10 Best Dairy-Free Ice Creams for a Healthier Dessert, According to Dietitians

They’re as creamy and delicious as the real deal!


PS – By diary free you are getting rid of the milk fat in most regular ice cream. However, as indicated before, products made with coconut milk also have fats in them which is what makes them taste creamy. If you aren’t worried about your heart, you’re home free. They can also still come with lots of sugar. Look on the back to check for sugars. Many of the Ben and Jerrys non-diary have 25 gms of sugar and up. Not good if you have to avoid sugar. Check these out and also read the labels before you buy so you’ll know what you are really getting! CW

By Tiffany Ayuda

Sep 12, 2019


Whether you’re going dairy-free because you have a lactose sensitivity or follow a vegan diet to lose weight, there are plenty of non-dairy food options to keep you feeling satisfied. Yes, that means all of your favorite milk products—including yogurt, cheese, and even ice cream—have a dairy-free version. But not all pints and pops are made equally. Many people automatically assume that anything dairy-free equates to being healthier, but that isn’t necessarily true. Here, we asked dietitians to break down what they look for in a healthy scoop of dairy-free ice cream and offer their top product picks.

How to shop for the best dairy-free ice cream

Limit sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners. The most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for the best dairy-free ice cream is to choose one made with high-quality ingredients. That means your frozen treat should contain as little sugar alcohols, gums, and stabilizers as possible, says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition and wellness expert and author of Eating in Color.

“Plant-based doesn’t always equal healthier if your choice is packed with added sugars and a laundry list of artificial ingredients,” explains Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of the 2-Day Diabetes Diet.

Beware of the saturated fat content. Most dairy-free ice creams use almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, or oat milk as their base, but there isn’t really a standard as to whether which one is healthier for you. “It’s really based on your taste preferences,” Largeman-Roth says. However, non-dairy doesn’t always mean low-fat, Palinski-Wade says. “Coconut-based ones, while super creamy, are very high in saturated fat and can contain 12 grams of saturated fat in one serving, which is 60 percent of the daily value,” says Largeman-Roth.

Stick to no more than 250 calories and 20 grams or less of sugar per serving. Dairy-free sorbets can also be a great vegan choice, but be sure to scan the nutrition label. “Some have 24 grams of sugar in one serving,” Largeman-Roth says. She recommends using a small bowl or ramekin when serving ice cream to help you measure proper portion sizes. “Do not use a cereal bowl, or you will want to fill the entire thing! Ice cream bars can be a good choice, but many of the chocolate-coated ones have more calories and fat than a serving of ice cream,” Largeman-Roth says.

Choose toppings wisely. Skip the sprinkles, candies, and chocolate syrup and top your ice cream with fresh fruit or nuts for a healthy crunch and some added natural sweetness. “We have a lot of frozen treats in my house because I have three little kids. I always put out quartered strawberries, sliced almonds, and chopped pistachios. Unsweetened coconut flakes are another good option,” Largeman-Roth says.

Now that you know what to look for when shopping for a healthier dairy-free ice cream, we rounded up the best frozen treats out there.



Candy Bar Dairy-Free Ice Cream (8 pints)


Halo Topamazon.com



A bite of this dairy-free ice cream will satisfy your cravings for a Snickers bar, sans the loaded calories, sugar, and fat. Crunchy chunks of roasted peanuts are folded into caramel-flavored ice cream and a chocolate syrup swirl for a flavorful treat that feels indulgent but isn’t. Made with coconut milk, it’s a healthy dessert that many people with food sensitivities can enjoy. Other great non-dairy flavors from Halo Top include birthday cake, oatmeal cookie, chocolate chip cookie dough, and pumpkin pie.

Nutrition info per 1/2-cup serving: 90 calories, 4 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 5 g sugar alcohol, 3 g protein



Monkey Business Dairy-Free Ice Cream





You’ll absolutely go bananas for this banana-and-peanut-butter dairy-free ice cream. Chocolate chips are added to the almond milk base for a hearty crunch. “Non-dairy is one thing, but this ice cream is also lower in sugar and calories than most other varieties, making it a good fit for many diets,” Palinski-Wade says. Enlightened offers seven different flavors in its line of non-dairy ice creams. Each is sweetened with the sugar alcohol erythritol, which allows them to contain as few as 90 calories per serving.

Nutrition info per 1/2-cup serving: 100 calories, 5 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 95 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 3 g erythritol), 4 g protein




Dipped Salted Caramel Dairy-Free Ice Cream



So Delicioussodeliciousdairyfree.com



Some coconut milk-based ice creams have a strong coconut flavor that many people might not like, but cashew milk lends a nice creaminess and neutral flavor to dairy-free ice cream. These perfectly portioned caramel-flavored bars have a thick chocolate coating that encases a cashew milk-based ice cream. They also have a bit of pea protein for some more plant-based power. While this frozen treat has only 180 calories, it’s still something to be enjoyed in moderation, as it has nine grams of saturated fat in one serving, Palinski-Wade says.

Nutrition info per 1-bar serving: 180 calories, 13 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 12 g added sugar), 1 g protein



Raz’n Berry Dairy-Free Sorbet





For people who prefer a fruity frozen dessert, look no further than this SorBabes dairy-free sorbet. It gets its luscious red hue from real raspberries and has crunchy chocolate bits for added texture. This deliciously tart and bright sorbet also features blueberries, blackberry puree, elderberry juice, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. 

Nutrition info per 1/2-cup serving: 90 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 3 g sugar alcohols), 0 g protein




Strawberry Cashew Mochi Dairy-Free Ice Cream (6-Pack)


My Mo / Mochiamazon.com


If you’re in the mood for a small treat to satisfy a sweet craving, this traditional Japanese dessert is a good option. A ball of strawberry ice cream is cloaked in a slightly sweet and chewy dough, making it quite an experience for your taste buds. Each mochi ice cream is individually wrapped so it helps you practice portion control, too. It’s available in salted caramel, vanilla, and chocolate.

Nutrition info per 1-piece serving: 100 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 1 g protein



Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Ice Cream


Luna & Larry’sinstacart.com



Dark chocolate lovers will absolutely love the rich, bold tastes in this delectable dairy-free ice cream. Made with organic coconut milk, vanilla extract, and agave syrup, this frozen chocolate dessert will satisfy your cocoa cravings. Just take caution that a single serving has 12 grams of saturated fat, so be sure to stick to a 1/2-cup scoop.  

“I’m more of a pistachio fan than a chocolate fan, but a friend highly recommended this to me, and I must admit that even as a non-chocoholic, this is great tasting,” says an Amazon Fresh customer.

Nutrition info per 1/2-cup serving: 220 calories, 14 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (2 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 2 g protein


7Organic Lotta Mint Dairy-Free Ice Cream





Just like its brand name implies, this vegan-friendly ice cream is totally lactose-free. If you’re not familiar with NadaMoo!, it’s a family business based in Austin, Texas. This dairy-free ice cream is churned with coconut milk, agave nectar, chocolate chips, mint extract, and spirulina powder to give it a hint of natural green color. Certified organic and gluten-free, people on a variety of diets can enjoy this creamy treat.

Nutrition info 1/2-cup serving: 140 calories, 9 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (5 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 1 g protein

8Strawberry Dairy-Free Ice Cream





Oat milk, which is made by soaking steel-cut oats in water, makes its debut in the frozen aisle of your grocery store with this new dairy-free ice cream. Oatly, the pioneer in the oat milk movement, makes this creamy treat using real strawberries, oats, and coconut oil 

“I’m a real ice cream advocate, but I just tried Oatly’s new products and they’re quite amazing. The first ingredients is oats. Even my kids enjoyed the strawberry flavor. It’s very rich and decadent,” Largeman-Roth says. 

Nutrition info per 2/3-cup serving: 200 calories, 10 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 33 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (1 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 20 g added sugar), 1 g protein


9Cado Vanilla Bean Dairy-Free Ice Cream



Palinski-Wade says this avocado-based ice cream is a top pick for her because it’s packed with heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Plus, the ingredient list is as minimal as it gets, which is what you want when shopping for any type of packaged food. It features avocado oil, organic cane sugar, tapioca starch, vanilla bean paste, sea salt, organic guar gum, and organic gum acacia, which is used to help thicken dairy-free ice creams.

“Just keep an eye on the portion since it still contains a good deal of added sugar,” Palinski-Wade says. If you’re not a huge fan of vanilla, it also comes in cherry amaretto chip, java chip, salted caramel swirl, deep dark chocolate, simply lemon, and mint chocolate chip.

Nutrition info per 1/2-cup serving: 170 calories, 11 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 45 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 0 g protein

10Alphonso Mango Dairy-Free Sorbetto





Talenti prides itself in sourcing high-quality ingredients for its ice cream. This dairy-free sorbetto get its vibrant yellow color from Alphonso mangoes from India and has a hint of lemon juice to mellow out the sweetness. While the sugar count is on the higher end, the first ingredient is mangoes, so some of the sugar content comes straight from the actual fruit. 

Nutrition info per 2/3-cup serving: 160 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (2 g fiber, 35 g sugar, 26 g added sugar), 1 g protein