Pistachio Ice Cream

You only need 6 ingredients to make this creamy pistachio ice cream! Its coconut base is the perfect rich complement to its nutty pistachio flavor.

Pistachio Ice Cream

I’m starting to get the feeling that it’s time to travel again… and this pistachio ice cream recipe takes me right back to Italy. Last year I destroyed myself on gelato (when in Rome, right?). I know everyone has their favorite spots, but I visited Giolitti every single day, and sometimes twice in a day. I somehow convinced myself that lactose intolerance can’t possibly exist in Italy… Though I paid the price for my delusion, I enjoyed every bite nonetheless.

Pistachio Ice Cream

My Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe

This at-home version turned out super creamy, nutty & delicious. To avoid any dairy side effects, we used coconut milk as a base instead of heavy cream or milk. I loved the sweet, nutty note of the coconut under the pistachio flavor. Here’s what else is in this delicious treat:

  • Cornstarch takes the place of eggs or egg yolks, making this ice cream lusciously thick.
  • Sugar sweetens it up.
  • Fresh lemon juice adds a little tang – you could also use fresh-squeezed orange juice in its place!
  • Pistachios (of course) make this ice cream deliciously rich & nutty!
  • And sea salt offsets the sugar’s sweetness and ties all the flavors together.

My pistachio ice cream recipe doesn’t have any food coloring or almond extract in it, as I prefer the pistachio flavor on its own. However, if you want that classic almond-y taste and vibrant green color, go ahead and add a drop of each.

If you love this pistachio ice cream recipe…

Try some more of my favorite frozen treats like pudding pops, a vegan milkshake, green tea ice cream, or vegan cheesecake!


Pistachio Ice Cream
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This pistachio ice cream recipe is lusciously creamy and delicious! It's easy to make, but be sure to allow time for the ice cream base to chill completely before you blend in the pistachios.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ⅔ cup cane sugar
  • A few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup pistachios, blanched and skinned
  • Scant ¼ cup water
  • Sea salt
  • Crushed pistachios, for serving
  • Chocolate chips, for serving
Instructions
  1. Freeze the base of your ice cream maker for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. Make a slurry by mixing the ¼ cup of the coconut milk with the cornstarch. Stir until the starch is dissolved and the mixture is smooth.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the remaining 1¾ cups coconut milk and ⅓ cup of the sugar.
  4. When it almost starts to boil, stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook at gentle simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat, scrape it into a bowl, and transfer it to the fridge to chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.
  6. In a high-speed blender, place the chilled ice cream base, lemon juice, pistachios, the remaining ⅓ cup sugar, water, and a pinch of sea salt. Blend until smooth.
  7. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and follow the directions of the manufacturer to churn until thick (about 20 minutes). Scoop out and enjoy! If you would like thicker ice cream, freeze for 1-2 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’ Pistachio Gelato Recipe and Heidi Swanson’s Sweet Pistachio Butter.

 

17 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. I love these gorgeous pictures and this ice cream! Thanks for the break from the cookie madness!

  2. Wow that looks good! I’m allergic to dairy too, so the coconut milk sounds really awesome. 😀

  3. I have such a horrible dairy allergy so this sounds absolutely delightful. I adore using coconut milk in my baking!

  4. Ashley from edibleperspective.com
    12.21.2012

    Ohhhkay. This needs to happen. Right after that tomato soup. And I desperately want that ice cream scoop!

    • jeanine
      12.22.2012

      I know, I loved that scoop! It has a new home now, so hopefully someone else is enjoying it 🙂

  5. Kasey from turntablekitchen.com
    12.23.2012

    When we were in Sicily this summer, I had trouble ordering any flavor OTHER than pistachio. I’m thankful I don’t have a dairy intolerance because I had at least 2 every day 😉 I love the beautiful colors – pistachios always add a festive feel to dishes. I hope you have a wonderful holidays! xo

  6. The more gelato, the better! Especially when in Italy. This pistachio gelato looks scrumptious.

  7. so beautiful! I love making ice cream but had to take a break because the habit was getting a little out of hand. This looks like the perfect thing to re-enter the world of frozen treats! so perfect.

  8. Kristina from theguilbeaufamily.blogspot.com
    12.29.2012

    This recipe has been a family favorite for us and I am so excited to try it out with coconut milk! Thanks for the beautiful pictures and lovely adaptation of this recipe! Happy New Year 🙂

  9. Alanna from bojongourmet.com
    01.02.2013

    This looks crazy good! Love that it’s made with coconut milk. Gorgeous photos.

    • jeanine
      01.03.2013

      thanks! I don’t know what I’d do without coconut milk 🙂

      • Alanna from bojongourmet.com
        01.03.2013

        Totally! It is amazing stuff.

  10. christyna
    05.13.2013

    Found your sight after a search for vegan mac and cheese on the internet. So excited to try many of your lovely recipes. A couple of questions for ya before I get going. First, what role does cornstarch play in the ice cream making? And, if you happen to have any experience with this, could one substitute tapioca starch in its place? There’s an ice cream book (Jeni’s splendid ice cream) that calls for either corn syrup and cornstarch, or tapioca syrup and tapioca starch in her recipes. It would be great to veganize all of her recipes 🙂

    My second question is in regards to the type of coconut milk you use. For the most part, canned coconut milks contain guar gum (e.g., native forest), but I recently picked up cans of “Nature’s Value” coconut milk and they have no gums it’s just straight up coconut milk. I’m really excited about that, however, in the case of making vegan ice cream, I wonder if the gums are helpful???

    Thanks!

  11. georgia
    06.11.2013

    this is a beautifully designed website with the linen background and nice graphics- well done

  12. Love this incredible dessert.. Ice cream is my all time favourite… God job!

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.