This vegan Pistachio Chocolate Bar is a three-tier layered beauty. It features creamy pistachio butter sandwiched between two layers of rich dark chocolate. A generous sprinkling of chopped pistachios, coconut, and sea salt flakes takes this treat to the next level of delicious.
Today, I’m going to show you how easy it is to make dark chocolate pistachio bars, aka pistachio bark– because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a tasty slab of chocolate?
Once the chocolate is set, you can break the bark into chunks, store them in the freezer, and grab a piece whenever a craving strikes. They also taste and look fantastic enough to package up as gifts.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Joyful: Making homemade chocolate is such a fun date-night activity or something to do with friends over your favorite wine. It’s a good recipe for kids to get involved with, too!
- Easy peasy: There’s nothing complicated about this recipe. You won’t believe how easy it is to make!
- Make it yours: Experiment with different chocolate and types of nuts, and get creative with toppings to make this chocolate your own.
- Healthier snacking: While we’re indulging, it’s good to know that dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, and pistachios have plenty of healthy fats and protein. Sure, they’re calorie-dense, but as with all things, moderation is key!
- Perfect presents: Chocolate-covered pistachio bars make fantastic gifts. Slice them into shards, wrap them up beautifully, and you’ve got a thoughtful present that shows you care.
INGREDIENT NOTES & SUBSTITUTIONS
- Dark Chocolate: I’m using Nibble Simply Madagascan chocolate chips. They contain four natural ingredients, including cocoa mass, coconut sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla extract. They’re dairy-free, so perfect if you’re vegan or you’re gifting to anyone with a dairy allergy. But you can use your favorite chocolate. If you’ve got a dark chocolate bar lying around at home, just chop it up and use that instead.
- Pistachio Kernels: Roughly chopped for texture in every bite. If you want to switch it up, swap pistachios for peanuts or give walnuts a whirl.
- Pistachio Butter: This is what makes our center smooth and creamy.
- Vanilla Extract: Just a dash of natural vanilla flavor.
- Maple Syrup: Balances the richness.
- Coconut Oil: Helps make the pistachio butter spreadable.
- Shredded Coconut: For an extra layer of flavor and texture in each bite.
- Sea Salt Flakes: Not a necessity, but it helps bring all the flavors to life!
These visual step-by-step instructions provide a quick overview of the recipe. The recipe card with the full list of ingredients and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of this post. ⇩
STEP 1: Place half the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and melt in 20-second intervals, stirring the chocolate after each interval.
STEP 2: Spread the chocolate out onto a lined sheet pan. Freeze for 10 minutes or until set.
STEP 3: Meanwhile, add the pistachio butter, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and a pinch of sea salt flakes to a small bowl.
STEP 4: Mix until well combined. Then, set aside.
STEP 5: Remove the chocolate from the freezer and spread with the pistachio butter mixture.
STEP 6: Sprinkle with half the chopped pistachios.
STEP 7: Melt the remaining chocolate and let it cool slightly before pouring it over the pistachio layer. If the chocolate is too hot, all the layers will melt into each other.
STEP 8: Sprinkle the remaining chopped pistachios, desiccated coconut, and a generous pinch of salt over the slab of chocolate.
STEP 9: Freeze for a further 10-15 minutes or until set.
STEP 10: Break into pieces and then store in the fridge or freezer. Enjoy!
Finest ingredients. Choose high-quality dark chocolate chips with at least 70% cocoa for a richer flavor and greater health benefits.
Melting chocolate. When melting chocolate, do it gently. Microwave in short bursts, stirring in between, or use a double boiler. Avoid overheating, as it can cause chocolate to seize and become gritty.
Line the baking sheet. This makes it easier to remove the pistachio bar once it’s set.
Beautiful layers. Allow the bottom layer to be fully set before adding the next. This will help you keep distinct layers.
Nuts and mix-ins. Avoid overcrowding the nuts and other toppings, as they’re more likely to fall off the chocolate bar.
Cutting with care. When it’s time to cut your bars, use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to get clean, even slices. Alternatively, snap the chocolate into random pieces for a more rustic look.
- Different Chocolate: The best chocolate will always be your favorite– whether it’s bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, or even ruby chocolate – you do you!
- Toasted Pistachios: If you have the time, toast the pistachios in the oven for 5-6 minutes before chopping them and sprinkling them over the chocolate– it will bring out more of their flavor.
- Toppings: Want it sweeter, then try adding some dried fruit to the center or top layer. Raisins, cranberries, apricots, or cherries are all delicious additions. What about crunchier? How about adding some popped quinoa or puffed brown rice?
- Different Nuts: This recipe may call for pistachios and pistachio butter, but peanuts and peanut butter are fantastic choices. Almond and almond butter is also great. Experiment and have fun. If you love chocolate and you love nuts, you can’t go far wrong with this recipe, whatever the combo.
- No Added Sugar Chocolate Treats: Cutting back on sugar right now? No problem. Make these treats with unsweetened chocolate and omit the maple syrup.
- More Nuts! Chopped hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds, as well as walnuts all complement pistachios.
- More Chocolate: Drizzle with a different type of chocolate for contrast. You could also add a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
- Rose Petals: So pretty. And the flavor… yum!
- Bee Pollen: For a sweet crunch with lots of antioxidants.
- Freeze-Dried Fruits: Strawberry and raspberry pieces look gorgeous and provide a beautiful contrast against the green pistachios and dark chocolate.
- Dried Fruits: Add a chewy texture and additional sweetness.
- Coconut Flakes: Raw or toasted for an extra coconut flavor.
- Chili Flakes: If you like a little heat.
- Seeds: Add a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds for a mildly earthy note and some extra protein.
Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, like flavonoids and polyphenols. These compounds fight harmful free radicals in the body. In doing so, they may contribute to lowering the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancer, and other chronic diseases.
Dark chocolate in moderation may positively impact heart health. It has been linked to improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels. [Source]
Dark chocolate also contains compounds that stimulate endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones that help to improve mood. [Source]
Remember, dark chocolate should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a varied and balanced diet. Choose dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70% or higher) for the most significant health benefits, as it contains more antioxidants and less sugar.
Refrigerate: Store your pistachio chocolate pieces in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. Always check for freshness!
Freeze: For longer storage, freeze the chocolate pieces for up to three months in a freezer-safe bag. You can eat them straight from the freezer, but they taste best when you give them a bit of time to come to room temperature before serving.
More Chocolate Recipes
Looking for more “healthier” chocolate recipes? Try these next time…
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Salted Pistachio Chocolate Bar with Coconut (Vegan)
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- 1 cup (180 grams) dark chocolate chips (vegan), divided
- ⅓ cup (40 grams) pistachio butter
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
- 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt flakes, divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted shelled pistachios, roughly chopped, divided
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut (dessicated coconut), optional
- Prepare: Gather and prep your ingredients.
- Melt Chocolate: Place half the chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl and melt in 20-second intervals, stirring the chocolate after each interval. To melt in a double boiler, see notes. Spread the chocolate out onto a lined sheet pan and freeze for 10 minutes or until set.
- Pistachio Butter: Meanwhile, add the pistachio butter, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and ½ teaspoon of sea salt to a small bowl. Mix until well combined, then set aside.
- Chocolate Layer: Remove the chocolate from the freezer and spread over the pistachio butter mixture. Press down with the back of a spoon or with your fingers. Sprinkle with half the chopped pistachios.
- Melt More Chocolate: Melt the remaining chocolate. Let it cool slightly, then pour the melted chocolate over the pistachio layer. If the chocolate is too hot, all the layers will melt into one another. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped pistachios, the desiccated coconut, and the remaining sea salt. Freeze for a further 10-15 minutes or until set.
- Serve: When it’s time to cut your bars, use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to get clean, even slices. Or roughly break them into random-sized pieces for a more rustic look. Enjoy!
- Prepare Your Equipment: You’ll need a saucepan and a heatproof bowl that fits snugly on top of it. The bowl should not touch the water in the saucepan.
- Add Water: Fill the saucepan with a couple of inches of water, making sure it doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl when it’s placed on top.
- Boil the Water: Place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Bring the water to a gentle simmer, not a rolling boil.
- Set Up the Bowl: Once the water is simmering, place the heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan. Make sure it sits securely.
- Add Chocolate: Put the chocolate chips into the bowl. As the steam from the simmering water gently heats the bowl, the chocolate will slowly melt.
- Stir Occasionally: Stir the chocolate occasionally with a spatula or spoon as it melts to ensure even melting.
- Remove from Heat: Once the chocolate is smooth and completely melted, remove the bowl from the double boiler. Be careful; it will be hot!
- Cool: Let the chocolate cool slightly before pouring. This is especially important with the top chocolate layer, otherwise all the layers will melt into one another.
- Refrigerate: Store your pistachio chocolate pieces in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Always check for freshness!
- Freeze: For longer storage, you can freeze the chocolate pieces for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe bag. You can eat them straight from the freezer, but they taste better when brought to room temperature before serving.
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.