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Easy Baklava Recipe with Pistachios

by Lily

This easy baklava recipe with pistachios is an adaption from a family friend’s recipe. He made my family homemade baklava that was phenomenal. I wrote down his recipe in my iPhone back in 2013 and emailed it to myself. Low and behold, here is the recipe (with the addition of pistachios).

If you are looking for fat-free, sugar-free, made from trees, etc, please stop reading. This is heavy and rich tasting and not for the faint of hearts. I would recommend that this dessert be eaten in morsels so that you don’t get so overwhelmed.

What I mean is… have you ever tried fudge? Fudge is the American version of baklava, where if you aren’t too careful, you can easily go into a sugar coma.

easy baklava recipe

Unique Ingredients

The absolute must for baklava is filo dough. Baklava is not baklava without it, so there’s not point in trying an alternative. I’ve found filo dough in regular US grocery stores and internationally in the freezer section of the grocery store.

filo dough

Flower water and orange blossom water might be difficult to find at a regular grocery store. You can find them for sure in a Middle Eastern shop. For this version of baklava, I recommend using flower and orange blossom water, however, if you can’t find these ingredients, I’ll give you a pretty darn good alternative.

Here’s the modification if you can’t find flower water or orange blossom water:

  1. Remove flower water or orange blossom water wherever used.
  2. When making the simple syrup, add a cinnamon stick and 6 whole cloves.
flower water

Prepare the Simple Syrup

The first step in making baklava is making the simple syrup. You want the simple syrup to be room temperature before pouring onto the cooked baklava. Otherwise, you baklava will lose it’s crunchiness and get overly sticky.

In a small pot on the stove, add water and sugar on high heat. Bring to a boil. Add lemon juice, flower water, and blossom water. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove and allow it to cool down.

simple syrup

Make Nut Mixture

You can play around with your favorite ratios and nuts. I like making my baklava with walnuts and pistachios combined.

whole pistachios and walnuts

Pulse the nuts in a food processor and pour into a bowl.

Make the honey syrup in a separate bowl by combining sugar, flower water, orange blossom water, honey and simple syrup.

honey syrup

Mix the honey syrup and crushed nuts all together.

nut mixture

Assemble the Baklava

Heat up the butter on the stovetop or in the microwave. Scrape off the top like below.

melted butter

Pull out your handy dandy thawed filo leaves.

filo dough

Get your work station ready.

baklava setup

When you unwrap filo dough, it will be very fragile. I had some anxiety unwrapping the dough when I saw how the outer layers were already breaking. Don’t worry, this is completely normal!

I recommend starting with the broken filo layers at the bottom because no one sees what the bottom looks like. But as you layer the filo to the top, you will want a nice unbroken filo piece for the top layer.

The filo dough is twice the size of a 9″ x 13″ pan. The original recipe calls for cutting the filo sheet in half and spreading butter in between each and every sheet. However, I prefer to save time and calories by just folding the filo sheet in half and spreading the butter after each double layer.

filo dough in baking dish

Spread the love and the butter.

easy baklava recipe filo dough with butter

Make about 4 double layers of filo (equivalent to 8 single layers of filo) before adding the first layer of nut mixture (there will be a total of 3 layers of the nut mixture).

You will then do the following: filo, butter, filo, butter, filo, butter, nut mixture, filo, butter, filo, butter, filo, butter, nut mixture, filo, butter, filo, butter, filo, butter.

In the end you will have 3 layers of nut mixture.

baklava recipe with pistachios nut layer

Cut the baklava before baking. I’m still working on my geometry skills as you can see below.

easy baklava recipe before baking

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 375 F. Remove from oven and immediately pour the cooled simple syrup in the cracks in between each baklava piece. Add chopped nuts on top.

And there you have it- my easy baklava recipe with pistachios.

easy baklava recipe

Other Options for this Easy Baklava Recipe

You can substitute ghee for butter. In fact, many baklava recipes use ghee, however, I prefer the taste of butter.

If you like more of a honey taste, you can substitute more honey for the sugar in the honey syrup.

You can try a variety of nuts and nut combinations with pecans, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios and walnuts.

How to Store Easy Baklava Recipe with Pistachios

You can leave baklava covered on the countertop or in the fridge. I prefer leaving my baklava on the countertop in a glass container with a snap lid.

This recipe makes a TON, so another option is freezing some of the pieces. When you are ready to eat a piece of baklava, just remove from the freezer and give it some time to thaw to room temperature.

Try Some Other Lebanese Dishes

Labneh Recipe from the Mountains of Lebanon

Fattoush Salad Recipe from My Lebanese Roots

Best Recipe for Homemade Hummus

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easy baklava recipe

Easy Baklava Recipe with Pistachios

  • Author: Lilian B.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Here is my easy baklava recipe with pistachios and walnuts. This recipe can be made in an hour and it tastes way better than the grocery store-bought baklava.



  • 1 lb frozen filo dough
  • 1 lb walnuts
  • 8 ounces shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons flower water
  • 2 tablespoons orange blossom water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 sticks of butter melted


Make Simple Syrup

  1. In a pot, add 1 cup of water and 2 cups of sugar.
  2. Bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp of lemon juice, 2 tbsp of flower water, and 1 tbsp of orange blossom water.
  3. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool down.

Prepare Nut Mixture

  1. Add 1 lb of walnuts and 8 ounces of pistachios to the food processor. Pulse on high until nuts are crushed. This should take about 10 pulses. Pour crushed nuts into a large bowl.
  2. Set aside about 1/4 cup of the crushed nut mixture to use as a topping later.
  3. In a separate bowl, add 2 tbsp of flower water and 1 tbsp of orange blossom water. Add 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add 3 tbsp of the hot simple syrup.
  4. Mix all of the honey/sugar ingredients together.
  5. Pour honey/sugar ingredients over crushed nut mixture. Mix well.

Assemble Baklava

  1. Unwrap the thawed filo dough. Individual sheets are very fragile and can break easily.
  2. Prepare an area where the unrolled filo dough can be laid. Place a damp towel over the filo when not in use.
  3. Heat butter or ghee on the stovetop. If using butter, scrape the top and discard it.
  4. Place a parchment paper on the bottom of the 9″ x 13″ pan.
  5. The filo dough is twice the size of the pan. Just fold the filo dough in the middle and lay on the baking dish.
  6. Using a brush or soft spatula, spread melted butter all over the fil dough layer.
  7. Continue layering filo and butter until you have completed 4 filo sheets (the equivalent of 8 layers)
  8. Spread 1/3 of the nut mixture in a thin layer.
  9. Continue layering filo and butter for 3 filo sheets (or the equivalent of 6 layers)
  10. Spread 1/3 of the nut mixture in a thin layer.
  11. Continue layering filo and butter for 3 filo sheets (or the equivalent of 6 layers)
  12. Spread the remaining nut mixture in a thin layer.
  13. Continue layering filo and butter for 3 filo sheets (or the equivalent of 6 layers).
  14. Spread butter on the top.
  15. Cut the baklava prior to baking.
  16. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes at 375F.
  17. Remove from the oven and immediately pour the cooled simple syrup mixture in the cracks.
  18. Let the baklava cool.
  19. Add crushed pistachios and walnuts to the top of the baklava.


Place the frozen filo dough from the freezer in the fridge the night or day before making the recipe. This is very important!

You can use ghee instead of butter.

You can make this with only walnuts or only pistachios. Or, you can change the mixture ratio as per your liking.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Lebanese


  • Serving Size: 1 piece
  • Calories: 333
  • Sugar: 28 g
  • Sodium: 264 mg
  • Fat: 19 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 41 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: best baklava recipe easy baklava pastry with pistachios and walnuts

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Moh May 16, 2020 - 2:02 am

Make sure you put the filo dough in the fridge ahead of time to make sure it doesn’t dry out.

Lilian B. May 17, 2020 - 2:04 am

That’s a great tip! Thank you!


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