This Vegan Protein Ice Cream recipe is everything you want in a frozen dessert and more! Perfectly sweet and decadent with an ultra creamy texture, this vegan ice cream also packs in some serious protein thanks to silken tofu and nut butter. You can even make it nut-free with a simple swap. This dairy-free protein ice cream is sure to wow your taste buds and inspire other fun flavors!
When it comes to vegan ice cream, there's no shortage of options in most grocery stores today. The problem is that many contain a number of added ingredients you may not want in your ice cream, like gums, corn syrup, palm oil, and unidentified "natural flavors," just to name a few!
Luckily, it's easy to make your own plant-based ice cream at home, and you can control the ingredients.
This homemade protein ice cream uses basic ingredients that are easy to find at the grocery store and some you probably already have in your kitchen!
For another vegan ice cream with a decent amount of protein, be sure to check out my Chocolate Chickpea Ice Cream.
Why You'll Love This Tofu Ice Cream Recipe
- It's a healthier ice cream recipe that will satisfy your sweet tooth while giving you some extra protein at the same time.
- Perfectly creamy ice cream made with 100% plant-based ingredients.
- Easy to make with a handful of simple ingredients and no artificial preservatives.
- Just as delicious as traditional protein ice cream - even non-vegans will love it!
This easy recipe uses a few simple ingredients. Note that ingredient measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
- Silken Tofu - Provides a neutral-flavored ice cream base instead of coconut milk or other plant-based milks and provides most of the protein in the recipe.
- Peanut Butter - This recipe uses a combination of natural peanut butter and powdered peanut butter which contributes to both the flavor and the protein content.
- Sugar - You can use regular granulated sugar, cane sugar, or coconut sugar if you want to avoid refined sugar.
- Maple Syrup - Optional for more sweetness and a hint of maple flavor.
- Vanilla Extract - Adds vanilla flavor and enhances the other flavors in the ice cream.
- Sea Salt - A touch of salt balances the sweetness and enhances the peanut butter flavor, but you can omit it if you like.
- Refined Coconut Oil - I rarely use coconut oil in my recipes and understand many people choose to avoid it due the saturated fat content. While my other ice cream recipes are oil-free (most are coconut-free, too), this recipe doesn't include oats, and it has a higher water content due to the tofu. Technically, you can omit the oil (it is your ice cream, after all!), but for the best consistency and flavor, I recommend using it. Without the oil the ice cream is very low in fat and will freeze even more solidly.
How to Make Vegan Protein Ice Cream
Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender blender except for the oil. Blend on high speed until the mixture is completely smooth. Then, with the blender running, drizzle in the melted coconut oil.
Churn the mixture according to the instructions for your ice cream maker.
Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container (for the photo I used a glass loaf pan instead of my Tovolo ice cream containers, to help you better see the consistency). Then cover and freeze for 3-4 hours.
Note: If you plan to freeze the ice cream overnight to enjoy the next day, allow it to soften at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Variations and Substitutions
- Other Flavors: Substitute the peanut butter and powdered peanut butter with a combination of almond butter and powdered almond butter or cashew butter and powdered cashew butter to change up the flavor!
- Nut-Free: For a nut-free option, use sunflower seed butter and your favorite vegan protein powder. Vanilla protein powder pairs well with the taste of sunbutter.
- Oil-Free: Although it is highly recommended, you can omit the oil in this recipe if needed. Without the oil, the ice cream is much lower in fat and freezes even more solidly. The flavor and texture are better with it.
I haven't tested the recipe yet without an ice cream maker, but if you have a no-churn method you prefer, feel free to give it a try! For more detail on how to make ice cream without an ice cream maker, see the "No Churn Instructions" in this post: vegan eggnog ice cream.
How to Store
If you don't plan to enjoy the ice cream on the same day, you'll want to prevent the potential for freezer burn by storing it in an airtight container. I recently started using these Tovolo ice cream containers and love how easy to clean and sturdy they are.
I recommend the refrigerated silken tofu which comes in 16 oz. packages rather than the shelf-stable kind. You will only need 1 ¾ packages, so you can use the extra to make a tasty tofu smoothie.
Amounts will vary depending on the recipe. This vegan version boasts 10 grams of protein per serving!
If you are using an ice cream maker with a removable canister, be sure to freeze the canister for at least 24 hours before making ice cream.
I hope you enjoy this vegan protein ice cream recipe! If you give it a try be sure to leave a comment below. And if you’re on instagram, tag a photo of your high-protein tofu ice cream with @myquietkitchen. I love seeing what you’re making!
More Dairy-Free Ice Cream Recipes
Vegan Protein Ice Cream (With Silken Tofu)
- 28 oz. silken tofu, drained - see Note 1
- ⅓ cup plus 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter, salted
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons powdered peanut butter, unsweetened, or a vegan protein powder - I used PB2 Pure; see Note 2
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons maple syrup, optional
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup melted refined coconut oil, optional - see Note 3
- If using an ice cream maker with a removable canister, be sure to freeze the canister for at least 24 hours before making ice cream.
- In a blender combine all ingredients except the oil. Blend on high speed until completely smooth. With the blender running, drizzle in the melted oil.
- Churn the mixture according to the instructions for your ice cream maker. At this point the ice cream will be similar to soft serve. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, cover, and freeze for 3 to 4 hours. Note that once the protein ice cream has been in the freezer overnight, it is too firm to scoop straight from the freezer. Let it soften at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.