` Pistachio and Olive Oil Baklava - Olive Oil Times

Pistachio and Olive Oil Baklava

Each country seems to have its own version, substituting in their nut of choice and local spices. This version leans a little further east, using pistachios, cardamom and lemon.
Pistachio and Olive Oil Baklava
Pistachio and Olive Oil Baklava
Oct. 22, 2020
Patterson Watkins

Depending on where you stand in the Mediterranean — Greece, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, etc. — you’ll find all man­ner of baklava. Each coun­try seems to have its own ver­sion, sub­sti­tut­ing in their nut of choice and local spices. This ver­sion leans a lit­tle fur­ther east, using pis­ta­chios, car­damom and lemon. 

Either way, it’s a deli­cious dessert and a great way to hap­pily feed a crowd.


Pistachio and Olive Oil Baklava

Course: DessertCuisine: Mediterranean, GreekDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Baklava is best pre­pared the day before, giv­ing ample time to cool and absorb all that deli­cious honey syrup. As much as you may be tempted, do not wrap or cover your baklava (espe­cially dur­ing that cool­ing down phase), phyllo is very sus­cep­ti­ble to mois­ture and you want that top layer to have a bit of crispi­ness. 


  • 1 1/2lbs. pis­ta­chios, shelled

  • 1/4 cupgran­u­lated sugar

  • 1/2table­spoonground cin­na­mon

  • 1tea­spoonground car­damom

  • 16oz16oz (1 pack­age) phyllo dough (if frozen, thawed)

  • 1 1/2cupsmild to medium-inten­sity extra vir­gin olive oil 

  • Honey Syrup
  • 3/4cupgran­u­lated sugar

  • 2/3cupwater

  • 2/3cuphoney

  • 1eachlemon, juiced


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine pis­ta­chios, sugar, cin­na­mon and car­damom in a food proces­sor and pulse until well chopped and crumbly. 
  • Brush a 13x9 inch casse­role dish with a thin layer of oil. Layer phyllo, approx­i­mately 8 sheets for the bot­tom layer, brush­ing each sheet with a lit­tle oil before adding the next. Sprinkle about 1/2 – 2/3 cup of pis­ta­chio mix evenly over the base.
  • For the cen­ter lay­ers, repeat this process using only about 5 phyllo sheets, before adding the sea­soned pis­ta­chios. For the final layer, repeat the same process for the bot­tom layer, adding about 8 sheets. 
  • Score the top of the baklava in a criss-cross dia­mond pat­tern, cut­ting through to the bot­tom of the pan. Place in the oven and bake for 40 – 50 min­utes, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • While the baklava is bak­ing, com­bine sugar, water, honey and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a sim­mer over medium heat. Once the sugar dis­solves, increase heat to medium-high and boil, stir­ring occa­sion­ally, until syrupy, about 15 – 20 min­utes. Remove from the heat and set aside. 

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