Chef John’s Orange-Pistachio "Greenies"

Are you tired of blondies or bored with brownies? Then it’s time to try these Greenies, a brownie-like confection made with pistachios and flavored with orange zest.

Original recipe makes 1 9×9-inch pan


Wet ingredients:
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dry ingredients:
2 cups shelled dry-roasted pistachio nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt to taste (see footnote)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
1 tablespoon orange juice, or as needed
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, or as needed

  • PREP

    15 mins

  • COOK

    20 mins


    35 mins


  1. Whisk 2 tablespoons orange zest into melted butter in a mixing bowl, followed by white sugar, until sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Whisk in eggs until light and fluffy, about 2 more minutes. Stir 1 tablespoon orange juice, milk, and vanilla extract into egg mixture.
  2. Place pistachios into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add salt, baking powder, and flour to pistachios; pulse until combined, 3 to 4 times. Stir pistachio mixture into wet ingredients until batter is combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; generously butter a 9×9-inch square baking dish.
  4. Spread batter into prepared baking dish. Tap the dish several times on a sturdy work surface to eliminate air bubbles.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until top is lightly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Stir 1 tablespoon orange juice with 2 teaspoons orange zest in a small bowl; mix in confectioners’ sugar to form a thin, runny glaze. Drizzle glaze on top of pistachio bars and spread to cover top. Cut into squares once cooled.


Calories: 292 kcal
Carbohydrates: 25.1 g
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Fat: 20.1 g
Fiber: 2.8 g
Protein: 6.4 g
Sodium: 272 mg