adding the sifted ingredients ⅓ at a time, but I always just dump it all in and start folding with a sturdy spatula. By "folding" the almond mixture into the stiff egg whites, I mean using the spatula to scrape the stuff at the bottom of the bowl and lift it up on top, repeating until you get a good "lava" consistency. It's sort of a "j-shape" motion and this part is technically referred to as "macronage".
You will know you have mixed it enough when a thick ribbon of batter flows off your spatula when you hold it up over the bowl. The batter should melt in on itself after about 10 seconds. If it falls off in blobs, you haven't mixed long enough. If it falls off in a stream and immediately melts in on itself like honey or shampoo, there's a chance you went too far and overmixed it.
Honestly, this step is where most people experience the most trepidation when making macarons for the first time, but don't let that stop you! I taught a group of 9 teenagers how to make macarons with this technique and every one of them had perfect macaron shells with feet (the ruffly looking edges at the bottom of each macaron shell that are the hallmark of excellent macarons) on their very first try.
Pipe the macaron shells. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Some people like to trace 1 ½" circles on the backside of the parchment paper as a guide for piping, and you can even buy special macaron silpat mats for this purpose, but I always just freeform it because that's how I roll. But either way it's important not to pipe these directly onto your baking sheets or they will stick.
Transfer the macaron batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip. Or just put it in a large heavy-duty ziploc bag and cut off one corner. Pipe 1 ½" circles a couple inches apart on the paper or mat. Then rap the baking sheet on the counter a few times to help remove any air bubbles in the shells. You can poke air bubbles that form on top with a toothpick if you need to.
Let the macarons dry for 30-60 minutes at room temperature. This part is key to getting those "feet" I mentioned earlier. Leaving the macarons out lets the top dry out a bit. I find I often need to open the windows in my house a bit so that a helpful cross-draft can move this part along.
You should be able to touch the tops of the macarons without any of it coming off on your finger before they go into the oven. They will feel tacky, but not sticky. If they are still sticky, they haven't dried enough and you need to wait a little bit longer and maybe place them somewhere where air can circulate around them a bit.
Preheat oven and bake. Let the oven preheat for a good 20 minutes at 300 degrees F, then bake one tray of macaron shells at a time for 16-18 minutes. Let the macaron shells cool completely on the baking sheet before attempting to remove them from the baking mats or parchment paper.
Make pistachio buttercream filling. While the macaron shells are baking, beat the butter until creamy and smooth in a large bowl using an electric or stand mixer. Add powdered sugar, pistachio flour, and almond extract and beat again until light and fluffy.
Spoon the pistachio buttercream into a piping bag, then pipe a small amount on the bottom side of one shell. Sandwich another shell on top to complete the pistachio macaron. Ideally, macarons are best the day after they are made, but I can never wait that long.
Why Should I Sift The Dry Mix Twice?
By sifting the almond mixture twice, you are making sure that there are absolutely no lumps in the mix and that it will be velvety smooth. The smooth texture of macarons is part of what makes them so delicious and famous, so starting the recipe on the right track is always a great idea!
Are Macarons Gluten Free?
Yes! Thanks to macarons being made of almond flour (a naturally gluten-free flour) macaron recipes like this one are completely gluten free! Just make sure that if you have a gluten allergy, you pay close attention to labels for any warning signs of cross contamination.
Can Macarons Be Frozen?
Yes, they can! In fact, macarons freeze very well. Just place them into an airtight storage container and keep them in the fridge for up to a few weeks. When you’re ready to eat them simply take them out and let them come to room temperature on the counter for about 20 minutes before eating.
More Classic Dessert Recipes Like This
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
- ¾ cup almond flour 75 grams
- ¼ cup finely ground and sifted roasted pistachios 25 grams
- ¾ cup powdered sugar 100 grams
- 3 large egg whites 100 grams, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1-2 drops green food coloring
- 2 Tablespoons finely ground pistachios
- ¼ cup salted butter softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- Prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Sift almond flour, powdered sugar, and ground pistachios through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Repeat one more time to make sure the ingredients are uniformly combined, discarding any larger pieces that don't go through the mesh sieve. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy, about 1 minute, then slowly add the granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon every 20 seconds or so. Increase the speed to medium-high then continue to beat until stiff peaks form.
- Fold the sifted almond/pistachio mixture into the egg whites using a spatula until the batter becomes the consistency of lava and drizzles off a spatula in a thick ribbon.
- Transfer the macaron batter to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip or a ziploc bag with one corner cut off. Pipe the macaron batter in 1 ½-inch circles onto the silpat mat or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Rap the pan against a counter a few times to release air bubbles.
- Let the macarons sit for 30-60 minutes until the top is dry enough to touch. It may take even longer if the day is humid.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Bake one sheet of macaron shells at a time for 16-18 minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheet before attempting to remove the macaron shells from the pan.
- Meanwhile, make the pistachio buttercream by beating the butter in a medium bowl until creamy and smooth. Add the powdered sugar, ground pistachios, and almond extract, then mix again. Add as much heavy cream as needed to get a good piping consistency.
- To fill the macaron shells, transfer the pistachio buttercream to a bag fitted with a piping tip or a ziploc bag with one corner cut off. Pipe buttercream onto the bottom half of the macaron shells, then top with another macaron shell.
- Aging egg whites: I've had the best, most consistent success with macarons when I use aged egg whites. To do this, separate the whites and yolks, then put the whites in the fridge overnight. The next day, let them sit out on the counter for 1-2 hours before making the macarons. I don't always have time for this and will sometimes skip the overnight period in the fridge, but I always let the egg whites sit out for 1-2 hours so they really are room temperature at the very least.
- Freezing and storage: Store in an airtight container on the counter for 3 days or in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. When filled with ganache, these can even be frozen for up to 3 months, but some other fillings like jams that have a higher moisture content don't freeze as well.
Reader questions and reviews
Are the pistachios you used salted and roasted? That’s the only ones I found at Costco. I couldn’t find unsalted toasted pistachios.
Yep! That's where I get my pistachios too!
I made these the other day, and I have to say they are the best macaron I've ever made, in my opinion. I LOVE custard-based buttercreams, and this one is SOOO good. YUM!
These are delicious!
I was intimidated by having to grind my own pistachios but it was easy and so worth it. I can't wait to make another batch.
Thank you for sharing this recipe. Did you use food color or is the color from the pistachio flour? Thank you very much!
Yes, I used just a drop or two of green gel food coloring.
Do you cover the egg whites when you leave them in the fridge overnight?
Yes, with a lid or with plastic wrap.
tried it twice and both times they have come out spongey and chewy with no feet. they're still not bad cookies to eat but they certainly aren't macaron shells. not sure what i'm doing wrong. i used a very tiny dash of cream of tartar as i have with other recipes, do u think thats whats screwing me up?
I think that's caused by overbeating the egg white mixture before adding the nuts. I don't think the cream of tartar would have that affect, as it's typically added as a stabilizing agent to macarons.
These turned out perfect! I followed the instructions completely! First time they’ve ever come out perfect! Thank you! Very easy to follow as well.
This makes me happy to hear!
i followed directions to the letter and mine burned 🙁
IF they came out burnt then either they were baked too long or the oven temperature was too hot (or both).
I have made this recipe twice and both times the shells cracked. I've followed the recipe exactly. I've made many other macaron recipes and have never had this issue. Any ideas as to what is causing this? My guess is air bubbles, but I rapped the pans about 6-7 times and used a tootpick to pop any addition air bubbles. Thoughts? Thank you!
If the shells are cracking, my thought is that maybe your oven is cooking a little on the hot side for these? Try decreasing the temperature by 25 degrees and see if that helps.
Can I use carton egg whites for this recipe? And if so, is it possible to age them the same way as normal egg whites?
Yes! Just measure out the amount you plan to use, then let them age the same way as regular egg whites.
I purchased a bag of roasted and salted pistachios. Will that work? I know you said roasted but these are salted as well, or should I rinse the salt off and let dry?
sorry, I see you answered already.
Sorry, It looks like you've answered already
Those will work just fine!
Can I substitute milk for the heavy cream in the buttercream?
If I want to yield double the amount of macarons, do I just double the recipe? I know that seems like common sense, but baking can be weird!
Hi! I'm curious as to why the powdered sugar in the cookie batter is not listed by weight as the other ingredients? Since it requires so much precision to make these little dudes, it seems odd.
Just an accidental omission! I've fixed it now!
I made these just today! While the flavor is great, my shells didn’t turn out anywhere near like the picture, my batter overall was super thick and didn’t have that “lava” consistency. I followed the recipe to a tee and have baking for years so I’m not sure what happened, have others experienced this??
If your batter is still thick and not lava consistency, you just need to continue the macronage process of mixing it a bit longer to help them turn out better next time.
This recipe is delicious! Any ideas on what you can do with overwhipped egg whites? This most recent time I've made macarons something went wrong here. They're nice and glossy but didn't puff up and stiffen the way they should have. I was thinking chiffon cake might be worth a try but any ideas would be great!
Maybe you got a little bit of egg yolk in by mistake? Or some oil in the bowl?
I am stoked to try this recipe, do u think it would work the same if I halved the recipe??
I wouldn't risk halving this recipe. You can always freeze half the batch for later!
For the granulated sugar, do you use caster sugar? Can you use regular organic sugar?
I just use regular granulated sugar.
Would using caster sugar change the outcome?
No, I don't think so, although you might reach the proper consistency slightly quicker than if you were using granulated sugar as the caster sugar would dissolve into the egg whites better and faster I think.
If I wanted to add the cream of tartar . How much should I add to this recipe?
Some people will add around 1/2 teaspoon to their almond flour mixture, but I have never found it necessary.
Thank you for this recipe! I’m happy to find that I don’t need a scale! My first try on this recipe my maracrons cracked but they still tasted good. After some googling I found that MAYBE my problem was that I didn’t let them rest long enough; so I let my sit for an hour the second time instead of 30 minutes like I did the first time and that worked!! I finally got some perfect macaron shells!! Yay!! ( I made the chocolate recipe, I’m excited to try this pistachio recipe!)
I often find the shells to be too sweet and would love if I could cut the sugar level by about 1/4. Is this possible without structurally damaging the shells?
Hmm, I feel like that could still work already and the shells would turn out.
Can I add pistachio pudding to the filling mix instead of real pistachios?
No, I don't think that would work since pistachio pudding has other things like cornstarch and milk powder in it, which would probably adversely affect the outcome of your macarons. This is one case where I would stick with real pistachios.
I think my shells came out looking good, but they have air pockets under their tops. Any suggestions? (also unless I'm just unable to spot it, you never add the food coloring during your directions).
Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.
I made these and I think something went wrong when I beat the eggs. I noticed when I piped the macaron shells onto the pans, it was very liquidy and spread, and the batter wasn't very thinking so they didn't settle as they should. One batch stuck to the parchment paper, the other batch came off the parchment paper very easily. But both baches were very chewy.
Made these macaroons and the flavor was great. The cookie was very chewy. Did I fold the batter too long?
Hmm, did the cookies set up properly otherwise with the ruffled feet and not hollow in the middle? In that case, no, I don't think you folded the batter too long. I actually think of macaron shells as being slightly chewy and certainly not crisp.
How do you make the perfectly round circles?
I pipe them with the piping bag completely perpendicular to the baking sheet, not at an angle. With a round tip, they pipe into circles easily! But you can also trace circles onto a piece of parchment paper or purchase silicon baking mats with a circle template on it to follow if that helps!
What would make them to Crack on top?
With macarons there are a two main reasons for cracks on top. The first is too much air in the batter, which you can try to fix by rapping the baking sheet on the counter pretty hard a few times after piping. The second is not having a skin on the macarons develop before baking, which can be improved by letting them sit out and rest a little bit longer.
It was my first time making these and they are fantastic! I used a regular whisk and my hand to mix everything, which definitely made mixing everything a little longer. But overall, the shells came out chewy and so good! I did have a hard time creating perfect circles for the shells and creating a stiff peak with my mix. But it ended very delicious!