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Pistachio Gelato (Made with Homemade Pistachio Paste)

Pistachio Gelato (Made with Homemade Pistachio Paste)

The secret to outstanding pistachio gelato is homemade pistachio paste. Learn how to make it and churn an amazing Italian frozen treat!

Pistachio Gelato Made with Homemade Pistachio Paste //

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I’m in a celebrating mood: I just published my latest Skillshare video class! The class is titled How to Make Gelato: Tips and Recipes to Make the Delightful Italian Frozen Treat–and believe me, the entire 26 minutes are drool-worthy.

This pistachio gelato is one of the recipes I make in the class, and it’s probably the recipe I was most excited to share. I know pistachio gelato is one of the most popular gelato flavors, but unfortunately, it is also the most counterfeited ones. The reason is simple: pistachio nuts are so darn expensive! Many gelato makers take shortcuts and use artificial pistachio flavorings instead of the real thing. But when you’ve tasted authentic pistachio gelato, you can really tell the difference. I still dream of the one I had in Sicily last year!

Sicilian pistachio gelato–served in a brioche…!–at I Dolci di Nonna Vicenza, in Catania, Sicily.
Sicilian pistachio gelato--served in a brioche...!--at I Dolci di Nonna Vicenza, in Catania, Sicily. //

The key to making outstanding pistachio gelato is, in my opinion, in making your own pistachio paste. Not only will you save on buying the store-bought variety, but you’ll fully control the quality of the nuts you use–and of the gelato you churn.

This recipe provides instructions to make pistachio paste and explains how to use it to make gelato. For a video demonstration of this recipe, make sure to check out Lesson 7 of my How to Make Gelato class.

Pistachio Gelato Made with Homemade Pistachio Paste //

How to Make Gelato Video Class

If you’ve never made gelato, I invite you to read my detailed how-to post about the process. You can also watch my video class: How to Make Gelato: Tips and Recipes to Make the Delightful Italian Frozen Treat. In it, you’ll find out what makes gelato different from ice cream, how to make a versatile gelato base you can turn into a variety of flavors, and all my secrets and tips to churn and serve outstanding gelato. I even share how to make dairy-free vegan gelato! In short, it’s a very thorough, colorful class that will quickly turn you into a gelato master. Watch Now!

Pistachio Gelato Made with Homemade Pistachio Paste //



Pistachio Gelato Made with Homemade Pistachio Paste //

Pistachio Gelato (Made with Homemade Pistachio Paste)

The secret to outstanding pistachio gelato is homemade pistachio paste. Learn how to make it and churn an amazing Italian frozen treat!
Prep Time:25 mins
Churning/Freezing Time:4 hrs 30 mins


For the Pistachio Paste

  • cups [375 ml] shelled unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 2/3 cup [160 ml] granulated sugar
  • ½ cup [125 ml] whole milk


  • 1 tsp pistachio or almond extract

To Make the Gelato


  • To make the pistachio paste: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the shelled pistachio nuts and simmer for two minutes. This is going to blanch the nuts and make them easier to peel and grind later on. After two minutes, drain and rinse the nuts under cold water to cool them completely.
  • Dry the nuts with paper towels. If the nuts still have their skin on, you need to peel them because using the nuts with the skin on will change both the color and texture of the gelato. To peel a pistachio, simply pinch it between your fingers: the skin should come right off. This steps take a bit of work, but it's worth it. Alternatively, you can look for peeled pistachios, which are going to save you the extra step (it is still necessary to blanch peeled pistachios).
  • Put the blanched and peeled nuts in the bowl of a food processor, then add the sugar. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground, stopping from time to time to scrape down the bowl.
  • Add the whole milk and process until the mixture is as smooth and creamy as the food processor will make it (some tiny pistachio bits will remain but that’s ok). If you want an even smoother texture, transfer the pistachio paste to a mixing bowl and puree it further using a stick blender.
  • To make the pistachio gelato: Whisk the pistachio base into a batch of Sicilian-Style or Classic Gelato Base. If desired, whisk a teaspoon [5 ml] of pistachio or almond extract. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stop the machine when the gelato is icy but still soft.
  • Transfer the gelato to an airtight container and freeze until firm, about two hours. The gelato will keep, frozen, for up to two weeks. Always take the gelato out to room temperature 10 to 15 minutes before serving to soften it and make it easier to scoop.
  • Recipe Credit: Marie Asselin

Did you make this?

Tell me how you liked it! Leave a comment or take a picture and tag it with @foodnouveau on Instagram.

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Prep Time: 25 mins
Churning/Freezing Time: 4 hrs 30 mins


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  1. I notice that besides cups and teaspoons, etc, you give ingredients in ml. I assume this means millilitres. These are all volumes. Is there any reason you do not list quantities by weight, like ounces or grams? That would be especially helpful as most people these days have good digital food scales. Thanks.

    • Hi Ed! I agree with you that metric measurements are handy and more precise. I live in North America and I’ve been raised using volume measurements in the kitchen, and this is what most North American still use today. However, as a professional recipe developer, I do use metric measurements on a daily basis! I just completely updated my site and I’m currently in the process of updating all hundreds of my recipes to include metric measurements. It’s a long process but I’ll get there! Thanks for your comment and patience as I go through this transition! :)

    • Hello Iryna! I recommend using raw pistachios because they’re easier to peel and the green color is more intense. If you only have unsalted, roasted pistachios on hand though, feel free to use them! The pistachio gelato will be delicious just the same.