Pistachio Ice Cream

5 from 3 votes
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Homemade Pistachio Ice Cream is infused with a nutty, buttery flavor and is free of preservatives. Loaded with chopped pistachios for a bit of crunch, you’ll love it by itself or with your favorite desserts a la mode.

A bowl pistachio ice cream with a spoon


I think we can all agree that ice cream is a summer staple.

For instance, when my family and I took a summer trip to Italy, my husband ordered pistachio gelato at every opportunity. We quickly learned that pistachio paste is commonly used in gelato. I created a fresher version, with this recipe, by grinding up the pistachios and steeping them in milk

I first made this pistachio ice cream in my early days of blogging, and I also use it in my recipe for Pistachio Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies. Pistachios make almost anything taste better, including these healthy Pistachio Cranberry Energy Bars. Give them a try for a delicious hiking or lunchbox snack.

Why You’ll Love Homemade Pistachio Ice Cream

  • You’ll love the rich, creamy taste of this homemade pistachio ice cream, especially knowing that it’s free of artificial flavors and colors. 
  • With simple, easy instructions, this recipe will guide any beginner through the process of making amazing ice cream from scratch. 
  • The unique buttery flavor and color of pistachios make this ice cream a special treat that’s impossible not to love. 
  • By adding chopped pistachios after churning, this ice cream has a delightful blend of a creamy texture and the perfect amount of crunch. 
  • Making your own ice cream is cheaper than buying it from the store, so you can indulge without breaking the bank–and still have some left over!

What You’ll Need

  • Pistachio nuts – You’ll need shelled pistachio nuts for this recipe. Set aside ½ cup coarsely chopped pistachios to add to the finished ice cream at the end.
  • Sugar – Aside from sweetening the ice cream, sugar helps it to have a scoopable consistency. 
  • Heavy cream – This makes the custard base extra creamy.
  • Whole milk – Lightens up the custard base. Whole milk is important for the best flavor.
  • Egg yolks – These create the custard base and make it extra rich. 
  • Vanilla extract – Adds sweet, aromatic vanilla flavor. 
  • Almond extract – Accentuates the nutty pistachio flavor.
A bowl pistachio ice cream

How To Make Homemade Pistachio Ice Cream

  • Grind the pistachios. In a food processor, finely grind the pistachios (but not so fine they become a paste). 
  • Heat the cream base and steep. In a large saucepan, stir together the milk, sugar, and 1 cup of cream. Once it’s steaming hot, stir in the ground pistachios. Cover and let it sit off the heat for 30-45 minutes. 
  • Strain and press. Strain the steeped milk, pressing the ground nuts to drain well. Throw away the nuts, then return the liquid to the saucepan. 
  • Prep the strainer bowl with cold cream. Place the remaining cup of heavy cream into another bowl, then cover it with a strainer and set aside. 
  • Temper the yolks. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Slowly add the warm steeped milk to the yolks, stirring constantly, then pour back into the saucepan. 
  • Heat the ice cream custard base. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom as you stir. Do this until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spatula. 
  • Strain into the cold cream. Pour the thickened custard through the prepared strainer, into the cream. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts.
  • Chill and churn. Refrigerate the base until cold (the colder, the better). Then freeze in an ice cream maker according to the instructions. Once it’s churned, fold in the freshly chopped pistachios. Freeze the ice cream in an airtight container.

Recipe Tips & Variations

  • Chill the base overnight before churning. To avoid ice crystals in your ice cream, be sure to chill the ice cream base overnight before churning it. 
  • Try it with toasted pistachios. Try lightly toasting your pistachios before making this recipe for a deeper, nuttier flavor. 
  • Serve it Neapolitan-style. Serve this with a scoop each of strawberry and chocolate ice creams, then drizzle on chocolate syrup or hot fudge for an incredible Neapolitan sundae. 
  • Experiment with add-ins. For a more decadent version, fold in chunks of dark chocolate or swirl in salted caramel sauce just after churning. 
  • Add liqueur for a grown-up flavor. Stir in a shot of liqueur such as Irish Cream, Cointreau, or Amaretto for a touch of boozy flavor.
A bowl pistachio ice cream with a spoon
What are some other fun mix-ins you can add to this recipe?

If you love experimenting with ice cream mix-ins, try fresh raspberries to complement the buttery pistachio flavor. You could also try candies like mini chocolate chips, toffee bits, or mini white chocolate chips. Feel free to get creative!

Is there a faster way to cool the ice cream base down before churning it?

If you need to hurry your ice cream base to refrigerator temperature, place it in a bowl inside an ice bath. Stir it frequently with a rubber spatula until the temperature reaches 39°F, then pour it into your ice cream maker and churn.

What’s the best way to store this ice cream?

Store the ice cream in an airtight, freezer-proof container. To keep the top from getting icy, you can place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap against the top surface of the ice cream.

close up scoops of pistachio ice cream for pinterest

Serving Suggestions

  • Hot Fudge Sauce – top your ice cream with homemade hot fudge sauce for a rich and delicious treat.
  • Magic Shell – you can make your own magic shell at home!
  • Ice Cream Sundae Bar – Such a fun way for everyone to get the toppings and ice creams they enjoy!

More Summer Dessert Recipes

Pistachio Ice Cream - rich and creamy homemade pistachio flavored ice cream, loaded with even more chopped pistachios. 
5 from 3 votes

Pistachio Ice Cream

By Erin
Pistachio Ice Cream – rich and creamy homemade pistachio flavored ice cream, loaded with even more chopped pistachios. 
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 9 hours
Total: 10 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 10


  • 1 1/4 cup shelled pistachios nuts
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped


  • Grind the 1 ¼ cup shelled pistachios in a food processor.  They should be finely ground, but not a paste.
  • In a large saucepan heat the milk, sugar, and 1 cup of the heavy cream. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the ground nuts. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 30-45 minutes. Do not boil, heat until it is just about to simmer.
  • Strain the warm nuts mixture, pressing the nuts to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard the nuts.
  • In a separate bowl pour the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream. Cover this bowl with a strainer. Set this aside. 
  • In another bowl whisk together the egg yolks until well blended and pale yellow in color. While continuously whisking, slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks. Return mixture to the saucepan, and return to the stovetop.
  • Stir constantly, over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, cook until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. When you run your finger over the spatula, the mixture should separate and stay separated. Make sure you scrape the bottom when you are stirring. If you are using a thermometer the mixture will reach 170-175º F.
  • Pour the custard through the strainer to get ride of any clumps or bits of egg and into the cream. Add the vanilla and almond extract. Stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate until for at least 8 hours, until very cold.
  • Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the directions.
  • One finished churning, fold in the ½ cup pistachios.
  • Store in airtight container in freezer for at least 1 hour before serving.


Recipe from Brown Eyed Baker


Serving: 1g | Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 101mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 5 minutes
Course: Dessert Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 338
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!

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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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