An underrated but very nutritious nut is the pistachio. A good source of plant protein and fiber, pistachios are a nut you shouldn’t sleep on. When bought shelled, they become an ideal snack for portion control and mindful eating. Pistachios can transform outside their shell into fun recipes like this vegan pistachio sauce. 

You can make a savory pistachio sauce perfect for dipping vegetables and crackers with just a few ingredients.

What you’ll need to make it

This recipe is a fun take on a peanut dipping sauce. Instead of peanut butter, the base is made from pistachio butter. 

  • Pistachio Butter: To make the pistachio sauce, we first need pistachio butter. You can use a homemade recipe, but store-bought will work fine if that’s what you have. 
  • Maple Syrup: For a bit of sweetness to balance out the saltiness. 
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: Sesame oil adds so much flavor to this recipe. Unless you have a sesame allergy, don’t make any substitutions here. 
  • Crushed Red Pepper: Turn up the heat by adding crushed red pepper. These are 100% optional but do add another layer of flavor. 

Are pistachios healthy?

Usually, nut butter dips are made using peanut butter to create a peanut sauce. Those are delicious, and peanuts are healthful, but pistachios have a different nutritional makeup than peanuts.

So, yes! Pistachios are an extremely healthy nut. They are one of the highest-protein snack nuts and a good source of nutrients like fiber and healthy fats.

One serving of pistachios provides 6 grams of plant protein and 3 grams of dietary fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Nearly 90% of the fats in pistachios are unsaturated or heart-healthy fats.

How to make a savory pistachio sauce 

Luckily, this recipe is just mixing a few ingredients in a bowl. One trick that works well is putting all the ingredients in a jar that seals with a blender ball and giving it a light shake to mix it up instead of mixing it by hand. 

A sealed jar saves you one less dirty dish and provides a storage place if there is any extra sauce. 

What to serve it with 

Use this pistachio sauce in many ways. It is delicious and versatile and can make a variety of dishes. If you want to step up your snack plate, here are some options;

  • Noodles: Use it as a dressing for cold noodle salads or add to hot noodle dishes like Pad Thai. (there’s a great pad thai recipe in my cookbook, Vegan Slow Cooking for Two)
  • Spring rolls: Pistachio sauce is a dipping sauce for veggie spring rolls.
  • Marinade: Level up your tofu by using the sauce as a marinade or dressing for tofu dishes. 
  • Vegetables: Drizzle a spoonful over vegetables like broccoli, cucumbers, or carrots, green for added flavor and nutrients. 
  • Sandwiches and Wraps: Pistachio sauce adds more flavor to wraps and sandwiches. Swap out ingredients like mayonnaise for this instead. 

When you make this recipe, tag me on Instagram @phxvegandietitian

Pistachio Dipping Sauce

Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 5


  • 1/3 cup pistachio butter (I like homemade!)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper optional


  • In a small bowl, mix the pistachio butter, rice vinegar, maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, and garlic. To make it thinner, you can add water to reach your desired consistency

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