Classic Pistachio ice cream (also known as pista ice cream) is a wonderfully light and nutty frozen treat that’s perfect for summer. Here you’ll find step-by-step instructions and photos to prepare our favorite easy Pistachio ice cream recipe using an ice cream maker. I also share on making the recipe without an ice cream maker in the recipe card below.
About Pistachio Ice Cream
Cold and sweet pistachio ice cream is great to make once the weather gets warm. It’s a creamy, rich ice cream that is still on the lighter side since there is no chocolate or overly-sweet components. Just milk and cream, sugar, and lots of nutty and delicious pistachios.
Plus, this pistachio ice cream recipe is made with an ice cream maker, so it’s a no-cook dessert, too! (Because who wants to turn the oven or stove on when it is that hot outside?)
The ingredients are quick to prep, and then everything is simply added to the machine. The ice cream maker works it’s magic, and in no time you are enjoying a frosty homemade treat.
You can also make this ice cream without an ice cream maker. I share handy steps in the notes of the full recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Give my easy recipe a try and be ready to crave this lovely ice cream all summer long!
How to Make Pistachio Ice Cream
Prepare the Pistachios
1. First add ¼ cup of pistachios to a food chopper, processor or grinder. Ensure that your pistachios are not salted or roasted or flavored.
2. Grind the nuts into a semi-fine powder like that in the photo below. You want the ice cream to have lots of pistachio flavor without being overly gritty.
3. Remove from the food processor and set aside.
4. Now add another ¼ cup of pistachios to the food chopper or grinder.
5. Process or grind them to small bits or chunks, but do not pulverize. Remove and set aside.
Make the Pista Ice Cream Mixture
6. In a large sauce pan add ½ cup cold whole milk and ½ cup sugar.
7. Whisk very well until the sugar dissolves.
8. Then add 2 to 2.25 cups of cold whipping or heavy cream.
9. Whisk the cream with the milk to fully combine.
10. Add the coarsely ground pistachio powder.
11. If you want that classic “pistachio green” color you can mix in a few drops of natural green food color. This is optional and you can skip it.
Make Pistachio Ice Cream
12. Now add this entire mixture to the ice cream maker. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions before operating the ice cream maker. Churn the mixture until the ice cream is frozen and set.
13. Lastly, fold in the chopped pistachios with a spatula. Save a small handful of extra pistachios to add as a topping to serve, if you like.
14. You can remove the pista ice cream and serve directly, or transfer it to a box or container to be served later.
There likely will be a bit of pistachio ice cream stuck to the walls of the ice cream maker bowl and it might be difficult to scrape it. So wait for 20 to 30 minutes to let the walls soften. Then you can easily remove the ice cream.
15. I froze the ice cream for a few hours before scooping and serving. But feel free to serve immediately after making the pista ice cream.
16. Serve pistachio ice cream as dessert or enjoy as a sweet snack anytime.
Add some chopped pistachios on top for great crunch. You can also top the ice cream with whipped cream for an extra treat.
Stored in an airtight sealed container the pistachio ice cream will keep well for up to 1 month.
Absolutely! I share easy steps in the notes of the full recipe card below.
Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.
Pistachio Ice Cream (Pista Ice Cream)
- ½ cup whole milk – cold or chilled
- ½ cup sugar – 75 grams
- 2 to 2.25 cups whipping cream or heavy cream – 25% to 40% fat, cold or chilled
- ½ cup pistachios – 60 grams, unsalted
- Take ¼ cup of pistachios in a food chopper or spice-grinder or mixer-grinder. Grind the pistachios to a semi-fine or fine powder. Remove and set aside.
- Now take another ¼ cup of pistachios in the food chopper or spice-grinder or mixer-grinder. Process the nuts to small bits or chunks. Remove and keep aside.
Making pistachio ice cream mixture
- In a pan take, the cold or chilled milk and sugar.
- Mix very well till the sugar dissolves with a wired whisk or spoon.
- Then add the chilled or cold cream.
- With a wired whisk mix the cream with the milk evenly.
- Add the coarsely ground pista powder.
- Add a few drops of natural green food color. This is optional and you can skip it. Mix well.
Making pista ice cream
- Now add this entire mixture in the ice cream maker. Please follow the manufacturer's instructions before operating the ice cream maker.
- Churn the mixture till the ice cream is frozen and set.
- Lastly add the chopped pistachios and fold in the ice cream with a spatula.
- Now you can remove the pista ice cream and serve directly or remove it in a box or container to be served later.
- There will be a bit of ice cream stuck to the walls of the ice cream maker bowl and it is difficult to scrape it. So wait for some 20 to 30 minutes. Let the pista ice cream soften on the walls of the ice cream maker bowl. Then you can remove it.
- Serve pistachio ice cream just plain or as an after meal dessert.
Pistachio ice cream without ice cream maker
- Firstly replace milk with sweetened condensed milk. Add powdered sugar, ground pistachios, chopped pistachios to the condensed milk. Mix very well until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
- Add about ¼ to ⅓ cup powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar in the above step. Remember to add sugar as per your taste.
- Whip 2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream with an electric beater till stiff peaks.
- Then add the condensed milk mixture and whip again till the everything is mixed evenly. You can even fold the condensed milk mixture in the stiffly beaten whipped cream.
- Pour the ice cream in a container. Cover and freeze for 5 to 6 hours or overnight until firm and set.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Pistachio Ice Cream post from the blog archives first published in March 2017 has been updated and republished on April 2023.