Vegan Cherry Ice Cream (with a not-so-secret ingredient)

Vegan Cherry Ice Cream

I had full intentions of posting a different recipe today, but a few things got in my way. First, the recipe I was hoping I would nail in the first try was a complete and total flop (back to the drawing board on this one). And second, my sweet tooth totally got the better of me (like in the vegan cherry ice cream kind of takeover).

So today we’re going to embrace the sweetness and chat about ice cream.

The trouble is, when you’re an ice cream lover like me, and you’re sitting in a house that’s 95 degrees and you step outside and the weather is just as sticky, it’s hard to get over the fact that you can’t eat ice cream because you can’t have dairy. Dang lactose!

Ice cream is one of the only summer treats we get for relief from the heat, so when your only option is to purchase a sugar-laden sorbet for a $6 pint of ice cream…I bet you just throw your hands up in aggravation and skip them both. I know, I do. At least we have cookies…

Vegan Cherry Ice Cream

So what are your options?

Well, you could purchase an ice cream maker and whip up a fabulous batch of coconut milk ice cream. It’s relative easy, but it takes time. Like time that you don’t have when you want ice cream RIGHT. NOW. and you don’t have anything in your freezer.

When you make ice cream at home you also have to remember that you’re not only going to have a bowl of high-fat yumminess, but there are also added sugars and sometimes gums. Granted, it’s definitely better than what you purchase in the store, but still there are some fillers that you might want to avoid (especially when it’s bikini season).

Vegan Cherry Ice Cream

Wouldn’t it be great if we could eat a bowl of ice cream that was not only healthy for us, but also vegan and gluten-free? Oh and that cost less than $3 to make?

I thought we’d be on the same page with that one.

Well my friends, I have a little secret when it comes to making vegan ice cream at home (well, not really that secret since we’ve talked about it before): all you need is fruit.

Frozen bananas to be exact. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have a luscious, creamy, frozen treat that satisfies those ice cream cravings and tastes heavenly. Light, fluffy, low in sugar, zero fat and low in calories, how can you go wrong?

Vegan Cherry Ice Cream

Seriously, don’t you just love that this ice cream is made from fruit?

In all honesty, I had some for lunch today. I rationalized it that I was simply eating banana and cherries (and a little quinoa of course).

If you haven’t jumped on the banana ice cream train yet, this is your chance. This vegan cherry ice cream will change your whole mind about what’s possible for dairy-free ice cream lovers.

And the fact that it takes less than 5 minutes to make? Pure benefit.

And clearly chocolate chips are totally okay. Go wild. You’re allowed.

Vegan Cherry Ice Cream

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 3 - 4 servings


  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • Almond milk, as needed
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup fresh cherries, pitted chopped


  1. Add frozen bananas to the bowl of a food processor. Process until broken up.
  2. Remove lid and add vanilla. Process again until starting to become smooth.
  3. Remove lid and add quinoa. Process until completely smooth and creamy. Add splashes of almond milk to get the right consistency. You want it to me smooth like soft serve ice cream.
  4. Remove lid, add cherries and pulse to combine (2 - 3 pulses).
  5. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for 30 minutes. Remove and serve.
  6. Garnish with chocolate chips (especially if you love Cherry Garcia!).


  • Nikki

    Mmmmm sounds fab, just gotta get some cherries and this will be served :)
    One quick, prob dumb question, at what point do you add the almond milk, and how do you know if it’s ‘needed’?
    Many thanks

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Hi Nikki, you add the almond milk after the quinoa if it’s not getting creamy. Add a splash at a time until the ice cream becomes the texture of soft serve.

      I’ve updated the recipe also, thanks! :)

  • Patricia

    Do you use overripe bananas or yellow/ grandson has EOS and loves milk and ice cream!!! :(

    • Queen of Quinoa

      It would be best to use overripe bananas so they’re more sweet, but you could use yellow/green ones as well. If you use yellow/green, you might want to add a hint of maple syrup or stevia to amp up the sweetness just a touch.

      Hope you both enjoy!

  • Suzy

    This sounds awesome! One question… Does this actually end up tasting a lot like bananas? I really hate the taste of bananas but would love to try something like this out!

  • Joan

    I will try quinoa milk instead of almond and add a bit of cinnamon. But it’s going to be a first for me to add cooked quinoa.

  • Cyndi Z

    Sounds and looks delish!! With cherries AND maybe adding blueberries = July 4th yumminess! : )

  • Monika

    For those with almond allergies , can we substitute coconut milk instead or any other alternatives?

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Yes, absolutely :)

  • Siyona

    Thanks for the vegan cherry ice cream recipe. I love Ice Cream.

  • jandy Pannell

    just love that icecream recipeeven though it’s winter down here! I have missed being able to tolerate regular icecream very badly. I don”t tolerate cherries though – bananas and paw paw are the only fruit I can tolerate – can I just leave the cherries out? I will add perhaps a bit of maple syrup? Should I add a bit more quinoa? or any other suggestions – I can’t wait to try it. thank you so much for brightening my day. :) Jandy

    • Queen of Quinoa

      yes! you can leave the cherries out…OR, you can swap them for any other fruit you want. Blueberries? Strawberries? Raspberries? Or nothing. This recipe is super versatile, so have fun with it :)

  • Cindy Dowden

    I just made this using blackberries from my garden. Delicious! Can’t wait to try cherry as well. (With chocolate, of course!)

  • Nancy Sankus

    I made this with our current abundance of fresh cherries. I was in to much hurry to wait for overly ripe bananas and paid the wish-it-was-sweeter penalty. Also, my processer is fairly small and didn’t like the large chunks of frozen banana. I’ll cut them smaller before freezing next time. I added nuts which made it even more chewy/crunchie around the smooth. I put large X’s on three bananas in the bowl so no one eats them while they ripen for the next batch. I’m thinkin’ coffee flavor and maybe adding…

  • Linda Bell

    This is by far the most delicious “ice cream” on the planet!! I folded in Pistachios and Cocao Nibs…wow what a treat. Thanks for introducing such a fabulous recipe.

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Glad you enjoyed it! I made another version of Mint Chocolate Chip and it was great! Needs a little tweaking, but will definitely be sharing it soon. I love how versatile it is!

  • Heidi K.

    Made it, I love it !!! But I have to ask what is the purpose of the quinoa?

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Woo hoo! Glad you liked it :) I like to add quinoa for more nutrients and also the texture. I find it makes the ice cream thicker and richer :)

  • Sunnie

    What can I use in place of the bananas that I dont like the taste of?

    • Queen of Quinoa

      To be honest, there isn’t going to be a perfect substitute. Since the recipe is mainly banana, I don’t think it would work without it. You could try using another frozen fruit and adding in some frozen avocado, but it still won’t be the same. I think I’d suggest trying one of my other vegan ice cream recipes :) Sorry about that!

  • Carolyn

    Delicious, absolutely delicious. I even used toasted quinoa as that was all I had on hand. Served with a GF biscotti on the side.

    • Queen of Quinoa

      Oh yum! That sounds absolutely delicious :)

  • CAL

    Sounds good but, unfortunately, I cannot eat bananas or almonds. That leaves out most smoothies too. I wish someone could create recipes that do not use a lot of the allergens. I know that is wishful thinking!

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  • Meg @ Beard and Bonnet

    This looks SO good!!