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A Light And Delicious Pistachio Dessert

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Last Modified: November 21, 2020
Published: November 21, 2020

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Pistachio dessert was a huge thing in the 1970s when I was a young mom of two little girls. We simply couldn't get enough of the tasty nuts! This dessert, unlike Nehru jackets and plaid polyester, has stood the test of time. It's still a winner!

pistachio dessert

The combination of a slightly salty Ritz cracker crust, ice cream, and pistachio pudding is a great place to start! But when you crown it with whipped topping and crushed Butterfinger bars, how can anyone say no?

Make This No-Bake Dessert What's Not To Love

This is an easy pistachio dessert, but it does take a teeny bit of planning. For example, the whipped topping needs to be defrosted. So, start by moving the tub from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before.

And, the pudding and ice cream will be easier to mix when the ice cream has been softened a little bit. A slick trick I learned is to buy the ice cream in the old style half-gallon carton. That way, you can just cut the block in half without measuring!

The crust is a snap to make with a food processor! Crush the crackers, add some sugar if you want, then drizzle melted butter through the chute on top. Some recipes omit the sugar in the crust. I think it helps hold the crust together, but it's optional.

pistachio dessert crust

Before you know it, you have the crust ready to pat in the pan!

Let the crust cool a little while you mix up the milk, ice cream, and pudding mix. Next, pour that pretty green filling on the crust and chill it until the pudding is set. This will take about four hours or let it hang out in the refrigerator overnight.

All that's left to do is to spread a tub of whipped topping over the pudding layer and sprinkle crushed Butterfinger bars on top.

There's something about the peanut butter and chocolate in that particular candy that brings it all together deliciously!

We've come a long way since the 1970s, baby! I was so excited about my latest discovery! Now you can buy Butterfinger Bits in the baking aisle! I must say that's crushing it! Tee hee!!

pistachio dessert

Pistachio Dessert Instead Of Birthday Cake?

My friend Kim told me this dessert is requested for every family birthday at her house instead of a birthday cake! It's been going on there for over forty years, starting when we had baby girls just eight days apart! What a fun tradition!

Yield: 16 servings

Light And Delicious Pistachio Dessert

pistachio dessert

A no-bake dessert. Ritz crackers, butter, and sugar form the tasty crust. Ice cream, milk, and pistachio pudding combine in the creamy filling. It's all covered with a layer of whipped topping and sprinkled with crushed Butterfinger candy. Simple and delicious!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes


  • 50 Ritz crackers, crushed.
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick) melted.
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 quart vanilla ice cream, softened.
  • 1 1/2 cups milk.
  • 2 small packages instant pistachio pudding mix.
  • 1 regular size tub frozen whipped topping, defrosted.
  • 3 Butterfinger candy bars, crushed (or Butterfinger bits.)


  1. Crush Ritz crackers with sugar in a food processor. Drizzle melted butter in through chute and pulse until well blended.
  2. Pat crust into a 13" x 9" pan. Let cool.
  3. Beat together ice cream, milk, and pudding mix until well blended. Pour over crust. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Spread tub of whipped topping over pudding layer.
  5. Sprinkle with crushed candy or candy bits.
  6. Keep refrigerated.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 165mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g

Do you have an interesting birthday tradition at your house? My mom always gave me a quart of real cream that I could eat any old way I wanted! Another family I know always has their birthday cake for breakfast! Do you have a fun one? I hope you will share!

If you enjoyed this recipe today, please share it on your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. I’d sure be tickled and ever so grateful, thank you! 

Love, GB (Betty Streff)

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3 comments on “A Light And Delicious Pistachio Dessert”

  1. […] Does your family have a “special occasion” dessert? Is there someone in your family that would rather have a certain dessert instead of a birthday cake? Here’s one we like, too. A Light And Delicious Pistachio Dessert. […]

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