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Craving a cool and creamy chocolate treat that’s also packed with protein? Skip the protein shake and make this protein ice cream recipe! It’s super smooth (never gritty!), incredibly rich, and satisfying — not your typical zero sugar dessert. It has a similar flavor to my keto chocolate ice cream with a custard base like my almond milk ice cream, so you’ll get the same great taste and texture but with an added boost.
When I first made this, I served this for my kids (ages 3 and 5 at the time), and they couldn’t get enough. I challenge you to tell the difference between this high protein ice cream recipe and regular ice cream! 😉
Why You’ll Love This Protein Ice Cream Recipe
- Tastes like the real thing
- Smooth, firm, and creamy
- Rich chocolate flavor
- 6 simple ingredients
- No special equipment needed
- 13 grams of protein per serving
- Much less sugar than store-bought (in fact, it’s low carb and there’s no added sugar!)
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for chocolate protein ice cream, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Egg Yolks – These form the base of the custard. (If you need a way to use up the whites, try coconut macaroons.)
- Sweetener – I use Besti Powdered Monk Fruit Allulose Blend as a sugar substitute because it has 0 calories, 0 glycemic index (i.e. won’t spike blood sugar levels), and tastes just like sugar. I don’t recommend most other sugar alternatives because the ice cream will turn out rock hard. Regular powdered sugar works fine if it fits your lifestyle, but why add refined sugar when Besti tastes just as great? 😉
- Sea Salt – Just a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness in the recipe. Don’t worry, your protein ice cream won’t be salty.
- Vanilla Almond Milk – I used store bought unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but you could make homemade unsweetened almond milk as well. Most non-dairy milk options will also work, though you may need to add vanilla extract to create a similar flavor profile.
- Heavy Cream – For perfect creamy texture and flavor. You can make it dairy-free by using full-fat canned coconut milk instead.
- Cocoa Powder – Look for unsweetened high quality cocoa for the richest chocolate taste (I like this one).
- Protein Powder – I use this collagen because I like the benefits, but you could use any protein powder you prefer, such as whey protein powder, a plant-based variety, or even chocolate protein powder if you want it extra chocolaty.
VARIATION: Make other flavors!
If you’re not a fan of chocolate ice cream, replace the cocoa powder with an additional 1/4 cup of protein powder and make these changes for different flavors:
- Vanilla – Use vanilla protein powder, or add 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
- Strawberry – Puree 8 ounces of strawberries in a blender or food processor, then add during the last 5 minutes of churning.
- Chocolate Chip – Make vanilla protein ice cream (above) and add 1/2 cup chocolate chips during the last 5 minutes of churning.
- Peanut Butter – Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup peanut butter during the last 5 minutes of churning.
How To Make Protein Ice Cream
This section shows how to make chocolate protein ice cream, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Make the ice cream base. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, powdered Besti, and sea salt, until combined and light yellow in color.
- Make the chocolate protein base. In a small saucepan, whisk together the almond milk, cream, cocoa powder, and collagen. Heat until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat.
- Temper. Very slowly, pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture while whisking vigorously – it will get frothy. Once custard is smooth, transfer back into the saucepan.
TIP: Pour the hot liquid in a thin stream.
This is called tempering, and doing this while whisking will prevent the egg from scrambling.
- Heat. Heat the custard mixture over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 170 degrees F.
- Chill. Remove from heat and cover. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until very cold and below 40 degrees F. There will be a film on top.
- Churn. Pour the cold custard mixture into a pre-frozen ice cream maker bowl. Churn according to manufacturer instructions, until your homemade protein ice cream is the texture of soft serve.
- Enjoy or freeze. Spoon into a serving dish to serve immediately for a soft-serve consistency. For a firmer consistency that you can scoop, transfer to a freezer container or loaf pan, smooth the top with a spatula, and freeze until solid.
TIP: You can store protein ice cream in the freezer for up to 6 months.
To enjoy, let it thaw on the counter for 5-10 minutes and wet your ice cream scoop with warm water for easy scooping.
More Easy Ice Cream Recipes
Protein powder is one of the easiest elements to add to healthy snacks and breakfast — I already tried it in warm recipes like protein waffles and fluffy protein bread. Desserts like this high protein ice cream might be my favorite way to use it, though! If you’re looking for more healthy ice cream recipes for a summer treat that also makes you feel great, try these:
Protein Ice Cream
Protein Ice Cream (Chocolate)
This easy protein ice cream recipe tastes exactly like regular chocolate ice cream, with a healthy boost from 13g of protein per serving!
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, powdered Besti, and sea salt, until combined and light yellow in color. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, whisk together the almond milk, cream, cocoa powder, and protein powder. Heat over medium heat, until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat.
Very slowly, pour the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture while whisking constantly. (Doing this in a thin stream and whisking vigorously will prevent scrambling the egg.)
Once the custard is combined and smooth, transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Return to the stove over low heat and heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches 170 degrees F (76 degrees C), about 3-5 minutes.
Remove from heat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until very cold (below 40 degrees F (4 degrees C)).
Pour the cold custard mixture into a pre-frozen ice cream maker bowl. Churn according to manufacturer instructions, usually about 20-25 minutes, until ice cream is the texture of soft serve.
Serve immediately, or for firmer ice cream, transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.
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Serving size: 1/2 cup
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