No Churn Vegan Chocolate Pistachio Ice Cream with Caramel

If you like chocolate and pistachios then you’re going to love this simple no churn, dairy free, vegan ice cream. And let’s not forget the caramel, which pretty much ties everything together.

peonies and spoons
no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with caramel
no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with caramel
no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with caramel
no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with caramel

Green and jumpy, its gifted legs pausing once in a while to make song. The sky, of the clearest blue with an occasional cloud passing by. I laid in the tall grass, watching it sway back and forth as the green visitor disappeared from sight with one long hop.

Time moved slower then, summer’s creatures buzzing about. July has always held a certain sweetness. I rolled over studying my body’s imprint in the grass. Blade after blade slowly making its way back to the preferred upright position, undulating this way and that, always at the mercy of wind. Everything moved in slow motion, including me.

Lethargically, I trekked through the field back to my white, used Schwinn, stomach rumbling. Pebbles crunched under my feet as I reached the path, wiping a bead of sweat off my forehead. I wasn’t quite sure of the time, but the sun told me it was sometime late afternoon. I roamed freely in the summer, coming and going as I pleased. As long as I was home for meals, my parents were fine with me exploring as I wished. I am still grateful for that.

Pedaling through rolling, green farmland, I made my way to the center of the village, straight to one of the only two pubs/restaurants. It was a special place, because it was the only one that carried ice cream. And not just any ice cream, but pistachio, which was a favorite for years. It was love at first bite and also happened to be my introduction to the crunchy, buttery nut. Even though it would be a long while before I would have an actual stand alone pistachio.

As the years passed, time sped up exponentially, tastes broadened and changed. And when talking sweets, I now gravitate towards my ultimate favorite - chocolate. So in my adult years, with my adult freedoms, I take the liberty to experiment with flavors from childhood and adulthood and have them meet somewhere in the middle. So this vegan chocolate ice cream with pistachios and salted caramel was born.

How do you make vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream?

A good vegan chocolate ice cream, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients but the ones you use should be of the best possible quality.

In my book, the base for a vegan chocolate ice cream is quality creamy full fat coconut milk and good cacao or cocoa powder. To go along with those; honey, almond butter, a little ground cardamom, vanilla and ground pistachios.

You can certainly skip the caramel sauce, I think it is an absolute must, to complete this ice cream.

Tips for making smooth and creamy no churn vegan chocolate ice cream

Freeze and refrigerate everything!

While making this recipe several times, I’ve done a little trouble shooting to avoid one of the most common issues with home made no churn ice cream - icy taste. The issue is simple; the warm ingredients placed in the freezer take longer to freeze than in conventional ice cream makers and the water in coconut milk (or any milk), will create crystallization and leave a rather unpleasant mouth feel.

But if you keep your blender cup, blade and loaf pan in the freezer and the coconut milk and almond butter in the fridge for a few hours, you’re going to end up with a smooth ice cream with little to no crystallization.

For the caramel sauce

You only need condensed coconut milk, vanilla extract, coconut sugar and a pinch of sea salt to make a smooth and creamy caramel sauce. This can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for 2-3 weeks (should it actually make it that long).

no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with caramel
no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with caramel
no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with caramel
no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with caramel

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  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • freezing time: 6 hours

  • makes: 12 servings




For chocolate ice cream:

In food processor or blender, grind up pistachios in advance. Set aside.

Prior to starting, ensure that you freeze your blade, blender cup and loaf pan and refrigerate the 1/2 cup almond butter and coconut milk for at least 2 hours.

Combine 2 cans chilled coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, cacao, cardamom, honey and almond butter and blend until smooth.

Tranfter mixture to loaf pan, sprinkle with ground pistachios and cover with plastic wrap. Ensure the wrap makes contact with the ice cream mixture and wrap pan again tightly ensuring that little to no air can get in.

Quickly transfer to freezer and freeze for 6 hours.

For caramel sauce:

Meanwhile combine condensed coconut milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract along with coconut sugar in small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes on low, stirring regularly until you get a creamy caramel sauce. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt.

When caramel has finished, transfer to glass container and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

To assemble ice cream. Once it’s finished freezing, remove from freezer and let sit for 30-45 minutes (it’s worth the wait).

Scoop vegan chocolate ice cream into bowl and finish with caramel sauce and sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios.

This no churn no churn vegan chocolate pistachio ice cream with salted caramel sauce, will have your tastebuds jumping for joy! Coconut milk, cacao, honey, almond butter, cardamom, vanilla and pistachios, create a silky, crunchy, sweet and salty combination. #veganicecream #dficecream #dairyfreeicecream #df #vegandessert #paleoicecream #nochurnveganicecream #nochurnpaleoicecream #vegan #paleo #dairyfree

Paleo No Churn Ice Cream

paleo no churn ice cream
paleo no churn ice cream
paleo no churn ice cream
paleo no churn ice cream

I would like to dedicate this post to my food processor. Funny as that may sound, out of all the kitchen gadgets, besides my trusted knife and cast iron pan, this one holds a lot of weight in my kitchen. Some of my favorite recipes involve the food processor and yes, you can certainly achieve the same texture by chopping your vegetables, but when it's time to create silky smooth soups, a perfect mayo or ice cream of any kind, nothing can take the place of a food processor. 

A food processor is your best friend!

It took a bit to convert me. I was stubborn and couldn't quite comprehend why a food processor would be life changing. After all, I had a mediocre blender that could do some mediocre blending in times of need. This was years ago, until I heard that you could make no churn ice-cream in a food processor. What? How? Sold! That's all it took and I became a convert. But not just a convert - I preach the food processor's glory wherever I go. I even hand out leaflets in public places trying to get people to get on board the food processor train. Speaking of, Cuisinart really should have picked me up as a spokesperson. Oh well. 

All joking aside though, it's summer time and strawberries and raspberries are in their peak season. Right now is the time to gorge on them, make some delicious dishes and freeze whatever you can't eat. 

So now that I've warmed you up a bit and you know my true feelings about the food processor, let's talk about this no churn ice cream. I don't think there needs to be much convincing when I say that ice cream is amazing, right? Kind of obvious. But ice cream was one of those things that I would eat with such fervor only to be left in pain a half hour later. And I did it summer after summer. But I learned.

So what do you need to make paleo no churn ice cream?

For this no churn ice cream, I used full fat coconut milk, strawberries, raspberries, honey and vanilla extract. The process is absurdly easy. Everything pretty much just gets dumped in the food processor and you sit back and watch the magic happen. Then store it in a loaf pan and freeze. There you have it - paleo no churn ice cream. It really is that simple. 

My recommendation is that once frozen, you actually let it sit out for a bit until it gets slightly soft, is easier to scoop out and that creamy goodness just melts in your mouth. 

paleo no churn ice cream
paleo no churn ice cream
paleo no churn ice cream

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paleo no churn ice cream 

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • freeze time: 4+ hours

  • yields: 6-8 servings


  • 10 oz organic frozen strawberries (or 1 bag)

  • 1/4 cup organic frozen raspberries divided

  • 1/4 thawed organic raspberries

  • 3-4 tbsp raw organic honey + 1 tsp

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 can full fat organic coconut milk



Combine frozen strwaberries, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 3-4 tbsp honey (depending on how sweet you like it), 1 tsp vanilla and coconut milk in food processor and turn on. Let it run until everything is purred smooth. 

Pour mixture into loaf pan and set aside. 

Add thawed raspberries and 1 tsp honey to food processor. Puree until you it becomes a sweet sauce. Add to ice cream mixture and swirl throughout. 

Cover with cling wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. 

*Again, my recommendation is to let the ice cream sit out and soften for a bit before serving. 

A paleo and vegan alternative to ice cream that will make you swoon! It's creamy, refreshing and perfect for hot summer months (or anytime). Check out this simple food processor ice cream that takes just minutes to make. #veganicecream, #calmeats, #paleoicecream, #strawberryicecream, #vegan, #paleo, #dessert, #healthy #healthyrecipes