5 from 1 vote

Best Ever Pistachio Walnut Baklava

 February 14, 2023

Baklava, a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, is a sweet and flaky pastry made from layers of phyllo dough, nuts, and syrup. There are many variations of baklava, but one of my all-time favorites has to be this Best Ever Pistachio Walnut Baklava. Not only is this recipe EASY and QUICK to make (that’s right!), it is perfect for dessert, or an afternoon snack.

A plate of the pistachio walnut baklava, sitting on a countertop

Growing up, baklava was one of my favorite treats. I remember visiting my Armenian grandmother’s house and being treated to a tray of freshly made baklava. I’d watch her in the kitchen brushing each layer of phyllo dough individually and thinking to myself, “WOW.” It was such a beautiful process to watch, but so darn time consuming, I never envisioned myself ever making it.

But I was chatting with my friend Erin and we both had a craving for baklava. So we decided to give it a go, putting our own spin on a classic recipe, but with a few shortcuts. We decided that we were going to make a lazy girl version that did not require brushing each layer of phyllo dough. And boy did we succeed. In fact, I gave some to my sister the next day and she confirmed, it was the best baklava she’s ever had in her entire life!

But I digress. When it comes to ingredients, the key to making the best ever pistachio walnut baklava is to use fresh and high-quality nuts. I prefer to use freshly shelled pistachios and unsalted walnuts, and I grind them myself to ensure the nuts are the perfect texture. Sure, it does take longer, but slow and steady truly does win the race when it comes to this recipe. When you take time to move just a little slower, it truly does end with the most delicious result. Trust me!

What You Need to Make This Sweet, Flaky Baklava

  • Phyllo Dough: Phyllo dough is a flaky, sweet dough that makes the perfect base to the baklava. I use a frozen, store-bough phyllo dough and I recommend that you do too, for the sake of ease and convenience!
  • Butter: A little butter helps the dough achieve its flaky, golden appearance. If you want to make this recipe the more “traditional” way, you can use ghee or clarified butter instead!
  • Pistachios & Walnuts: The combination of pistachios and walnuts is a match made in heaven when it comes to this recipe. The pistachios are classic when it comes to baklava, and the walnuts add a fun and exciting twist.
A pot, sitting on the stove, with honey actively being drizzled into it
Add the water, sugar, honey, and lemon zest to a small saucepan and heat over the stove.
  • Sugar: Yes, you do need “real” sugar to make this recipe, and believe me when I say that it is absolutely worth it!
  • Water: A little water helps to thin out the syrup and bring it to the perfect consistency / texture.
  • Honey: Honey adds the perfect amount of natural sweetness to this recipe, while also adding an unbeatable flavor. I especially love using local honey here, for an added immunity boost.
  • Lemon Zest: You’ll need the zest of approximately one lemon for this recipe!
  • Vanilla Extract: A touch of vanilla extract is always necessary for a good syrup recipe.
  • Rose Water: Rose water feels luxurious and is a classic ingredient in Middle Eastern / Armenian cooking. You can find rose water in most Middle Eastern or Indian markets, or in the “International” aisle of your local grocery store.
A baking sheet, with the phyllo dough rolled out onto it and the pistachio walnut mixture actively being sprinkled on top of it
Roll out your phyllo dough onto a small baking sheet and sprinkle the pistachio walnut mixture evenly over the top of it

How to Make The Best Ever Baklava

To make this Pistachio Walnut Baklava, Start by preparing the simple syrup: add the sugar, water, honey, and lemon zest to a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat. Next, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer once boiling. Once the mixture is simmering, stir the mixture until the sugar fully dissolves and the mixture has thickened, yet is still clear in appearance. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Then, once the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and rose water and set the mixture aside to cool.

Next, prepare the filling mixture by adding the pistachios, walnuts, and sugar to a food processor and pulsing until they’re fully combined. Be sure to leave some texture in your mixture to get that nice “crunch.”

First, lay one sheet of the phyllo dough inside of the baking sheet and pour in 3/4 of the nut mixture, saving the other 1/4 for sprinkling on top of the baklava at the end. Then, stack the second phyllo dough sheet on top.

Finally, gently cut the baklava into squares. Pour the melted butter on top, then re-slice into squares so that the butter really settles into all of the crevices. Once done, bake until the baklava is golden – this should take approximately 50 -60 minutes. When it’s done, remove it from the oven, pour the cooled syrup on top as well as the remaining 1/4 of the nut mixture, serve, and enjoy!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! To see more recipes and behind the scenes, follow along on InstagramTikTok, and Youtube! I’m also now on Pinterest, so stop by and take a look at what’s new.

** Photography by Bea Moreno
A plate of the pistachio walnut baklava, sitting on a countertop

Best Ever Pistachio Walnut Baklava

5 from 1 vote
Nicole Modic
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
SERVES 12 Pieces
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Baklava, a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, is a sweet and flaky pastry made from layers of phyllo dough, nuts, and syrup. There are many variations of baklava, but one of my all-time favorites has to be this Best Ever Pistachio Walnut Baklava. Not only is this recipe EASY and QUICK to make (that's right!), it is perfect for dessert, or an afternoon snack. 

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 Pound Box Phyllo Dough – 9×14 Sheets room temperature
  • 3/4 Cups Melted Butter or substitute ghee or clarified butter for a more traditional version

For the Filling:

  • 2 Cups Pistachios
  • 1 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar

For the Honey Simple Syrup:

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Water
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Rose Water

Instructions

  • Start by preparing the simple syrup: add the sugar, water, honey, and lemon zest to a small sauce pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Next, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer once boiling.
  • Once the mixture is simmering, stir the mixture until the sugar fully dissolves and the mixture has thickened, yet is still clear in appearance. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Once the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat.
  • Then, stir in the vanilla extract and rose water and set the mixture aside to cool.
  • Next, prepare the filling mixture by adding the pistachios, walnuts, and sugar to a food processor and pulsing until they're fully combined. Be sure to leave some texture in your mixture to get that nice "crunch."
  • Finally, prepare the baklava. Preheat your oven to 350 F and brush bottom of a 9×13 baking sheet with melted butter
  • Next, open up your box of phyllo dough and separate the two rolls. Then, cut approximately two inches off of each roll, so that they fit within the baking sheet.
  • First, lay one sheet of the phyllo dough inside of the baking sheet and pour in 3/4 of the nut mixture, saving the other 1/4 for sprinkling on top of the baklava at the end.
  • Then, stack the second phyllo dough sheet on top.
  • Finally, gently cut the baklava into squares. Pour the melted butter on top, then re-slice into squares so that the butter really settles into all of the crevices.
  • Once done, bake until the baklava is golden – this should take approximately 50 -60 minutes.
  • When it's done, remove it from the oven, pour the cooled syrup on top as well as the remaining 1/4 of the nut mixture, serve, and enjoy!

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in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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  1. 5 stars
    Holy moly this is INCREDIBLE!!! thank you for your wisdom and cooking wizardry, woman!!!! This is so delicious! 💜