Salted Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

This chocolate pistachio vegan ice cream recipe is ultra creamy and delicious without using dairy: here are all our secrets!

Salted Chocolate Pistachio Creamy Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

Ever get the Sunday night blues? That jittery feeling in your stomach that the work or school week is only a night’s sleep away? The pressure to fully utilize those last, fleeting moments?  I’ve had a weekly case of the Sunday night blues for years, though I’ve finally learned to alleviate it with some mental tricks. A friend of mine used to combat it with a date to the ice cream shop with his wife. I like that. And, it was the inspiration for this salted chocolate vegan ice cream recipe! Keep reading for more.

Related:10 Vegan Desserts Everyone Will Love

Salted Chocolate Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

Why a vegan ice cream recipe?

Sitting here in late August, it’s like the Sunday night blues of the summer. As much as I love fall’s pumpkin spices and cozy sweaters, even more I love flip flops and sun dresses, basil and tomatoes and juicy peaches, gourmet popsicles, and outdoor movie nights in the backyard. The slight chill in the air is giving me a bit of the blues. So, here’s a vegan ice cream recipe to pretend it’s still summer, like going to the ice cream shop at 9:00 pm on a Sunday night, just hoping to eke out a little more of the glory days.

Why a vegan ice cream recipe? Neither Alex nor I eat strictly vegan / plant-based, but since there are so many stellar traditional ice cream recipes out there, we enjoy the challenge of experimenting with non-dairy versions. Also, vegan ice cream tends to sit better with my stomach. And this one–it’s no stretch to claim this vegan ice cream is just as good as the real thing. It’s lusciously creamy and delicious, which is difficult to achieve with vegan ice creams.

Salted Chocolate Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

How to make this vegan ice cream recipe

The secret to this creamy vegan ice cream recipe? Full-fat coconut milk and cornstarch. Simmering the mixture until it is thick and using liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup also helps for a creamy texture. We tried all these tricks and were amazed at the result, much improved from our last take on coconut ice cream, which became a bit icy when frozen for storage. And the taste? Though it’s made of coconut, this version had no trace of coconut taste to my palate, instead overwhelmed by the burst of salted chocolate flavor.

Of course this vegan ice cream recipe is not a health food by any means, but we’ve tried to keep this ice cream as natural as possible, with some alternate sweeteners to the typical white refined sugar. While I used to sweeten most of my desserts with honey, over the years I’ve found it has a distinctive taste that doesn’t work in all scenarios. For desserts, our philosophy is moderation is key; I now try to make a dessert that tastes good and consume less of it, rather than making a “health-ed up” version that I need 3 servings of to feel satisfied.

If you’re not a salted chocolate fan (like Alex), feel free to omit the salt, and it’s completely customizable to use any mix-in you’d like. I see many variations on this base over the months to come. Hats off to summer– and here’s to curing the Sunday night blues!

What else to do with coconut milk? Here are 15 recipes to use up a can.

Salted Chocolate Pistachio Creamy Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

What’s the best ice cream maker?

What’s the best ice cream maker? Alex and I use this 2 quart ice cream maker and love it: it’s a great holiday or birthday present to ask for if you don’t want to splurge for it. Churning the ice cream takes about 15 minutes. After it’s done you can eat your ice cream right away for a soft serve texture. Or, follow the instructions in the recipe below to freeze it to a hard ice cream texture: it takes about 4 hours to freeze up!

Looking for more vegan desserts?

Outside of this salted chocolate vegan ice cream recipe, here are a few more of our favorites:

This vegan ice cream recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.


Salted Chocolate Vegan Ice Cream Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 quart 1x


This chocolate pistachio vegan ice cream recipe is ultra creamy and delicious without using dairy: here are all our secrets!



  • 2 15-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup
  • ⅓ cup coconut sugar
  • 3 1/2 ounces vegan dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pistachios, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon small crystal sea salt


  1. Freeze the ice cream maker base overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup coconut milk with 2 tablespoons cornstarch and set aside.
  3. Add the remainder of the coconut milk to a medium pan. Warm the coconut milk over medium low heat for a minute or two, whisking to incorporate the solids. Then add the agave syrup and coconut sugar. Break the chocolate into pieces and add to the coconut milk; stir until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the cocoa powder, then the cornstarch mixture. Heat until the chocolate mixture is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a 1-gallon Ziplock bag. If churning immediately, place the bag in an ice bath for 30 minutes until cool; if churning the next day, refrigerate 4 hours or overnight (either way, the mixture should be as cold as possible before churning).
  5. Churn the ice cream in the ice cream maker until it thickens to the consistency of soft serve, adding in ½ cup chopped pistachios and ½ teaspoon sea salt crystals as the mixture churns.
  6. Eat immediately for a soft serve consistency, or for a hard ice cream texture, freeze using the following instructions: press a piece of parchment or wax paper into a sealable container, then scrape the ice cream into the container using a spatula, making sure to scrape in the bits frozen to the edges of the ice cream maker base. Freeze for 4 hours for a hard ice cream texture.


Note: Due to the need to chill the ingredients before churning, we recommend starting this recipe the night before serving.

Adapted from The Kitchn

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Frozen
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Vegan Ice Cream Recipe, Chocolate Ice Cream, Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream, Vegan Ice Cream, Salted Chocolate, Vegan Pistachio Ice Cream

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    August 30, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    i’m just the same! i’m getting the sunday night blues (not to mention the end of summer blues) right now!

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    August 30, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I have Sunday night blues every single Sunday night!!! Making satisfying meals and/or dessert helps!! Especially ice cream. You really can’t beat ice cream like this at home!

  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    August 31, 2015 at 3:33 am

    This looks so, so good. I’m a big fan of the chocolate and pistachio pairing and I really like your trick for making it creamy with the coconut milk and cornstarch. And yes, I’m having the end-of-summer blues right now too. ;-)

  • Reply
    Emily | Gather & Dine
    August 31, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Oh, these photos are so tempting. I want to make this! It will be a great way to finish up summer. :)

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Well, I was going to comment on how fantastic this ice cream looks + how I can’t wait to whip up a batch and then I got to the part of the post about Alex not liking the salt + chocolate combo and every coherent thought went out of my head. What is this madness?!

  • Reply
    September 1, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    On one hand, I am really into this cooler weather, but I know what you mean about summer coming to an end – bittersweet. This ice cream looks incredible. I love a good coconut milk base. So rich and creamy.

  • Reply
    Nicole @
    September 4, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    Chocolate, pistachios, and dairy free ice cream are my favorite things! Can’t wait to make this.

  • Reply
    Haley Musial
    September 6, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Oh hello happiness!! My husband is lactose intolerant and an ice-cream “alolic” so this would be a great alternative for him to have. Thanks for making, posting and sharing!

  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    September 7, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Ooh this looks so delicious!! Salted chocolate + pistachios + vegan? Amazing! The weather has been incredibly hot these past few days and this ice cream sounds just perfect! I’m seriously craving it right now.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Hey there! I realized I haven’t been on your blog in a while when I remembered your awesome Bahn Mi recipe for my meal planning this week. Excited about that! Then of course I got to browsing and this ice cream looks delicious. What type of ice cream maker do you have or do you have opinions about ice cream makers when shopping for them?


  • Reply
    Katie @ Whole Nourishment
    July 13, 2017 at 3:40 am

    I finally decided to buy an ice cream maker, and you’ll be happy to know that this recipe was the first one I chose to make! And it was a success! I really loved how rich and chocolate-y it was. Thanks for a fab recipe….now on to try your mocha almond fudge and Jeanine’s frozen yogurt with cherries!

    • Reply
      July 26, 2017 at 5:10 pm

      Oh wow, I’m so glad this worked out for you! It’s one of our favorites (Alex doesn’t love salted chocolate as much, but I do!).

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