Pistachio Ice Cream


Each spoonful is a bite of decadent, creamy nostalgia.

Pistachio Ice Cream
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Melissa Gray; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford
Active Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
7 hrs
Serves 16 (serving size: 1/2 cup)

Is there anything better than diving into a bowl of cold, refreshing ice cream on a sweltering, hot day? Along with cool ice-box pies, ice cream is one of our favorite desserts to serve during a backyard cookout or barbecue. Of course, we all have our favorite store brands of frozen ice cream, and those sure are convenient when you don't have an afternoon to hang out on your back porch and churn up a freezer of the homemade stuff.

But take note: Besides the time needed for chilling and freezing the mixture, homemade pistachio ice cream has a surprisingly short prep time.

Using raw pistachios instead of roasted helps with the overall color and clean pistachio flavor, whereas roasted pistachios will give the ice cream a brown, muddled look. Save the roasted for sprinkling over salads or grilled vegetables.

Pistachio ice cream is perfect on its own, but you can also dress it up: Drizzle some chocolate sauce on top, or serve with a shortbread cookie.


  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup raw pistachios

  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 6 large egg yolks

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 drops liquid green food coloring

  • 1 cup roasted salted pistachios, coarsely chopped


  1. Stir together milk, raw pistachios, and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, undisturbed, until pistachios soften, about 15 minutes. Pour mixture into a high-powered blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.

  2. Whisk together egg yolks and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually add 1 cup of the warm pistachio puree, whisking constantly. Return remaining pistachio puree in blender to saucepan; whisk in egg yolk mixture, whipping cream, salt, and vanilla. Cook over medium, whisking often, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl; whisk in food coloring. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours or up to overnight (or 8 hours).

  3. Stir chopped pistachios into cold cream mixture. Pour mixture into frozen freezer bowl of a 2-quart electric ice-cream maker, and proceed according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.) Transfer to a shallow container; press parchment paper against surface. Cover with plastic wrap (or seal lid on container), and freeze until frozen, at least 4 hours or up to overnight (or 8 hours). Store in an airtight container in freezer up to 2 weeks.

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