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Easy 7 Ingredient Homemade Lemon Basil Ice Cream

With only 2 weeks till we pull out of Albuquerque and head out to Colorado to settle in Boulder, I’ve got quite a lot on my plate. Please welcome the lovely Georgia Pellegrini, author of “Girl Hunter“, here for today’s guest post: Lemon Basil Ice Cream. Doesn’t this recipe sound perfect for the warmer months ahead?

Want to know more about Georgia? Check our the GoodLife Books Georgia Pellegrini Interview

lemon basil ice cream recipe

Hi Everyone! I am thrilled to be paying a visit to Katie at Good Life Eats today.

I’m here to share one of my favorite ice cream recipes with you that highlights all of the herbs that are so abundant during the Spring months.

I have cooked a lot with my grandmother through the years and one of the beliefs that I’ve inherited from her is that there is nothing better than fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are an inexpensive and healthy way to introduce so much extra flavor and intrigue into any dish.

I even use fresh herbs in sweet dishes. One of my Grandmother’s favorite herbs to grow is stevia leaves, a natural sweetener. She and I don’t have much of a sweet tooth… in fact, she taught me that in most recipes, you can often cut the sugar down to about 1/3 of what it calls for and taste the rest of the ingredients much better that way.

This recipe turns the idea of a sweet treat on its head a bit by adding something savory to the mix–it’s Lemon Basil Ice Cream! It may sound strange, but it is truly intoxicating.

There is something about this ice cream recipe… it’s the potent smell of the basil and the tang of the lemon. You can play with the balance, adding more or less lemon and more or less basil. And of course any other herb would also be a nice experiment. Thyme is another favorite of mine.

One of the things I like about making my own ice cream is knowing how simple the ingredient profile truly is. Just 7 ingredients here and all wholesome ones.

Spring time is such a great time to experiment with fresh herbs, and this recipe is a great way to start. I think Lemon Basil Ice Cream truly is my favorite ice cream flavor.

What’s your favorite way to use fresh herbs?

lemon basil ice cream recipe

Homemade Lemon Basil Ice Cream

Yield: serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This recipe turns the idea of a sweet treat on its head a bit by adding something savory to the mix–it’s Lemon Basil Ice Cream! It may sound strange, but it is truly intoxicating.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar


  1. Put the ice cream container from your ice cream maker in the freezer. Heat the milk and cream with the zest and basil along with a pinch of salt. Bring it up to a gentle boil, then shut off the heat and let it infuse. Make sure to stir so the bottom doesn’t scorch. Let sit and infuse until no longer hot, but still warm.
  2. Separately, whisk together the egg yolks and the sugar until they are light in color from the air that you’ve incorporated. Set it aside.
  3. Mix the basil milk in a blender until uniform.
  4. Temper the yolks by adding a bit of the warm liquid to them gradually. Keep stirring constantly, scraping down the sides to avoid scrambled eggs.
  5. Return it all to the saucepan and stir it constantly over low heat until it thickens to the point where you can leave a track with your finger on the spatula.
  6. Let it cool for 10-15 minutes, then pour the liquid into the frozen ice cream container and run it through the ice cream maker for 50-60 minutes.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 320Total Fat 20gSaturated Fat 11gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 205mgSodium 83mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 0gSugar 26gProtein 6g offers recipe nutritional information as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although makes every effort to provide accurate information, these figures are only estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love it if you let me know what you think! Snap a photo and tag me on Instagram at @goodlifeeats with the hashtag #goodlifeeatsrecipes so I can see what you’re cooking up in YOUR kitchen!

About the Author:

Georgia Pellegrini is a chef, author, and blogger who roams the world hunting and gathering, tasting good food, and meeting the good people who make it.

She chronicles her adventures on her website and in her books. Her new book is called “Girl Hunter,” and her first book is called “Food Heroes.”

You can follow her wild adventures on Twitter and Facebook.


Friday 4th of September 2020

Great flavors. I doubled the lemon zest and then after tasting, decided to add the juice of 1 lemon before putting it in the ice cream maker. I also toasted a few pistachio nuts I had on hand and added those about 20 minutes after the ice cream maker started. Will add a pinch of SALT to enhance the depth of (all the) flavors next time.


Sunday 13th of April 2014

Made this with lemon basil and it is so yummy and so refreshing! Also, very easy to make! I will be experimenting with my herbs more now that this was such a success! Thanks for posting!


Thursday 9th of August 2012

Made this for an friend's Asian-grill-themed barbecue...I figured the basil and lemon referenced Asian ingredients, and I paired them with sesame bacon ginger cookies. The ice cream was a huge hit! Thank you for the recipe!


Wednesday 8th of August 2012

I do youth programming at a public library and in two weeks I'm doing a program on Blissful Basil. I would like to make this ice cream for that program and am wondering if anyone has tried it with Lemon Basil instead, or Opal Basil. If so, I'd love to hear about the results!


Saturday 9th of June 2012

This sounds delicious! I wish I had an ice cream maker. Do you think there is a way to use basil and " dress up" store bought lemon sherbert?

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