Not only will you be wearing a costume this Halloween, but you can dress up your dinner too! Trick your family into believing they are indulging in a rich and creamy ice-cream dessert with this gluten-free, dairy-free pistachio gelato recipe. This dessert-in-disguise will be a welcome treat after a day spent in wigs and capes. Happy Hallo-GREEN!


  • 2 cups roasted, unsalted whole pistachios – use divided
  • 2 ¼ cups of water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • green food coloring – optional


  • Put 1½ cups pistachios in a bowl and cover completely with water. Soak for 1 to 8 hours. Drain and rinse pistachios in a strainer under cold running water until the water runs clear.
  • Chop the remaining ½ cup pistachios with the salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  • Put the soaked pistachios in a blender with 2¼ cups of water. Process for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth. It should be the consistency of very heavy cream, e.g., pistachio cream. If too thick, add a little more water and blend.
  • Take ½ cup of the pistachio cream and mix with the cornstarch until completely blended.
  • Pour the rest of the pistachio cream into a large saucepan, combine with the chopped pistachios and sugar and cook over medium-high heat until it just starts to boil. Add in the cornstarch mixture and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture should be the consistency of pudding. Take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. If you want the color a little greener, stir in some green food coloring drops, a few drops at a time, until it becomes the desired shade of green.
  • For a smooth gelato, push the mixture through a strainer into a bowl. For a chunkier texture just scrape the mixture into a bowl. Top with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let the mixture cool to room temperature then refrigerate for about 2 hours or until cold.
  • Put mixture into an ice cream machine and process for 20 to 25 minutes or according to the manufactures instructions.
  • The gelato can be eaten immediately or stored in the freezer in an airtight container. Take out of freezer for about 5 minutes to soften before serving.
  • Makes about 1 quart.

*Please note – if you make this recipe with salted pistachios, leave the additional salt out of the recipe.

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