Pistachio Ice Cream

published Apr 23, 2022
Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe

This pistachio ice cream tastes like raw pistachio nuts along with the cool, creamy texture of ice cream.

Serves12

Makesabout 2 quarts

Prep5 minutes

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scoops of pistachio ice cream in a white bowl, with two other bowls with the same kind of ice cream next to it, and three silver spoons lying beside the bowls.
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

My husband loves any and all desserts involving pistachios. When he was growing up, these treats were usually reserved for one day a year: St. Patrick’s Day. That’s probably because most of the sweets involved unnecessary amounts of green food coloring to imply the pistachio flavor as well as the holiday. He was so excited when I made a batch of pistachio ice cream recently and I assured him it was a special treat that he was allowed to indulge in any time of year. I love this recipe for pistachio ice cream because there is a hint of that green color without being artificial. Plus, every bite is chock-full of chopped pistachios, so the experience doesn’t feel skimpy.

Any time you make homemade ice cream, it is important to churn the ice cream base almost all of the way before adding any mix-ins. This allows the ice cream to thicken as it incorporates more air. When you add the pistachios in the last five minutes of churning, it ensures the nuts will be evenly distributed throughout the ice cream, rather than sink to the bottom of the container. Once the ice cream is churned and the pistachios are incorporated, there is one more trick I recommend before freezing: I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the ice cream before closing the airtight container. Preventing air from hitting the surface of the churned ice cream helps prevent freezer burn.

What Does Pistachio Ice Cream Taste Like?

Pistachio ice cream tastes like raw pistachio nuts along with the cool, creamy texture of ice cream. This recipe really highlights the mildly sweet, earthy and nutty flavor of the pistachio itself.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

How to Make Pistachio Ice Cream?

Pistachio ice cream is made with raw shelled pistachios, milk, sugar, cream, vanilla extract, and almond extract. I recommend using raw, unsalted pistachios because they have a vibrant green color that will slightly infuse into the ice cream. There is no need for any green food coloring with this recipe. You can also use roasted unsalted pistachios, but the results will not be as vibrant.

Do I Need an Ice Cream Maker to Make Pistachio Ice Cream?

Yes, the creamy ice cream base is churned in an ice cream maker to simultaneously freeze the mixture while incorporating air. This results in a rich and creamy ice cream.

Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe

This pistachio ice cream tastes like raw pistachio nuts along with the cool, creamy texture of ice cream.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes about 2 quarts

Serves 12

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups

    cold whole milk

  • 1 1/4 cups

    granulated sugar

  • 3 cups

    cold heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon

    almond extract

  • 1 1/2 cups

    raw shelled pistachios

Instructions

  1. If needed, freeze the base of your ice cream maker to prepare for churning.

  2. Place 1 1/2 cups cold whole milk and 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups cold heavy cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon almond extract, and stir to combine.

  3. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions until almost a soft serve consistency, 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, coarsely chop 1 1/2 cups raw shelled pistachios.

  4. Add the pistachios to the base and churn for 5 minutes more. Transfer to an airtight freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or ideally overnight for a firmer consistency.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store pistachio ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.