Vegan Pina Colada Ice Cream with Salted Macadamias

This super-simple non-dairy pineapple coconut ice cream transports you to an island vacation.  You'll never guess it's vegan ice cream!

Hello from Hawaii!  I'm in Kauai right now.  Guess what's for dinner?  Yep.  Pina Coladas.  Or in this case, pina colada ice cream with salted macadamias.  You're welcome.

How did I miss the vegan ice cream boat?

I'm probably the last food blogger on earth to try coconut (aka) vegan ice cream, but I'm so glad I did!  It's super easy, and while I rarely have real cream and whole milk in my house, I almost always have a can of coconut milk on hand.  

Something tells me this coconut ice cream might be a regular thing.

First, a few scenes from my vacation.  You might think it's weird to do Kauai in August, but remember I live in AZ, where we hunker down inside for the summer.  Our August is like February for the rest of the country.  So the thought of 85 degrees with light, on and off showers is actually pretty nice right about now.  And Kauai is gorgeous, and you can see:


It's an amazing mix of beach and jungle.  Very Costa Rica.  With roosters instead of monkeys and sloths.  And here's a fun fact about Kauai.  If you feel like you've been here before, it might be because all of these movies/TV shows have been filmed here:


Body Heat

The Descendants (I keep waiting for George Clooney to appear)


3-Jurassic Parks

Lord of the Flies

Raiders of the Lost Ark

South Pacific

Gilligan's Island

Fantasy Island

...and too many more to mention


So back to the ice cream.  You should use full-fat coconut milk, and NOT the kind in the cartons where the milk alternatives are.  

You want the coconut milk in the can, in the Asian section of the supermarket.  Low fat will be like eating coconut ice, so just splurge on the full fat.  It's ice cream after all, and just a treat, not a meal, and the fruit and nuts are good for you, so they kind of cancel out the fat in the coconut milk... #DietitianReasoning

a small yellow bowl of vegan ice cream with a spoon in it.

Fresh pineapple is really nice here, but if for some crazy reason you can't find it, feel free to substitute canned.  And if you want to make this an adult-only dessert, pour a bit of rum into the mixture.  I won't tell.

Do you have an ice cream maker?  It's not essential, but it's really, really, nice to have. I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker, and although I don't use it often, it's truly wonderful when I have a craving for healthier ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt.

If you don't use an ice cream maker, this vegan ice cream will be a bit icier- just partially freeze the mixture, stir it up to incorporate some air, freeze again, and repeat a few times.  Or just buy an ice cream maker!

Pina Colada Ice Cream with Salted Macadamias|Craving Something Healthy

Pina Colada Ice Cream with Salted Macadamias

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2 quarts


  • 2 - 15 ounce cans full fat coconut milk - chilled well
  • 1 small pineapple cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup agave or organic corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • ½ cup salted macadamia nuts chopped
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut


  • At least 6 hours (or overnight) before making the ice cream, place the bowl of the ice cream maker in the freezer, and chill the cans of coconut milk.
  • Add the coconut milk, pineapple, sweetener, vanilla and coconut extract into a blender, or the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade.
  • Blend or process until smooth and frothy.
  • Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker, and churn for about 30 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Add the nuts and coconut to the ice cream maker when the ice cream is just about finished, and let it stir to combine.
  • Pour the ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and place plastic wrap on top to keep the air out.
  • Freeze for at least 3-4 hours.


If the ice cream is frozen solid, let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or so to soften before serving. Store leftovers in a covered container in the freezer for 2 weeks.
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @CravingSomethingHealthy!

What's the best thing you've eaten on vacation?

Eat well!


  1. Beautiful pictures, I would love to visit Hawaii no matter what time of the year. And the ice cream looks delicious, I love coconut and macadamia.

  2. Sonali- The Foodie Physician says:

    Gorgeous photos, I hope you had an amazing time! And this dessert is such a perfect celebration of your trip. It looks so tropical and delicious!

    1. Thanks Sonali! Kauai was just gorgeous 🙂

  3. Betsy Ramirez says:

    Seriously making this, Anne! Makes me think of my trip to Puerto Rico. Your pics are amazing and I hope you had a great time!

    1. Thanks Betsy - it was lovely! Puerto Rico is on my list too 🙂

  4. I am crazy for anything Pina Colada-- this look delightful!

    1. Thanks for visiting Courtney!

  5. Judy Barbe says:

    HI Anne, Boy, are we on the same wavelength! Pina Coladas have been on my drink list this summer. Since ice cream is my favorite dessert, I use my ice cream freezer regulalry. Will be trying you ice cream version soon. Thanks!

    1. Who doesn't love a pina colada, right?! Thanks for visiting Judy, and hope you enjoy the recipe!

  6. Christine | Mid-Life Croissant says:

    Yesss! Canned coconut milk, full fat is the ONLY way to go. I love all the things in this ice cream but you REALLY got me with the salted macadamias. Brilliant.

    1. Ha Ha! Low fat coconut milk has its place, but not in ice cream! Thanks for stopping by Christine 🙂

  7. Heather McClees says:

    This looks amazing! I LOVE coconut and macadamia in just about anything! YUM! 🙂

    1. Thanks Heather! I'm right with you 🙂

  8. So much love for Hawai'i. (I want to move there. <3 ) This ice cream looks all sorts of amazing! :]!!!

    1. Maybe we can be neighbors? 🙂

  9. LOVE these gorgeous pics! And what a great idea to use coconut milk in this recipe...super creamy I'm sure.

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