Dairy-Free Thai Basil Ice Cream

When I was in Austin TX for my NTP training a couple of years ago, I made a list of the Paleo friendly ice cream shops I wanted to try for “research.” Paleo ice cream is almost non-existent in Boston, and since I hadn’t been out for ice cream since going dairy-free or Paleo a couple of years before, it was an extra special treat. 

There was one ice cream that really stood out though. The Thai basil coconut milk ice cream from Thai Fresh. It was thick, creamy, not too sweet, and had a delicate basil flavor. 

I savored every spoonful of that creamy deliciousness in the warm Texas spring air. Then I boarded my flight back to a snowstorm in Boston, and decided I was moving to Texas. 

But until I can make that a reality, I had to create my own thai basil ice cream that is every bit as creamy, yummy, and refreshing as the one I tried in Texas.

And this recipe is perfection. Made with only 5 ingredients, it’s smooth, creamy, and oh so delicious. It’s also Paleo, AIP, nut- free and can even be made vegan! 

How to make the best creamy dairy-free ice cream. 

The secret to making this ice cream ultra creamy is avocado. Yep, avocado! But I promise you won’t taste it at all! 

Fat is what gives ice cream a rich, smooth and creamy consistency. Since dairy-free milks have a lower fat content than milk and cream, they can become icy, and hard to scoop. Adding a little extra fat will help emulsify the coconut milk and prevent ice crystals. Resulting in a much creamier, softer ice cream that’s perfect for scooping! 

Is it easy to make homemade ice cream? 

Yes, so simple! All you really have to do is give the ingredients a quick wiz in the blender before pouring into the ice cream maker. Then allow it to churn for about 1 hour before freezing. 

So, let’s chat about what you’ll need to make thai basil ice cream. 

Ingredients for the thai basil ice cream. 

Coconut milk

Full fat coconut milk is my favorite for making dairy-free ice cream since it’s thicker than other plant based milks. The coconut flavor also pairs really well with the thai basil. 


Avocado helps create a smooth, creamy ice cream and prevents it from becoming too icy in the freezer. 

Thai Basil

Thai basil has a mild licorice flavor. You can find it at most health food stores or ethnic markets.

Honey and Vanilla

Honey and vanilla add mild sweetness. You could also use maple syrup to make this recipe vegan, but it would likely change the color and flavor of the ice cream.

Do I need an ice cream maker? 

I highly recommend using an ice cream machine to make the silkiest, dreamiest paleo ice cream. However, If you don’t own an ice cream maker, you can make this ice cream without one, but it won’t be as creamy. 

You can simply skip the step of churning and place straight in the freezer, or churn by hand.

To do this, pour the ice cream into a deep, freezer safe container and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. After the ice cream begins to freeze around the edges, remove from the freezer and stir the ice cream by hand. Return to the freezer and repeat every 30 minutes until frozen solid.  

This method is more time consuming and will take longer to freeze, but it will still taste just as yummy!


Diary-Free Thai Basil Ice Cream

  • Author: Molly
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 60 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



1 13 oz can full fat coconut milk

1 medium avocado

¼ c raw honey

2 Tbs Thai basil, chopped

1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. In a high speed blender, add all ingredients and blend on high until smooth and combined. 
  2. Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. 
  3. Serve as soft serve ice cream straight from the ice cream maker, or freeze for 2-3 hours before serving. 
  4. Enjoy!


Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can’t wait to see what you’ve made! @vivrawellness