I am on a real pistachio kick at the moment and these soft pistachio amaretti are my latest creation. Blimey they are awesome! Soft and almost squidgy in the middle, with a sugar coated baked crust, they are a perfect tea time treat.

These lovely little biscuits are naturally gluten and dairy free, being based on ground pistachios and almonds instead of needing flour. Egg whites, icing sugar and almond (or vanilla) essence complete the ingredients line up. These pistachio amaretti really are very simple to make.

Amaretti are an Italian biscuit, classically made with almonds only. If you fancy trying the classic, my original Soft Amaretti Biscuits recipe fits the bill. However, I decided to try a little pistachio twist on the recipe.

After a few test runs to get the ratios just right (you can’t just sub 1:1 pistachios for almonds in this bake, due to different oil content), I am incredibly happy with the delicious end bake.

What Sort of Pistachios Do I Need?

You need unsalted pistachios, ideally shelled unless you want to add a lot of prep time taking the shells off yourself! I generally find them in the baking section or fried fruit and nut section of the supermarket.

Then you simply blitz them in a mini chopper or blender to create ground pistachios, similar in consistency to ground almonds.

And I Need Ground Almonds Too?

Yes ground almonds help to keep the pistachio amaretti a bit more stable (rather than flattening to soft puddles) during baking. They merge nicely with the pistachio flavour so that pistachio is still the dominant taste.

Remember, ground almonds are not the same as almond flour. Almond flour is too fine and will not work for these amaretti. You can find ground almonds in all UK supermarkets, in the baking section.

Note I’ve spotted a “may contain wheat” warning on the ground almonds in Lidl, so always check the label if you are a coeliac like me.

Is The Almond Extract Essential?

No you can make these without the extract, but it gives a lovely flavour boost. You can also use vanilla or a different flavoured extract instead if you want to experiment. Or if you have some to use in your baking drawer.

I used the Sainsburys Taste the Difference Almond Extract, which has a lovely flavour. I’d definitely recommend it as their range of extracts is really good.

Soft Pistachio Amaretti Biscuits Recipe

Soft Pistachio Amaretti Biscuits (GF, DF)
Yield: Makes 12

Soft Pistachio Amaretti Biscuits (GF, DF)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Soft pistachio and almond biscuits, this is a twist on an Italian classic and naturally gluten and dairy free. This delicious bake only needs 5 ingredients and can be made and baked in under 30 minutes!


  • 90g unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 190g icing sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 0.5 tsp almond extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C (fan) and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the pistachios into a small blender (I use a mini chopper). Blitz on full power for at least a couple of minutes, until they are the consistency of ground almonds. You'll get a finer, denser grind at the bottom of the blender, but we will sieve the mixture shortly so don't fret about any powder clumps.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they are thick and foamy, forming soft peaks.
  4. Sift the icing sugar over the egg whites, then sift the ground pistachios into the bowl too (use a spoon while sifting to push through any clumps, then you can reblitz any large chunks that won't pass through the sieve). Then add the ground almonds and almond extract. Fold all the ingredients together until you have a stiff, slightly sticky dough.
  5. Sift a little extra icing sugar onto a small plate. Take a heaped tsp of dough and roll between your palms to form a ball. Roll the ball in the icing sugar so it is well coated, then place on the baking tray.
  6. Repeat until you have used all the dough and have 12 balls on the baking tray, spaced evenly. They will grow a little during baking so leave space between them.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. Cool on the tray for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.


Once cooled, you can store them in an airtight tin for up to two weeks.

For more simple gluten free bakes, why not try some of my other recipes. You could even bookmark any favourites for later:

Happy baking! Laura xxx