These 5-ingredient crunchy pistachio bars are so easy to make and taste amazing. They remind me of baklava, minus all the pastry and sugar! They also happen to be vegan, gluten-free and made with wholesome ingredients.
These bars combine all my favourite elements in a dessert – sweet, salty and crunchy! There’s something about a crunchy treat that you just can’t get form a soft dessert.
As well as being tasty, these 5-ingredient crunchy pistachio bars are fairly healthy with nuts being the main ingredients. I only used 2 tbsp of sweetener in the whole recipe – that’s only 1/2 tsp per bar. You can leave out the dark chocolate for a lower calorie option, although now we know that dark chocolate (70% and over) is actually good for you. It’s packed with polyphenols and fibre, both of which feed your gut microbiome.
I grew up in the Middle East where both pistachios and cardamom are heavily used, in both sweet and savoury recipe alike. Even though I love all nuts and spices, pistachios and cardamom hold a very special place in my heart. The mere scent of cardamom brings back so much nostalgia for me.
The taste of these bars reminds me a lot of the taste of baklava, without all the sugar and pastry. It’s the combination of pistachios and cardamom with a hint of sweetness form the maple syrup – it’s like a lighter, healthier version of baklava.
Adding a bit of rose water would have been perfect, but I wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible with as few ingredients to make it easier for everyone to recreate. Although rose water is now available in most major supermarkets, I can appreciate that most won’t want to buy it just for this one recipe. However if you do have it, feel free to add a drop or two!
As well as a dessert, these bars also make a great on-the-go snack. They actually remind me a lot of KIND bars, but with fewer ingredients (literally only 5!).
What you need to make these 5-ingredient crunchy pistachio bars:
Pistachios – nuts in general are amazing for your health and we should all be eating more of them (assuming you’re not allergic!). They’re a powerhouse for things like healthy fats, antioxidants, fibre, vitamins & minerals. Pistachios are my favourite nut and that’s why I decided to use them in this recipe, but really you can use any nut you prefer. They also remind me of baklava, which is one of my favourite desserts. In a way this is my take on a much healthier version of baklava without all the pastry and sugar!
Maple syrup – I only used 2 tbsp in the whole recipe. As well as a sweetener, they also act as a glue to hold the nuts together since we’re not using anything else. You can use other liquid sweeteners like honey, agave, rice syrup, etc.
Cardamom – I still think cardamom is such an underrated, underused and underappreciated spice in the west. I grew up in the Middle East and there we use it heavily in both sweet and savoury dishes. Of course you don’t have to use it if you don’t like it/have it. They will still taste amazing without. You also have the option of substituting it with cinnamon if you prefer.
Salt – you only need a pinch to help enhance the taste of the pistachios as they roast in the oven!
Dark chocolate – again this is optional, but highly recommended. The taste of the pistachios, cardamom and chocolate all go so well together to create the most deliciously complex flavours. We now also know that a little bit of chocolate here and there is actually good for you, so why not?
These 5-ingredient crunchy pistachio bars are:
- Made with better for you ingredients
- Super crunchy
- Easy to make
- Great as a snack or dessert
- So delicious!
5-Ingredient Crunchy Pistachio Bars
- 240g pistachio kernels
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- Pinch of salt
- 50g dark chocolate melted
- Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/350F
- Mix the pistachios, cardamom, salt and maple syrup in a bowl until evenly coated.
- Transfer into moulds or a loaf tin lined with baking paper.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes, then leave to cool completely before removing from the moulds or slicing into bars.
- Once cooled, dip the base in melted dark chocolate. You can also drizzle some dark chocolate on top if you like.