Pistachio-Lemon Bars Recipe (2024)



out of 5


user ratings

Your rating

or to rate this recipe.

Have you cooked this?

or to mark this recipe as cooked.

Private Notes

Leave a Private Note on this recipe and see it here.

Cooking Notes

Fine Han

Pistachio is the best nutty match to lemon! This is now my favorite dessert of all time to make! A couple changes: 1) Used salted pistachios for the crust and filling. The saltiness adds extra complexity to the flavor 2) Omitted salt to prevent excessive saltiness in the crust- the pistachio was already salty 3) Added 5 minutes to baking time for the crust to get extra crisp 4) After adding the filling, lowered temp to 325 and baked 5 m extra. I will continue to make this recipe !


I'm a huge fan of lemon, and this recipe is probably my favorite ever! Super easy. Added 3 times the lemon though (a real fan of lemon, as I said), plus 1 tbsp of flour to compensate for the additional liquid. Came out perfect.


The crust instructions are to "stir in the chopped pistachios", but I think the crust is much improved by processing the pistachios thoroughly with the flour mixture so that the richness of the nuts is distributed evenly through the dough. I also used the zest of an entire lemon, which was rather more than a teaspoon.

Susan J.

These bars are absolutely delicious. I used a glass pan, so I reduced the temperature to 325 and added 5 minutes to the bake time for each part. I bake all the time, but I have to say this is my new favorite recipe. I wonder whether salted pistachios would add complexity--will have to try that next.


These are absolutely delicious! I reduced the sugar by half, both in the crust and the filling and it was perfect - slightly sweet, with the lemon and pistachio flavors shining through. I can't imagine a whole cup of sugar in the filling - it would be cloying.

I used roasted, salted pistachios, as others have mentioned. They were perfect in this dish. I also used salted butter, so didn't put any additional salt in the crust.

I will definitely make these again.

Ann from Sonoma

Loved this recipe. I even have an excellent picture if you want it. My guests found it the best lemon bars ever: rich, lemony with the surprise of pistachios. They add a dimension to the crust that I really like. I did chop the nuts for the filling. And the final confectioner dusting makes a festive touch.


When Molly O'Neill's article first appeared in 1995, I made almost every recipe in it, including this one. All of them are good, but this one I've made in every one of the intervening 21 years for Oscar night (except for this year, prevented by a broken shoulder!), plus a few extra times for fun or for guests. This is a GREAT recipe. The Notes-writers' tinkerings are good--the recipe can take it. But just as it is, it's a WINNER!


I agree with making 1-1/2 times the filling and with half the sugar and twice the lemon zest (proportionally); also using crushed salted pistachios. I processed the crust ingredients until almost a dough, then pulsed in the nuts. The crust baked up a bit crumbly but a better ratio between crust and filling. Also, after 24 hours the crust held together much better and the filling was more flavourful. I think that's the secret!


I like lemon-bar filling that's firmly custardy like a baked Egg Custard or my favorite Crème Brûlée custard. An idea: several cooks said the filling was too sweet, and I remember that, in pastry class, they told us to think of sugar as a LIQUID when baking. So ... maybe decreasing the sugar by 2 T or 1/4 cup would help in two ways--firmer AND more lemony.


Crust: To mix pistachios, add the end to the crust mixture and pulse a couple of times to mix. Filling: Increase by 50%. Reduce sugar by 1/3. Add zest from 3 lemons (about 1 Tbsp). Medium chop pistachios that go into filling. Dough can be in advance. Press into pan, cover and refrigerate. When ready, bake crust and proceed. Increase baking to 27 minutes. Note: next time add the filling pistachios to the top of the curd after about 15 minutes of baking to retain crunchiness.


A little too delicious! I used salted pistachios with the same salt per recipe and it is a nice contrast to the sweet and sour. I ended up throwing some blueberries on top which was nice. I doubled it and put it in a 9x11 pan, so the layers were a little thicker - baking time slightly longer for the crust, maybe 4-5 extra minutes. Very good!


They will weep and become soggy in the fridge....Do not leave in the hot sun, but on an indoor buffet for a couple of hours, if they last, they will be fine. Make and enjoy the same day....
Tip: Cut the sugar by a teasoon or so in the recipe and sprinkle the top w/sanding sugar (crystals) before popping in the oven...the baked bars will glisten, and the sugar adds an extra crunch.
And, don't overbake....as soon as they are set, they are done.....you want them a bit custardy in the middle.

Liz in Hawaii

My hack - instead of the crust, I just put down plain graham crackers (sometimes I don't even bother to break them up too much - lay them down like lasagne noodles to fit into the bottom of the pan). Sprinkle with the nuts, then follow the directions for the lemon filling and pour over. Bake 20-25 minutes as instructed. Too easy.


A véritable toe curler.Batch 3 THIS WEEK currently baking with the resident Romanian inquiring "why does it smell like roast chicken?"

Well because, illuminated by fellow readers I too succombed to adding a hint of fresh rosemary this time to the pastry.

Lemon is my new religion-and with this recipe have evangelized the most unbelieving.Molly O'Neill the population of Belgium thanks you!


Can this recipe be doubled and baked in an 9" x 13" pan?


I just made these and they are amazing! I did what others said by increasing the filling by half, except for the sugar, and blended in the pistachios to the crust. I also crushed up some pistachio and mixed it into the filling before baking and 15 minutes in added the whole ones on top. Will definitely make this again!


Agree with others 1.5x on filling4-5 lemons should yield the zest juice


These were delicious and I cut the sugar in half and increased the filling by 1 1/2.


Yes - follow the filling increase by 1.5 and then reduce sugar by 1/2. Best lemon bars EVER. I don't think it's possible to have too much lemon, so go crazy.

Mikey in San Diego

Has anyone tried using Meyer lemons? I suspect additional lemon juice and zest would be necessary to account for the milder lemon flavor, but I’m not sure how much more would work in this recipe. This is one of my all time favorite recipes and I have a tree full of Meyer lemons!


Freestyled with lemon zest and juice content to achieve my desired citrus-ness based on other comments and had no issues! Pulsed the pistachios in the crust with the flour and that was yummy. Added a bit of oil to the butter/flour mixture because it seemed overly dry and idk if that was necessary, I might’ve just been spooked


Made these for my mom for the holidays. She opened them up and ate them right in front of me. I said - is that your 2nd or 3rd? She said (with her mouth full btw) - my 5th. Dad got in there and they were gone by the next day.

Deb H.

Used Gail's notes from 4 years ago. More filling w/less sugar and more lemon plus roughly chopped nuts on top for the last 5 minutes...they were a huge hit!

julie c

I wanted to love this recipe, but found there were some things that I would change next time.To me it was too sweet and I had reduced the sugar by about 25%. I also thought not enough lemon! I would probable double or triple the lemon next time, half the sugar.Texture and ease of making this dessert is amazing though.


Definitely parbake the crust longer - until very golden. Increase all filling ingredients by half except sugar. Grind pistachios in crust.


I have some pistachio flour and want to use a half regular flour, half pistachio flour for the base. Wonder how that would work. Any thoughts?


I did 7 tbsp of lemon juice instead of 4, because I wanted them to be super lemony. I also added a healthy amount of cardamom to both the crust and the lemon part, and they were a huge hit with my lemon fanatics and non lemon fanatics alike.

really delicious

Liked the flavor and texture of this - might have over par baked crust - the layers didn’t meld very well

Ki in PT

toasting nuts first?


Increase filling by 1.5 (2 lemon zest) but cut sugar in half, pastry 23 min, filling 25 at 350

Private notes are only visible to you.

Pistachio-Lemon Bars Recipe (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Melvina Ondricka

Last Updated:

Views: 6198

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Melvina Ondricka

Birthday: 2000-12-23

Address: Suite 382 139 Shaniqua Locks, Paulaborough, UT 90498

Phone: +636383657021

Job: Dynamic Government Specialist

Hobby: Kite flying, Watching movies, Knitting, Model building, Reading, Wood carving, Paintball

Introduction: My name is Melvina Ondricka, I am a helpful, fancy, friendly, innocent, outstanding, courageous, thoughtful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.