Indulge in the Exquisite Delights of Lebanese Pistachio Baklava Recipe: A Timeless Pastry Tradition

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Dive into the rich culinary heritage of Lebanon with our tantalizing Lebanese Pistachio Baklava recipe. Renowned for its delicate layers of crispy phyllo pastry, generously filled with coarsely ground pistachios, and soaked in fragrant honey syrup, this dessert is a true testament to the artistry of Middle Eastern sweets. As you embark on this culinary journey, prepare to be enchanted by the harmonious blend of textures and flavors that have captivated palates for generations.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the creation of this delectable treat, offering expert tips and techniques to ensure your baklava turns out perfectly every time. From selecting the finest ingredients to mastering the art of layering and syrup saturation, we’ll empower you to recreate the authentic taste of Lebanese baklava in your own kitchen.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply craving a taste of the exotic, Lebanese Pistachio Baklava promises to elevate any moment into a memorable experience. So gather your ingredients, sharpen your skills, and prepare to delight in the irresistible allure of this timeless pastry tradition.

Lebanese Pistachio Baklava Recipe

lebanese pistachio baklava recipes

Lebanese Pistachio Baklava, also known as Baklawa in some regions, is a beloved version of the classic dessert that emphasizes nuts like pistachios and sometimes almonds, paired with a fragrant syrup. This recipe brings a touch of Lebanese culinary tradition to your kitchen, featuring the signature crisp layers of filo pastry, a rich, nutty filling, and a sweet, scented syrup to tie it all together.


For the Baklava:
  • 1 lb (about 450g) Filo Pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 2 cups Pistachios, finely chopped, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 cup Almonds (optional), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 cup (225g) Unsalted Butter, melted
For the Syrup:
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1-2 strips Orange Peel
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 teaspoon Orange Blossom Water
  • 1 teaspoon Rose Water
Preparing the Baklava:
  • Preheat Oven: Set your oven to 350°F (175°C). Get a 9×13 inch baking pan ready.
  • Mix Nuts and Cinnamon: In a bowl, combine the finely chopped pistachios (and almonds if using) with ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  • Layering Filo: Brush the bottom and sides of your baking pan with melted butter. Place one sheet of filo dough in the pan, brushing it with butter before adding another sheet on top. Repeat this process until you have layered about half of the filo sheets.
  • Add Nut Mixture: Spread the nut mixture evenly over the layered filo in the pan.
  • Top Layers: Continue layering and buttering the remaining filo sheets on top of the nut mixture.
  • Cut Into Pieces: Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes, ensuring you slice through all the layers.
  • Bake: Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the baklava is golden and crisp.
  • Cool: Allow the baklava to cool slightly while you prepare the syrup.
Preparing the Syrup:
  • Combine Ingredients: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water, sugar, honey, orange peel, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add Flavorings: Remove from heat and stir in the orange blossom water and rose water.
  • Cool: Let the syrup cool slightly, then remove the orange peel and cinnamon sticks.
Finishing Touches:
  • Pour Syrup Over Baklava: Evenly pour the warm syrup over the cooled baklava.
  • Rest: Let the baklava sit for several hours or overnight to fully absorb the syrup and flavors to meld.
  • Garnish: Sprinkle with finely chopped pistachios before serving.

This Lebanese Pistachio Baklava recipe captures the essence of Middle Eastern dessert cuisine, offering a perfect balance between the nutty, sweet, and floral notes characteristic of Lebanese sweets. Enjoy this decadent dessert with a cup of Arabic coffee or tea for an authentic experience.

Expert Tips

Here are some expert tips to elevate your Lebanese pistachio baklava recipe:

  • Use High-Quality Ingredients: Opt for fresh, high-quality pistachios and honey to ensure the best flavor and texture in your baklava.
  • Balance the Sweetness: Lebanese baklava tends to be less sweet than other variations. Adjust the amount of sugar in the syrup to achieve the perfect balance of sweetness without overwhelming the nutty flavor.
  • Layering Technique: Handle the phyllo dough with care, ensuring it remains moist by covering it with a damp cloth. Brush each layer generously with clarified butter or ghee to create crisp, flaky layers.
  • Nut Mixture Consistency: Grind the pistachios coarsely to maintain texture and crunch in the filling. Mix them with a small amount of sugar and spices like ground cardamom for added flavor complexity.
  • Precision in Cutting: Score the baklava into diamond or square shapes before baking to make it easier to cut into individual servings later. This also allows the syrup to penetrate evenly throughout the dessert.
  • Slow and Even Baking: Bake the baklava at a moderate temperature (around 325°F or 160°C) to ensure even cooking without burning the delicate phyllo layers. Keep an eye on it towards the end of baking to prevent over-browning.
  • Syrup Application: Allow the baked baklava to cool slightly before pouring the cooled syrup over it. The syrup should be lukewarm, not hot, to prevent sogginess. Drizzle it evenly over the entire surface, allowing it to seep into the layers.
  • Resting Period: After baking and syrup application, let the baklava rest at room temperature for several hours or overnight. This allows the flavors to meld and the texture to develop fully, resulting in a more delicious and cohesive dessert.
  • Garnish Thoughtfully: Garnish the baklava with finely chopped pistachios or a sprinkle of ground pistachio for an elegant finishing touch. This adds visual appeal and enhances the nutty flavor.
  • Storage and Serving: Store the baklava in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain its freshness. Serve it at room temperature or slightly warmed for the best flavor and texture. Enjoy this delightful Lebanese treat with a cup of traditional Arabic coffee or tea for a truly authentic experience.

Why This Recipe Is Just So Good…

This Lebanese pistachio baklava recipe stands out for several reasons, making it exceptionally delicious:

  • Authentic Flavor Profile: This recipe captures the authentic essence of Lebanese baklava, with its delicate layers of crispy phyllo pastry, rich nut filling, and aromatic honey syrup. Each bite is a burst of traditional Lebanese flavors.
  • Balanced Sweetness: Lebanese baklava is known for its balanced sweetness, allowing the natural flavors of the nuts and honey to shine without being overly sugary. The syrup is delicately sweetened, complementing the nutty filling without overwhelming it.
  • Quality Ingredients: Using high-quality ingredients, such as fresh pistachios, pure honey, and clarified butter (ghee), ensures that the baklava has the best possible flavor and texture. Fresh, flavorful nuts and honey are essential for an exceptional baklava experience.
  • Texture Harmony: The combination of crunchy pistachios, flaky phyllo pastry, and syrup-soaked layers creates a harmonious blend of textures. Each bite offers a satisfying crunch from the nuts, followed by the melt-in-your-mouth sensation of the tender pastry soaked in syrup.
  • Skillful Technique: The recipe incorporates expert techniques, such as layering the phyllo dough with precision, grinding the nuts to the perfect consistency, and applying the syrup evenly. These techniques ensure that every aspect of the baklava is carefully crafted for optimal taste and texture.
  • Cultural Significance: Lebanese baklava holds cultural significance, often being served during special occasions and celebrations. Its rich history and tradition add depth to the experience of enjoying this beloved dessert.
  • Visual Appeal: With its golden-brown pastry, vibrant green pistachio filling, and glistening honey syrup, Lebanese pistachio baklava is as visually stunning as it is delicious. Its elegant appearance makes it a feast for the eyes as well as the palate.
  • Versatility: While delicious on its own, Lebanese baklava can also be served alongside other desserts or enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of occasions and settings.
  • Memorable Experience: Whether shared with loved ones during gatherings or savored as a special treat, Lebanese pistachio baklava creates lasting memories. Its irresistible flavor and cultural significance make it a dessert to remember.
  • Time-Honored Tradition: Finally, the timeless appeal of Lebanese baklava stems from its centuries-old tradition. By preparing and enjoying this recipe, one becomes part of a culinary heritage that has been passed down through generations, adding depth and meaning to the dining experience.

Storage Instructions

To preserve the freshness and flavor of Lebanese pistachio baklava, follow these storage instructions:

  • Cool Completely: Allow the baklava to cool completely at room temperature before attempting to store it. This prevents condensation from forming inside the container, which can lead to sogginess.
  • Airtight Container: Place the cooled baklava in an airtight container or a tightly sealed storage tin. Ensure that the container is clean and dry to prevent any moisture from affecting the baklava.
  • Layer Separation: If stacking the baklava in layers, place sheets of parchment paper or wax paper between each layer to prevent sticking and preserve the crispness of the pastry.
  • Room Temperature: Baklava can be stored at room temperature for several days, typically up to a week, without compromising its quality. Avoid storing it in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature can cause the pastry to become soggy.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Store the container of baklava in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Exposure to heat and light can accelerate spoilage and cause the baklava to become stale.
  • Re-Sealable Bag: If storing individual pieces of baklava, place them in a re-sealable plastic bag or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap before placing them in the container. This helps maintain freshness and prevents the baklava from drying out.
  • Fridge or Freezer (Optional): If you need to store the baklava for an extended period, you can freeze it for up to several months. Wrap the baklava tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before placing it in an airtight container or freezer bag. Thaw frozen baklava in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
  • Serve at Room Temperature: Before serving, allow the baklava to come to room temperature for the best flavor and texture. This allows the pastry to regain its crispness and the flavors to fully develop.

By following these storage instructions, you can ensure that your Lebanese pistachio baklava stays fresh and delicious for as long as possible, allowing you to enjoy its delightful taste over several days or weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

lebanese pistachio baklava recipe

Diving deeper into the nuances of Lebanese Pistachio Baklava can enrich your understanding and appreciation of this exquisite dessert. Here are some expertise-level questions along with their answers:

Q: Can I use store-bought filo pastry for this recipe?

A: Absolutely! Store-bought filo pastry is not only convenient but also recommended for making baklava, as it saves a lot of time and effort. Just make sure to thaw it according to the package instructions if it’s frozen.

Q: My filo pastry tears easily. What can I do?

A: Filo pastry is very thin and can tear easily, especially if it dries out. Keep the sheets you’re not currently using covered with a damp cloth to prevent them from drying. If it tears, don’t worry—just patch it up as best as you can. The layers and syrup will help mask any imperfections.

Q: How finely should the pistachios be chopped?

A: The pistachios should be chopped finely but not to the point of being powdery. You want some texture in your baklava, so aim for small pieces that will spread evenly but still offer a bit of crunch.

Q: How much syrup should I pour over the baklava?

A: The amount of syrup can vary based on personal taste, but generally, you’ll want enough to soak through all the layers without making the baklava soggy. As a guideline, pour the syrup slowly over the baklava until it’s fully absorbed, ensuring it seeps into the cuts.

Q: The syrup makes my baklava too sweet. Can I reduce the sugar?

A: Yes, you can reduce the sugar in the syrup if you prefer a less sweet baklava. Alternatively, you can increase the lemon juice or add a little bit more water to dilute the sweetness while maintaining the syrup’s consistency.

Q: Can I make baklava without nuts due to allergies?

A: While nuts are a traditional ingredient in baklava, you can omit them for an allergy-friendly version. You might consider using a mixture of seeds, such as pumpkin or sunflower seeds, as a substitute, or simply enjoy the layers of filo and syrup.

Q: How do I store baklava, and how long will it last?

A: Baklava can be stored at room temperature, covered tightly with plastic wrap or in an airtight container, for up to two weeks. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, as the sugar content in the syrup acts as a preservative.

Q: Can baklava be frozen for later use?

A: Yes, baklava freezes well. Place it in an airtight container, separating layers with wax paper, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Q: Why do I need to cut the baklava before baking?

A: Cutting the baklava into pieces before baking ensures that the syrup can soak evenly into the pastry and filling, creating a uniformly moist and flavorful dessert. Cutting after baking would result in a shattered and messy top layer.

Q: How do I know when the baklava is done baking?

A: The baklava is done when the top layers of filo turn a rich golden brown and the edges look crispy. This usually takes about 50 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C), but start checking a bit earlier to avoid over-browning.

Q: How do I ensure the filo pastry doesn’t become soggy from the syrup?

A: To prevent the filo from becoming soggy, ensure that either the syrup or the baklava is hot when the two are combined, as this helps the pastry absorb the syrup more effectively without becoming soggy. Typically, pouring hot syrup over the cooled baklava is the preferred method. Additionally, allowing the baklava to rest and fully absorb the syrup before serving—ideally overnight—ensures the layers settle and crisp up nicely.

Q: Can I replace orange blossom and rose water if I can’t find them?

A: Orange blossom and rose water add distinctive Middle Eastern flavors to the baklava, but if they are unavailable, you can omit them or use vanilla extract as a substitute. This won’t replicate the authentic flavor but will still provide a floral hint to the syrup. Another alternative is to infuse the syrup with additional spices like cardamom or a little bit of lemon juice for a different but complementary flavor profile.

Q: What’s the best way to chop pistachios for baklava?

A: For baklava, pistachios should be finely chopped to ensure a smooth layer within the pastry without sharp edges that can pierce the filo dough. A food processor can do the job quickly, but be careful not to overprocess into a paste. Pulsing to a coarse meal provides texture and allows the nuts to better absorb the syrup, enhancing the flavor and consistency of the baklava.

Q: Why do recipes recommend cutting the baklava before baking?

A: Cutting the baklava into pieces before baking allows the hot syrup to seep into the cuts and evenly distribute throughout all layers upon pouring it over the cooked pastry. This technique ensures each piece soaks up the syrup properly, enhancing the flavor and texture throughout. Additionally, pre-cutting helps prevent the crispy, baked layers from shattering or squishing when you try to cut them post-baking.

Q: How can I store Lebanese Pistachio Baklava, and how long will it last?

A: Lebanese Pistachio Baklava should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain its texture. It can last for up to two weeks when stored properly. Avoid refrigerating baklava, as the humidity can affect its crispness. For longer storage, baklava can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for several hours before serving.

Q: Is there a difference between using clarified butter and regular melted butter in baklava?

A: Yes, there’s a difference. Clarified butter has the milk solids and water removed, which can help prevent the baklava from becoming soggy. It offers a cleaner, richer taste and can withstand higher cooking temperatures without burning. While regular melted butter works well, clarified butter can elevate the texture and flavor, making it a preferred choice for many traditional recipes.

Q: How do I achieve a perfect diamond cut for my baklava?

A: Achieving a perfect diamond cut involves first cutting parallel lines lengthwise across the pan at equal intervals. Then, make diagonal cuts at the same intervals, creating a diamond pattern. A sharp knife is crucial for clean cuts. Plan your pattern before you start cutting, and be patient and precise with each cut for uniform pieces.

By addressing these expert questions, you can refine your technique and understanding, bringing your Lebanese Pistachio Baklava closer to perfection. Each step, from preparing the filo to adding the final touches with syrup, contributes to creating a dessert that’s both a feast for the eyes and a delight to the palate.


As we conclude our journey through the realm of Lebanese cuisine, we find ourselves captivated by the exquisite allure of pistachio baklava. With each golden layer delicately crisp, each nutty filling bursting with flavor, and each syrup-soaked bite a symphony of sweetness, this dessert has woven its way into our hearts and palates.

As you savor the last morsel of baklava, let its rich heritage and timeless elegance linger on your taste buds. Let it serve as a reminder of the beauty and richness of Lebanese culinary traditions, passed down through generations and cherished around the world.

Whether shared with loved ones during joyous celebrations or savored in quiet moments of indulgence, Lebanese Pistachio Baklava has the power to transport us to distant lands, where the aroma of spices fills the air and the sweetness of honey dances on the tongue.

As you bid farewell to this culinary masterpiece, may the memories of its flavors linger long after the last crumb has been enjoyed. And may you find inspiration to continue exploring the diverse and delightful world of Lebanese cuisine, one delectable dish at a time.

Until we meet again, may your kitchen be filled with laughter, love, and the irresistible aroma of freshly baked baklava. Farewell, dear reader, and happy cooking!

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Macaria Valerie

About the author

With over 15 years of experience in the culinary world, Macaria Valerie has developed a unique niche expertise in the art and science of rice cooking. Born in Taipei and raised in San Francisco, Macaria's passion for perfectly cooked rice is a blend of her Taiwanese roots and modern culinary techniques. She has traveled across Asia, gathering traditional rice recipes and cooking methodologies. Macaria is not just about plain rice. She's explored the depths of risotto in Italy, paella in Spain, biryani in India, and sushi in Japan. Yet, she believes that the core of these dishes lies in mastering the basic foundation - the rice. In her popular blog, "Expert Reviews Best Rice Cooker", Macaria shares not only her favorite rice recipes but also reviews the latest in rice cooker technology. She's been a consultant for major kitchen appliance brands, aiding in the development and testing of their rice cooker lines. In her spare time, Macaria conducts workshops and classes, ensuring that the art of cooking perfect rice is accessible to everyone. Whether you're aiming for a simple bowl of fluffy white rice or venturing into the intricate world of flavored rice dishes, Macaria Valerie is your go-to guide in the rice cooker niche.

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